Whether you have been involved in a
personal injury or
workers’ compensation case, reaching Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) is important in regard
to the injured individual recovering reasonable compensation from the
at-fault party or from the insurance provider. MMI is defined as “a
condition or state that is well stabilized and unlikely to change significantly
in the next year, with or without medical treatment.
When a physician determines that a patient’s MMI has been obtained,
it means that the victim’s physical state cannot be improved or
decreased, and that change in either direction will likely not happen.
Simply put, this is the best the patient is going to get.
The Importance of Reaching MMI Status
MMI is critical regarding benefit or compensation negotiations for a patient’s
accident case with insurance adjusters. Due to reaching MMI status, it
is then known what the long-term effects of the accident are in order
for a fair value of the case can be determined.
MMI can better indicate pain and suffering, lost earnings, and overall
medical costs – all of which will help calculate future damages
of the injury. Prior to reaching MMI, a settlement would be difficult
to figure out, as there is still the potential for more treatment to arise
– thus creating more potential costs.
After the date of MMI has been determined, insurance companies can sometimes
cease providing benefits to the injured party. Before or after the MMI
determination, insurance providers can attempt to settle the claim or
case by offering to pay the plaintiff a specific amount in exchange for
a “release.” But by signing a release, however, the injured
party gives up their right to bring any further claim against the insurance
company’s policy holder or the at-fault party.
In conclusion, when it comes to settlement negotiations, it is wise to
make final negotiations after reaching MMI status or full recovery.
If you suffered an injury at work in New Mexico,
contact our Albuquerque workers’ compensation lawyer at
Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law for a
free consultation today.