When you get injured on the job, you should be able to count on your employer to take care of you. At a minimum, they should ensure that you get the medical care you need. They also owe it to you to make sure you don’t return to work until you truly reach maximum medical improvement. If you feel you’re not being treated fairly, you need to talk to a Brandon workers comp attorney.
Here, we’ll discuss what happens when your doctor determines you’ve reached maximum medical improvement before you’re truly healed.
What Is Maximum Medical Improvement or MMI?
Once your workers’ compensation doctor has treated your immediate injuries, they’ll come up with a treatment plan. At some point, they’re going to determine that there is no benefit to further treatment.
When this happens, they will declare that you’ve achieved something called maximum medical improvement, or MMI. What this means is that there is no point in continuing treatment because you will not recover beyond that point.
Who Makes the Determination That You’ve Reached MMI?
One of the frustrating things about being out on workers comp is that you have no choice in the doctor who treats you. While your Brandon workers comp attorney can request that you be assigned a new doctor, there are limits to how often you can do this.
While you’re being treated for your injuries, it’s hard to ignore the fact that your workers comp doctor may not be on your side. Since they were assigned to you by the insurance company (or your employer), you feel like they may not have your best interests at heart.
This is why so many of our clients don’t think it’s fair that this is the person who determines when you’ve reached MMI.
What Happens Once You’ve Reached Maximum Medical Improvement?
Once your workers’ compensation doctor determines that you’ve attained maximum medical improvement, one of two things will happen.
If the doctor believes you’re fully healed, or as healed as you can be, they’ll need to decide if you can return to work. If you can, they’ll notify your employer, and they will recall you to work immediately.
If the doctor doesn’t believe you can perform your duties at work, they may declare you permanently disabled. If this is the case, your workers comp lawyer in Brandon will demand that you receive your disability benefits through workers compensation.
You Will Be Expected to Return to Work Once You Attain MMI
Typically, once you meet MMI, you’ll have to return to work. It’s rare that our Brandon workers comp attorneys represent someone who cannot work at all after treatment. Even if they can’t perform the duties of their previous job, they can certainly work in some position.
Some people are ordered to return to a modified or “light duty” position once they reach MMI. The goal is to either slowly return them to their previous position or decide what other position they can be moved into.
Your Workers Compensation Doctor May Determine That You’re Permanently Disabled
If your doctor decides that you’re permanently disabled, then your Brandon workers comp attorney will demand additional benefits. Under workers compensation, if you suffer permanent injury to a certain body part, you’ll be awarded benefits based on two things.
The first thing that determines your benefits is the location of your injury. As you can imagine, a back or neck injury will be worth more money than a thumb or toe injury.
The second thing that helps determine what kind of permanent benefits you’ll receive is the percentage of disability.
When your workers comp doctor declares that you’ve met MMI, they’ll also have to assign you a disability or impairment rating. This rating will determine how much money you’ll be entitled to.
What if Your Workers Comp Lawyer in Brandon Doesn’t Believe You’ve Actually Reached MMI?
One major problem you may encounter is if your workers comp doctor claims you’ve reached MMI too early. They may feel that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. However, you and your workers comp lawyer in Brandon may disagree.
If this happens, you can appeal the doctor’s decision. Or your Brandon workers comp attorney can seek an independent medical examination. This will give you the chance to have an impartial doctor examine you.
Depending on what this independent doctor finds, one of two things will happen. You’ll be told to return to work. Or you may be entitled to further medical treatment. It all depends on the facts of your case and the nature of your injuries.
What Can Your Workers Comp Lawyer in Brandon Do if You’re Deemed Permanently Disabled?
If your workers comp doctor determines that you are, in fact, permanently disabled, you may be entitled to further compensation. It depends, again, on the body part you hurt and the extent to which it’s disabled.
What your workers comp lawyer in Brandon will do is review the workers compensation payment schedule. They’ll determine how many weeks worth of benefits you’re entitled to. Once they have this information, they’ll attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance carrier.
There’s a Good Chance Your Brandon Workers Comp Attorney Will Settle Your Claim
There are several reasons why your Brandon workers comp attorney will want to settle your claim. Nobody wants to sit back and wait to collect weekly benefits for months or even years.
Most of our clients prefer to walk away with a lump sum settlement. Not only will this help you pay your immediate bills, but it also frees you up to embark on a new career without jeopardizing your workers compensation benefits.
All You Have to Do Is Call and Schedule Your Free, Initial Consultation
At some point after your workplace accident, your workers comp doctor will declare that you’re ready to go back to work. Or, if your injuries are more serious, they may determine that you’re permanently disabled. Either way, you should have an experienced Florida workers compensation attorney there to make sure you’re treated fairly.
We recommend that anybody injured in a workplace accident contact a seasoned worker comp lawyer in Brandon. We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. All you have to do is call our office at (954) 324-COMP.