We’ve discussed potential steps you might take following a workplace injury over the past few weeks, and we’ve also talked about ways that both employees and employers can increase safety in the workplace. Another issue that often comes up for those who are injured on the job is the return to work.
For many people, on-the-job injuries don’t result in lifelong damage that keeps them out of the workforce, but returning to work too soon can be problematic for your health. Your employer might encourage you to return to work sooner rather than later for any number of reasons, and they might even be willing to work with you to ensure it is done in a safe manner.
If you are in the middle of a workers’ compensation situation and your medical provider clears you for light duty, that means your benefits might be at risk if your employer offers you light duty work and you refuse to take it, though you are not without options. Perhaps the work being offered isn’t as light duty as the employer believes, and it would still be difficult or risky for you to perform it as you recover. If the work is offered at less pay than you previously made or if you have any other reservations about returning to work at that time, then speaking with a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand what options you have and how you can best protect your benefits.
One of the reasons workers’ compensation exists is to ensure injured employees have the time — and financial ability — to recover. The system is managed by insurance providers, though, which means the bottom line does matter. If you believe your case has been caught up in bottom-line thinking, it never hurts to have a third-party professional on your side.