If you have been out of work because of a workplace injury, you are probably ready to return to the workforce as soon as possible. However, you have to be careful about how you do so for two reasons -- first of all, you do not want to jeopardize your workers compensation claim. Secondly, you do not want to re-injure yourself or slow down the healing process. For these reasons, following a few important steps when returning to work after your injury is important.
1. Do Not Return to Work Until Your Doctor Tells You To
First of all, make sure that you do not return to work until your doctor tells you to. Your employer might try to encourage you to come back to work before you are physically ready to do so, but this can jeopardize your claim and put you at risk of getting hurt, even if you only return on light duty or on a part-time basis. Make sure that you see your doctor before returning to work to ensure that it is safe to do so.
2. Establish a Safe and Reasonable Work Plan
After many injuries, you can't just head straight back to work. Instead, you should develop a safe and reasonable work plan by working together with your doctor and your boss. Your doctor will help ensure that you are safe when you are returning to work, and your boss will try to develop a plan so that you can still be a productive employee while staying within the constraints that your medical professional has put into place. For example, you might return to work on a part-time basis at first, or you might be restricted to desk duty rather than any major physical work. The work plan that is put into place will vary based off of your injury and your job position, but make sure that you get everything in writing so that there is no confusion.
3. Keep Your Attorney Informed
If you have a workers compensation lawyer working on your case, it is important to keep him or her informed about what's going on every step of the way. Your lawyer can make sure that your rights are protected and can help ensure that your case is not jeopardized in any way. Contact a local attorney, like Hardee and Hardee LLP, for more information.
Returning to work after an injury can be a positive thing, but it's important to protect yourself both physically and legally. Luckily, following these steps should help.
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