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What Is the Maximum Medical Improvement in a Workers' Compensation Case?


If you have been injured at work, a term you might hear during the workers’ compensation process is maximum medical improvement (MMI). It is important to understand what this term means because of its significance in your case. You can talk with your doctor to determine your point of MMI. Furthermore, it is typically a good idea to wait until you have reached the point of MMI to agree on a settlement with the workers’ compensation insurance company.

Maximum Medical Improvement Definition

In general, this term refers to the point at which there is nothing else your doctor can do. The treatment is considered finished. When you have recovered as much as is medically possible, the doctor will say that you have reached the MMI. Even if you are not 100% better, you are still considered to be at MMI if there are no other reasonable medical treatments available to further heal your injuries.

In order to reach the MMI, it must be shown that all possible treatment options have been exhausted. If you are still suffering from pain or other symptoms of your injuries, you may want a second opinion if the doctor says you have reached the MMI. Sometimes, however, there will be no other treatment for your symptoms. The doctor may prescribe in-home therapy or medication to help with residual pain. However, there are no logical treatment options available to bring you back to 100% health.

Why the MMI Is Important

Knowing when you have reached MMI is important when pursuing compensation for your work injury. In general, it is a good idea to wait until you have reached the point of MMI before agreeing to a settlement. If you sign a release and obtain a settlement from the insurance company before reaching MMI, and your injuries worsen later on, you may be unable to pursue additional compensation. Only when you have reached the MMI can you safely agree on a settlement for your injuries.

The point of MMI is also important regarding disability. Once you have reached the MMI, your doctor will give you a disability rating. You should request a written statement from your physician outlining when you have reached the MMI, and what your disability rating is. Depending on your situation, your ability to perform certain tasks may be limited. However, you may still be able to maintain employment by using work restrictions. Your disability rating can help you negotiate a settlement for your injuries. In addition, understanding your point of MMI can help ensure you get the compensation you need.

Dedicated Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Orange County

At Alvandi Law Group, P.C., we provide compassionate legal assistance to clients facing workers’ compensation cases. If you have been injured at work, we can work hard to help you pursue a financial settlement for lost wages, disability, and medical expenses. We know you are going through a stressful time. That is why we are committed to handling the legal issues so you can focus on healing. We can gather relevant documents and help you understand your MMI. Furthermore, our Orange County workers’ compensation lawyers can stand by your side every step of the way.

Contact our firm today for a free consultation.

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