What is Maximum Medical Improvement in a Personal Injury Claim?

patient undergoing physical therapyWhen doctors, lawyers and other people talk about maximum medical improvement (MMI), many may think this means that an injury victim has completely recovered and returned to his or her former state of health. While this may happen some of the time, often, it is not the case.

At Greg Coleman Law, we discuss more about what MMI is and how it may impact your personal injury case.

After an accident due to someone else’s negligent behavior, we encourage you to contact our firm to learn more about how we may be able to help you pursue compensation for the damages you suffered. Our Knoxville personal injury lawyers have extensive experience advocating for the injured. Call or text our offices anytime to schedule your free, no-obligation initial consultation to get answers to your questions and discuss your legal options.

What is Maximum Medical Improvement?

Maximum medical improvement is a term used to identify when an injured person has recovered, based on a doctor’s determination, to the fullest point possible. This state of recovery means that a patient’s condition is stable and requires no further current medical treatment. It does not necessarily mean that an injured victim has returned to his or her former state of health or that he or she will not require additional care in the future.

MMI is applied in all types of injury claims, such as a slip and fall or car crash. The extent, severity and length of time to reach MMI are the primary factors that impact the value of your personal injury case and the damages that you may be awarded.

How Long Does It Take to Reach MMI?

The amount of time it takes to reach MMI varies greatly and depends on the severity of your injuries, how your body responds to the treatment and whether any secondary conditions develop during your recovery.

Who Determines When You Have Reached MMI?

Only your treating physician or medical team, based on medical examination and diagnostics, can determine when your condition is stable, and you have reached your maximum recovery point.

After reaching MMI, your physician may determine whether you are at risk for developing other medical issues in the future as a direct result of the injuries you sustained. Sometimes surgery may also become necessary in the future. Your physician will be able to make a medical prognosis based on your MMI, as well as the severity and type of injuries you sustained. Your future medical prognosis after a serious injury may include ongoing diagnostics to monitor your condition.

Following Your Physician’s Prescribed Plan of Care

Adhering to your physician’s prescribed plan of care may affect your health and the level of maximum recovery you may be able to achieve. However, it can also impact the overall value of your claim and the amount of compensation you may be able to recover.

If you do not attend your doctor’s appointments, physical therapy and other follow-up care, you are leaving room for the defendant to argue that your injuries are less serious than you originally claimed. 

In a personal injury case, your attorney will wait to negotiate a settlement on your case until you have reached your maximum level of recovery.

While there is nothing to stop you from accepting an offer from your insurance company before you complete your medical care, we strongly advise against it. Any offer you receive before achieving MMI will likely be far below the value of your claim. In this situation, you would not receive enough compensation to cover the total cost of your care, leaving you to pay the remainder out of pocket.

Contact Greg Coleman Law for Legal Help

Navigating a legal case after suffering a serious injury can be both confusing and overwhelming. Insurance companies may take advantage of your situation and offer you far less than the value of your claim.

At Greg Coleman Law, we handle personal injury cases every day, and we have a proven track record of obtaining millions in compensation on behalf of our clients. In 2020, we were also selected as one of the best law firms for personal injury litigation by US News and World Report.

If you suffered an injury as the result of another’s careless or reckless behavior, we are prepared to help. Contact our firm to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. In addition to this free meeting, there are no upfront costs or fees to pay while we represent you. We do not get paid unless you do.

Licensed Attorneys. Legal help on your side. No upfront costs. (865) 247-0080