Any company located in Florida with at least four employees is required to have coverage for their employees known as Workers’ Compensation. This is a policy that was implemented for the purpose of granting workers financial aid when they have been injured or fallen ill while at work. So, even if you get a Maximum Medical Improvement diagnosis, you may still be eligible for benefits.
Workers’ compensation covers aspects like medical treatment, lost wages, disability, etc. However, these benefits have a limit and certain criteria to meet. When you file for workers’ compensation, you should do so in a way that proves you actually deserve the benefits and a major aspect of this includes Maximum Medical Improvement. But what does it entail and what should keep in mind?
At Work Injury Rights, we are experts when it comes to complex aspects like Maximum Medical Improvement. We have been in the field for decades, helping Lakeland residents and across Florida protect their rights.
What Is Maximum Medical Improvement?
Maximum Medical Improvement or MMI is a common aspect when it comes to workers’ compensation. After experiencing an accident in the workplace, there reaches a level where further treatment won’t improve the condition. In other situations, it may mean that the injury is completely healed and the individual is back to the state they were before the accident.
Maximum medical improvement can occur when you are still undergoing treatment, particularly when the treatment is used to determine a certain level of functionality. When a doctor makes an MMI diagnosis, may mean you’ve fully recovered or the chances of going back to how you were before the injury and the physician assigns a certain impairment rating.
Who Determines When You’ve Reached MMI in Lakeland, Florida?
In Florida, only an authorized physician can make a maximum medical improvement diagnosis. It is also important to bear in mind that MMI is not a state of mind or place and the determination can only be done following treatment.
Once the practitioner determines that you have reached maximum medical improvement, they go ahead and send the assessment to the employer and claims adjuster. The adjuster can then halt the insurance benefit if the diagnosis determines there’s no need for further treatment.
Whether you feel better or further treatment won’t improve your condition, it won’t be deemed an MMI until the doctor makes the assessment. It is also important to keep in mind that your employer or insurance provider can’t make the determination.
Does Treatment Continue After MMI?
Simply because you have reached MMI doesn’t mean treatment should stop. You still qualify for annual doctor visits and pain management, all covered by the employer. However, the authorized practitioner can’t make alternative treatment options as this can void the maximum medical improvement diagnosis.
We also do not advise that you accept a settlement from the insurance company if an MMI assessment hasn’t been done. This is to ensure that you are in a safe spot if the treatment goes beyond the compensation amount. If the insurer or employer denies you the benefits to continue with treatment, do not hesitate to protect your rights by hiring a lawyer with experience in the workers’ comp field.
What If You Cannot Resume Work and Perform at the Same Level?
Even after a maximum medical improvement diagnosis, it can still be hard to go back to work and perform at the same level. In Florida, however, you still qualify for medical treatment and weekly wage benefits even after reaching MMI.
If you cannot go back to work full-time, you will continue to get benefits for a certain period. Although in most situations, the insurance carrier may want to settle after an MMI diagnosis. This usually occurs when medical treatment cannot make any substantial change.
Again, we advise consulting an experienced lawyer to determine whether it is the best time to settle. As mentioned earlier, an MMI diagnosis can only be done by an authorized physician and so, following the injury or illness, consult one who will keep your interests in mind.
If you are healthy enough, the physician will give you an MMI rating and allow you to go back to work without any restrictions. At this point, you will stop receiving workers’ comp benefits.
If you have been given a permanent disability rating, it means there’ll be set limitations if you go back to work. You’ll be entitled to impairment income benefits and the payment will be done for a specific period or until death depending on the type and degree of disability.
Call Us Today for Assistance on Your Lakeland Maximum Medical Improvement!
If you sustain injuries or fall ill while at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to cover lost wages and medical treatment. However, you must meet requirements to qualify, some of which aren’t always obvious. You need to make a solid claim within the set timeline and prove that you actually deserve compensation.
When it comes to maximum medical improvement diagnosis in Lakeland, Fl, it’s important to know what your physician means in order to continue receiving your benefits. When you get a disability rating, an experienced lawyer can help ensure that you get the compensation you need.
With decades of experience, we have worked with numerous clients to ensure they don’t get an unfair settlement. We have the skills and resources needed to help create a solid case so that you don’t end up with hefty bills and losses you can’t recover from.
We put our clients first and fight aggressively to ensure you’re not low-balled, whether you wish to make a claim for your injuries or have hit MMI.