One fear that many of our clients have is that their employer will force them to go back to work before they’re ready. Depending on how serious your injuries were, you may have needed extensive medical care. It can take weeks or even months for you to recover from your injuries. Our Wilmington workers comp lawyers have handled cases where our clients went back to work in a month or two. We’ve also handled cases where our client has been out of work for close to a year. It all depends on the nature and extent of your injuries.
Here, we will discuss what happens when your worker’s compensation doctor orders you to return to work sooner than you expect. If you truly don’t believe you’re ready to go back to work full-time, you need to let your workers’ compensation attorney in Wilmington know. They’ll do their best to make sure you don’t go back to work and reinjure yourself. At the same time, they don’t want to jeopardize your job either. They’ll talk to the insurance carrier and your employer and see what can be worked out.
If you still have questions about your own workers comp case, contact our office and schedule your free, initial consultation with one of our experienced Wilmington workers’ comp lawyers.
At Some Point, Your Doctor Will Determine That You’ve Reached Maximum Medical Improvement
After your work-related accident, you’ll be assigned a state-approved, workers compensation doctor. This is the doctor who will be responsible for your medical treatment after your accident. They are also the person who will determine when you’re ready to return to work. Your workers comp doctor will have to determine when you have met something called, “maximum medical improvement.” This is when you have reached the point at which further treatment won’t help you. You have already undergone physical therapy and any surgeries you may have needed. Your doctor has run whatever tests they need to run. It essentially means that you are ready to go back to work.
If you don’t feel that you’re truly ready to go back to work, you need to let your Wilmington workers comp lawyer. They can send you out for a second opinion with a different doctor. If this doctor determines that you need further medical care, your workers’ compensation attorney in Wilmington will reach out to the insurance company and let them know what the second doctor said. If they continue to challenge the fact that you need further care, your lawyer may need to file legal action. If you don’t return to work when ordered to, you can be fired. If that happens, you’ll have to worry about a possible wrongful termination suit. By the time these issues are resolved, you could be out of work for quite some time without any income.
Your Wilmington Workers Comp Lawyer Can Always Get a Second Opinion
If your workers’ compensation attorney in Wilmington doesn’t believe you’re fit to go back to work, they can arrange for you to see another doctor. By getting a second opinion, your lawyer is trying to establish that you need further medical care, despite what your workers comp doctor says. While your workers’ compensation doctor is supposed to be unbiased, it is their job to determine when you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. If they are going to be biased in anyone’s favor, it’s going to be your employer’s.
You May Have to Return to Work in a Light-Duty Position
Like it or not, at some point, you need to go back to work. Unless you suffered a permanent, total disability, there’s no justification for you to stay out of work indefinitely. If you aren’t ready to go back to your previous position, your employer may have a light-duty position for you. Or they may be able to let you work part-time hours. It all depends on the type of work you do and the type of injuries you suffered.
Your Workers Compensation Attorney in Wilmington Can Argue That You Suffered a Permanent Disability
In some cases, our workers’ compensation attorneys in Wilmington are able to prove that a client has suffered a permanent disability. If this disability is significant, you may not be able to return to work at all. In cases like this, your Wilmington workers comp lawyer must show that you will have to go on disability since you can no longer work. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to prove this. What will probably happen is that your attorney will negotiate a lump sum settlement with the insurance company on your behalf.
It’s a Good Idea to Contact a Seasoned Wilmington Workers Comp Lawyer
If you’re out on workers’ comp and your employer is pressuring you to come back to work, you have rights. If you aren’t fully healed, you shouldn’t be returning to work. The last thing you need is to exacerbate your injuries. If that happens, you could end up permanently and totally disabled. That doesn’t help you or your employer. Sometimes, a company becomes so focused on the bottom line that they forget they are dealing with human beings. Once your Wilmington workers comp lawyer talks to your company’s Human Resources manager, your employer may change their attitude. They don’t want to get a reputation for not caring about their employees. Nor do they want to get sued for forcing you to come back to work before you’re ready.
Of course, by “ready”, we mean physically capable of performing your job. You can’t continue to say you aren’t ready simply because you don’t want to return to work. Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Wilmington can only buy you a certain amount of time. At some point, you need to return to work and get back to a normal routine. It’s not healthy to stay out of work any longer than medically necessary.
We suggest that you contact an experienced workers compensation attorney in Wilmington as soon as possible after your workplace accident. This way, you know that your claim will be handled properly from the start. You’ll also have someone by your side to fight for you along the way. We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. All you have to do is call and set up a date and time that works for you.