maximum medical improvement

What Does Maximum Medical Improvement Mean in a Car Crash Claim?

The road to recovery after a car accident can be long, bumpy, and painful. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to get a fair settlement—at what point are you done accruing medical expenses and how do you know how much to ask for?

We can help. Learn more about the term “maximum medical improvement” and what it means for your claim. When you’re ready to get started with your claim, call Gardner Law Firm at 228-436-6555 or 228-762-6555.

Your Healing Process

The term maximum medical improvement refers to the point at which your healing process is complete. It’s important to note that this does not necessarily mean the point at which you have made a full recovery. For some accident victims, MMI does mean a full recovery. However, some injuries never fully recover. In those situations, maximum medical improvement is the point at which no further improvement or healing is expected.

Consider, for example, someone with a TBI that has affected their mobility, left them incontinent, and affected their communication abilities. After years of treatment, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, the patient has seen progress.

They can walk with the assistance of a gait belt and two aides, and they use the restroom 90% of the time with an EZ-Stand device—the rest of the time, they are incontinent. They can communicate basic thoughts with the help of a speech device. Although they have not made a full recovery, they have recovered as much as they ever will.

When Do You Reach MMI?

This raises another question: how do you know when you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement? It comes down to what your medical care providers say.

They have an in-depth knowledge of the course of your injuries, the treatments you have tried, and the progress you have made. They have explored different treatment options and tried different paths to help you recover. At some point, they will have exhausted those options. When there are no other viable treatment options and testing shows that further progress is unlikely, your care providers will likely declare that you have reached maximum medical improvement.

How Your MMI Affects Your Personal Injury Claim

Maximum medical improvement is an incredibly important concept for your personal injury case. Insurance companies save a lot of money by pushing for fast settlements. Early in the process, you may not know how serious your injuries are or how much they will cost you. Because of this, you are more likely to accept a low settlement offer. But if you wait until you’ve started treatment and gotten more input from your medical providers, you are far less likely to take a low settlement.

If you are still undergoing treatment, you are still accumulating medical debt. This means that if you accept a settlement offer that only accounts for your current expenses, you are cheating yourself out of a fair settlement.

Your point of maximum medical improvement gives you an easy way to know when your healing journey has ended. At that point, you will know how much your injuries have already cost you and what type of care you may need in the future to maintain your progress. This puts you in a much better position to negotiate a fair settlement.

Of course, this can get complicated if your treatment plan takes months or even years. That’s why it’s important to work with a personal injury attorney from the very beginning. Your attorney can keep track of your medical progress and keep the insurance company at bay while you figure out your next steps. They can also give their recommendations for getting a fair settlement and ensuring that you have enough to cover your full medical expenses.

Contact the Team at Gardner Law Firm for the Strong Legal Guidance You Need

If a car accident has left you injured and uncertain of your next steps, it’s time to talk to the team at Gardner Law Firm. Let’s sit down, talk about your accident, and figure out what your legal options are. Give us a call at 228-436-6555 to reach our Biloxi office, call our Pascagoula office at 228-762-6555, or send us a message online.