Following an accident that results in injury, victims and their loved ones
usually want to pursue compensation from the responsible parties as soon
as possible. With many injuries, swift action can be called for, but in
other circumstances-- particularly when catastrophic injuries occur--
filing a claim too soon can actually be detrimental to obtaining proper relief.
In these more serious cases, a concept called maximum medical improvement
(MMI) is critical to determining when to file suit. MMI is the point at
which medical professionals determine that the injury victim has recovered
as much as possible from their accident. Many times, this doesn't
mean that the injury victim has fully recovered, but only that doctors
do not reasonably foresee any improvement beyond the victim's current
condition. This determination is important for injuries that involve lasting
or permanent effects like brain damage, paralysis, and other serious traumas.
Why is determining MMI important before filing an injury suit? Because
once doctors have determined MMI, then the rest of the victim's ongoing
medical care and hardships can be reasonably predicted and quantified.
Those costs can then be integrated into the injury suit and potential
compensation can fully cover the victim's needs going forward.
The Dangers of Filing Too Early
To examine why MMI is so important, let's look at a theoretical example:
Janice is a nurse who was hurt in a car accident caused by another driver.
She hurt her back and required surgery, so she decided to take legal action
to cover those costs. She won her suit and her medical costs were covered.
However, after the surgery, her recovery is long, and eventually, it is
determined that Janice could no longer spend most of her work days on
her feet-- she needs to transition to another position. This is the point
where Janice has reached MMI. Lost wages can usually be part an injury
suit, but because Janice already took action against the driver, lost
wages were not addressed and now Janice is faced with additional hardships
that could have been covered in her initial claim.
If you have harmed due to the negligent action of others, then the time
to speak with legal counsel is now. At the
Law Offices of Thomas J. Murphy, Jr., Attorney Murphy is a dedicated and aggressive advocate of injury victims
who has been helping wronged individuals and families recover rightful
compensation for more than 25 years. He knows what it takes to properly
pursue maximum compensation on behalf of his clients and ensure that their
voice is heard during this difficult time.
Take the first steps towards the relief you deserve and contact our proven
Philadelphia personal injury attorney at