Workplace injuries occur frequently across the United States for numerous reasons. For example, a worker may have used a defective machine or fallen due to a poor work environment.
Based on statistics from the National Safety Council (NSC), “Every seven seconds a worker is injured on the job. This equals to 12,300 injuries a day, 86,500 a week, and 4,500,000 a year.”
If you were injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Jim Glaser Law to learn more about your legal options. A Boston workers’ compensation lawyer can help you with your claim. Additionally, if you were notified by a medical professional that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), we can help you understand your benefits.
Maximum Medical Improvement
When an injured worker reaches the point where their condition cannot improve any further, they are said to have reached maximum medical improvement. When a person reaches MMI, it does not imply that they are fully healed or recovered. It simply means that further treatment will likely not improve their condition.
Who Determines When I Have Reached MMI?
Doctors are the only people who can confirm whether or not an injured worker has reached MMI.
If you sustained a work-related injury, you must keep in mind that the workers’ compensation insurance company may request an independent medical examination. During this exam, your medical history will be reviewed in order to determine if you have reached MMI as a result of your injuries.
The Importance of Your MMI Date
Establishing your MMI date is an important factor when applying for permanent disability benefits. Your MMI date will confirm that no further treatment will help improve your condition. This means you may be eligible for disability benefits.
If you attempt to rush your MMI, you may damage your claim and your chances of receiving the full amount of benefits you may be owed.
Independent Medical Examination (IME): What to Expect When Seeking a Second Opinion
An independent medical examination may seem scary and intimidating since it will determine if you have reached MMI. Below our team has compiled some helpful information to prepare you for your IME appointment.
Who Can Request an IME?
If you sustained an injury or illness while on the job, there are different people who may request that you have an IME. This medical evaluation will determine if further treatment is required or if you have reached MMI. Additionally, the evaluation will confirm if there is any permanent damage that will lead to work restrictions.
How to Prepare for the Evaluation
There are multiple steps that you can take to prepare for the evaluation including:
- Try not to take any pain medication, if your doctor permits.
- Do not give your opinions or volunteer information.
- Do not be afraid to answer any questions about your injuries.
During the examination, the physician may ask about your medical and family history, as well as any current symptoms you are experiencing. Additionally, the physician may want to take an X-ray and/or lab tests.
The examination may entail various tests that allow the physician to see your range of motion and any hindrances you face as a result of your injuries. For example, if you suffered a back injury, the physician may have you do a test to see how you bend.
It’s imperative that you don’t fake or overemphasize the pain you feel during your medical examination. Overall, you can expect that the examination will involve numerous questions and tests to determine if you have reached the MMI stage for your injuries.
If I Reach MMI, Can I Obtain Permanent Disability Benefits?
After you have filed a workers’ compensation claim and reached MMI, you may qualify for permanent disability benefits. This process can be complex, so it’s in your best interest to speak with a Boston workers’ compensation lawyer about your options and the legal process.
Each state has different laws regarding workers’ compensation benefits. It’s important to know the laws for your area. If you are applying for benefits in the state of Massachusetts, keep in mind the following information:
- You must be totally and permanently unable to do any kind of work as a result of your work-related injury or illness in order to qualify.
- You do not have to exhaust your temporary benefits before applying for permanent benefits.
If you qualify for permanent disability, here are the benefits you will receive:
- You will receive 66 percent of your gross average weekly wage.
- The minimum you can collect is 20 percent of the state average weekly wage (SAWW) at the time of your injury.
- The maximum you can collect is the SAWW at the time of your injury.
- You also get an annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA).
For more information about workers’ compensation benefits, click here.
A Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You Understand Your Benefits
At Jim Glaser Law, we understand the impact a workplace accident can have on an individual and their family.
It’s vital that your legal rights are protected. Every case is unique, and results will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. If you have grounds to file a lawsuit to seek further compensation, a Boston workers’ compensation lawyer can help. There are certain laws that govern workers and protect their legal rights, however, these laws can be challenging to understand without the help of an experienced attorney.