After a work-related injury, it’s important to know what happens next. That’s why it’s crucial to speak with a legal professional about your medical expenses, workers comp benefits, and anything else related to your case.
The terms and acronyms used in workers’ compensation cases can be confusing, but one of the most important is MMI. This term describes the point when an injured worker’s condition has reached a plateau and further treatment won’t likely improve it.
What is MMI?
MMI, or Maximum Medical Improvement, is a critical point in a workers’ compensation claim. It impacts your benefits, your doctor’s evaluation, and even how your case is handled.
Generally, MMI occurs when an injured worker’s condition is stabilized and they’ve reached the plateau of their treatment. In layman’s terms, this means that the injured worker has reached “as good as it’s going to get.”
If a doctor deems you have reached MMI, they’re indicating that further treatment or other forms of medical care will not help. If you’re interested in exploring other options for your injury, however, an independent medical examination (IME) from a different physician can provide a helpful second opinion.
Fortunately, you can challenge an MMI determination if you have a strong argument. Having an experienced New York work comp attorney on your side can make all the difference in the world. It’s important to hire an attorney early in the process so they can begin working on your case immediately.
How is MMI Determined?
Determining whether a person has reached maximum medical improvement, or MMI, is one of the thorniest workers’ comp issues. Regardless of the type of injury, determining MMI can be a confusing process.
In most cases, MMI is determined by a doctor. This doctor will examine the patient and determine if the condition has improved enough to return to work without any restrictions.
Usually, MMI is achieved about two or three years after an accident. However, it does not always happen that way.
For example, if the injury is a brain injury, the MMI may not be achieved for several months.
This can create a thorny situation for the injured worker who has to choose between settlement or ongoing benefits. Alternatively, they can sign a release that waives their rights to future claims.
How Does MMI Impact My Case?
Many people are unaware of how mmi workers comp impacts their case. This three-letter term can have a big impact on the amount of compensation that you receive and whether your injury is likely to remain permanent or improve with further treatment.
In most cases, your authorized treating doctor determines when you’ve reached MMI. They will look at the progress you’ve made and consider how much more is reasonable to expect.
You can also challenge a doctor’s determination of MMI through the Industrial Commission. However, you must prove that a change in doctors is necessary.
Depending on the type of injuries you’ve sustained, you may still be able to pursue additional benefits if your employer or insurer fails to provide them. For example, if you suffer an injury that prevents you from returning to your previous job, you can receive permanent duty restrictions or permanent partial disability benefits to compensate you for lost wages and future medical expenses.
How Can I Challenge My MMI Determination?
If you are an injured worker you may have received a fancy letter from your doctor telling you that you have reached MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement). It is a big deal for many reasons. MMI marks the point where you can no longer claim weekly TTD or TPD benefits, and a doctor’s determination of your medical status is key to your future compensation. There are a few ways to challenge your physician’s MMMI (Most Medically Modifiable Information).
If the fancy letter isn’t enough, you can always take legal action against your employer and insurance carrier in order to get the compensation you deserve. The best way to do this is by contacting an experienced New Mexico workers comp lawyer at Holmes Law Firm for a free consultation. The sooner you do, the more likely it is that you will see your desired outcome – and the most painless process possible!
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