It’s hard to know what to expect after you’re injured in a car accident, especially if you’re dealing with multiple or complex injuries. However, understanding the prognosis of your injury and your path to recovery is key if you plan on seeking compensation via a personal injury claim. The term “maximum medical improvement” will be a crucial component of pursuing the compensation you’re owed.
Working with an experienced and compassionate personal injury lawyer can help you fight for every dollar you deserve. Set up a consultation with the team at The Stein Firm now by calling us at 770-824-3107.
Injury Outcomes Vary Widely After Car Accidents
The concept of maximum medical improvement is so important because outcomes differ quite a bit from person to person. Even if two people get the exact same injury in a crash, their paths to recovery could be entirely different. Car accidents are unpredictable, and so are the injuries that victims suffer. Relevant factors include the speed of the crash, which part of the car was impacted, whether everyone involved was wearing their seatbelt, if airbags were deployed, and the vehicle’s safety features.
Commonly reported car accident injuries include broken bones, whiplash, concussions, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. By consulting with your doctor, you can better understand what you’ll encounter as you recover.
What is Maximum Medical Improvement and How Does It Differ from a Full Recovery?
Maximum medical improvement is an important topic in injury recovery. It refers to the point where a patient has recovered as much as they can from an accident. Generally, a patient is said to have reached maximum medical improvement when there are no more treatment options available to them, further treatments are unlikely to result in additional healing, and their condition has stabilized. Maximum medical improvement indicates a plateau in the individual’s recovery.
In many situations, maximum medical recovery is not the same as a full recovery. When someone has reached MMI, their recovery may have plateaued and they may still have ongoing symptoms or limitations caused by their injury. When someone has fully recovered from their injury, they have achieved their pre-accident health and physical well-being.
Why the Insurance Company Cares
You may wonder why the concept of maximum medical improvement is so important after an injury. The insurance company has a vested interest in knowing when you have reached MMI. They often lean on MMI when making settlement offers, because that’s the point at which it’s easiest to tell how much your injuries have cost you and whether or not you’ll need ongoing treatment in the future.
This is particularly important when you’re dealing with injuries that will require future care. For example, someone with a severe traumatic brain injury may require ongoing physical or occupational therapy to maintain the progress they have made and avoid further loss of skills.
Insurance companies also use MMI as a reference point if your claim leads to a lawsuit. Should your attorney and the insurance company be unable to reach an agreement via negotiation, a lawsuit is the next step—and your MMI will play a big role in the outcome.
How MMI Influences Your Compensation
Whether you receive compensation via a settlement or a lawsuit, maximum medical improvement will be an important component of what you ultimately receive. Reaching MMI before accepting a settlement ensures that you have an accurate picture of what the accident has cost you. If you accept a settlement earlier on in the process, the insurance company has more leverage.
They may refuse to accept any possibility other than you making a full recovery, making it much harder for you to get fair compensation. Once you have actual damages and medical evidence on your side, they are backed into a corner.
Start Your Personal Injury Claim with The Stein Firm, P.C.
We know that seeking compensation after a car accident can be stressful, particularly as you navigate doctors’ appointments, treatments, and other aspects of your medical care. That’s where we can help. By handling the legal side of your accident, we give you more time to focus on your recovery. Let’s discuss your options during a free case evaluation. Call us at 770-824-3107 or reach out online to get started.