Can Returning to Work Too Soon Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim?
You have been in a car accident. It was not your fault and you’ve filed a lawsuit and hopefully are in the process of being compensated for medical expenses and lost wages.
In the meantime, you are healing from the trauma. There may be head trauma, broken limbs, cuts, scrapes which are all visible. Not so easy to see are soft tissue injuries, which can also cause the most pain. If your neck was jarred during the crash, if there are misaligned ligaments in your back, none of these are visible but they are very real and can cause excruciating pain.
Most people want to get back to work as soon as they can after a personal injury, whether a car accident, motorcycle crash, trucking accident, slip and fall, bicycle accident, dog bite or any other personal injury.
They do not want to be replaced during their absence or judged harshly by their co-workers, and they want a paycheck.
This is not a decision you should make on your own. It’s important to confer with your personal injury attorney who is overseeing your claim. You also need to follow the recommendations of your doctor and therapist.
It’s important that you focus on your recovery, not on the claim. That is the job for your attorney. Your attorney will take care of the legal aspects of your case and deal directly with the other side, so you can concentrate on getting back to full health or maximum medical improvement.
Time to Heal
You may not be aware, but the body needs time to heal. Returning to work, even if it’s a desk job, can require long hours of sitting which is the worst for a back or neck injury. You will also need time to go to doctor appointments, therapy, and time to meet with your attorney.
Your employer needs to be kept appraised of your condition and the progress of your healing. It’s at this time that you are not in charge, your body is, and you need to follow the treatment plan set up by your doctor and therapist.
You may also be suffering from anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression which also need addressing.
Take this time to document all of your aches and pains and to recount anything you can that will help with your case. A failure to follow the recommendations of professionals may hurt your case.
Are You Ready?
There is no set time after your personal injury accident that you should return to work. It’s on a case-by-case evaluation.
When you and your doctor decide you are ready to return to work, be sure you have the documentation you need to explain and excuse your work absence. If there are limitations on what you can and cannot do, make sure your employer and immediate supervisor are aware. The doctor’s release to work may come with some conditions.
Say you work in a warehouse; you may be limited on the size of packages you can lift. If you are a driver, you may have to limit your hours behind the wheel. The last thing you want to do is reinjure yourself and suffer an even greater setback.
Your doctor and attorney should work together on your insurance claim, your negotiation, and your personal injury lawsuit.
Your lawsuit will not be over when you return to work. It does not signal that your injuries are not severe. Most people are expected to heal with the passage of time and your healing is individual and not dictated by an employer. Your lawsuit can continue when you return to work.
Your Alabama Personal Injury Attorney
Just because you are injured does not mean you will automatically receive compensation. If you have medical bills, lost wages, property damage and the future cost of therapy, J. Allan Brown will work with you to identify the negligent party and to file a claim against that party who is then responsible for compensating you.
While the insurer for the other side may offer you some compensation, having a representative who understands how the other side will minimize your claim is vital. J. Allan Brown will advocate for your rights so you can get to the business of healing.
Call our Mobile office at (251) 220-3199 or message us online to schedule a free consultation and case assessment.