One term that may be mentioned repeatedly in your personal injury claim is maximum medical improvement (MMI). As a personal injury victim it's important to understand the meaning of this term and how your MMI will affect your case. Here's what you need to know:
What is Maximum Medical Improvement?
MMI refers to the point at which a patient's condition is no longer expected to improve even with further treatment. Many patients reach MMI when they have fully recovered from an injury. For example, a patient with a broken arm has reached MMI when his bones have healed. However, other patients are not so fortunate. For instance, a traumatic brain injury victim may reach MMI when he is still in a coma if the doctor does not believe that his condition will ever improve past this point.
How Will MMI Affect Your Case?
Personal injury attorneys typically do not begin negotiating with the at-fault party's insurance company until the victim has reached MMI. Why? If the victim has not reached MMI, it is very difficult to accurately calculate the value of the claim.
To illustrate why waiting until the victim has reached MMI is important, consider a spinal cord injury victim. The victim may have to undergo numerous surgeries, rehabilitation, and months of physical therapy before he has reached MMI. If the victim had settled shortly after he was injured, there is no way he would have known how much to ask for to cover his medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Now that he has reached MMI, he knows exactly how much he has incurred in medical expenses, how much time he has taken off of work, and the pain he has experienced as a result of the injury.
Plus, now that the victim is no longer expected to improve, he can determine how his life will be permanently affected by his injuries. Perhaps he can no longer engage in the activities that he once loved or perform the duties of his job. All of this will add to the value of his claim, which is why it's so important to wait.
Remember, there is no going back once you accept a settlement from an insurance company. If you accept an offer before you have reached MMI, you cannot go back and ask for more compensation after realizing you made a bad decision.
James Rush at Rush Injury Law has dedicated his career to helping personal injury victims recover the compensation they deserve. Let James Rush guide you through the legal process to ensure you make the best decisions for your future. Contact our office by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com to request a free consultation.