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What Happens After Reaching MMI in a Workers’ Comp Case?


Maximum medical improvement (MMI) is central to workers' compensation claims and marks a pivotal stage in recovery. MMI occurs when a worker's medical condition has stabilized to the extent that significant improvement or deterioration within the next year is unlikely, even with further medical treatment. This indicates that the medical condition has plateaued, neither improving nor worsening.

A healthcare professional determines MMI, a critical step in managing workers' compensation claims. It involves a thorough medical evaluation where the physician assesses specific medical issues related to the injury.

The evaluation includes:

  • Mobility assessment. The doctor examines the extent to which the injured party can move the affected body parts and the level of pain associated with movement.
  • Functional limitation. Analysis of how the injury restricts the type of work the employee can perform, considering factors like strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  • Future medical care. Determination of any ongoing medical treatments that might be required to manage pain or other symptoms associated with the injury.
  • Disability rating. The physician assigns a disability rating, quantifying the degree of permanent physical impairment and determining the work activities that may be too challenging or unsafe for the injured worker.

Reaching MMI has significant legal implications for a workers' compensation claim. Once MMI is declared, a physician may evaluate whether the work-related injury has resulted in permanent disability. This assessment is crucial as it influences the nature and extent of benefits the worker might be entitled to. Challenges often arise at this juncture, as disputes regarding the disability rating or the appropriateness of recommended treatments can occur.

Navigating the complexities of workers' compensation claims post-MMI can be daunting. It's essential for injured workers to seek legal guidance to protect their rights and to assist in navigating the claims process. A skilled workers' comp lawyer can provide invaluable support, mainly if disagreements with the disability assessments arise or the worker encounters obstacles in receiving rightful benefits.

If you face challenges with your workers’ compensation claim in Glendale, please schedule a consultation with Law Offices of Wax & Wax by calling (818) 946-0608 or contacting us online.

An In-depth Look at Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent disability benefits are crucial for workers who have suffered long-term impairments due to work-related injuries or illnesses. These benefits compensate for the lasting effects of an injury that partially or completely limits an individual's ability to work. Unlike temporary disability benefits, which support an employee during recovery, permanent disability benefits acknowledge that the worker's ability to earn a living has been indefinitely impacted by their injury.

Calculating Benefits

Permanent disability benefits are calculated using a specific formula to deliver fair compensation. The amount and duration of the benefits a worker receives are related to the severity of their impairment, expressed as a percentage of disability. This percentage is crucial as it influences the compensation amount.

Here’s how benefits are typically determined:

  • Extent of injury or disfigurement
  • Employee’s age at the time of injury
  • Employee’s occupation
  • Date of injury
  • Percentage of disability attributed to work
  • Loss of future earning capacity

Disbursement of Benefits

Permanent disability benefits are typically paid every two weeks and continue until the maximum allowable amount under workers' compensation law is reached. The total amount and duration of payments depend on the degree of disability and the worker’s previous earnings. Alternatively, a worker may opt for a lump sum settlement, a one-time payment agreed upon by all parties, effectively closing the claim.

Reaching MMI and Pursuing Permanent Disability Benefits

Reaching maximum medical improvement marks a significant milestone in your workers' compensation case. It signals that your medical condition has stabilized and no further improvement is expected, setting the stage for evaluating any lasting impairments and determining entitlements to permanent disability benefits.

Adequate permanent disability benefits can be challenging and fraught with legal complexities. An experienced workers’ comp lawyer can facilitate a fair assessment of your disability and help seek compensation reflecting the true extent of your impairment. They can provide guidance through the claims process, represent your interests in disputes, and help negotiate settlements, protecting your rights every step of the way.

If you have concerns about your Glendale workers’ compensation case, please contact Law Offices of Wax & Wax at (818) 946-0608.

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