Some victims in personal injury cases never fully recover from their injuries and require ongoing medical treatment.
But others reach a point where they get as physically well as they can, given their condition. But during recovery, many victims become overwhelmed by mounting medical expenses compounded by an inability to work.
Sometimes, the only way you can make ends meet while recovering is to get compensated for all injury-related costs—past, present, and future.
But the goal is always to recover as fully as possible. Reaching maximum medical improvement, otherwise called MMI in Florida, is your goal; and reaching MMI can impact your personal injury case.
For a free consultation with an experienced Tallahassee, Florida personal injury lawyer, please call (850) 601-1111 or reach us online today.
What Is MMI?
MMI, or maximum medical improvement in Florida, is the point in an individual’s medical treatment where further improvement in their medical condition is no longer possible.
MMI pertains to all personal injury cases, including car accidents, pedestrian accidents, or slip-and-fall cases.
While some may take MMI to mean that their recovery is complete and they’ve healed from their injuries, this is not usually the case.
MMI can mean different things for your recovery, including:
- Your condition has returned to what it was before your injury,
- Your condition is as good as it ever will be, or
- Your condition requires continuing medical treatment in the future.
Your physician is the only person who can determine if your medical condition has completely stabilized and you have reached the maximum recovery possible.
A doctor may issue a permanent impairment rating for a victim’s injuries. A permanent impairment rating is significant to a victim’s diagnosis. The higher the permanent impairment rating, the more severe and long-lasting the injury.
This rating might also include a list of work restrictions and capabilities. This rating plays heavily into your potential maximum medical improvement payout.
How Does Maximum Medical Improvement Affect My Payout?
Maximum medical improvement in Florida is critical when negotiating with insurance companies for compensation in a personal injury case.
Once you reach MMI, your lawyer can get a more accurate idea of your possible long-term medical costs.
For instance, if your leg was crushed in a car wreck, the doctors might have originally thought you could fully recover. However, suppose that 10 months later, your doctor realizes that your leg has healed as much as it ever will.
Further, suppose your doctor says you will need to continue physical therapy into the foreseeable future just to maintain the gains you’ve made.
This information will greatly affect your payout because you will want to make sure that the cost of future physical therapy is considered before agreeing to a settlement amount.
Should I Settle My Case Before Reaching MMI?
Settling a personal injury claim before reaching MMI could significantly decrease the amount of just compensation you deserve. Insurance companies often make early settlement offers before the doctor knows the true scope of your injuries.
While it may be challenging to pass up these offers, initial offers rarely account for your past, present, and future expenses. If you jump at an early lowball offer, you could be on the hook for related additional medical expenses for years to come.
Also, until reaching MMI, you may not know whether you can work the same job you had or whether you can ever engage in the same activities you used to love.
This information is crucial to obtaining compensation that adequately covers the true extent of your losses.
What Can I Recover in My Personal Injury Case?
Florida permits injured victims to recover compensatory damages for their losses following an accident. Compensatory damages are divided into economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages represent direct financial losses resulting from the injury and include the following:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future earnings, and
- Property damage.
Evidence such as receipts, invoices, pay stubs, and other documentation can assist your attorney in calculating your economic damages demand.
Non-economic damages represent intangible losses related to your injury’s psychological and emotional consequences.
These damages include the following:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of companionship,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Permanent disability or disfigurement.
Due to their subjective nature, non-economic damages are challenging to prove without the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney.
Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro is a client-focused personal injury and wrongful death firm with over 40 years of experience assisting clients during one of the most challenging times of their lives.
We combine our decades of experience with an energetic and aggressive approach to help our clients achieve the best possible outcome for their cases.
Our attorneys take pride in making themselves available to clients so they can address questions and concerns as quickly as possible.
We respect our clients’ trust in our firm and know they have many options when they choose us to represent them. We prioritize your needs and interests, so you can focus on healing and recovery.
Contact us online or call (850) 601-1111 today to find out how the legal team at Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro can help you!