During your personal injury case, there are many different legal terms that you may hear. One of these is “maximum medical improvement,” sometimes abbreviated as MMI. This is the point at which your injury is unlikely to change significantly.
More information about MMI in personal injury cases:
Why is Maximum Medical Improvement Important?
It is recommended that you do not accept a settlement for a personal injury case unless you have reached MMI or if your doctor has given a clear projection of what future care will likely be required. After your doctor determines maximum medical improvement, it is easier for your lawyer to demonstrate what the long-term effects of your injury will be. This is important and helps ensure that you receive compensation for future treatment and lost wages, especially in the case of permanent disability that leaves you unable to work. MMI is also a factor for pain and suffering damages. Before reaching this point, it may be unclear how the injury will continue to impact your life.
If you choose to settle with the negligent party’s insurance, the amount will be final. You won’t be able to receive additional funds if you realize later that your injuries are more severe than you originally thought. Insurance companies are aware of this fact. As a result, they may try to pressure you to agree to accept a lower amount than you deserve. This is one reason why it is helpful to speak with a personal injury attorney sooner than later.
MMI vs Full Recovery
Reaching maximum medical improvement isn’t always the same as being fully recovered. A patient who is fully recovered has reached MMI, but not all patients who reach this point are completely “well” again. MMI can include lasting disabilities, chronic pain, or other long-term effects if the injury is permanent. For example, if someone became paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury, reaching MMI would not mean that they are now able to walk. Instead, it means that the injury is at a point where it will not improve any further.
Should You Wait for MMI to Start a Claim?
Although it is best not to accept any settlement offer before reaching maximum medical improvement, this doesn’t mean that you can’t start the process sooner. After an accident, it is a good idea to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you determine how to move forward with your case while you receive treatment.
Experienced and Compassionate Personal Injury Attorneys in Tucson
At Grabb & Durando, we know that dealing with the aftermath of an injury can be incredibly overwhelming. We work hard to take some of the burden off your shoulders by handling the legal aspects of your case. We also make sure to explain the factors that could influence the outcome. This includes helping you understand legal terms such as maximum medical improvement.