Worker's compensation is a form of insurance employers with a certain number of employees have to carry to protect themselves from financial hardship if a person gets hurt on the job. Once you have filed your claim and received benefits, it becomes a bit of a waiting game before you can return to work. Even though worker's comp attorneys are usually sought because the insurance company denies payments, attorneys may also be called in for help due to problems with returning to work. Here are a few myths many employees believe about returning to work after worker's comp and an injury and why you may need an attorney for help.
Myth: Doctors are the best people to trust regarding when you are safe to return to work.
The doctor is a skilled professional that understands your medical condition perhaps to the fullest extent. However, physicians do not always know a lot about the trades and roles associated with an employee's job. Your employer is no doubt going to rely on what the doctor says because they do not want to pay you any longer than they have to, but this is not always the healthiest solution. If a doctor states they feel you can return to work and you personally feel you can't because you better understand what will be expected of you physically, it may be best to seek the advice of an attorney.
Myth: You can't return to work until you are at full capacity.
A physical disability, where worker's comp is concerned, can be sort of assessed in stages. For example, if you have injured your back at work, you may initially not be able to work because you can't walk or stand. However, once you have recovered a bit, you may be able to stand but you won't be able to bend, lift, or do a lot of walking. It is possible to return to work before you are at your prior working capacity, but the employer must make reasonable accommodations when this happens. If anything more is asked from you, it is best to speak with an attorney.
Myth: If you return to work and can't do it, you can't file another worker's comp claim.
If you do return to work and realize your injuries are still too much for you to perform your duties, even if the employer does some accommodating, it is best to talk to both your employer and the worker's comp company about the situation. You may have to reinstate the existing claim, which can be hard to do successfully, especially without assistance from an attorney.
For more information, contact a worker's comp attorney.