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What Is MMI In Personal Injury Cases?

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The Meaning Of Maximum Medical Improvement

MMI, also known as Maximum Medical Improvement is when a personal injury victim has reached a point where treatment of the person’s injuries will not make any further improvement in the person’s life or wellbeing. For example, if you broke your arm in an accident and now that arm has fully healed and cannot heal any further, then you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement(MMI).

what is mmi in personal injury cases

MMI is one metric that can be used to gauge whether victims get fair compensation after they fully recover from their injuries, and to ensure that the settlement falls within the range of a fair amount of compensation for the injuries sustained.

Who Determines If You've Reached Maximum Medical Improvement?

Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement is the goal for anyone that has been injured, but who is to say that you are actually fully recovered? Well, when it comes to personal injury cases, your doctor and you will generally have the final say in the matter. Ideally, Maximum Medical Improvement will mean that you have been restored to pre-accident condition, which means you are as healthy as you were before you were injured. Sometimes, it is not possible to be restored to pre-accident condition, and then Maximum Medical Improvement will mean simply that the treatment course you have undergone has gotten you as healthy as is physically possible, but you may still require maintenance care.

Sometimes, the opposing party may request that you submit to an independent medical examination with a doctor of their choosing. Depending upon the circumstances and posture of your particular case, you may be required to cooperate with this, or you may have a right to object. It is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in any negotiation in which the opposing side is requesting an independent medical examination.

Can You Get A Second Opinion On Your MMI Status?

If for some reason you have been told you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement, but you do not agree with that opinion, you do have the right to be examined by another doctor and get a second opinion on the matter. No one besides you and a trusted medical provider should determine your level of physical well-being. If the second doctor believes there is room for further improvement, you will need to speak with your attorney regarding whether additional medical treatments can be appropriately added to your settlement demand. While reasonable medical treatment is compensable in a personal injury case, so long as the treatment is necessary and related to the accident, this will not cover avant garde or cutting edge treatment options that have not yet gained acceptance within the medical community.

Regardless of whether a treatment option may be compensable in an injury settlement demand, Rector Stuzynski has always believed that an injured person’s health comes first. If you and your doctors truly believe a given course of treatment is right for you, the question of whether it may be considered reasonable, necessary, and accident-related should be a secondary concern. You can let the lawyers fight out compensation with the insurance company, but it is never advisable to allow your lawyers to direct your medical care.

What If The Injury Worsens After Reaching MMI?

If you have been deemed to be at MMI, but then your injuries flare up again or you have separate issues, then you need to determine if these issues are a result of the same injuries from that accident, or if they are due to other pre-existing conditions or something else. Some injuries can cause other injuries to pop up after treating the first injury or there could be an injury that was missed during the initial rounds of treatment such as internal bleeding or bone fractures that may have been missed.

This is why it is always a good idea to speak with your legal team about any milestones in your medical treatment. Not because your legal team is directing your medical care, but because your lawyers will often make decisions respecting whether to try to settle a claim based upon your feeling that you have, or have not yet, reached maximum medical improvement.

If maximum medical improvement has truly been reached, then you should ideally not see your physical health decline again as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident. Unfortunately, some injuries are so severe that this is inevitable, and even maximum medical improvement will still have to account for projected future care. In these cases, steps can be taken to document what treatment needs you will likely require in the future, as future medical care, permanent disfigurement, permanent impairment, and scarring are all compensable under Colorado law.

What MMI Means For Your Personal Injury Claim

Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement before settling your personal injury claim is generally a vital part that should take priority if you want to get maximum compensation for your injuries. In an ideal case, the at-fault party will have sufficient money under their insurance policy to make you whole after your accident. In these situations, you will wait until you are released from treatment or have reached maximum medical improvement before making a settlement demand. This is because after a settlement has been reached, you cannot go back and ask for more money if your injuries worsen or you need future care.

As with all things, this is a general rule, but there are exceptions. The most notable exception would be if it becomes clear early on that the extent of your injuries is far greater than the amount of money that can be captured in a settlement. This could occur if you were hit by an underinsured driver with minimal policy limits and no other assets that could reasonably be attached to compensate for your injuries. In these circumstances, minimizing the amount of your settlement that will have to be paid back through the subrogation process will take priority.

When you file a personal injury claim, you are seeking financial compensation from the at fault party for their negligent actions that caused you to be injured. So if you want to get as much money as possible on your settlement, you need to tally up every single monetary cost that was associated with your injuries. Those monetary costs are called economic damages and will be reimbursed by the at fault party if you have a valid personal injury claim.

These economic damages include medical bills, which can get very large, very fast. So by ensuring that you have actually fully recovered as much as possible, you are making sure that the entirety of your recovery expenses are being included in your settlement package and removing yourself from the financial burden of paying for these costs out of pocket.

It is also important to note that you will be entitled to non-economic damages as well which is extra financial compensation for the things you went through due to this accident, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, any disabilities that affect your wellbeing, loss of quality of life and more. Generally, the higher your economic damages amount to, the more money you may get in non-economic damage compensation as well. This is just one of the many reasons you should make sure you reach maximum medical improvement before starting the settlement process.

Get Help From Our Injury Attorneys

If you’ve been injured due to another person or company’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Make sure you give our law firm a call for a complimentary case evaluation where we will go over the details of your case and see if you have a case worth pursuing. If you do, our attorneys will go to battle for you to ensure you get maximum compensation for your injuries and the at fault party gets held responsible for their negligent actions. At Rector Stuzynski LLC, we have been helping injury victims get the compensation they deserve for decades. We have an extensive list of 5 star reviews from our clients that were extremely happy they decided to work with us, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Extraordinary legal representation is just a phone call away!

Areas We Serve

We serve clients injured in slip & fall accidents anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Falcon, Calhan, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.

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