What Is Maximum Medical Improvement?
“Maximum Medical Improvement,” or “MMI” for short, means that an injured employee has reached a state where his or her condition cannot be improved any further, or a point where a treatment plateau in a person’s healing has been reached. It could either mean that the patient has fully recovered from the injury, or the patient’s medical condition has stabilized to the point where no major change can be expected in the injured worker’s condition. At that point, no further healing or improvement is deemed possible, and this point occurs despite any continuing medical treatment or rehabilitative programs that the injured worker takes part in.
Only the physician may determine the date of maximum medical improvement is. When a worker who is receiving workers’ compensation benefits eventually reaches maximum medical improvement, his or her condition or ability to work is assessed, and a degree of permanent or partial impairment is determined.
An individual’s ability to get back to work can be assessed with a Functional Capacity Evaluation, or “FCE.” This is a series of tests performed by an experienced physical therapist with specialized training.
After understanding what maximum medical improvement is, you may wonder why it is so important in the first place. In short, MMI can inform a personal injury case since it gives an estimate to both sides regarding necessary care and damages. On the plaintiff’s end, MMI can better indicate pain, suffering, wages, and overall medical costs. All of these factors will help provide the future damages of the injury that has incurred. Before reaching MMI, a settlement would be hard to determine since there is still the potential for further ongoing treatment and which may create more medical costs.
Before you proceed, you should consult a workers’ compensation attorney who is able to guide you in the right direction. Our experienced attorneys at Tim Fischer Law have decades of combined experience navigating the difficult legal framework surrounding workers’ compensation. North Louisiana trusts our legal professionals to handle their important cases in their time of need – and you can call us today for a free consultation.