For many workers, a Fort Lauderdale Maximum Medical Improvement conclusion is something they weren’t expecting. As a result, most people are left with few to no options for continued treatment and recovery. If you’ve been receiving treatment and have just been told that your injuries have reached maximum medical improvement, then it’s about time you got in touch with workers’ comp attorneys at Work Injury Rights for assistance.
If you got injured while at work and have been receiving workers’ comp benefits, many factors could affect your recovery benefits. As an injured worker, it’s worth noting that the benefits you collect for damages and injuries are, to some extent, determined by the time you need for recovery.
The perfect injury-to-recovery time ratio, while impractical, is one where the time you take to recover coincidentally falls into a set time parameter. In such an instance, the severity of an injury would be what’s used to determine the length – total, long-term, or short-term disability – of your recovery time and for how long you should receive workers’ comp benefits.
Unfortunately, things related to workers’ comp do not work with such precision. For some injuries, it is impossible to tell when they’ll heal. The problem with this is that benefits do have their limits, meaning that they might not extend to the point you are fully recovered.
Get in touch with an experienced Fort Lauderdale workers compensation lawyer today to learn more about Fort Lauderdale maximum medical improvement and how we can be of help. Call 954-833-5226 now to set up a free initial consultation.
What does Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) Mean?
Workers’ comp benefits provide injured workers coverage for a specified period, after which they cease. However, it’s worth noting that once your recovery is deemed to have reached maximum medical improvement, then there is a chance your recovery period could get terminated.
Maximum medical improvement, or MMI, is a term used to say that your injuries have reached a point where no additional treatment could help improve the situation. In some instances, maximum medical improvement is reached when an injured worker’s injuries have fully healed and they are back to their normal selves.
However, keep in mind that your Fort Lauderdale Maximum Medical Improvement does not necessarily mean that the injured worker has fully recovered but that the treatment they’ve been receiving is no longer effective.
As an injured worker, please note that a maximum medical improvement diagnosis could mean one of three things:
- Your injuries are fully healed and you can return to work.
- Your injuries are not fully healed but your doctor has determined that they won’t get any better even with further treatment. In such an instance, you could still go back to work provided the work you do is within your new limitations.
- Your injuries are not fully healed and it’s been determined that they won’t get any better. The doctor treating you then gives your injuries an impairment rating, qualifying you for extended Impairment Income Benefits.
Who Determines when an Employee’s Injuries Have Reached Maximum Medical Improvement in Florida?
In Florida, only a designated osteopathic doctor or medical doctor can determine whether your work-related injury has reached maximum medical improvement or not.
In most cases, it’s your authorized doctor – the treating physician you picked from the panel of doctors your employer or his insurer provided you with, or that you were referred to by your physician – who decides whether you’ve reached Fort Lauderdale maximum medical improvement or not.
However, it’s worth noting that your employer’s insurance provider could allege that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement based on the views of a medical doctor that examined you through an IME or Independent Medical Examination.
IMEs, also known as CDME or Compulsory Defense Medical Examinations, are one-time appointments with a doctor that the insurance company has chosen. According to the Workers’ Compensation Act, insurers or employers reserve the right to ask injured workers to attend at least one independent medical examination per medical specialty per year.
If your employer or the insurer has asked you to attend a CDME, then chances are the report that the independent doctor provides won’t favor you. In most cases, the independent doctor might state that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement even though your doctor disagrees.
If you’ve been told that you’ve reached MMI or are being forced to take an IME by your employer, reach out to us at Work Injury Rights Fort Lauderdale for help. Our attorneys have years of experience handling workers’ comp claims and understand how Fort Lauderdale’s maximum medical improvement works. Call 954-833-5226 now for help.
Does Medical Treatment Continue After an MMI Diagnosis?
In some instances, yes. The fact that your physician has determined that you’re at maximum medical improvement doesn’t mean that you no longer need treatment. Once you’ve reached Fort Lauderdale maximum medical improvement, you still have a lifetime medical award that you can use to continue seeing your doctor for the prescription medication, medical equipment, injections, work hardening, physical therapy, palliative care, and diagnostic tests you need to manage your injuries.
What Happens if You Cannot Return to Work or Perform at the Same Level After Your MMI Diagnosis?
If you have not yet been cleared for a return to work, then your doctor could prescribe that you be assigned light duty responsibilities for a while. In an ideal situation, your employer might opt to find work that you’re capable of doing even if you can’t return to the position you held before the accident.
As the injured worker, you are required to take what job that’s available at the standard rate for that specific position.
However, if your employer cannot accommodate your restrictions, then you still have the option of recuperating at home and receiving a portion of your salary. Nevertheless, your workers’ comp lawyer will still consider this when negotiating compensation terms with your employer’s insurance provider after reaching Fort Lauderdale maximum medical improvement diagnosis.
Call Our Trusted Lawyers Today for Help with Your Fort Lauderdale Maximum Medical Improvement
While as workers’ compensation lawyers, we always hope for insurers and employers who work with injured workers for the best outcome, we still understand that it’s in their best interest to put their bottom line first. At Work Injury Rights, your best interests come first.
Our Fort Lauderdale workers’ comp attorneys are here to help make sure that you do not rush through the paperwork or go back to work before you’re ready. As a workers’ compensation law firm, our mission is to ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve for your injuries, ongoing care, and disabilities.
If you need help with your case or would like to learn more about what a Fort Lauderdale Maximum Medical Improvement entails, call 954-833-5226 now to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys.