The term MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement) is at times used in workers’ compensation claim cases. It is a term that often leaves most employees confused about their claim’s worth. Overall, a workers’ comp policy is meant to safeguard the employee from medical expenses and lost wages after a workplace accident. The nature of their injuries does play a significant part in determining which benefits they are entitled to receive. And the MMI rating can influence the outcome of your case.
It also is wise not to downplay the insurance providers when it comes to compensation claims. They are always searching for anything they can leverage to reduce or reject your claim. That is why your Union City maximum medical improvement rating can be used to ensure you get less or nothing. But this should not be a concern if you have a reputable and dedicated lawyer on your side, fighting for your rights.
At the Workers Compensation Lawyers Coalition, we are a law firm specializing in workers’ comp cases and have represented thousands of employees in Georgia. As such, we are familiar with the implications an MMI rating has on a workers’ comp claim case.
Get in touch with our Union City workers’ comp lawyers today if you need help after getting a maximum medical improvement rating from your attending health physician and do not understand how it will impact your chances of getting fair compensation. You can call 770-796-0919 for more information and schedule a free consultation.
What Is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)?
Although workers’ compensation is an insurance policy that enjoys national and state backing, the laws that govern it are different from state to state. It is a factor that presents one of the crucial challenges to individuals who were injured or fell sick while working. They often are left with more questions than answers, but lawyers that understand state laws regarding workers’ comp can help shed some light on some of the issues, such as maximum medical improvement, among others.
According to Georgia’s workers’ compensation act, an employee undergoing treatment for work-related injuries or sickness can get the MMI rating from the authorized attending doctor. The physician’s diagnosis can impact the final settlement. It creates a need to consider the claimant’s degree of partial or total body impairment (disability) occasioned by the occupational accident.
The attending health physician is legally authorized to give the MMI rating (Maximum Medical Improvement) when determining that the patient’s condition will not improve with further treatment. It is a diagnosis that implies the worker will live the rest of their life dealing with the injury or illness, enduring the pain and suffering even though they could be getting treatment to help manage the condition.
Who Determines When You Achieve Maximum Medical Improvement?
According to the Georgia Workers’ Compensation laws, only a licensed health physician can determine if a patient receiving treatment for work-related injuries or illness has reached maximum medical improvement. The doctor is required to state the date the MMI was reached and the patient’s health status. However, insurance providers will often dispute the MMI and seek a second opinion from an authorized independent medical examiner.
Once the second test supports the MMI rating, a copy of the findings is sent to the doctor for review, and this paves the way for an existing total temporary compensation to be terminated. However, the matter might have its day before a judge if all parties disagree with the MMI reports so that further investigation can be done and a ruling made regarding the matter.
Does Treatment Continue After Maximum Medical Improvement?
An employee will continue getting medical treatment even after reaching MMI in Union City, Georgia. It is a legal right since the treatment helps manage the condition and makes life a bit bearable. The maximum medical improvement diagnosis often suggests that the patient cannot resume work or face some performance restrictions on the job, which could have them earning a lesser wage than before the occupation accident happened.
However, if the patient is deemed medically fit to resume work with few to no restrictions, the employers’ insurance provider can suspend any ongoing income benefits. Some can take this measure even when the individual has reached maximum medical improvement.
What If You Can’t Resume Work or Perform the Same After MMI?
A worker reaching MMI is a crucial factor in the workers’ compensation claim process because the maximum medical improvement can be used to determine the following:
- The individual can return to work
- The person does not have permanent restrictions
- The individual’s impairment levels
- Determine future treatment and care needs
- The workers’ comp settlement value
- Eligibility for PPD benefits or other disability benefits
While those are the facts to contend with, the state laws stipulate that an employee who cannot resume work due to the injuries is entitled to medical treatment and weekly wage benefits even if they reached maximum medical improvement. They are to receive these benefits for 400 weeks.
Some insurers will opt to settle such matters by paying the claimant the full settlement, which can be an enticing offer. However, we highly advise against dealing with insurance companies without your attorney. It would be best to consider getting the best legal counsel to ensure you get the best deal when considering the insurer’s proposal.
We Can Help You Understand Your Union City Maximum Medical Improvement
At the Workers Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Union City, Georgia, we will help you know more about maximum medical improvement and its impact on your worker’ comp case. Our team of law experts will take you through the various legal implication of the MMI and help ensure your rights and interests are protected.
So get in touch with us today to find out more about your Union City maximum medical improvement rating. We can schedule a free case review when you can call us at 770-796-0919 or fill out our contact form. We work on a contingency basis, so you pay no legal fees unless we help you get benefits!