Workers' comp provides workers with some very valuable means of addressing work-related injuries and illnesses. From your first moment on the job, you can expect to have any injury covered in full, from all related medical expenses to time off to recuperate. When the injury is expected to heal so that you can get back to work, workers' comp works great. Sometimes, however, the injury is far more serious and there is the potential for you to have a permanent injury. Read on to learn what you can expect from workers' comp when you are dealing with a permanent injury.
Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
Most workers' comp injuries allow the worker to return to work after a short period of healing, but if your injury is ruled to be permanent, your timeline and benefits can be different. In most cases, permanent injuries fall into two different categories.
1. An injury appears to be healing, but reaches a point where no further improvement is expected. For example, if you fell at work and injured your back, you may hope it improves with rest, treatment, and sometimes surgery. If it does not improve enough for you to return to work, it may be ruled to be a permanent injury. You may be asked to have a special type of medical examination to determine when, if ever, you can return to work. If no improvement is expected, you may be ruled to be at maximum medical improvement.
2. An injury is clearly catastrophic and permanent from the beginning and it is determined early on that you have a permanent injury. For example, if you suffered from an amputation, severe burn, spinal injury, severe head injury, etc. you will ruled to have a permanent injury very quickly. You are at maximum medical improvement at that point.
What Does MMI Mean for Me?
This ruling not only means that you have a permanent injury, but that the way that your benefits are paid will undergo a change. If you have not sought the help of a workers' comp attorney up to now, this may the time. You will very likely be offered a lump sum settlement for your injury, and getting the top dollar is vital, since you may never work at any job again.
Additionally, you may offered some rehabilitative training if your injury allows you to do certain types of work. The medical benefits will continue, and you may also be qualified to apply for other types of government aid, such as Social Security disability and Medicare/Medicaid.
Seek help from workers' comp attorneys, such as those at Neifert Byrne & Ozga, and get the compensation you deserve.