If you plan on filing a personal injury lawsuit or for workers’ compensation benefits, one of the most important steps in your case is obtaining Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). The definition of MMI is “a condition or state which is well-stabilized and unlikely to change substantially in the following year, with or without medical treatment.”
As soon as a doctor determines that a patient’s MMI is reached, this means that the patient’s physical state cannot be decreased or improved and that change in either direction is not likely to occur. In other words, this is most recovered the patient is going to be from the injury.
Why is Obtaining MMI Status Important?
Once a person reaches MMI status, it is then known what the long-term effects of the injury are to determine a fair compensation in the accident case. Knowing the MMI can help better understand the present and future medical costs, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. Before reaching MMI, it can be difficult to determine a settlement figure since there is still the possibility of additional treatment – resulting in increased medical costs.
Before or after the MMI is determined, insurance companies can try to settle the claim by offering to pay the plaintiff a certain amount of compensation or a lump sum in order to obtain a “release.” But by signing a release, however, the injured party gives up their right to bring any further claim against the insurance adjuster’s policy holder or the at-fault party.