What Does MMI Mean in the Context of Workers’ Compensation?

What Does MMI Mean in the Context of Workers’ Compensation? image of man in wheelchair due to a work related injury

Workers’ Compensation, MMI and What It Can Mean to You

Medical terms used under workers’ comp can be confusing, and one of these is MMI. This medical abbreviation stands for maximum medical improvement. It is an important term because it is one of the most hotly contested features of a workers’ compensation claim. Being accorded this status means the injured person may face unpaid medical problems associated with their accident in the future.

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The Aiken workers' compensation lawyers at Morris Law Accident Injury Lawyers understand that an error in your workers’ compensation claim can cost you dearly just at a time when you need the help the most. Call us in Aiken or Myrtle Beach for help with your workers’ comp claims at (843) 232-0944 or contact us online. 

Avoiding Mistakes in a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Workers’ comp, of course, is insurance carried by employers with at least four employees to cover injuries on the job. It pays part of the injured worker’s missed wages and covers the cost of their medical bills. Those with minor injuries can usually handle their claims themselves. However, those who suffered serious trauma and cannot work can benefit from an attorney’s guidance and help. Because workers’ comp laws can be complicated, making an error means an injured employee may find himself/herself without the means to treat their injuries. 

Almost three million injuries are reported each year in the United States that are work-related. Treatment for those injuries is minor for some and doesn’t require taking much if any time off work. Others suffer trauma so serious they require medical care for life. When a worker becomes permanently disabled, they may opt to take a lump-sum payment, which is meant to cover their wages until retirement. 

So What Is Maximum Medical Improvement?

When a physician tells an injured worker that he/she has reached MMI, what it means is that their medical condition has improved as much as it’s going to. It does not mean the condition has improved or the injured worker has healed. At this point, the physician determines their disability rating, which should be given to the worker’s attorney. In addition, the physician tells the employer what jobs the injured worker can do and if they can even return to work with what are “work restrictions.”

Disability Ratings and Changing Jobs

While a disability rating may provide physical limits or prohibit performing certain tasks, it can be challenging for the worker. For example, a worker suffers a back injury and can’t remain on his feet for very long. The physician has designated 20 minutes as the time the employee can stand, which can mean the worker can’t do the job they previously held. Because of this, the employer may place them in a different job. However, this doesn’t work in all cases. The employer may not have jobs the worker can perform with these limits.

What Happens If My Injury Gets Worse?

Being designated MMI as an employee is important in determining compensation and benefits. The impairment rating shows the worker has a medical condition that is permanent and that will place limitations on them. It also shows the employee won’t improve. If the injured worker begins having other symptoms or worse pain, the physician can reevaluate the medical condition. If the worker questions the MMI or wants to pursue alternative treatments, hiring a worker’s comp lawyer familiar with South Carolina MMI may be helpful. 

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If you need help with your workers’ comp claim, call the Morris Law Accident Injury Lawyers for help. You can reach us at (843) 232-0944 or contact us online. In your free case evaluation, we can discuss your claim and ways to help. Get More Get Morris!


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