If you’ve been injured on the job and have filed a worker’s compensation claim, returning to work doesn’t necessarily undermine your claim. However, the way in which you return to work, coupled with the choices you make while on the job, can significantly affect your claim.
If you’re not sure of the right thing to do, a skilled attorney can help you determine whether and when to return to work. If you’re already planning to head back, keeping a few key tips in mind can help you avoid a mistake that derails your worker’s compensation claim.
Benefits of Returning to Work
Sometimes getting back to work can be difficult to wrap your mind around, especially if you are still suffering from side-affects from your injury. But, returning to work does have benefits. You can’t typically get a raise or promotion when you’re out of work, and working could potentially increase your worker’s compensation benefits over time.
The perks run much deeper than legal benefits, though. Staying active may help you heal more quickly, and the social support you get from your co-workers can help you avoid depression – a common post-injury ailment.
Ask Your Doctor about Job Restrictions
Before you return to work, talk to your doctor about what you can and can’t do, particularly if you work in a job that involves physical activity. Get your doctor to write a note, and submit it to your boss or the human resources department at your workplace. Then, make sure you carefully follow the restrictions outlined by your doctor.
Continue Getting Medical Care
The fact that you’ve returned to work doesn’t always mean you’re completely well, so continue going to your doctor’s appointments as advised. Not only does this ensure your continued health and well-being; it can also maximize your worker’s compensation benefits. If you stop going to the doctor, there’s a strong case to be made that you’re no longer injured or that your injuries weren’t that severe.
Don’t Push Yourself
In a competitive, fast-paced working environment, we’re all periodically tempted to do more than is healthy or safe. After you’ve suffered an injury, the consequences of doing so can be dire. Another injury could leave you permanently disabled.
Even if you’re not worried about your health, doing things your doctor has advised you not to do could undermine your worker’s compensation claim. The insurance company or your employer could argue that you’re not injured, and your employer may even be monitoring you for signs that your injury is not that bad. Play it safe and protect your health and your worker’s compensation claim by obeying your doctor’s orders.
If you have been injured at work and you have questions about returning, seeking the advice of an experienced lawyer is a step in the right direction. Contact one of the experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at McDivitt Law Firm for a FREE consultation.