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What is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)?

Counsel from Seasoned Offshore Injury Lawyers

According to the principle of maintenance and cure, injuries sustained by a seaman while on the job may grant them eligibility for cure benefits. Unfortunately, these cure benefits do not last forever. Maximum medical improvement (MMI) serves as the cutoff date and essentially indicates that a plateau in treatment and healing has occurred.

When a seaman's condition will no longer improve with medical intervention, this is when MMI kicks in. This prevents the victim from subsisting on cure benefits for extended periods of time. Generally, a seaman that is fully recovered and able to go back to work is considered to have reached MMI. If a seaman has been very seriously injured or disabled, MMI remains relevant. The point at which treatment serves only to make the seaman more comfortable, without actually changing or improving their physical condition is when cure benefits are cut off.

What happens when benefits are wrongly terminated?

Maritime employers are required by law to pay cure benefits until the appointed time.

Maintenance and cure means that the injured seaman receives compensation for:

  • Room and board
  • Medical bills
  • Therapy costs
  • Other necessary medical expenses

Regrettably, many employers are all too eager to stop paying maintenance and cure, in some cases before it becomes unnecessary. If you believe that you have not yet reached maximum medical improvement and were cut off from your benefits, an offshore injury attorney may be able to review your case and defend your rights.

In some cases, a patient is told they will not improve and their health actually ends up becoming worse. Cure benefits may have been terminated and the victim is left without a way to cover their medical expenses. When this happens, the individual may be eligible for additional compensation if the proper action is taken.

If you're suffering from either partial or total disability, or believe that your benefits were cut off unnecessarily, our firm can help. Contacting a lawyer is the first step toward protecting your future.

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