As part of the Independent Medical Examination (IME) process I am often asked to offer an opinion whether an injured person has reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). The legal definition of maximum medical improvement varies from state to state. In general, it means that that an injured person has reached the point where the treated condition is stabilized and unlikely to change in the next year , with or without further treatment. In some cases it means that the injured person has fully recovered but more often it means that further treatment is unlikely to result in improvement or worsening in the next year.
It is important to be aware that in many States , the date when an injured person reaches Maximum Medical Improvement is the point at which coverage for further medical care and temporary disability payments cease. Sometimes there may be a need a need for ongoing or maintenance care after MMI If you are at MMI it usually means that you are ready to work even if it is not in the same job as previously . If you are not able to work , that is where permanent benefits come into play. Either way, once it is determined that MMI is reached, the injured person moves onto the next step in the worker’s compensation administrative process.