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What is Maximum Medical Improvement in a Personal Injury Case?

What is Maximum Medical Improvement in a Personal Injury Case?

When you’re injured by a reckless or negligent third party, the goal of medical treatment is to restore you to the condition you would have been in had the act not occurred. Maximum medical improvement, or MMI, allows the court to compare your functional ability before the accident to the way you are now and identify the limitations and losses you are now facing for the rest of your life. The negligent party can then be ordered to compensate you for the difference in your ability to function.

For this reason, maximum medical improvement is a key milestone in your pursuit of compensation. In this blog, the personal injury team at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos will explain how it is identified, by whom, and how we can protect your rights during the assessment process.

Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) Explained

Imagine that you slip and fall while shopping in the produce section of your favorite supermarket. You’re in terrible pain and have trouble moving. At the hospital, you’re diagnosed with a broken hip and medical treatment begins immediately.

The goal of this treatment is to steadily improve your condition until you’ve either healed or reached the point of maximum medical improvement. At the latter stage, treatment becomes purely palliative. Your symptoms and pain will be managed but you’re no longer expected to improve.

How Long Does It Take to Reach MMI?

It depends on the extent of your injuries. The more severe they are, the longer it can take to reach MMI. In cases of serious spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury, your recovery time can be especially long. With extreme injuries, you may not be able to fully recover at all.

Who Determines Whether You’ve Reached MMI?

A medical doctor is the only party who can identify the point where your improvement has stopped. They will then determine the extent of your partial or permanent impairment and provide an opinion of your level of disability, which helps determine how much compensation you may be entitled to.

Although your doctor can indicate that you have reached the point of MMI, the defendant’s counsel may ask you to undergo an independent medical examination. Another doctor will examine you, analyze your medical records, and give their own opinion on whether your improvement has plateaued. 

The purpose of this second opinion is to refute the allegations that you are partially or wholly disabled or, at the very least, dispute the extent of your disability. You and your personal injury attorney will receive a copy of this independent professional’s report so that you can refute any inconsistencies that could impact your compensation.

If You’ve Been Injured in New York, Call Us!

At Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, we relently pursue justice for our injured clients. When your life has been changed forever, you deserve to be compensated for everything you lost, financially and otherwise. We will advocate for you during negotiations and at trial, so when another party’s negligence has impacted you and your loved ones, contact us.