If you have ever had to seek medical treatment following a work-related injury, you have probably heard the phrase maximum medical improvement (MMI) used at least once, either by your doctor or the workers’ compensation insurer. But, what does this phrase actually mean?
Essentially, maximum medical improvement (MMI) is a term used to describe a situation in which your work-related injury has stabilized and is not likely to get better or worse over the next year, with or without additional medical care.
This designation is important because once you reach MMI, your doctor will have to assess whether you are permanently disabled or not. If you are still permanently disabled, even to a small degree, you may be entitled to some form of disability benefits ― although the amount of benefits you receive will vary depending on the extent of your disability and your rating under the permanent disability rating system.
It is quite common for disputes to arise following an MMI assessment and report. For instance, you may believe that you still suffer from a permanent disability ― and are therefore entitled to benefits ― while your doctor may say you are fully recovered or not as disabled as you think. In any case, it is important to remember that you have a right to disagree or question an MMI report. After all, it is your future at stake.
If you have questions about an MMI assessment/report or California workers’ compensation benefits in general, contact one of the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of William J. Kropach, A Professional Corporation. Our lawyers will explain your rights and walk you through the workers’ compensation process step by step. We can even help arrange a second medical opinion from a qualified medical evaluator (QME) if you disagree with your treating physician about the extent of your disability.