While it is always advised that injury victims seek legal counsel as soon
after an accident caused by someone else, it is not always recommended
that they immediately file an injury claim. Injury suits that are filed
early on in the victim's recovery can mean that unanticipated costs
are left out of the claim. To avoid this, the client's counsel should
be working alongside medical professionals so that something called maximum
medical improvement, or MMI, can first be determined.
MMI is the point at which doctors determine that an injury victim has recovered
as much as possible from their injuries. Note that this doesn't mean
that the victim has fully recovered—only that doctors reasonably
believe that the patient will recover no further from their injuries.
This is particularly important in cases of catastrophic injury, when then
the accident victim may be facing lasting or permanent effects.
Once MMI is determined, then doctors, loved ones, and legal representatives
can then work together to quantify and accurately predict the ongoing
care and expenses the victim will need to continue their recovery and
maintain an optimal quality of life. Filing an injury suit before MMI
is determined can lead a number of remaining hardships for some injury victims.
Filing an injury suit before MMI is reached can lead to:
- Medical expenses that are not covered by the suit.
- Foreseeable medical complications that are not covered by the suit.
- Necessary rehabilitation not covered by the suit.
- Unforeseen lost wages not covered by the suit.
- Necessary quality of life costs (home care, equipment etc.) not covered
by the suit.
MMI in Action
To demonstrate the significance of MMI, let's look at the theoretical
case of Jason, home contractor who was hurt in an auto accident caused
by another driver. Jason knows that he needs surgery to properly treat
his back and decides to take legal action against the other driver. He
wins and recovers compensation for his medical expenses.
However, Jason doesn't recover as quickly as he thought he would. Not
only does he still need extensive physical therapy, but, in the meantime,
he also cannot work. This is the point at which Jason has reached MMI.
His rehabilitation and lost wages should have included in his initial
suit, but because he acted too quickly, the full breadth of his post-accident
hardships could not be properly addressed in his auto accident claim.
Wruble Law, we understand the challenges and uncertainties injury victims face following
their accident. That's why our South Bend personal injury attorneys
work closely with our clients, their doctors, and the victims' loved
ones during an injury claim. Not only does this ensure that clients know
they have a dedicated advocate by their side, but also allows us to aggressively
pursue maximum compensation on their behalf.
If you've been injured, get 40 years of collective legal experience
on your side. Contact us today to request a
free case evaluation.