Many people who are receiving workers’ compensation after an accident are counting the days until they are completely healed and can return to work. However, some injuries will have lasting complications that prevent workers from making a “full” recovery. These employees may come to a crossroads when they reach maximum medical improvement (MMI)—the point where their medical condition is not likely to improve even with additional treatment.
How Maximum Medical Improvement Affects Your Workers’ Compensation Case
The workers’ compensation insurer who is covering your medical treatment will be eager for you to reach MMI, since it allows the agency to reevaluate the amount of your benefits and begin settlement calculations. For this reason, it is important that you discuss any potential treatment options you wish to explore before MMI is declared.
MMI is important in a workers’ compensation case because it will directly impact your:
- Disability rating. Once the point of MMI is reached, the doctor will assign you a disability rating based on the specific limitations your condition has caused. If you are completely unable to return to work, you may be considered totally disabled.
- Work restrictions. Your disability rating will likely include a listing of your specific physical limitations when it comes to performing work-related tasks. The work restrictions assigned by the doctor will have a significant impact on how much of your old job you can perform if you return to work. For example, if you previously held a physically demanding job but suffered a back injury, you may only be able to work part time or be forced to transition into a desk job. If your employer does not have a position that can accommodate your work restrictions, you may have to undergo job retraining to enter a new career path.
- Compensation. Once you accept a Rhode Island workers’ compensation settlement, it is unlikely you will be able to collect any future compensation for your workplace injury—even if the condition worsens over time. Our attorneys can determine whether the amount of your workers’ compensation settlement is sufficient and determine if you’re owed additional payment through a third-party claim.
If you are unable to work because of an injury on the job, the attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum can examine the details of your case, answer your questions, and guide you through your next steps. To speak with a member of our team, simply fill out the online contact form on this page.