Once you have reached a stable point in your recovery, or “maximum medical improvement,” your claim will be closed. At that time your doctor will have to determine if you need any future medical care. This is referred to as supportive care. Arizona law requires that the insurance carrier continue to pay for certain treatment to help maintain your health. That may be in the way of follow up visits with your medical provider, medication, injections or durable medical equipment.
In addition to medical care, you may be entitled to receive some monetary compensation if you have sustained a permanent disability under the American Medical Association’s 6th Edition Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. In Arizona, this is what will determine if the insurance carrier must pay you any additional amount of money due to the fact you now have to live with this permanent disability. Whether you are entitled to receive any compensation, how much compensation you receive, and most importantly for how long you might get a certain amount is dependent upon a large number of factors.
This would include, but is not limited to some of following: 1) the area of your body which sustained the permanent impairment; 2) whether more than one body part sustained a permanent impairment; 3) whether you have a prior impairment or disability; 4) the percentage of impairment; 5) whether you have permanent work restrictions; 6) whether you can return to your date of injury employment; and/or 7) whether the impairment is causing you to earn less money than your established average monthly wage.
If it was not your own doctor who deemed that you had reached “maximum medical improvement”, but rather an independent medical examiner for the insurance carrier we make sure that your doctor has an opportunity to review all reports and recommendations. Since there are so many variables involved, it is always advisable to consult with an attorney who practices in this area to make sure that you are receiving what you are entitled to under the law.