If you have been injured at work and are receiving workers' comp benefits, you have probably become aware of the term "maximum medical improvement" (MMI). This term, which is also part of the claims process and an official ruling, is vitally important to your future workers' comp benefits, so read on to learn more about MMI.
What does MMI mean?
After you have been receiving benefits for a while, you may be asked to undergo a special type of medical evaluation, called a consultative exam. This exam allows the workers' comp insurance company to decide which one of the following is true: you need continued benefits, you are able to return to work, or you are permanently disabled. The ruling of MMI means that further improvement is unlikely, and that you are therefore permanently disabled. The ruling does not mean that you don't need continued medical care, but that regardless of medical care or the passage of time, you cannot return to your previous job duties.
What Does MMI Means to Your Workers' Comp Claim?
Since this determination is tied to a lifetime benefit, be sure that this ruling does not come prematurely. For example, some injuries take more time for the full result to be known, and a hasty ruling of MMI could result in an incomplete monetary compensation package.
Once the ruling of MMI has occurred, your workers' comp insurance benefits will undergo a transformation, and your weekly benefit amount will likely convert to a lump sum settlement. How much could you be offered? That depends on several factors:
- Whether or not you are totally disabled or partially disabled.
- What body parts are affected.
- Your age, earning potential, education, health before the accident, etc.
- Your pre-injury wages
The Settlement Negotiation
People who are injured on the job don't always feel the need to retain a lawyer, especially for those whose injuries are relatively minor and heal completely in time. For the vast majority of workplace injuries, having medical expenses paid and receiving a portion of pay while recuperating at home is more than sufficient. Once you know that you have a permanent injury, however, you may need more help and support.
Workers' comp attorneys understand what you should expect to receive and will work to ensure that you are offered a settlement that compensates you and your family for every aspect of the injury. Predicting a lifetime of lost income and navigating the complex world of injury settlement calculations is better left to the professionals. Contact a workers' comp attorney as soon as you know that your claim has gotten more serious.
For more information, contact McMullen & Ochs PLLC or a similar firm.Share