When an accident occurs and a victim is harmed due to someone else's
negligence, it is always recommended that the victim contact legal representation
right away. Sometimes there is documentation and evidence to be collected
and diligent counsel can do this in preparation for an eventual injury
claim. However, it is not always recommended that the victim pursue a
claim as quickly as possible.
This is because it is critical that the injury victim reach a status known
as maximum medical improvement (or MMI) before filing suit. A patient
reaches MMI when doctors determine that they can no further improve from
their accident injuries. Sometimes this means that they have made a full
recovery. Other times, when victims have sustained catastrophic injuries
like brain damage or spinal cord injuries, it means that their recovery
has plateaued and that more improvement is not reasonably foreseeable.
Why is MMI important?
Establishing MMI is important because it allows plaintiff counsel to proceed
with full scope of the client's accident-related expenses. Health
matters are not always predictable and filing before MMI is determined
can mean that medical expenses that should have been covered in the injury
suit are left for the victim to pay for.
In cases where there has been
catastrophic injury, MMI is even more critical. These injuries usually result in a change
in the quality of life for the victim. Often, they cannot return to work
or require ongoing therapy or care to live the fullest lives possible.
When this is the case, counsel must work with doctors and loved ones to
establish the remaining lifetime costs of these burdens and incorporate
them into the suit against the responsible parties.
How MMI Works
To demonstrate how crucial establishing MMI before an injury suit is, let's
look at a theoretical case of "Rachel," a teacher who was hit
by a negligent driver while she was out jogging. Rachel's injuries
were relatively minor and she was able to file suit and recover the money
she needed to cover her emergency medical care.
However, the effects of Rachel's injuries lingered and it was discovered
that she'd suffered a concussion. Unable to focus and suffering frequent
headaches, she delayed her to return to work for some weeks and, as a
result, suffered a reduced income. This is the point in which Rachel has
reached MMI. Because she and her counsel did not wait to assess the full
scope of her post-accident burdens, she is left with costs that were not
included in her initial suit.
If you or a loved one has been hurt by someone else, then the renowned
and sought-after New York personal injury lawyers at
Ivey Barnum & O'Mara, LLC are ready to hear from you. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars
on behalf of our clients who have been wronged and have the resources
and diligence to ensure that you seek maximum compensation for the negligence
that harmed you.
Start exploring your injury suit options today. Use our online form to
free case evaluation.