Recovering from a workplace-related injury can be a long and challenging process. Even if you receive worker’s compensation benefits, there are factors that could interfere with these benefits, such as Cartersville maximum medical improvement (MMI).
It’s likely that you have many questions about MMI, which is why you’ll want to guarantee that you have access to the professional support that you need. At Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition, our Cartersville workers compensation lawyers worker’s comp law. You can trust us to provide you with information and give you the legal protection you need throughout this process.
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What is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)?
When a patient is no longer able to see further improvement in their medical condition, they have reached the point of MMI. When a patient reaches MMI, they haven’t necessarily made a full recovery. Patients that have arrived at MMI may have lasting impairments.
Doctors are expected to try every reasonable form of treatment before designating MMI to a patient. An MMI diagnosis could mean that a patient is fully healed and ready to return to work, it could also mean that the patient’s injuries are not expected to get better from this point on. A doctor may recommend light duty work or other limitations before the patient resumes work.
If a patient has experienced significant impairment because of their injuries, the doctor will assign them an impairment or disability rating. In a scenario like this, a patient may be eligible to receive permanent disability benefits.
Patients that qualify for these benefits could continue to receive permanent weekly payments at the same rate as the disability payments that they are currently collecting. In many cases, however, patients are offered a lump sum that is equivalent to the current value of their benefits.
Who Determines When The Employee Has Achieved Cartersville Maximum Medical Improvement?
In most cases, MMI is determined by the doctor of the employee. However, some workers’ compensation insurance companies will require that the patient submits to an independent assessment. In these scenarios, the employee will be examined by a second physician that is selected by the insurance company.
The doctor of the employee and the physician that conducts the second examination may not agree on the patient’s condition. If this occurs, the case will be heard by a judge. After the case is presented, the judge will decide if the patient has reached the point of MMI.
Does Medical Treatment Continue After an MMI Diagnosis?
Patients may continue to receive medical treatment for an injury after a physician has designated MMI. With that said, the treatment they receive is likely to be far more limited. Once a patient has received an MMI diagnosis, insurers will no longer be obligated to pay for treatment that is designed to improve the patient’s condition.
After MMI, insurers will still be responsible for covering secondary medical services. This term describes a treatment that is designed to help a patient manage their condition more effectively. The appropriate treatment can keep a patient from declining and could make it possible for the patient to continue working.
Since the treatments available to a patient are restricted after MMI is assigned, it’s important to explore all options before this diagnosis. Before designating MMI, physicians should be exploring a range of treatment options to see what could help the patient improve and recover.
What Happens If You Cannot Return To Work And Perform At The Same Level After Your MMI Diagnosis?
An MMI diagnosis will determine if a patient is capable of returning to work, and it will also dictate if a patient will require permanent restrictions. Some patients may be limited to light duty work for the remainder of their career. Patients will also be assigned a level of permanent impairment.
Permanent partial disability impairment ratings describe the loss of function to the body because of the injury. Ideally, the body should be operating at 100%. Patients will be assigned a rating that describes the percentage loss of function they have experienced.
Permanent work restrictions will be compared against a patient’s job duties prior to their injuries. This will determine if an employee is able to continue the same work that they were doing before they were injured. Injuries may prevent a patient from returning to their previous job or could even keep a patient out of the workforce entirely.
If a patient can no longer work, or if a patient is now making less money than they were before their injury, they may be eligible to receive disability benefits on a permanent basis. If you’ve been assigned MMI, and you believe that you may be entitled to permanent benefits, Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Cartersville, Georgia can ensure that you’re able to collect what you are owed.
Call Us Today To Understand Your Cartersville Maximum Medical Improvement
An MMI diagnosis can be confusing and frustrating. You may not agree with your doctor that you have reached MMI, and you may believe that additional treatment could improve your condition. You may want to be released from the care of your new treating doctor, or you may be interested in impairment income benefits.
During this time, it’s vitally important that you’re able to receive help and guidance as it needed. Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition can answer your questions, offer valuable assistance, and will ensure that your rights are protected throughout this process. We’ll also fight to make sure you receive all of the benefits that you are owed.
MMI is a significant milestone after an injury. In many cases, it represents a turning point in the life of a patient. If you’ve reached this point, you’ll want to make sure you make the right decisions. The choices you make now could have a lasting impact on your future.
Call 770-796-0919 today so that our Cartersville, GA attorneys can get to work for you. We offer free case evaluations and can answer all of your questions about MMI. Whether you’re expecting a diagnosis in the near future or have been assigned MMI by your physician, it’s important to take action now.