Definition of Maximal Medical Improvement
Maximum Medical Improvement, or MMI, refers to the point in medical treatment beyond which an individual is not expected to get any better, even with additional medical care. Treatment including medications, physical therapy, or assistive devices may still be needed, but they will not improve the health and functioning of the patient.
Maximum medical improvement is crucial to a lawyer predicting your future damages such as medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. Until you have reached MMI, a fair settlement value or jury verdict will be nearly impossible to determine. For example, if you have injured your back and you are scheduled to have back surgery but you settle before surgery and before you know your status following surgery you will not know for sure your future medical expenses or your lost wages.
After you have reached your MMI the doctor will assign you an impairment rating. This permanent impairment rating allows lawyers and insurers to compare the values between different injuries. An impairment rating will be assigned by a doctor, not a lawyer, but it will not be assigned until you reach MMI. Talk to a personal injury lawyer if you have questions about your injuries or whether you should settle your injury case.