What Is Maximum Medical Improvement?
Interviewer: How long can it take to evaluate a client’s recovery after a slip and fall?
Stephen Boutros: Sometimes people will initially believe they have minor injuries and they turn out to have major injuries. We wait for someone to reach what we call maximum medical improvement. That means they’ve either fully recovered from their injuries or they’ve got as good as they are going to get.
That’s the time that I accurately predict what the future losses are going to be with regards to medical bills and the wages. That’s when I can get good opinions from the doctors what the future is going to hold. Once we have all that information, that’s when we resolve the case.
What Emotions Are Involved in a Slip and Fall Incident? Many People Are Embarrassed and Attribute the Incident to Their Own Clumsiness
Interviewer: What have you observed about the mindset of an individual that’s been put in a situation where they were embarrassed that they fell?
Stephen Boutros: It’s embarrassing when you fall. It’s awkward, it looks awkward. It’s clumsy. It’s embarrassing. A lot of people want to just get out of there as fast as possible.
Interviewer: When you are working with someone on a case like this, what kind of emotional aspects have you observed over the years?
Being Injured Is a Stressful Situation, Especially If You Require a Prolonged Period of Recuperation
Stephen Boutros: You get over the embarrassment quickly, especially when you just have to deal with the injuries. When people are dealing with long-term injuries, especially serious injuries, surgeries, missing work, it becomes very stressful, and that starts to permeate into all areas of your life.
When you are injured, you have medical bills mounting, you are missing work, you are in pain, you are not sleeping well and you get grumpy and depressed. People around you, even family that love you, start to become less tolerant.
If you are hurt, you are not exercising. You are home, you are eating more, you are putting on weight, and you don’t feel well because you are not working out. You are not getting enough exercise. It becomes a vicious cycle where it’s like snowballs rolling down the mountain that become bigger and bigger. That’s the type of common emotional effect that I observe with people that are injured.
Interviewer: How do you help address some of these emotions?
Stephen Boutros: I think you can talk about it, but until someone starts getting help in, starts getting their life back together and starts getting their losses compensated, then it’s hard to overcome.