Injuries on the job can be serious enough to miss time from work to make
a full recovery. Aside from the pain and limited mobility, taking time
off initially seems nice, considering all the hard work you performed
day in and day out at your workplace. But as time passes, you start thinking
more and more about returning to work.
While that’s the ultimate goal, you need approval from your doctor
before doing so. Going back to work before you’re supposed to can
result in several consequences.
Common reasons why you shouldn’t return to your job early after a
work injury include:
You could re-injure yourself – The reason why you missed time in the first place is to properly
heal, according to the recommendations of your doctor. Even if you begin
to feel like your old self again, that doesn’t mean you have completely
recovered. If you return to work too early and re-injure yourself, the
recovery process could be even longer.
You have rights which protect you from your employer – Sometimes, employers ask their injured employees to return to
work earlier than expected. Remember, your employer is not allowed to
make such a request or threaten termination as a punishment for not doing
so. If your employer has made threats or even fired you, you should contact
a lawyer to discuss your situation. Furthermore, if you are worried that
another employee is going to take your job while you recover, that doesn’t
mean you should go back to work to save your position. In fact, your job
is secure according to law.
You could lose your
workers’ compensation benefits – Insurance adjusters only look out for their employer’s best
interests—not yours. They will do whatever it takes to deny your
claim in order to protect the insurance company’s bottom line. If
you return to work early, your employer’s insurance company might
claim your injuries weren’t as serious as you originally declared
or that you weren’t injured at all.
To protect your job, your workers’ compensation benefits, and your
health, you should not do anything you might regret later such as returning
to work early.
Contact our New York City workers’ compensation attorneys at
Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP for more information today.