If you were injured due to a work related injury, you are likely receiving workers’ compensation benefits. While these benefits can certainly help for a period of time, each worker will eventually reach a point where he or she may no longer receive benefits. One of the ways workers’ compensation benefits may end is by maximum medical improvement (MMI). Maximum medical improvement is a term doctors may use to tell a patient being treated for a work-related injury that he or she has healed as much as possible.
When a patient has reached maximum medical improvement, it means there is nothing more a medical professional can do to improve their condition, and there is no other reasonable treatment that can be performed. However, this does not mean the person is completely healed. Unfortunately, certain injuries or illnesses simply do not allow for a full recovery. Instead, maximum medical improvement means there is nothing else that can be done, and the condition the patient is in is as good as it will ever be.
At this point, the doctor will assess the condition of the patient and provide him or her with a disability rating, as well as a written statement explaining the patient has reached MMI. The disability rating will be used to determine what work the employee may be allowed to return to. For example, if the employee is no longer able to stand for long periods of time he or she might be able to take on tasks that can be performed while sitting.
However, it is also possible the patient’s disability will prevent him or her from returning to the same company or the same line of work. In any case, the disability rating can be used to negotiate a fair settlement on the employee’s behalf.
In the event that the patient’s condition worsens within 2 years after he or she has reached MMI, the patient should revisit their doctor for further examination. If the doctor agrees that the condition has worsened, he or she may prescribe further treatment. In this case, it is crucial that you discuss your options with a workers’ compensation lawyer.
To discuss your workers’ compensation case with our Mechanicsville attorneys, contact Harbison & Kavanagh and request a free consultation.