The Workers’ Compensation Act in Georgia is intended to provide entitlements or benefits for workers who have been hurt on the job in work-related accidents. However, these benefits may not last forever. Often, your employer will terminate medical care benefits when you reach (MMI) Maximum Medical Improvement. MMI essentially serves as a cutoff and indicates that a plateau in healing and treatment has occurred.
If you have an open workers’ comp case in Georgia, you will be confronted with a plethora of new legal terms. Your employer and insurance adjusters are familiar with these terms. One of these important terms is MMI or Maximum Medical Improvement. Without understanding the basics, you’re at a disadvantage when trying to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
When an injured worker’s condition can no longer improve with medical intervention, this is where a Peachtree Corners maximum medical improvement diagnosis comes in.
Don’t panic. If you want to learn more about what maximum medical improvement means for your case, we can help. The Peachtree Corners workers’ compensation lawyers at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition have experience dealing with workers’ comp cases and will help you understand what MMI means for your situation.
Call us at 470-518-5026 when you’re ready to schedule your free consultation.
What Is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)?
When a worker is declared to have reached a point of MMI, it means that the worker’s condition has achieved the fullest reasonably expected improvement for a workplace injury. Georgia doctors use maximum medical improvement to indicate that your condition is as stable as it can be and cannot be further improved with additional medical care and treatment.
In simple terms, the doctor is saying that there is no available treatment or medical care that will make your current medical condition any better. This means that you have either fully recovered and can return to work, or your condition has stabilized, but you have not recovered.
In clear-cut work-related injuries such as broken leg, it is pretty apparent when maximum medical improvement has occurred. However, in situations where the worker suffered an injury such as a traumatic brain injury or paralysis, there can be disputes regarding when you have reached MMI.
Even if your authorized treating doctor has determined that you have reached MMI, you have a right to request a right to obtain a second opinion.
Who Determines When a Worker Has Reached MMI in Peachtree Corners, GA?
An authorized treating physician is the only person who can determine when an injured worker has reached maximum medical improvement. The injured worker and the worker’s comp insurance company have a right to obtain a second opinion from an independent medical examination to confirm maximum medical improvement according to your medical examination and history.
When an authorized health care provider determined you have reached MMI, they will assess whether you have suffered any permanent functional or physical damage.
Each state has different guidelines when it comes to maximum medical improvement reporting. In Georgia, when dealing with Peachtree Corners workers’ comp claims, physicians use The American Medical Association Guide to issue a disability rating and determine if you are capable of returning to work. Your authorized treating physician will then file a report and submit copies to you, your employer, and their insurance company.
Does Treatment Continue After an MMI Diagnosis in Peachtree Corners, Georgia?
Yes! In some cases, medical treatment can continue even after a doctor has determined that you have reached MMI with a 0% disability rating and released you to return to work.
Remember, you have a right to question this opinion with a one-time change in authorized treating medical providers. Additionally, you can obtain a second opinion – an IME or Independent Medical Evaluation – from an independent treating medical provider of your own choosing to challenge the diagnosis.
There’s no overstating the importance of maximum medical improvement; it plays a vital role in determining the benefits and compensation you can recover after suffering a work-related injury or illness. Again, MMI doesn’t mean that you can’t get worse or that you should deal with the pain for the rest of your life.
Despite having reached MMI, an injured worker may continue to receive medical benefits, including, for example, pain management treatment, provided by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier.
What If I Can’t Return to Work and Perform the Same After MMI?
Depending on the severity of your on-the-job injuries, your authorized treating physician may assign permanent restrictions, meaning you cannot return to work and perform at the same level as before the injury.
Injured workers need to be aware of permanent restrictions assigned by the authorized treating physician. Not only do permanent restrictions impact the jobs you may or may not be able to do after a work-related illness or injury, but they may also mean you are permanently disabled under Georgia’s Workers’ comp law.
If you have lingering effects after a workplace injury and cannot return to work and perform at the same level as before the injury, or if your injury prevents you from working ever again, you may be entitled to PPD (permanent partial disability) benefits until the statute of limitations expires or for the rest of your life.
At the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition, we frequently advise clients on what to do when assigned permanent restrictions. Often, when assigned a permanent restriction, or if you can never work again, it might be an excellent time to consider whether a settlement is appropriate.
Get Legal Help With Peachtree Corners Maximum Medical Improvement
Getting an MMI diagnosis after a work-related injury in Peachtree Corners, GA invokes fear in many injured workers. After all, the company carrying your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance may shut off payment of TPD (Total Partial Disability) benefits as soon as you receive an MMI diagnosis.
When this happens, you can suffer significant harm. Cases like these are why you need a Peachtree Corners workers’ compensation lawyer to protect your rights. At the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition, we get justice for injured workers.
We understand the impacts of your work-related injury and an MMI diagnosis on your life and future. Our knowledge, skills, experience, and personalized approach make us the perfect choice to fight for your interests and represent you at every stage of the workers’ comp claim process.
As always, please call us at 470-518-5026 for more information. At the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition, the initial consultation is always free.