What Is “Maximum Medical Improvement” in NC Workers Comp?
When you’ve suffered an on-the-job injury, you may be able to secure workers compensation benefits through your employer. However, obtaining these benefits can be far more difficult than you might have thought. Working with a highly trained attorney is the best way to ensure that your claim is approved as easily as possible.
As part of the claims process, your condition will be reviewed by a physician to determine the extent of your injuries and how likely you are to get better. Below, we examine what maximum medical improvement (MMI) is and how it may impact your benefits.
Maximum medical improvement, also known as MMI, refers to the point at which your health is no longer expected to improve any further. Once you’ve been medically stabilized, your work comp physician will determine how much additional treatment you might need or determine that you no longer need to continue being treated.
An example could be if you were diagnosed with a spinal injury after a work accident and were subsequently paralyzed on one side of your body. With physical and/or occupational therapy, it’s possible your paralysis could subside, but if your physician deems your paralysis to be permanent, they will declare you as having reached a point of maximum medical improvement.
As can be seen, reaching MMI can have a significant impact on your case, depending on the extent of your condition once you’ve stabilized.
How MMI May Impact Your Claim
Reaching MMI could be beneficial or detrimental to your workers comp claim, depending on your individual circumstances. It may be that at this point you’ll be eligible for a permanent lump sum award that can cover your lost wages and any residual medical expenses. You should expect the insurance adjuster in charge of your case to attempt to close your claim as soon as they can.
However, even though your physician has determined that you have reached MMI, there is always a chance that your condition could get worse over time, which is why it is to your benefit for your claim to remain open as long as possible.
Reopening a claim after accepting a lump sum payout can be challenging, if not impossible, to do. For this reason, you’ll want to have your lawyer review any offers the insurance company makes you to ensure that you obtain every penny you deserve.
It would also be well-advised to have your attorney examine the information that the insurer provides to you about how MMI has influenced your claim, as unfortunately it is not uncommon for some adjusters to provide claimants with false or misleading information in order to reduce the amount they’ll be compelled to compensate you for.
Get Help from a NC Workers Comp Lawyer
If your physician has determined that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement and you have concerns about how it will affect your ability to continue collecting your work comp benefits, speak with a NC workers comp lawyer at Ricci Law Firm, P.A.
You can fill out the online contact form we’ve provided at the bottom of this page or call our office directly at 252-752-7785 to schedule your complimentary claim evaluation today.