0

What Is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)?

A Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You Understand Your Benefits

Workplace injuries occur frequently across the United States for numerous reasons. For example, a worker may have used a defective machine or fallen due to a poor work environment.

Based on statistics from the National Safety Council (NSC), “Every seven seconds a worker is injured on the job. This equals to 12,300 injuries a day, 86,500 a week, and 4,500,000 a year.”

If you were injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Jim Glaser Law to learn more about your legal options. A Boston workers’ compensation lawyer can help you with your claim. Additionally, if you were notified by a medical professional that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), we can help you understand your benefits.

Maximum Medical Improvement

When an injured worker reaches the point where their condition cannot improve any further, they are said to have reached maximum medical improvement. When a person reaches MMI, it does not imply that they are fully healed or recovered. It simply means that further treatment will likely not improve their condition.  

Who Determines When I Have Reached MMI?

Doctors are the only people who can confirm whether or not an injured worker has reached MMI.

If you sustained a work-related injury, you must keep in mind that the workers’ compensation insurance company may request an independent medical examination. During this exam, your medical history will be reviewed in order to determine if you have reached MMI as a result of your injuries.

The Importance of Your MMI Date

Establishing your MMI date is an important factor when applying for permanent disability benefits. Your MMI date will confirm that no further treatment will help improve your condition. This means you may be eligible for disability benefits.

If you attempt to rush your MMI, you may damage your claim and your chances of receiving the full amount of benefits you may be owed.

Independent Medical Examination (IME): What to Expect When Seeking a Second Opinion

Young Man Receiving Medical Exam Stock Photo

An independent medical examination may seem scary and intimidating since it will determine if you have reached MMI. Below our team has compiled some helpful information to prepare you for your IME appointment.

Who Can Request an IME?

If you sustained an injury or illness while on the job, there are different people who may request that you have an IME. This medical evaluation will determine if further treatment is required or if you have reached MMI. Additionally, the evaluation will confirm if there is any permanent damage that will lead to work restrictions.

How to Prepare for the Evaluation

There are multiple steps that you can take to prepare for the evaluation including:

  • Try not to take any pain medication, if your doctor permits.
  • Do not give your opinions or volunteer information.
  • Do not be afraid to answer any questions about your injuries.

During the examination, the physician may ask about your medical and family history, as well as any current symptoms you are experiencing. Additionally, the physician may want to take an X-ray and/or lab tests.

The examination may entail various tests that allow the physician to see your range of motion and any hindrances you face as a result of your injuries. For example, if you suffered a back injury, the physician may have you do a test to see how you bend.

It’s imperative that you don’t fake or overemphasize the pain you feel during your medical examination. Overall, you can expect that the examination will involve numerous questions and tests to determine if you have reached the MMI stage for your injuries.   

If I Reach MMI, Can I Obtain Permanent Disability Benefits?

After you have filed a workers’ compensation claim and reached MMI, you may qualify for permanent disability benefits. This process can be complex, so it’s in your best interest to speak with a Boston workers’ compensation lawyer about your options and the legal process.

Each state has different laws regarding workers’ compensation benefits. It’s important to know the laws for your area. If you are applying for benefits in the state of Massachusetts, keep in mind the following information:

  • You must be totally and permanently unable to do any kind of work as a result of your work-related injury or illness in order to qualify.
  • You do not have to exhaust your temporary benefits before applying for permanent benefits.

If you qualify for permanent disability, here are the benefits you will receive:

  • You will receive 66 percent of your gross average weekly wage.
  • The minimum you can collect is 20 percent of the state average weekly wage (SAWW) at the time of your injury.
  • The maximum you can collect is the SAWW at the time of your injury.
  • You also get an annual Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA).

For more information about workers’ compensation benefits, click here.

Call Jim Glaser Law

Lawyer Meeting With A Client Stock Photo

At Jim Glaser Law, we understand the impact a workplace accident can have on an individual and their family.

It’s vital that your legal rights are protected. Every case is unique, and results will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. If you have grounds to file a lawsuit to seek further compensation, a Boston workers’ compensation lawyer can help. There are certain laws that govern workers and protect their legal rights, however, these laws can be challenging to understand without the help of an experienced attorney.

Call our law firm today at (480) 898-4816 or fill out our free consultation form.

0

Can You Work A Second Job While Collecting Workers’ Compensation?

Understanding Your Benefits After a Workplace Accident Can Be Difficult. Our Boston Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help.   

“Nearly 4 out of 10 Americans (37 percent) have a side job,” according to a study conducted by Bankrate. Maintaining a side job is not uncommon in our society today. While a second job can be beneficial for those who need to make extra revenue, many individuals who are receiving workers’ comp wonder if it will impact their benefits. 

If you or a loved one suffered an injury while on the job, you have a legal right to workers’ compensation. While these benefits are available for injured workers, it can be challenging to file a claim. A Boston workers’ compensation attorney can review your case and help you understand your benefits.

At Jim Glaser Law, we know that an injury can impact your life and damage your capability to pay for your living expenses. For this reason, we have provided information about what options are available under workers’ compensation and how having a second job can affect your benefits. 

What Coverage Is Available Under Workers’ Comp?

Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that distributes benefits to injured workers in order to help cover their medical expenses. Your benefit amount is based on your average weekly wage (AWW). 

If you had more than one job at the time of the accident, calculating your benefits will differ compared to an injured worker who has one employer. 

Every state has its own laws regarding workers’ comp benefits, which is why it’s imperative to understand what’s offered in the state you reside. In Massachusetts, there are several different types of benefits provided to injured workers. The severity of your injury will determine which benefits you’re able to receive. 

Below, we have outlined some of the benefits available for injured workers:

Temporary Total Incapacity Benefits

Who Qualifies? 

  • You qualify for this benefit if your injury or illness leaves you unable to work for six or more full or partial calendar days.
  • The days are not required to be consecutive.

The Benefits 

  • You can receive 60 percent of your gross average weekly wage for the 52 weeks prior to your injury date.
  • The state’s average weekly wage (SAWW) at the time of your injury is the maximum amount you can receive. 

Temporary Partial Incapacity Benefits

Who Qualifies?

  • If you’re able to work but earn less because of your injury or illness, you may qualify for these benefits. 
  • This may include any injury that forces you to take a lower-paying job or work fewer hours. 

The Benefits 

  • The maximum weekly benefit is 75 percent of your weekly total temporary benefits. (Temporary total benefits are 60 percent of your gross average weekly wage).

To learn more about the types of benefits available after a work-related injury, click here

Can You Work a Second Job While Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits? 

Employee Compensation Package Stock Photo

After a workplace accident, your monthly income may decrease. In order to ensure your living expenses are covered, you may be tempted to take a second job. However, taking on a second job while receiving workers’ compensation benefits is not permitted. 

Workers’ comp benefits are intended to provide supplemental income to injured workers who are unable to fully perform their job duties after their accident. If you decide to take another job while obtaining benefits, it will likely be determined that you are capable of working your current job, or some other type of employment. 

In some cases, injured workers may be permitted to complete light work, but you must report the income you receive. Failing to report your income can result in civil and/or criminal prosecution. 

What If You Have a Second Job?

There are some cases where an injured worker held a second job before their workplace accident. This is known as concurrent employment.

If you had a second job before your accident and it is not as physically demanding as your primary job, your doctor may grant you permission to continue working that job. However, your workers’ compensation benefits may be adjusted since you’re able to perform some type of work. 

When injuries completely prevent you from working both jobs, the workers’ compensation system will calculate both of your incomes and determine your temporary disability benefit amount. Keep in mind that concurrent wages can impact the amount of benefits you may receive. 

Understanding your benefits can be challenging, especially if you have more than one stream of income. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to consult an experienced Boston workers’ compensation attorney. 

Failing to Report Income 

Some injured workers make additional income without reporting it to avoid having their benefit amount adjusted. If you take on another job while receiving benefits and fail to report that income, it’s considered insurance fraud. 

Insurance companies are fully aware that some injured workers do not report additional streams of income. For this reason, they will investigate any case where they suspect a worker is committing fraud.

If you’re caught committing fraud, you could potentially lose your benefits and face legal charges. 

Young Woman Making Phone Call On Mobile Device Stock Photo

Contact Our Law Firm Today 

An experienced attorney who is familiar with workers’ compensation laws can help you navigate the complex system. At Jim Glaser Law, we believe injured workers should receive the benefits they deserve as a result of a workplace accident. 

Filing a workers’ compensation claim and ensuring you receive the benefits you’re rightfully owed is not always a straightforward process. If you or a loved one needs assistance after a workplace injury, call our Boston law firm today at 888-997-6521, or fill out our form to request a free case evaluation.

0

Massachusetts And Rhode Island Among Safest States For Auto Drivers Nationwide

Injured in an Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault? Contact a Boston Car Accident Lawyer

According to Safe Wise, Massachusetts and Rhode Island ranked as the top two safest states for drivers. It’s important to operate your motor vehicle with caution not only for your own safety but for the safety of others on the roadways.

At Jim Glaser Law, we have seen the devastating impact automobile collisions can have on an individual firsthand. For this reason, our Boston car accident lawyers have provided safety tips and information on what to do following an accident. It is our goal to keep Massachusetts and Rhode Island roads the safest in the country.

Contributing Factors to Safe Roads

Safe driving is intentional and does not happen by accident. The main way to help reduce collisions on the roads is by implementing safe driving practices. Some of the contributing factors to safe driving include:

Obeying traffic laws

Traffic laws are intended to keep all drivers safe on the roadways. When laws are not followed, drivers are more prone to an accident.

Avoiding distracted driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,166 lives in 2017 alone.” It’s vital to pay attention when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Distracted driving can include texting, talking on the phone, and eating.  

Not driving drowsy

It’s important for drivers to be fully alert when behind the wheel. Driving drowsy is not safe because it takes your attention away from your surroundings.  

Driving defensively

It’s best to never assume another driver will make a safe decision on the road. Driving defensively is vital to making safe driving decisions.  

Although Massachusetts and Rhode Island are among the safest states for auto drivers nationwide, collisions can still happen. For this reason, it’s important to know what steps to take if you’re involved in an accident.  

