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Lawyer Blog: Baltimore, MD

What Happens After I Reach MMI in MD?

Workers Compensation

If you’re injured at work, workers’ compensation benefits should pay for your medical care and rehabilitation, but you may ask yourself, what happens after I reach MMI in MD? When you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), your ability to work, go back to your job, and the benefits you receive should be more clear.

Steven H. Heisler can help with your workers’ comp claim at any point in the process. The earlier we get involved, the better position you’ll be in to get workers’ comp benefits that could make a big difference in your life.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance. Employers are required to provide their employees coverage for injuries that arise out of, and happen in the course of, doing their job. Employers pay for this coverage and they choose their insurance carrier. It will pay weekly cash benefits, medical care, rehabilitation costs, compensation for permanent injuries, and death benefits to the next of kin of those killed on the job.

Only employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. An independent contractor must carry their own coverage or file for benefits and successfully claim they were employees who were misclassified by the employer.

What is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)?

MMI means:

  • You have recovered as much as possible.
  • Improvement with more treatment or rehabilitation isn’t likely.
  • Your ability to return to work has progressed as far as it’s likely to go.

You should have received all reasonable treatments before this MMI judgment is made. Ideally, your MMI is a full recovery, or full enough to allow you to return to your job without limitations. But you may have some degree of negative impact on your abilities after you reach maximum medical improvement.

Before reaching MMI, you’ll get a diagnosis and go through medical treatment and rehabilitation by a doctor you have chosen. When you reach the point where you aren’t progressing any further, you’ll be examined by your physician. He or she will determine the status of your condition and, if appropriate, refer you to a Board Certified Independent Medical Examiner who will assign you a disability rating. It could include a permanent work restriction. If your doctor establishes that you may recover further, the comp carrier may pay for additional treatments.

Sometimes, the insurance company’s physician will examine you while you are still treating and unilaterally determine that you are at MMI. The insurance company might terminate any temporary benefits you are receiving. You may disagree with that decision and you have the right to appeal the decision to the Maryland Worker’s Compensation Commission and have a judge make the final determination as to whether or not you are at MMI.

If you can’t perform your job duties at your place of employment, you may qualify for vocational rehabilitation benefits.

After You Reach Maximum Medical Improvement, the Future of Your Workers’ Comp Claim May Become Clear

It’s only after reaching MMI that you’ll know the full impact of your injuries and how they’ll affect your life and ability to work. An MMI decision is also the point where we have a clear idea of what your case is worth, so we can try to settle it or pursue it further.

Workers’ comp insurers want to save money and settle claims quickly. The Insurer may want to settle the case before you reach MMI. However in Maryland, the Maryland Worker’s Compensation Commission will not permit a claimant to settle his or her case if the claimant needs further treatment.

You May Be Partially or Totally Disabled After Reaching MMI in Maryland

While you’re treated and you’re expected to recover, you qualify for temporary disability benefits. The payments last until you’re released to return to work or reach MMI. If your injuries are still persistent, their effects may be permanent. How long you receive benefits depends on whether your disability is total or partial:

  • Permanent total disability would be two-thirds of your average salary, not to exceed the state maximum. You might receive these benefits the rest of your life
  • Permanent partial disability is based on a scheduling system. It assigns a length of time of payments for the part of your body that was injured.

If you can’t fully recover after reaching MMI in Maryland, you were given a disability rating, and you’re not permanently totally disabled, you may or may not be able to go back to your old job. Given your restrictions and the job duties, . . .

  • Your employer could change the job so you could do it.
  • You might be assigned another position.
  • You may need to leave your employer and find another job within your restrictions.

Part of workers’ comp benefits includes retraining so you can find a new job doing something else if you are not able to perform your job duties at your old job.

The Workers’ Comp Carrier Has Attorneys. You Should Have One, Too, Especially After You Reach MMI.

Maryland workers’ compensation laws are complex and difficult to understand. Even if you think your employer is clearly responsible for your injury, attorneys for your employer or its insurance company will try to prevent coverage. Don’t go it alone. Steven H. Heisler is here to help you get the benefits you deserve.

Employers must provide a reasonably safe work environment. But equipment malfunctions, co-worker mistakes, and bad management decisions can place you at risk. You may be eligible for workers’ compensation, disability insurance benefits, and other resources to help with your medical treatment and bills. Our Baltimore workers’ comp lawyer offers free consultations, so why not call us at (410) 625-4878 now?