What Does Maximum Medical Improvement Mean in a Personal Injury Claim?
If you were injured in personal injury, you should know the impact maximum medical improvement (MMI) can have on your claim. Do not get tempted to quickly settle the claim with the insurers until you have a clear understanding of your medical condition, the extent of your internal and external injuries, and the type of future treatment, physical therapy, psychological counseling, and rehabilitation you might require.
You should speak with a car crash attorney in California to attain a better understanding of the legal implications of maximum medical improvement and how to recover your rightful financial damages from the liable parties.
What is Maximum Medical Improvement in a California Car Accident Claim?
Maximum medical improvement is that stage in the medical treatment where a patient has either completely recovered from their condition or has recovered as much as they reasonably can. If you suffered significant injuries following your injury that resulted in permanent disability, you would be said to have attained maximum medical improvement when your condition has recovered as much as possible.
Your physician, specialist, or surgeon will provide you with a final prognosis following your anticipated future medical needs. Maximum medical improvement means:
- The claimant has fully recovered from their injuries; or
- The claimant’s condition has stabilized enough to provide doctors with a clear picture of the type of ongoing medical care they would require.
At the point of maximum medical improvement, your personal injury attorney will have a better idea of what your ongoing/future medical care will cost and the type of physical limitations you may experience going forward.
Insurance companies routinely try to settle injury lawsuits before a victim reaches MMI. They do this obviously because they don’t want to pay for your future medical expenses, physical therapy and rehab costs, long-term pain and suffering, and future loss of income.
Don’t Sign on the Dotted Line with the Insurers Unless You Have Reached MMI
You should hold off on negotiating settlement case until you have reached the stage of maximum medical improvement or till such a point where your doctors can provide you with a clear understanding of the type of future medical care you will require. You should not sign a release of liability or settlement agreement until you have reached a stage of MMI.
Once you settle, you are essentially agreeing to release the responsible driver from any legal responsibility and liability. You will not be able to ask for more compensation if further complications arise or your injuries turn out to be worse than you first thought. The claim gets closed forever when a victim signs the settlement agreement.
Don’t hesitate in speaking with a seasoned personal injury attorney if you want to maximize the compensation amount. An attorney can help you determine an accurate value of your accident claim, negotiate with the insurance company, and fight for your rights in court.
File Your Injury Claim Even If You Have Not Reached MMI
While it is important to wait till you have achieved maximum medical improvement to sign a settlement release, you should not wait to file the claim. You can file an insurance claim or lawsuit before reaching the MMI.
In fact, it’s crucial that you let your own insurance company know about the accident. You may also want to consult an attorney before notifying the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Your attorney will make sure that you don’t accidentally miss the statute of limitations for filing a claim. In California, accident victims get two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Your case may get dismissed if you miss this deadline, which means you won’t be able to seek compensation for your injuries and loss.
It’s necessary that you don’t skip any medical appointments. You should follow all doctor’s instructions and cooperate with the healthcare providers. In short, it is necessary that you take the required steps in terms of follow-up care.
You have a legal obligation, as an insurance claimant, to mitigate damages. This means you need to take reasonable steps to improve your condition and avoid doing anything that may make the condition worse.
Impact of Maximum Medical Improvement Following a Car Crash Settlement
Maximum medical improvement doesn’t necessarily mean that you would have made a full recovery from your injury. It means that you have arrived at a point in your recovery where the medical care providers understand the complete extent of your injuries. It is important to wait for MMI before accepting a settlement.
You should not delay in consulting with an attorney even though you should wait till you have reached MMI to sign the dotted line. Your attorney will properly investigate the claim, collect the necessary evidence, and negotiate with the insurance company when the time is right.
By having an experienced attorney on your side, you don’t need to worry about the legal process. Instead, you can focus on recovering from your injuries and getting better.
Choose a Dedicated Personal Injury Lawyer in California to Protect Your Right to Maximum Compensation
The top-rated injury attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP will build a strong case intended to achieve maximum financial security for you during this challenging time. Our personal injury attorneys are relentless in their pursuit of justice for accident victims.
At Garmo & Garmo, we don’t rest till we have obtained the rightful financial compensation our client deserves for their injuries, lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. We urge you to schedule your free and confidential consultation with us today. Call 619-441-2500 or write to us online.