You may be entitled to financial damages if you were injured in a car crash caused by a negligent driver. It is natural to want to get compensation following a car accident to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Based on this, you may be making a big mistake if you accept a settlement from the insurance company before reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI.)
An experienced car accident attorney can explain the importance of this milestone for car accident victims and devise the best legal strategy to maximize your compensation so that you and your family can move forward with your lives.
Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) After a Car Accident in Mississippi
Maximum medical improvement is used when a patient’s condition is stable and is unlikely to improve any further with the same medical treatment. It’s routinely used in personal injury claims to understand whether a victim has hit a plateau in their medical improvement. MMI determines the extent of a patient’s injury and the level of impairment.
Typically, the treatment following maximum medical improvement focuses on preventing further deterioration and managing symptoms instead of achieving a complete recovery. In car crash claims, MMI is considered for determining the amount of compensation the claimant is entitled to receive.
Obtaining MMI is Different from Complete Recovery
Reaching maximum medical improvement doesn’t mean that an individual’s condition cannot improve further with additional medical treatment. It basically refers to a milestone where the condition has stabilized, and the effects of the illness or injury are not likely to improve.
Complete recovery means that the individual has fully recovered from their illness or injury and has attained a normal level of functioning. Maximum medical improvement is a medical determination while complete recovery refers to a functional determination.
These are a few types of car injuries in which you may attain maximum medical improvement, but not make a complete recovery:
- Traumatic brain injury: TBIs can differ widely in severity. There are certain symptoms that are mild which the patient may recover within days. In relation to this, certain injuries can last for a lifetime and severely hamper the patient’s quality of life.
- Spinal cord injury: The spinal column is an important area of the body and there is always a potential for paralysis and long-term pain in case of an injury.
- Broken bones: Several individuals suffering from fractures may not make a complete recovery. This can be because of their age or other issues. There is also the risk of the broken bone remaining weak and deteriorating over time.
- Loss of limbs: Amputation is a permanent injury in which the victim loses their limb and will never be the same again. They may receive a prosthetic replacement at best to restore a little bit of functionality.
- Burn injuries: Car accidents resulting in explosions and fires can cause severe burn injuries. A third-degree burn can result in permanent disfigurement and scarring in the affected body areas.
You should speak with a qualified personal injury attorney if you suffered these or similar injuries. Your attorney will make sure that you don’t settle for less than what your claim is worth. It’s critical to understand that you won’t be able to claim further compensation if you agree to a settlement.
This is true even if you identify further injuries related to the accident at a later date. Hence, waiting until you obtain maximum medical improvement is important.
Impact of MMI on the Value of Your Claim
Several factors determine the value of a claim, such as:
- Severity and extent of injuries.
- Amount of medical treatment required.
- Expected cost of future medical treatment.
- Whether you have attained MMI or not.
The insurance company will consider your current condition if you have attained MMI and the impact it will have on your future while offering a settlement. You may be able to secure a higher settlement offer as the insurance company will not be able to argue that there is still potential for further recovery as you haven’t reached MMI.
It’s crucial that you settle your claim after reaching MMI since you won’t be able to reopen the claim afterward. This is even if you realize that your injuries are far more serious than you initially thought. For instance, if you settle your claim only to realize that you need expensive medical treatment, you won’t be able to ask the insurance company for more money.
Always get a second opinion if you don’t agree with your physician’s assessment of your condition. You should also consult with an experienced car injury attorney before accepting compensation or making any decisions regarding the claim.
Choose a Results-Driven Personal Injury Law Firm with a Record of Large Settlements and Verdicts
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Boyce Holleman & Associates provide strong legal representation to car accident victims and their families. Our firm has decades of cumulative experience in successfully handling personal injury and wrongful death cases, and we have helped numerous clients recover the largest possible compensation they deserve.
Schedule your free case review with our lawyers today. Call us at 228-338-2691 or contact us online.