Maximum Medical Improvement in Texas Workers’ Compensation Cases
Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) is the technical term which basically means “as good as you’re going to get”. Once an injured worker’s healing process has slowed and little (or no) improvement is expected, then that employee is said to have reached MMI.
In the Texas Workers’ Compensation system, Maximum Medical Improvement can be reached several ways:
- If the employee fully recovers, then the employee has reached MMI.
- If the employee has not fully recovered, but no further improvement is expected, then the employee can be deemed to have reached his or her Maximum Medical Improvement.
- If 104 weeks have passed since the first day that the employee suffered Disability (lost wages) because of his or her injury, then the employee has reached MMI by operation of law. In short, the law states that if an employee hasn’t fully healed or naturally reached MMI within 2 years of losing time or wages from work, then the rules require that the employee be considered as having reached his or her maximum medical improvement.
Once an injured worker reaches MMI (whether by medical determination or by operation of law) the worker is no longer eligible to receive Temporary Income Benefits. At that time, a special evaluation will be performed to determine whether the worker has any degree of permanent or partial impairment because of the work-related injury or illness. Either the employee’s treating doctor or a state-appointed Designated Doctor will make the final determination as to the degree of permanent impairment sustained.
If any degree of permanent impairment is noted during the examination, the employee will be given an Impairment Rating of Whole Person Permanent Impairment, and the employee will be paid Impairment Income Benefits as compensation for impairment and loss of function.
Texas Workers’ Compensation laws are complex and impact many areas of an injured workers’ life and future. The insurance carrier has one goal: to limit or dispute your medical care and your entitlement to income benefits. Call 888-434-COMP (888-434-2667) and talk to our hard-working, experienced workers’ comp lawyers. You owe it to yourself to talk to an attorney who can help you understand your rights, responsibilities and options in this difficult time of your life. The call is free, there is no obligation, and all conversations are kept strictly confidential. Call today.
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Abbott & Associates attorneys are licensed only in the state of Texas unless otherwise indicated in the biographical section. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. We consider employment in another State only in association with co-counsel licensed in that State. References to laws are limited to federal and State of Texas law.