If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should know how reaching maximum medical improvement might affect your personal injury claim.
When a person’s injury cannot heal any further, generally speaking, they have reached maximum medical improvement. Normally, one reaches maximum medical improvement when the injury has been treated to the fullest extent reasonably possible, or where all medical treatment options have been exhausted such that recovery or further improvement is not likely.
Unfortunately, reaching maximum medical improvement does not necessarily mean that a person’s body has been fully restored to its pre-accident condition. Rather, it indicates a state where treatment will no longer be effective in healing or improving the injury.
Whether or not a person injured in a car accident has reached maximum medical improvement is a medical determination. Therefore, a doctor or healthcare provider decides, based on medical examinations and other diagnostic tools, whether you have reached maximum medical improvement.
In the weeks, or even days, after a car accident, the insurance company for the at-fault motorist might attempt to contact you with a “nuisance offer.” These offers typically consist of a check for a few hundred dollars in exchange for your signature. That signature could have the effect of releasing the at-fault driver from liability and preventing you from making a claim for past and future pain and suffering. By accepting a “nuisance offer,” you may be prevented from filing a future claim. The insurance company might encourage you to take the check but these small settlement offers should be viewed with a degree of skepticism.
Through these small offers, insurance companies try to prevent injured motorists from being able to file a future claim. The insurance company may offer a small sum, claiming that your injury is not “serious”, but it can take time to know just how serious an injury really is. If someone accepts a “nuisance offer” based on the misrepresentations of an insurance company, an experienced attorney can potentially use contract principles to invalidate the release, which could allow the claim to be reopened.
Instead, you should come to fully understand the true nature and extent of your injury before making any settlement decisions. This is where maximum medical improvement comes into play. Once you have reached maximum medical improvement, you will likely have a more thorough understanding of your injury. When you get a more complete understanding of how your injury has affected you – and how it might affect you in the future – you will be better positioned to know what would qualify as a fair settlement offer.
An experienced car accident attorney can help ensure that you receive maximum compensation.
If you were injured in a car accident, please do not hesitate to contact the experienced accident attorneys at William Mattar P.C. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you get maximum compensation for past – and future – pain and suffering. We are available to take your call 24/7 at (844) 444-4444.