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Stratford Workers' Compensation Lawyer > Blog > Workers' Compensation > The Importance of Maximum Medical Improvement in Workers’ Compensation Claims

The Importance of Maximum Medical Improvement in Workers’ Compensation Claims


When it comes to workers’ compensation claims, the concept of “Maximum Medical Improvement” (MMI) is often addressed with the injured worker by way of their treating physician. However, many times it is a misunderstood concept.  MMI is a term that often comes up during the course of a workers’ compensation claim, but many injured workers may not fully grasp its significance. In this blog post, we will delve into what MMI is, why it is important, and how it can affect an injured worker’s entitlement to benefits. We will also explore a recent case from the Compensation Review Board that sheds light on these issues.

MMI is a critical milestone in any workers’ compensation claim. It refers to the point at which an injured worker’s condition has stabilized and reached a plateau where further medical treatment is unlikely to result in significant improvement. Essentially, it means that the injured worker has recovered as much as possible given their injury and medical treatment received thus far. Once an injured worker reaches MMI, their treating physician will evaluate their condition and provide a final assessment of any permanent impairment or disability, if applicable. This is typically the time frame when the responsible workers’ compensation insurance carrier seeks to contest any further medical treatment citing that it is no longer “curative” treatment.

Reaching MMI can have significant implications for an injured worker’s entitlement to benefits. In many states, including Connecticut where John Mattera v. State of Connecticut was recently decided, an injured worker’s benefits may change once they reach MMI. For example, temporary total disability benefits or wage differential benefits may be transitioned to permanent partial disability benefits if the injured worker has residual impairment after reaching MMI. Understanding how reaching MMI can impact your benefits is crucial for ensuring you receive the appropriate compensation for your injuries.

Not all injured workers will attain MMI during the course of their pending workers’ compensation claim. Some injuries may require ongoing medical treatment or rehabilitation that prevents reaching a state of maximum medical improvement. In these cases, it is important for injured workers to continue working closely with their treating physician to monitor their progress and adjust their treatment plan as necessary. Additionally, seeking legal guidance from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the claims process.  Considering these implications, it is best to seek a consult with a knowledgeable attorney that can assist you prior to reaching maximum medical improvement to ensure that your path to reasonable and necessary medical care has been accomplished throughout your recovery post-injury.

The recent case involving John Mattera v. State of Connecticut provides valuable insights into how courts interpret and apply the concept of MMI in workers’ compensation claims. The case involved a claimant-decedent who suffered injuries while working for the State of Connecticut and subsequently passed away due to unrelated causes before reaching MMI. The Compensation Review Board ultimately determined that since the claimant-decedent did not reach MMI prior to his death, he was not entitled to permanent partial disability benefits under workers’ compensation law.

In Summary:

Achieving Maximum Medical Improvement is a crucial milestone in any workers’ compensation claim. Understanding what MMI is, how it affects your entitlement to benefits, and what steps you need to take if you do not reach MMI are essential for protecting your rights as an injured worker. By staying informed about this important concept and seeking guidance from legal professionals when needed, you can navigate the complexities of the workers’ compensation system with confidence and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

Contact A Stratford, CT Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney today.

Reasonable and necessary medical care is required to be paid for by the responsible workers’ compensation carrier in your claim. To reach the end point of your medical care, your treating physician typically addresses that no further curative treatment is necessary. A board certified workers’ compensation specialist attorney is in the best position to work with your physician to address authorization of medical care and maximize your need for treatment well in advance of a determination of MMI. Reach out to the Morizio Law Firm today at 475-338-3505 to address your need for authorized medical care and legal needs.

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