Why is maximum medical improvement important after a car accident?

Injured Woman After a Car WreckIf you or a loved one was seriously injured in a New Mexico car crash, you will probably hear the term maximum medical improvement—or MMI—applied to your case. What does it mean, and why is it important to your claim for compensation? Our experienced car accident attorneys explain everything you need to know about MMI here. You owe it to yourself and your family to gather the information you need to help you recover as fully as possible after a catastrophic vehicle crash.

How Completely Can You Recover?

Simply put, once doctors have determined that you have reached maximum medical improvement, you are not going to get any better. For some people, this means a complete recovery. You have fully healed from your injuries and are back to 100 percent. For others, it means you are as good as you’re going to get. You could have a partial disability that makes it difficult for you to work, or you could be completely unable to earn a living. Understanding your condition and medical needs when you have reached MMI is vitally important to get fair compensation.

The Negligent Driver Has to Make it Right

The point of a personal injury lawsuit is to hold the party whose negligence caused the accident accountable for making the victim whole again. Obviously, this is not always possible. If a victim has reached MMI and is permanently disabled, no amount of money will return them to the way they were before the crash. However, the goal of a lawsuit is to recover the compensation necessary to pay for all of their medical expenses and ongoing care—even if that care is for life.

Timing Is Everything

So, when is the best time to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused your crash? Your car accident attorney will make this determination, but generally speaking, you will have to file your claim before New Mexico’s three-year statute of limitations expires, which could be well before you have reached maximum medical improvement. However, you would not want to agree to a settlement until after you have reached MMI, so you know the full extent of your financial needs. Your settlement should include:

  • Past, present, and future medical care. You probably had emergency medical care at the time of the accident and are continuing to see specialists for diagnosis and treatment. These costs can be calculated now; however, future costs you face will not be known until you have reached MMI, so you should not agree to a settlement until you know what those costs will be.
  • Lost wages and lost earning potential. You have been unable to work since the accident, but when will you be able to return to work, and how much will you be able to earn given your injury? It will take time to determine the full value of your lost wages.
  • Pain and suffering damages. The longer you are in recovery, the more physical pain and emotional suffering you will experience. For people who are permanently disabled, pain and suffering damages can be significant, but you will not know the extent until you have reached MMI.

An attorney who is experienced with catastrophic injury cases will know when to accept a settlement offer and when to hold out for more.

Keller & Keller in Albuquerque Will Fight for You

If you suffered a catastrophic injury, such as a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, paralysis, broken pelvis, shattered shoulder, loss of a limb, or other permanently disabling condition, you need to talk to a New Mexico car accident attorney as soon as possible. At Keller & Keller, we understand the significance of reaching MMI and will make sure you get the medical care you need until you have reached that point. We will not stop fighting until you receive the full value of your claim so that you can return to as normal a life as possible after a devastating car accident. Fill out our contact form or call us today.

 

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller