What Determines When You Return to Work After a Workers Comp Claim?
You get up every day and go to work. You never really think about what you’ll do if you get hurt on the job. The first thing you’ll do is worry about how you’ll take care of your family. You’ll also wonder what kind of medical attention you’re going to need and when you have to return to work. Thankfully, there are experienced Baltimore workers comp lawyers who can help you.
You need to do a few things if you get hurt at work:
- Report your accident to your manager or Human Resources
- Fill out an incident or accident report
- Make sure you pay attention to any witnesses
- Get medical treatment from the company approved doctor
- Follow the company policy regarding treatment
- Call a Baltimore workers comp attorney.
If you do all of these things, hopefully, your workers’ compensation claim will be approved. If it is, you’ll start receiving your weekly benefits within a week or two. You’ll also be covered for your medical care. Just make sure you continue to follow your doctor’s recommendations. If you do what he says, you won’t have that many issues. The question is – when are you ready to go back to work?
Your Doctor Determines When You’re Released Back to Work
A lot of workers compensation lawyers will tell you not to return to work until you’re ready. But it’s not that easy. Your doctor is going to tell you when you’re released to return to work. If you don’t do what he says, your benefits may stop. Then you’ll truly be left with no way to feed your family.
You do have to follow your doctor’s instructions. However, if he tells you that you need to return to work and you’re not ready, let your workers compensation attorney know. He can reach out to the insurance company and your employer. If you’re truly not medically able to return to work, you can get a second opinion. But if you just don’t want to return to work, that’s a totally different story.
Your doctor is going to discuss a few things with you before he releases you back to work:
- Are you fully recovered from your physical injuries?
- Have you reached your Maximum Medical Improvement?
- Can you return to work without restrictions?
- Are you able to work light duty?
- Have your injuries actually gotten worse?
If you truly aren’t ready to go back to work, let your doctor know. Make sure he knows how you’re feeling. If you’re on medications that make it hard for you to do your job, let your doctor know that too.
Keep in mind – the doctor works for the insurance company. It’s in his best interest that you go back to work sooner rather than later. If you feel he’s pushing you to go back before you’re ready, let your lawyer know.
Your attorney can let the defendant know that you’re not recovered from your workplace injury. If you need a second opinion, your lawyer will arrange for that.
What if You Refuse to Return to Work?
If you refuse to return to work despite your doctor’s recommendation, you do risk losing your workers’ comp benefits. Even if they extend your medical coverage, you may lose your weekly benefits. If this happens, your lawyer is going to have to fight your claim. He will reach out to the employer and the insurance company and let them know where you stand. This could be an opportunity to negotiate a settlement. The last thing anyone wants to do is have your case end up in court. That doesn’t serve anyone’s interests.
Your lawyer may buy you some time. Or, he may set a new date for you to be examined by the company doctor again. Either way, your lawyer will protect you from being forced back to work before you’re ready.
Contact a Baltimore Workers Comp Lawyer Today
If you get hurt at work, you’re going to need a workers comp lawyer in Baltimore. You don’t want to risk losing your benefits. You also don’t want to be forced back to work any sooner than you should. Call and schedule your free initial consultation today. You can ask any questions you may have. You can also let him tell you what it may be worth.