A serious accident that results in a major injury can result in a long, complicated process to receive a settlement for a personal injury claim. While the victim may want to receive compensation very quickly to pay for mounting costs of medical care and other expenses, it is in the victim’s best interest to wait. In most situations, it is best to wait for settlement until you have reached maximum medical improvement or MMI.
What is Maximum Medical Improvement?
Maximum medical improvement (MMI) is a term you may hear a lot in a personal injury case involving a permanent disability. In many cases, MMI cannot be determined until 12 months or more after the date of an injury. For some people, MMI means they are completely healed of their injuries. For others, MMI means the person will reach a limit on improvement in spite of continuing medical treatment. In some situations, the person’s injury will actually become worse with time causing additional health concerns.
Once the limits of improvement have been reached, a doctor may refer the patient to receive a functional capacity evaluation or FCE to determine the rating for your permanent disability. This procedure will help define any restrictions you have for work or in your daily life.
Compensation After Maximum Medical Improvement
Once you have reached maximum medical improvement, your attorney can help you seek a settlement based on the information from the FCE and other reports. You Louisville personal injury attorney submits a demand letter for lump sum compensation based on your prognosis since no further improvements in your health are expected.
You do not want to settle a personal injury claim too soon because it limits your total compensation amount. Once you reach MMI, you are more aware of your total costs for medical care both now and in the future. This is essential to ensure you receive an adequate amount of compensation for your damages.
In most cases, when you receive compensation, the insurance company has you sign a release that prevents you from seeking further compensation for your claim. The form states that you release ALL parties. Therefore, even if you discover another party is partially responsible for your damages, you are barred from suing that party. If you settle too quickly, you may not be able to include future medical costs in your demand for settlement. In other words, you are leaving money on the settlement table if you settled too quickly.
Call a Louisville Personal Injury Attorney Before You Settle
While it can be tempting to settle an injury claim quickly to receive your money, it’s often best to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement to ensure all expenses are covered. Our Louisville personal injury attorneys work closely with our clients’ doctors and medical providers to determine when maximum medical improvement is reached so we can obtain a detailed diagnosis. By working closely with the client and the doctors, we can more accurately value a claim and calculate a settlement demand that provides the maximum compensation allowable by law for the claim.
Call the Shelton Law Group at 1-888-761-7204 or use the online contact form on our website to ask questions or request a free legal consultation and no-obligation case evaluation with a Louisville personal injury attorney. It is our goal to help you obtain the compensation you deserve for injuries caused by a negligent, careless, or reckless person.