LEGAL PROCESS FOR WORKERS’
To determine how much compensation you can get for a workplace injury, you first need to understand maximum medical improvement and how workers’ comp law works.
How Workers’ Compensation Works
The workers’ compensation process is designed to protect both you and your employer if you are injured on the job. Workers’ compensation claims take negligence out of the equation. That means you can seek compensation for your losses even if your employer isn’t to blame. You don’t have to worry about proving fault.
By law, all businesses employing more than 3 employees must have workers’ compensation insurance. When you make a workers’ compensation claim, your employer’s insurance provider will cover the costs of your work-related injuries. With this insurance coverage, your employer doesn’t need to stress over the prospect of nasty work injury lawsuits.
The process balances the benefits for each side:
- While you have the right to compensation, it isn’t as robust as personal injury coverage.
- And while YOUR EMPLOYER has to cover your claim no matter who is at fault, they can
enjoy peace of mind regarding lawsuits.
What is Maximum Medical Improvement?
Your employer’s worker’s comp insurance company wants to keep the amount of compensation they have to give you to a minimum. To accomplish this, they try to confirm that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) as soon as possible.
Maximum medical improvement is the legal term that refers to the point at which an injured employee has recovered from their work-related injury to the greatest degree possible.
A designated medical provider must confirm that no further medical improvement is expected before you can reach MMI. At this point, the insurance company may be able to stop paying you workers’ compensation benefits.
Your complete, healthy recovery is hingent upon fair compensation. To protect your workers’ compensation claim and ongoing health, it’s in your best interest not to rush the MMI determination process.
Have more questions about MMI? The McCravy Law team can help explain the MMI and workers’ compensation claims process.
What Happens After You Reach MMI?
Even if you’ve reached the classification of MMI, your treating physician MAY determine that you require ongoing medical care.
If you’ve suffered permanent injuries and have reached your MMI, your doctor will assign an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE). The IRE is a percentage from 0 to 100 that depicts your level of impairment (i.e. the degree to which you’ve lost function or ability). This number will help guide future compensation you may receive.
The following factors can affect your impairment rating:
- Medical procedures (such as surgery, physical therapy, and pain management)
- Work restrictions
- Decreased range of motion
- Ongoing pain
While the IRE is an important element in determining your disability award, it is NOT the only factor. Other considerations include:
- Level of education
- Prior work history
- Needfor future medical care
No matter what, our team wants to make sure your workers’ compensation benefits allow you to continue supporting yourself and move beyond your injuries.