If you are currently in the process of a personal injury lawsuit due to injuries that you sustained because of someone else, you need to know the truth about how maximum medical improvement or MMI relates to your case. Maximum medical improvement is both a legal and medical term that is used to determine if your injuries have healed as much as possible and how your injuries will affect you for the rest of your life. This information is used to make sure that you get a fair settlement offer. Make sure you don't fall for these common myths about MMI.
Myth #1: Your Attorney Can Determine MMI
Your attorney cannot determine when you have reached MMI; nor can your insurance adjuster. Only a medical professional can determine when you have reached MMI because they are the only ones who understand the exact nature of your injuries, what has been done to help you, and what can be done based on current medical science to improve your condition further. A medical professional has the expertise needed to determine what the result of additional medical treatment will be for you, and if additional treatment will improve your injuries or will just help you maintain your current level of mobility.
Myth #2: You Don't Need Any Medical Help Once You Have Reached MMI
Reaching MMI does not mean that your medical treatment is over. Rather, it means that your doctors do not think your condition is going to improve any further. You may still need medical care in order to stay healthy and to keep your current level of health up.
For example, if your leg was shattered in an accident, once you have completed all surgeries and treatments to fix your leg, your doctor will evaluate your leg and give you what is commonly referred to as a permanent impairment rating and along with that, an MMI determination. Your doctor's report will explain how much function you have in your leg and how impaired your leg will be for the rest of your life.
Myth #3: It's Okay To Settle Your Case Before You Reach MMI
Although you can settle your case before you reach MMI, most attorneys will advise you against settling your case before that determination is reached.
If you settle your case before you reach MMI, there is a good chance you may not get a fair settlement that covers all of your past and future medical costs. By waiting to reach MMI first, your attorney can ensure that your settlement covers all your medical costs thus far related to your injury, and covers all the medical costs and treatments that your doctor has determined you will need in the future.
If your injury affects your work, your attorney can use the information from your MMI to show how your impairment level affects your ability to work and can make sure that you are fairly compensated for your time as well as your injury.
Don't rush to a settlement before you really know the extent of your injuries and how they are going to impact the rest of your life.
Make sure you don't fall for the myths listed above about MMI while pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. If you have any other questions about MMI, you can ask your doctor and your attorney like William D. Hochberg to further explain how the process and diagnosis works.
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