Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are in the early stages of seeking compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident, you may have heard your lawyer use the term “maximum medical improvement.” MMI is going to be key to determining the maximum amount of compensation you could receive in a settlement or lawsuit. The cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer may be worth the investment in order to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
What Is Maximum Medical Improvement?
MMI is the level of recovery determined to be the most improvement an injured person can attain from treatment. MMI could be labeled a full recovery, or it could be considered a stable condition resulting in continued medical expenses and/or permanent disability. Ultimately, the patient’s doctors and other specialists determine when MMI is reached, and they also assess how the injury will affect the patient in the future.
What Types of Injuries May Not Reach Full Recovery?
If you have been severely impacted by the injuries sustained in an auto accident, you have already experienced the emotional pain and loss of abilities that hinder your participation in daily life. Some types of injuries can cause diagnoses such as paralysis, decreased cognitive skills and arthritis. Examples of car accident injuries that will likely have these long-term effects are:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
When Can MMI Be Determined?
Reaching MMI can result from a short stint in physical therapy, or it could be years of working with multiple physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists. You could also require numerous surgeries before your physicians can determine MMI. The length of time needed to determine a patient’s plateau of progress and projected future functioning depends on several factors:
- Type of injury
- Severity of the injury
- Patient’s response to treatment
- Patient consistently following doctor’s recommendations
As frustrated as you might be with the prolonged settlement and litigation process, the best advice is to focus on your treatment and wait until you have reached MMI. You might feel like you need the funds immediately, but if you agree to a settlement too quickly, the insurance company will likely not offer you a fair and justified payment for your injuries.
Keep in mind that during the investigation process, it takes time for your legal team to gather all of the essential medical information in your records. When you wait to attain MMI, your personal injury lawyer should have the facts he or she needs to argue for the maximum settlement to which you are entitled.
With the rise in malpractice cases against both doctors and hospital staffs across the United States, many healthcare facilities are looking to MMI providers to help safeguard their assets while still providing quality care. If you or someone you know has been injured due to negligence on behalf of any entity within the healthcare system, it is important that they consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer can protect their rights.