It is not always the case that injury victims are fully recovered by the time they file suit against the parties that hurt them. In cases where there is catastrophic injury or permanent effects of an accident, victims can be still grappling with health issues when they also need to take legal action (before the statute of limitations prevents them from doing so). These circumstances pose a particular dilemma: if the victim still has ongoing needs, how much compensation do you pursue?
When faced with this dilemma, the concept of "maximum medical improvement" become critical. MMI is the point at which medical professionals determine that an injury victim will recover no further from their injuries. Note that this does not mean there's been a full recovery—only that it can be reasonably assumed that the victim's health has reached a new stasis after their accident. This concept is most clearly illustrated in cases where victims must endure permanent health effects, such as amputation or paralysis.
Why is determining MMI important before filing an injury suit? Because doing it beforehand could short change the injury victim. Determining MMI means that counsel can work with doctors to forecast the long-term needs of the victim and incorporate those costs into the injury suit.
Filing suit before MMI could mean:
- Needed rehabilitation is not covered by awarded compensation
- Necessary treatment due to complications is not addressed
- A full scope of lost wages isn't included in the injury suit
How MMI Works
MMI isn't just important in catastrophic cases. Let's look at an example with "David." David is a firefighter who has suffered a back injury due to a reckless driver. David sued the driver for the cost of his surgery and won. However, after the surgery, it became clear that he needed rehabilitation before returning to work. This is the point where David has reached MMI—but he has already successfully sued the defendant. Now his physical therapy and the full scope of his lost wages are left unaddressed by his awarded compensation. Instead, David himself must cover these costs.
Not every injury firm has the diligence and prowess to properly handle serious injury claims. At Pierce, Herns, Sloan & Wilson, LLC, we have built our reputation on providing thorough and resourceful legal representation. We pride ourselves on an exacting and aggressive approach when it comes to pursuing rightful compensation for injury victims and can ensure that every viable avenue towards securing relief is pursued to its fullest extent.
Learn more about how our unparalleled Charleston personal injury attorneys can help you during this difficult time. Call us today.