What Is Maximum Medical Improvement and Why Does It Matter for Your Accident

A dedicated Greenville car wreck attorney will strive to obtain the maximum settlement amount you are entitled to collect from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. There is no room for errors and guesswork here. You have just one chance to recover damages after your car accident. In this context, the concept of maximum medical improvement plays a key role.

Many clients worry that their Greenville car wreck attorney takes too long to prepare the claim. They want to see a big, round number put on paper and hear that the lawyer has started negotiations. However, being in a hurry is not in your best interests, especially if you suffered life-changing injuries.

What Exactly Is Maximum Medical Improvement?

Every injury or condition has a timeline. It starts with the acute phase (just after you suffered the injury) and continues with the treatment phase and the recovery phase. The final phase is when you reach maximum medical improvement.

This is the moment when your doctor agrees that no further treatments are necessary because they are not likely to bring any improvements to your condition. It is at this point that your Greenville car wreck attorney can start calculating your economic and non-economic damages.

Maximum Medical Improvement Does Not Always Mean You Are Fully Recovered

You may wonder: why is the maximum medical improvement the exact moment when the value of your damages is clear for your lawyer? Here is the answer.

If you make a full recovery, the Greenville car wreck attorney will collect all your medical care bills and receipts and add them up. The lawyer will also calculate your total lost wages, as well as a fair value for your non-economic damages (for pain and suffering).

But for some car accident victims, maximum medical improvement does not mean complete healing. Instead, they are left with a disability or impairment for the rest of their life. Such instances are:

  • Loss of limb
  • Facial disfigurement
  • Paralysis
  • Chronic pain
  • Seizures caused by traumatic brain injury
  • A permanent vegetative state.

For these clients, a lawyer must also calculate the future economic damages the accident victim and their family are likely to accumulate.

Future Economic and Non-Economic Damages Available for Car Accident Victims

The law says that the at-fault party is liable to pay all your economic and non-economic damages. If the point of maximum medical improvement does not equal complete recovery, you may be entitled to the following future damages.

1. Loss of Future Wages

After they reach maximum medical improvement, some people are not able to return to their job. Instead, they must seek a job that matches their current reduced physical or mental capacities.

This is often a lower-paying job. Because of the accident, the injured person can no longer make the same wages. The difference will be calculated by the Greenville car wreck attorney as loss of future wages.

Not all people make a full recovery after a car accident.

2. Loss of Earning Capacity

In the worst case scenario, a person is left with such devastating injuries that, even after they reach maximum medical condition, they are unable to work in any capacity. This is absolutely devastating for the financial future of the entire family, especially if the injured person was the main breadwinner.

An experienced Greenville car wreck attorney will analyze their client’s past earnings to calculate the lost earning potential and add it to the car accident insurance claim.

3. Costs of Assistive Devices

Car accident victims are often left with reduced mobility even after they reach maximum medical improvement. They may need walking frames or a wheelchair. Some modern devices that make life easier for disabled persons are extremely expensive.

This and any foreseeable expenses for device upgrades will be added to your insurance claim. In this way, your Greenville car wreck attorney makes sure that you do not have to pay for these necessary devices out of pocket.

4. Modifications to the Home

Using a wheelchair requires adding ramps to your home and making other modifications to the home and furniture. These changes can cost thousands of dollars. But, together with medical care costs and lost wages, they are eligible to be recovered from the at-fault driver and their insurance company.

4. Nursing Care Costs

A Greenville car wreck attorney knows that, for some people, maximum medical improvement is actually no improvement at all. Some injured people are no longer able to live independently and need constant assistance with daily living.

In this case, the lawyer will work together with the life care specialist assigned to the patient’s case to evaluate the ongoing costs of nursing care. These costs will also be added to the insurance claim and the lawyer will fight for every dollar on their client’s behalf.

What If You Discover a New Injury or Condition after the Claim Settles?

Filing an insurance claim is the only opportunity to recover economic and non-economic damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Once it is settled, there is no further legal recourse you can use.

This is why it is important to be patient and wait until you reach maximum medical improvement before the lawyer files your claim. Some people believe that they will make a full recovery – everyone hopes that – but the sad reality is that they may be left with a disability, impairment, or with chronic pain.

And these may not be apparent in the first days and weeks after the accident. But an experienced lawyer knows that they must wait until the doctors say that you have reached maximum medical improvement.

Let a Greenville Car Wreck Attorney Calculate Your Damages

For any Greenville car wreck attorney at our law firm, only one thing is important: winning the maximum compensation you are entitled to collect from the other driver’s auto insurance. But we have to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement.

At this point, your lawyer will be able to calculate all your eligible damages accurately. In this way, we make sure that, whatever your future medical care needs may be, they will be included in your claim.

Thus, we encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible after your car accident. Once we evaluate your case and accept it, we will fight for every dollar you deserve to receive in compensation. Call us at (864) 310-7897 to schedule a free case review!