What Is Maximum Medical Improvement in a Sacramento Injury Claim?

doctor writing on papers at deskMaximum medical improvement (MMI) is an important milestone for anyone who has been involved in a car accident, slip and fall or other type of injury accident.

Below, Arnold Law Firm discuss the significance of MMI for injury victims, as this is the point when your lawyer can begin negotiating for compensation. MMI is also the point where doctors can tell you if you are likely to need ongoing treatment and for how long.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers in Sacramento are here to help you through the legal process, advocating for the compensation and justice you deserve. Call our office today for answers to your questions about the legal process. Your initial consultation is free, and there are no fees unless we win your case for you.

Schedule a free case review today: 916-777-7777.

Defining Maximum Medical Improvement

MMI is the point when your medical condition has stabilized and is unlikely to get better, regardless of the treatment you receive. In other words, your injury has stopped healing, and doctors do not think it will heal any more.

Sometimes, injured victims who reach MMI are fully healed, but many times they are not. They may have lasting impairments or limitations from their injuries.

There may still be benefits to medical care. For example, your doctor may prescribe medication to help you manage pain. This may improve your quality of life, but it is unlikely to cause further healing.

Who Decides When You Have Reached Maximum Medical Improvement?

Your treating physician determines when healing has stopped, and your condition has improved as much as it is likely to improve. Your doctor monitors and adjusts your treatment to make sure you are continuing to heal. Monitoring often involves physical examinations and diagnostic testing.

It is essential to follow your doctor’s advice and attend all medical appointments to promote healing. If you skip appointments or do not take prescribed medication, it can be more difficult to determine how your condition is progressing. Refusing treatment can also prolong the healing process, or even raise the risk of long-term complications.

It is also important to note that qualified medical professionals are the only ones who should be making determinations about your recovery. At some point during the legal process, they might say that an injury like yours should have healed by now. However, every injury and every victim’s healing process is different.

What if I Disagree With the Doctor Saying I am at MMI?

You might think your injury will heal further, despite what your doctor says. You may think there are other treatments or that it will take your body longer to respond.

If this happens, you should review the situation with your lawyer. He or she may be able to recommend another doctor for a second opinion.

However, sometimes you just need to have a conversation with the doctor. Does he or she know about all your symptoms or your pain level? If he or she hears about new symptoms, it might change his or her opinion on the healing process.

It is critical for doctors to make an accurate determination of when healing has stopped. If doctors make a mistake, you may need more treatment than expected and you might run out of injury compensation.

How Long Does It Take for Healing to Finish?

Everyone’s situation is different, based on the type of injury, how you respond to treatment, age, existing medical issues and many other factors. Some injury victims could reach MMI after a few weeks, while others may not reach this point for several months or more.

Doctors might change the course of your treatment based on how you are responding. This could result in significant improvement, bringing you closer to the end of the healing process.

These are some common personal injuries and the time it may take for them to heal:

  • Bruises and minor cuts often heal within a few days to a week.
  • Sprains and strains can take a few weeks to several months to heal. This is based on the severity of the injury. For example, a severe strain could take longer than a sprain.
  • Broken bones take longer to heal based on their severity and the location of the break. A complex fracture is going to take longer than a clean break of a forearm bone, for example.
  • Concussion symptoms may resolve within a few days to weeks, but recovery can take months. Symptoms could affect you for a long time afterward.
  • Spinal cord injuries could be permanent, causing lasting pain and mobility impairments. These injuries often stabilize within the first several months or year.
  • Organ damage can take quite a long time to heal. Victims may need surgery and an extended recovery to avoid complications.

What Happens After You Reach Maximum Medical Improvement?

After reaching MMI, your doctor’s focus will shift from recovery to managing your condition and addressing the long-term implications of your injury.

This is also the point when your lawyer can begin settlement negotiations. Lawyers wait until this stage because they can more accurately assess the value of their claim. They can add up the medical expenses you have already accrued and determine what future treatment may be worth. They can also factor in pain and suffering you have already experienced and what you may experience in the future.

Call Arnold Law Firm for Help with Your Injury Claim

We are committed to helping you navigate every part of the legal process, pursuing maximum compensation at no upfront cost to you. Our attorneys have decades of experience securing favorable results for those injured by the negligence of others.

There are no upfront costs if you choose our firm to represent you. We only get paid if you do.

Call our firm today to learn how we can assist you: 916-777-7777.