Understanding The Meaning Of Maximum Medical Improvement In A Workers’ Compensation Claim
After suffering a workplace injury in Illinois, an employee has the right to file a workers’ compensation claim and recover workers’ compensation benefits from their employer’s insurer. If you were injured in Illinois while on the job, contact a skilled workers’ compensation attorney to start working on your case.
Once you begin working on your Illinois workers’ compensation claim, you will hear your attorney throwing around a lot of terms, many of which you might not understand. One of the terms that many of those who have suffered a workplace injury do not understand is the term “maximum medical improvement.” This is a concept that can cause confusion. This article aims to help you better understand the meaning of maximum medical improvement in a workers’ compensation claim.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice, please speak to a qualified attorney.
Defining Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
Maximum medical improvement occurs when an injured employee’s condition is unlikely to change substantially in the future, even if they continue receiving treatment. Usually, only a doctor can determine if an employee has reached maximum medical improvement. Your employer, your employer’s insurance company, and your attorney cannot determine whether or not you have reached MMI. However, your employer’s insurer may ask you to undertake an independent medical examination (IME) to verify or contradict what your treating physician says.
It is crucial to note that MMI is not the same as making a full recovery. Indeed, in some cases, an employee who reaches maximum medical improvement will have made a full recovery. However, a doctor can deem an employee to have reached MMI even if their injury has not fully healed. If an employee has developed a permanent disability but is at a point where further recovery is not possible even if they continue receiving medical treatment, it means they have reached MMI.
Maximum Medical Improvement and Workers’ Compensation
In workers’ compensation, the worth of a case can be tallied up when an injured worker reaches maximum medical improvement. After reaching this stage, the value of your claim can be determined since it is possible to determine;
- Your ability or inability to resume work
- The total cost of your medical expenses
- The impact your injury will have on your income and earning capacity
- Whether you will require future medical treatment to keep you stable
It is advisable for injured employees to avoid settling their workers’ compensation claims before reaching maximum medical improvement. This is advisable because your temporary disability benefits usually continue until you are ready to resume work or get to maximum medical improvement. Settling your workers’ compensation claim before reaching MMI might result in you cutting these benefits short. If you settle your workers’ compensation claim before reaching MMI, you might accept an offer that does not account for the entire value of your temporary disability benefits.
Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you suffered a work-related injury in Illinois and need help recovering the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve from your employer’s insurance company, reach out to our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at Connolly Injury Law at (312)-780-0816.