What is maximum medical improvement?
The term “maximum medical improvement” describes a stage during the treatment process where the healthcare provider, such as a doctor, informs the patient that no further progress in their medical condition is possible. Contrary to popular belief, reaching MMI does not mean that the patient has recovered from the injury or illness. Rather, it means there is no point in trying to improve.
This term is quite common during personal injury litigation. Most experienced personal injury attorneys advise their clients to wait until they reach MMI before accepting a settlement offer.
Why Is It Important to Wait Until I Reach MMI?
The primary reason for waiting until you reach MMI is to ensure you receive full compensation for your injuries or illness. This is because when the insurance company is responsible for compensating you for your injuries, they will likely want to process the settlement as soon as possible to prevent your medical bills from piling up.
In order to fully understand how much compensation you are entitled to, you will need to go through the entire treatment process. Then, when your doctor decides that no further improvement is possible, you may bill the insurance company for the medical expenses incurred.
Accepting a quick settlement could put you in serious financial trouble. This is because once you sign the release of settlement agreement, the case is considered closed. As a result, you cannot recover additional compensation even if you later discover that the settlement you accepted was way below the actual value of your case.
My Insurance Company Is Forcing Me to Accept a Settlement. What Should I Do?
Do not accept a premature settlement from an insurance company even if you are under pressure to do so. These companies know that the sooner you sign the settlement offer, the less money they will need to spend on your medical expenses. If you or your loved one is under pressure to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company, talk to our attorneys about it. We will review the specifics of your case and inform you on how to proceed.
Who Decides Whether I Have Reached MMI?
Your doctor will determine whether you have reached MMI. They will also review your condition to decide whether or not you will need regular checkups or other medical procedures in the future, such as surgery. As a result, this information could influence the settlement amount you may be entitled to. For example, if you need additional medical procedures in the future, the attorney will include this expense in your claim.
What Happens After Reaching MMI?
After reaching MMI, your doctor will review your condition and assign you a disability rating. This rating reflects the doctor's opinion on the severity of your injury. Disability ratings are usually provided in the form of percentages. For instance, if you suffered arm injuries with a disability rating of 30, it means that your hand is 30% disabled and 70% functional.
What is the Purpose of a Disability Rating in Personal Injury Cases?
Having a disability rating helps provide insight into the kind of injuries you sustained and, most importantly, how limiting such injuries are. Your employer can also use this information to understand the tasks you can or cannot do while at work. And finally, attorneys and insurance companies will use this information to determine the amount of compensation you may be entitled to.
Can I Challenge My Doctor's MMI Designation?
Yes, you can. Sometimes, your doctor might not fully grasp the extent of your injuries. If you disagree with your MMI rating, we might be able to help. Our attorneys will review your condition and involve medical experts to determine the most appropriate MMI rating for you. If we establish that your doctor's rating is inaccurate, we might be able to help you obtain a better rating.
It is also important to note that insurance companies can dispute your rating. In that case, an experienced attorney from Morgan and Morgan can fight for your rights, ensuring you maximize your claim.
The Insurance Company Wants Me to Sign Some Paperwork in Order to Process My Claim. What Should I Do?
When you have suffered significant injuries due to someone else's negligence, you must be careful with how you deal with insurance companies. One thing you need to know is that these companies will seem caring, understanding, and sympathetic, but that is not always the case.
That said, it is never advisable to sign any paperwork offered by an insurance company — or any other party for that matter — if you do not fully understand its contents. Instead, to avoid jeopardizing your claim, contact a Morgan and Morgan attorney.
How Much Will Morgan and Morgan Charge Me to Review My Case?
At Morgan & Morgan, we understand how painful it is to deal with such injuries. They can drain you physically, mentally, emotionally, and also financially. For this reason, we provide a free case evaluation. In addition, if you have a valid case and choose to hire our attorneys, you will not owe us anything if we do not win.
Reaching MMI provides a clearer perspective of your medical condition. No matter what the insurance company says, do not accept any settlement offer. If you feel pressured to accept a settlement, fill out our free case evaluation form. One of our legal representatives will review your case and get in touch to discuss your options.