What Is Maximum Medical Improvement? 

If you are injured in a car accident, construction accident, or another personal injury incident, it is critical to seek immediate medical attention. The quicker you are treated, the sooner you can begin the recovery process and prepare your claim for compensation. This will also put you on the path to reaching maximum medical improvement. 

Maximum Medical Improvement Explained

Maximum Medical Improvement Explained

Maryland defines maximum medical improvement (MMI) in workers’ compensation guidance as the point at which an injured employee has recovered and no further progress is expected, as certified by a licensed physician. In other words, you reach MMI when your doctor does not believe that your medical condition will improve any further, even if you continue treatment. It is also when your condition has stabilized as much as possible. 

MMI is also legally significant. For workers’ compensation claims, the employer or their workers’ comp insurance carrier provides payment for medical and hospital treatment and partial wage replacement benefits until the employee reaches MMI or can return to work. 

Also, MMI is the point at which a personal injury lawyer can better estimate the value of their client’s legal claim for damages.

Who Determines Maximum Medical Improvement?

A physician determines when a person reaches MMI. In Maryland, injured workers can select a doctor to treat them as part of their workers’ comp claim. Employers are responsible for paying for workers’ compensation insurance to cover eligible employees’ medical bills and treatment. 

This includes payment for the following medical expenses:

  • Doctor’s visits
  • Hospital bills
  • Physical therapy 
  • Medication
  • Necessary medical costs related to the injury

Even if you were injured in some way other than a workplace accident, your physician will be the one to advise when you reach maximum medical improvement. If you disagree with your doctor’s determination of MMI, you can seek a second opinion. 

Demanding Fair Compensation After Reaching MMI

Once you reach MMI, your personal injury lawyer can begin the process of demanding fair compensation. They can compile information about the full extent of your damages, which may include:

Medical Expenses 

Once you reach MMI, your medical condition has stabilized. You may not require any further medical treatment. If you do need additional care, your lawyer can estimate the future extent of treatments you will require and their associated cost. 

Lost Wages

At this stage in the case, your lawyer can add up the time and benefits you lost because of your injuries, including:

  • Hourly or salary pay
  • Tips
  • Overtime pay
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Used employment benefits

Your lawyer can use your check stubs, employer statements, and tax returns to calculate your lost earnings to date. 

Reduced Earning Capacity 

Once you reach MMI, your lawyer can better gauge how the accident will impact your long-term earning potential. You may be permanently disabled and unable to return to any gainful activity, or you may have to take a less strenuous and lower-paying job. You can be compensated for the loss or reduction of your earning capacity. 

Your personal injury attorney may hire an economic or vocational rehabilitation expert to calculate these losses. They consider factors such as:

  • Your age
  • Your earnings history
  • The industry you work in 
  • Your education
  • The record of your promotions
  • Your job skills

Personal injuries and injuries on the job can have a significant impact on your ability to earn a living. You should be fairly compensated for these losses.  

Non-Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Case

Through a personal injury claim, you might receive compensation for the non-economic damages you suffered in addition to your direct economic losses. Note that these types of damages aren’t awarded in a workers’ comp case.

Disability and Impairment

A serious injury can disrupt your normal routine and negatively impact your relationships with loved ones. This part of your damages claim considers these types of subjective, intangible losses. 

Pain and Suffering 

After you reach MMI, you can consider the pain and suffering you endured up until this point and reasonably anticipate how your injuries will continue to affect you in the future. Your lawyer may recommend keeping a pain journal in which you describe your daily pain, symptoms, response to treatments, and impacts the injuries have on your life. This information may be shared with the insurance company or jury to determine a fair value for your pain and suffering damages.  

Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress

In addition to compensation for your physical pain and suffering, you can seek compensation for your mental and emotional pain, suffering, anguish, and distress.

Contact an Experienced Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer Today For a Free Case Review

After you reach maximum medical improvement, you will be in a better position to estimate your past, present, and future damages. An experienced Baltimore personal injury attorneys at WGK Personal Injury Lawyers can evaluate your options during a free, no-obligation consultation. Contact us today at (410) 837-2144 to get started.