Reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI) does not mean you are healed, nor that you are no longer suffering from the incident. It means, instead, that you are not likely to improve any more so than you are. But what if you reach MMI but will never fully recover? What are you going to do about those limitations you now have?
Understanding MMI and what it means under Georgia law is critical. At John Foy & Associates, we work with people who are facing a wide range of factors after accidents, and often, some people do not fully recover. When this happens to you, you need an attorney who will fight to ensure you get the compensation owed to you.
You can count on us to do that. Set up a free consultation now to discuss your case. An Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine what is next.
What Happens When You Reach MMI in Georgia?
Maximum medical improvement occurs when your doctor determines that you are not likely to see further improvement in your medical condition. If you are like many people, you may feel devastated when receiving this information from your doctor if you feel that you have not recovered further. What does it mean to you, though?
MMI means that your doctor does not believe that any additional medical procedures or treatment will allow you to recover or heal more than you are healed right now. In the best of situations, this would mean that you have totally recovered from the injuries and are ready to get back to your life.
Many people find themselves reaching MMI and still having problems, limitations, and suffering that continues. However, there may not be medication or treatment to alleviate that any longer. This could mean you now have permanent disabilities and restrictions.
Reaching MMI When You Feel Better vs No Improvement
When you reach MMI and you are healthy, that means you have recovered. The doctor is likely to state that you are released to unrestricted work. When this occurs, the insurer will likely suspend your ability to continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
When you reach MMI but you are not recovered, or recovery is not possible, your doctor will then assign a disability rating to your situation. This is based on the specifics of your case, including what injury you have and the amount of limitation you have from it. The disability rating is determined based on GA Code §34-9-263.
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What About Compensation for You?
If you reach MMI and you are not fully recovered, you may be unsure what steps to take further to get you the access you need to compensation and care. For example, let’s say that you were hurt at work in a falling accident, and you no longer have wounds, but you have lasting injuries. You may struggle to walk, or you may have chronic pain.
In this type of situation, you may reach MMI. That means your doctor does not believe you will see improvement from further medication or medical care. That does not mean your pain and ongoing suffering are eliminated, though.
It is at this point that we often recommend that our clients take action to settle their claims. The settlement will take into consideration all of the losses you have had as well as the losses you have going forward. A big part of what our attorneys will do is to help you determine what implications your injury will have on your future. For many people, these losses can complicate everything from the relationships they have to their long-term health and well-being.
What if You Do Not Agree with Your MMI?
There are many situations where a person may not agree with reaching MMI. They may believe there is still help available to them or procedures that could help. You do not have to agree to this. Even if the doctor says you have reached MMI, you do not have to accept that this is the case.
If this is what you are facing right now, you can request a second opinion from another doctor. Doing this can give you the confidence you need to know that you will be able to continue to get care. Review our recent case results.
What About Your Disability Rating?
When you reach MMI, your doctor performs an exam and considers your current condition and limitations. He or she will then have to make a decision about your disability rating. You may not agree with what they tell you.
Here are some examples.
- Your doctor may state that you have unrestricted ability to work. That means you can go back to the duties you had.
- Your doctor may state that you have the ability to work but may need restrictions. This could mean that you may need to change job duties or take on a new position that works within the restrictions you have.
- Your doctor may state that you cannot return to work due to your condition and limitations.
In every case, you have the right and ability to dispute what the doctor says. If you do not agree with the disability rating, you can request that a second opinion from another provider be conducted. This allows you to get a bit of pushback to protect your rights in these situations.
Let Our Legal Team Guide You
Reaching MMI is a big step in the legal process for those who are facing injuries and long-term disability as a result of a work-related injury. You may be unsure what to do. What if you reach MMI and are not fully recovered? How will you make ends meet?
Let our legal team help you to fight for the settlement you are owed. Set up a free consultation with our workers’ compensation attorneys at John Foy & Associates now. We are happy to offer insight and guidance to you and then fight for you to get a fair level of compensation for the losses you have.