Final Admissions! Things That Happen at MMI – We are wrapping up our series about what happens when you reach MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement). We’ve talked about what happens when you’ve been given restrictions, an impairment rating, and when you get a recommendation for maintenance care. Now let’s discuss what happens next.
What happens now?
Your doctor has discharged you and given you restrictions and a recommendation for maintenance care, now what? Well first, you should continue to do what your doctor asked you to do for maintenance care. The next step depends on if you can work or not. If you’re able to work, that’s good, keep working. If you’re doing modified work, you need to have that conversation with your employer and ask important questions like “Can I keep doing this modified work? Is there another job that I can do within my restrictions that’s open and available?” It’s important to take the work that you can to keep food on the table for your family.
If you’re at MMI and off work because of your injury, you need to wait to get what’s called a ‘Final Admission of Liability’. Then you’ll need to apply for unemployment. You can’t necessarily apply for unemployment while you’re getting wage loss under worker’s compensation, so it’s typically going to be best to wait until you get the Final Admission of Liability.
Why is the Final Admission of Liability so important?
The Final Admission of Liability is very important in terms of taking the next step when it comes to your work injury. But what exactly is the Final Admission of Liability, you might ask? It’s the insurance company essentially trying to say, “This is the extent of what we’re going to do. This is all we have to do, and if it isn’t in this paper, we will choose not to do it.” After MMI, the impairment rating, and the restrictions are all given, the insurance company is going to get your report from the doctor. Next, the insurance company has 30 days to decide whether or not they’re going to agree to what the doctor says, or disagree with it.
The insurance company may fight with what the doctor says because he or she may have given you a really high impairment rating or because they’ve included another part of your body that’s been injured and requires treatment.
In our experience, 80% of the time the insurance company will file the Final Admission of Liability without a fight. Don’t wait until you have a final admission to try to find an attorney. Get an attorney on your side before you get the Final Admission of Liability. Their whole job is to help you preserve your rights and make sure you get the most out of your benefits.
What happens after I get the Final Admissions of Liability?
Having an attorney is especially important because the Final Admission of Liability is going to come and you will have to review it. You’re only given 30 days to make serious changes, and it’s kind of a technical process. You must write an objection if you disagree with the doctor claiming you’re at MMI. If you disagree with the doctor’s impairment rating, you can do what’s called a ‘Division IME’. We’ll talk about that later. If you agree with what your doctor has told you, there are still a whole host of other issues and benefits that you might still need. You should get started as soon as possible, otherwise within 30 days, you are stuck with whatever is on that Final Admission of Liability.
Doctors in the worker’s compensation system
Now, if you’ve received a notice and proposal from the insurance company because they want to fight what the treating physician has said, get with us immediately.
You’re going to be confronted with a number of names of doctors that the insurance company will try to get you to agree with. Way too often, we’ve seen injured workers agree with terrible doctors.
Unfortunately, some injured workers tend to think that doctors in the system are neutral and unbiased. The truth is there are doctors in the workers’ compensation system, who do not have the best interest of injured workers in mind, and you should be wary to avoid them. Our attorneys are aware of which doctors are good and bad and we have the proper legal counsel to guide you through and help you avoid biased doctors.
Final Admissions! – We’re here to help
Here at Kaplan Morrell, we’ve been helping injured and disabled workers since 1995. All our consultations are free and we only charge a contingent fee on what we’re able to do to help improve your case. So, as always, please give us a call at (970)-356-9898 and we would be happy to help and orient you on your rights.
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