You may have heard that an attorney usually waits for the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI) to begin negotiating for fair compensation. You may have many questions about what this is and why it is important. Below, learn more about what this means and how it may impact your personal injury claim. The skilled Appleton personal injury lawyers at Sigman Janssen can discuss this information with you in a free legal consultation.
Definition of MMI
Maximum medical improvement is when you completely recover from your injuries or when your medical condition or injury stabilizes. Regardless of how much more treatment you receive for your injury, your condition will not improve beyond this point. Your medical providers concur that you have reached the limit of improvement based on what medical science can currently accomplish with treatment.
A patient’s point of maximum medical improvement depends on many factors and is determined on a case-by-case basis. In some situations, MMI may be reached within a matter of months. In other cases, it may take much longer to get to this point.
Waiting for MMI Before Signing a Settlement
Your personal injury lawyer will likely advise you not to settle your claim until you have reached maximum medical improvement. This is because it will be easier to determine the full value of the damages you have sustained.
Once you reach the point of maximum medical improvement, your lawyer will have a better understanding of the full extent of your injuries and the future care you will require.
When you settle your case, you are agreeing to accept the settlement funds in exchange for dropping your claim against the at-fault party. You sign a release that states that you will not file any claim against the at-fault party in the future based on the same incident. You agree to release the at-fault party from any further liability in connection with the accident.
If your injuries are worse than you originally thought or complications arise, you cannot later go back and demand more compensation after signing the release. You will be responsible for paying any additional medical bills. This is why it is important not to settle your claim before you reach MMI.
Additionally, the value of your non-economic damages like pain and suffering may be based on your how much your condition has improved.
Compensation for Future Care
When doctors say you have reached MMI you may still need more care to manage your health issues. Your doctor may determine you have a permanent injury and need ongoing care even though you have reached MMI.
When insurers and your attorney try to determine the value of your claim, the cost of your future anticipated medical expenses are factored in. Your lawyer should also consider the physical limitations/disabilities you may suffer from.
Contact a Lawyer for Help
If you have reached the point of MMI and are considering taking a settlement from an insurance company for the personal injury that you have suffered, it is important that you speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer for assistance with your case.
The trusted legal team at Sigman Janssen can determine if an offer is fair and help you gather evidence to support your claim and negotiate with the insurance company. We charge no upfront fees and are only paid for our services if we help you recover compensation for your claim, so there is no risk in contacting us to schedule a free consultation.
Contact us today to find out how we may be able to help. Phone: (877) 888-5201