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Returning to work, part 1: pressure to go beyond restrictions

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2014 | Workers' Compensation |

We’ve talked a lot in recent weeks about many of the nuts-and-bolts elements of the workers’ comp process.

The elements include such things as reporting your injury, getting medical treatment and managing your stress. They are all very important as you try to recover from a work injury.

In today’s post, however, let’s assume you are about ready to go back to work. What are some of the considerations that you should keep top-of-mind as you start working again after getting hurt on the job?

Of course, a lot will depend on whether your doctor has placed restrictions on the types of work you can do. You may have reached the point of maximum medical improvement, yet still be dealing with disabilities that affect the work assignments that you can take on.

Indeed, even if those disabilities have not been fully determined, you may face a scenario in which your employer asks you to return for “light duty” work.

Sometimes employers do not honor the restrictions your doctor has placed on what you should do. Instead, they may try to pressure you to do more than you really should, given your current medical condition.

This is a good example of the type of situation where it makes a lot of sense to have a lawyer on your side.

You don’t want to make the mistake of jeopardizing your lost-wage workers’ compensation benefits by refusing to come back to work when a doctor has given approval for you to do so. But you don’t want to be reinjured, either, by doing work that goes beyond the restrictions the doctor has placed on what you should do.

As we noted in our April 11 post, there are also sometimes issues of retaliation that surface when an injured employee returns to work. We will discuss that, and other aspects of returning to work, in part two of this post.

For more information about our practice in this area, please visit our page on returning to work.


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