Car Accident Checklist: Steps to Take After a Wreck

If you or someone you know is involved in an accident, the steps taken after the wreck can either damage or support your claim. Our Boston car accident lawyers have put together a checklist that may help protect your legal rights after an accident:

  • Remain at the scene of the accident.
  • Check to see if anyone is injured.
  • Call emergency responders.
  • Exchange contact information with the party or parties involved.
  • Inform your insurance company of the accident even if the other driver is at fault.
  • Collect evidence, including photos of the accident scene and any injuries.
  • Seek medical treatment.
  • Contact an experienced attorney to assist you with your claim.

These tips may preserve any compensation you’re entitled to as a result of a negligent motorist.

Types of Car Accidents

Many factors can contribute to a wreck, such as poor road conditions, weather, and the manner in which drivers operate their vehicles. Some of the most frequent types of car accidents include the following:

Head-on collisions

This type of accident can cause serious injuries, especially when the vehicles are traveling at high speeds.

Rear-end wrecks

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), in 2015, 32.4 percent of total injury crashes were caused by rear-end accidents. In many cases, this type of wreck is caused by drivers who weren’t paying attention to the road ahead.

Single-vehicle accidents

Single-vehicle wrecks can happen for various reasons, such as hydroplaning, hitting an animal, or driving over a pothole.

T-bone crashes

A T-bone wreck, also known as a side impact collision, happens when the front of a vehicle hits the side of another car. This can cause serious property damage and injuries.

While there are numerous other types of accidents, the ones mentioned above happen frequently on the roadways.

Four Common Types of Injuries in Auto Accidents

The type of vehicle accident you’re involved in will determine the severity of your injuries. Listed below are some of the most common types of injuries car accident victims experience:

Traumatic brain injuries  

More than half of traumatic brain injuries are caused by auto accidents. The force a vehicle undergoes during a collision can cause serious damage to a person. This type of injury must be evaluated by a medical professional immediately.

Burn injuries

In some cases, automobile accidents result in severe burns. Burns fall under three categories: first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree. Web MD states that first-degree burns are mostly mild, however, they do cause pain and reddening to the outer layer of the skin. Second-degree burns affect the lower layer of skin and can cause blistering, swelling, and redness. The last type is known as a third-degree burn. This type of burn can result in serious deep tissue damage and white or blackened skin.

Spinal cord damage

Sudden movements to the body can greatly impact the spine. This kind of damage can affect a person’s overall ability to move and function. Spinal cord injuries can include quadriplegia, paraplegia, and whiplash.

Broken bones

Broken or fractured bones happen often in wrecks due to the impact and sudden force. This can include broken ribs, arms, and legs.  

There are numerous other injuries that can occur from an automobile accident. If you were injured in a collision, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately and follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment. You may be compensated for any medical expenses that result from an accident that wasn’t your fault.

What Can Compensation Cover?

Man Reaching For Prescription Medication Stock Photo

If you or someone you love sustained injuries directly caused by a negligent driver, compensation may be available for injuries and other costs related to the collision. The amount of compensation you may be awarded will depend on various components, such as the severity of your injuries and the length of time it takes for you to recover. You may be compensated for the following:

  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses
  • Prescription costs
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

In order to determine if you’re eligible to obtain compensation for damages, an attorney will need to evaluate the details of your case. If you qualify for compensation, a lawyer can help calculate a reasonable settlement amount. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side will give you the best chance of receiving the full amount of compensation you are owed.

Car Insurance Requirements in Massachusetts and Rhode Island

Every state has set insurance requirements that motorists must follow. According to the DMV, drivers in the state of Massachusetts are required to have four types of auto insurance coverage with the following minimums:

Bodily injury to others:

  • $20,000 per person
  • $40,000 per accident

Personal injury protection:

  • $8,000 per person per accident

Bodily injury caused by an uninsured motorist:

  • $20,000 per person
  • $40,000 per accident

In the state of Rhode Island, drivers must have liability insurance. Additionally, insurance companies must offer drivers uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage but drivers have the option to decline the coverage, according to the DMV. In the state of Rhode Island, drivers can purchase the following minimum coverage limits:

Bodily injury coverage:

  • $25,000 per person
  • $50,000 total per accident

Property damage coverage:

  • $25,000 per accident

Drivers do have the option to purchase coverage with higher limits.

Contact Jim Glaser Law About Your Legal Options

Despite Massachusetts and Rhode Island being named the safest states for drivers, accidents still happen every day. If you find yourself injured after a wreck that was another driver’s fault, you need our help. Automobile accident cases are challenging to handle without strong legal guidance. For this reason, it’s imperative to speak with an attorney immediately following your accident.

We are fully aware that insurance companies tend to take advantage of injured victims. An attorney can fight on your behalf to ensure you don’t settle for less than what you deserve.

If you or a loved one sustained injuries as a result of a negligent motorist, Jim Glaser Law will put you in touch with a Boston car accident lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and ensure justice is served.

Call our law firm today at (480) 898-4816, or fill out our free case evaluation form. If you wait to call, you may miss your chance of obtaining the compensation you deserve.