If injured at work, you must file a claim with your employer's workers' compensation insurance provider. You will then focus on your recovery and can use your workers' compensation benefits to pay for medical bills and lost wages. At some point, you'll reach maximum medical improvement and need to know what comes next.
You may wonder what to expect when you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is when your condition has stabilized and is not likely to improve significantly with further treatment. If you aren't sure what to do next, consider consulting with an attorney. They will explain what MMI means for your workers' compensation claim and what steps you should take to protect your rights.
MMI does not mean you fully recover or no longer need medical care. It simply means your doctor thinks you have achieved your injury's best possible outcome. Depending on your injuries, you may still have pain, limitations, or restrictions that affect your ability to work or perform daily activities.
The Permanent Impairment Rating
When you reach MMI, your doctor will assign a permanent impairment rating, which is a percentage that reflects the degree of functional loss caused by your injury. This rating will affect the amount and duration of benefits you can receive.
In most states, there are two types of benefits: permanent partial disability (PPD) and permanent total disability (PTD). PPD benefits are for workers with a residual impairment who can still work. PTD benefits are for workers who cannot work. The length of each can vary from state to state.
How to Appeal
If you disagree with your doctor's MMI determination or impairment rating, you can request a second opinion from another doctor. You could also appeal the decision to a workers' compensation judge or board. However, you must act quickly and follow the procedures set by your state's workers' compensation system. Missing the deadline can forfeit your right to challenge the decision or receive further benefits.
Contact a Workers' Compensation Attorney
Therefore, consulting with an experienced workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible after reaching MMI is essential. An attorney will review your medical documents and impairment rating, negotiate with the insurance company, and represent you in any hearings or appeals.
Reaching MMI is just another step in your workers' compensation claim. An attorney will work hard to secure the benefits you deserve and protect your future.
For more info, contact a local company like Bollenbeck Law, S.C.