After a truck accident, it’s natural for the injured victims to feel anxious about settling their claim because of the mounting medical bills and their inability to earn wages while they are recovering. Based on this, you should not jump the gun in accepting an early settlement until you have reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI).
This important milestone allows truck accident attorneys in West Virginia to understand the full extent of injuries and arrive at a fair compensation amount. You should speak with your truck accident attorney if you have any questions regarding MMI and how to obtain maximum compensation.
Make sure you reach out to a highly-rated commercial truck accident attorney soon because critical evidence from the crash site as well as data from a truck’s event data recorder can disappear or get distorted. The data recorder is similar to a black box and contains vital information, such as speeding and braking that can be used by a skilled attorney to strengthen your case.
Significance of MMI in Truck Accident Settlement in West Virginia
Maximum medical improvement is a point in the medical treatment where you have recovered as much as possible from the injuries caused by the truck accident. This happens when the treating physician is able to give a final prognosis. Taking this into account, you need to understand that maximum medical improvement doesn’t mean you have made a full recovery.
Victims with serious injuries or permanent disabilities may take years or even decades to recover fully – if they ever do at all. Doctors can declare a patient to have achieved MMI only after they have completed their course of pain medications, physical therapy, psychiatric or emotional counseling (such as treatment for PTSD), and complete rehabilitation.
While you may want to settle a truck accident claim quickly if you don’t have any means of paying your bills, it’s critical that you consult with your attorney to understand your options. You risk losing out on the compensation you really deserve when you accept a quick offer.
Here are two major reasons why waiting for an MMI determination is important:
- The truck accident attorney is unable to accurately calculate the claim’s value until the treatment is complete, the doctor arrives at a long-term diagnosis, or you reach the MMI. Your attorney may not know the full cost of future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering components unless they have this information. It’s crucial to add both present and future damages to the settlement offer to make sure you receive exactly what you deserve.
- Once you settle a truck accident claim, it’s the only money you will get. You cannot ask for more from the insurance company even if you discover other new injuries or your existing ones have more severe repercussions than you thought. This makes it vital to wait until you have reached your MMI. You can prevent future losses by acquiring the compensation you truly deserve for your injuries and pain and suffering.
While you should wait to reach your MMI before settling a truck accident claim, you should not wait to consult an attorney. Truck accident claims have a way of getting complicated with insurance companies finding new ways to deny them. Your attorney will take the necessary steps to gather evidence, including the truck’s data recorder to prepare a strong claim.
Waiting for Maximum Medical Improvement Allows for Accurate Claim Valuation
It’s not possible for an attorney to have complete information to accurately calculate and determine the full value of a claim before reaching the stage of MMI. You will probably be undergoing medical care and continue to have new damages and costs arising from:
- Surgeries required
- Doctor appointments
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
Additionally, there may also be recurring and ongoing costs that you may need for determining the value of future damages. It may not be possible to arrive at this calculation till your doctor provides a formal long-term prognosis or you arrive at maximum medical improvement.
Time Taken to Reach MMI Following a Truck Accident
Your doctor and other medical professionals involved in the care will determine maximum medical improvement on the basis of diagnostic test results and other medical examinations. There is no set standard for the time taken to reach MMI. The length of time taken usually depends on:
- The severity and type of injuries sustained.
- Manner in which the injured victim’s body responds to the medical treatments.
- Whether the patient follows the physician’s plan of care.
- Whether the patient develops any secondary conditions delaying their recovery or rehab.
The last thing you want to do following a truck accident is to leave your future to chance. Setting too quickly almost always means the victim is not getting fair compensation for their lost wages, medical costs, and other losses. Having a seasoned attorney fight for your rights is the best way of ensuring that you receive the maximum possible compensation.
Choose a Dedicated Truck Accident Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
The experienced truck accident attorneys at Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., will prepare a strong case to obtain the financial security you deserve during this challenging time. If you or someone you care about has been injured in a truck accident, our attorneys will employ all possible resources, decades of combined experience, and a deep understanding of personal injury laws to get you the financial compensation you deserve.
To request your free, no-obligation consultation, call us at 800-497-0234 or complete this online form.