How Maximum Medical Improvement Affects Your Car Accident Claim

medical_billsYou're probably anxious to settle your claim for compensation if you were injured in a Florida car accident that wasn't your fault. You may need that financial recovery to pay your medical bills and monthly expenses while you're out of work with injuries.

However, you don't want to rush to settle your case. It's important reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) before even beginning serious settlement negotiations.

What Is Maximum Medical Improvement?

MMI is a crucial stage in your medical care that has a significant impact on your claim against the negligent driver.

Your experienced car accident attorney will wait until you reach this stage in your medical treatment to negotiate your settlement.

MMI can mean one of the following:

  • You've fully recovered from your injuries
  • You're condition has improved as much it will without full recovery
  • You're still receiving medical care for injuries that will hopefully improve, but you've reached a stage where your doctor can provide a final diagnosis of future treatments

Why It's Important to Reach MMI to Settle Your Case

While it can be frustrating to wait to settle your claim, it's really in your financial interests to do so. Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, it could take months or a year or longer before you reach MMI. This could be due to the recovery process, or that your doctor treats your injuries with months of physical therapy, pain medications, and other treatments before recommending surgery.

Here's why waiting until you've achieved MMI is so important:

  • When you settle your claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company, it will be final. You won't be able to reopen the case and request more money if you later discover the need for additional treatments; you're no longer able to work, or have other unanticipated expenses.
  • You're entitled to your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in your settlement. Until you reach MMI, your attorney cannot accurately value the claim because he won't know how much your future damages will be.

While you may need to wait to begin settlement negotiations, this doesn't mean you should wait to retain a skilled car accident attorney. You want to hire a lawyer right away so he can collect vital evidence to prove your right to compensation; contact the insurance company on your behalf; and guide you through the process of filing your claim.

Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation and how our expert legal team can help.