If you were recently injured at work, your doctor might have advised that you take a certain amount of time off so that you can heal. At first, you might have been glad to take some time off after your injury. Now that some time has gone by, though, the thought of returning to work may be on your mind.
Of course, getting back to work as soon as possible is a goal for many injured workers. However, you’ll want to make sure you don’t go back to work until your doctor says that it's okay for you to do so. The following are just a few of the reasons why.
You Could Injure Yourself Even Worse
Perhaps the most important reason to avoid returning to work early is so that you can allow your body to heal. Your doctor has advised you to take a certain amount of time off of work for a reason. Even if you're starting to feel better, your injuries may not have healed completely, so you could be at risk of re-injuring yourself and making matters worse.
Plus, you could find yourself in a lot of pain while at work if you return too soon. To avoid making injuries worse and suffering while on the job, make sure that you abide by your doctor's orders in regards to how long you are supposed to be off of work.
You Have Rights
One reason people return to work early after an injury is because their employer wants them to. If you are thinking about returning to work early for this reason, you should know that you have rights. Your employer is not supposed to ask you to return to work or threaten you into doing so before your doctor says that you are ready. If your employer has done this, you should talk to your attorney about it, not head in to work.
Additionally, if you are concerned that your employer will give your job to someone else while you are healing, you should not allow this to encourage you to return to work early. Laws exist that provide job security to those who have been injured at work. For example, when an employee is injured on the job, the employer is responsible for welcoming them back to the workplace after they have healed.
Instead of spending time worrying about the security of your job, focus on your healing.
You Could Hurt Your Workers' Compensation Claim
Lastly, you have to think about your workers' compensation case. You might be hoping that workers' compensation will cover all of your medical bills, reimburse you for any lost wages, and otherwise cover the expenses that go along with your workplace injury. Unfortunately, many companies try to deny these claims, even when they are completely legitimate.
If you willingly return to work, then the insurance company for your employer might claim that you were not actually injured in the first place or that your injuries weren’t as bad as you claimed they were. This can cause a lot of difficulties with your case. Therefore, before taking action and returning to work, contact your attorney so that you can make the right decisions for your case.
Returning to work after a workplace injury is probably your number one goal. However, for the above-listed reasons and more, it's important not to do it too soon. Additionally, you should not handle your workers' compensation case on your own. Instead, hire an attorney who can provide you with legal assistance. Contact us at Stafford, Neal & Soule, S.C., so that we can help you with your case.