While many workers’ compensation attorneys try to paint employers as the enemy, withholding the benefits you’re entitled to after your injury, the truth is that many are doing their best to accommodate their injured employees. While they may make mistakes or overlook portions of your claim, for the most part, their main goal is to get you healthy and back at work as soon as possible—a goal that you probably share.
When it comes to determining when you should return to work, however, you may feel as though you are caught in a dangerous vortex between your employer’s wants and your doctor’s orders. You want to return to work, but you also do not want to risk returning too soon for fear of reinjuring yourself. It seems as though you and your employer are at opposite ends of an important tug-of-war over your health and career—and you are unsure why they seem to be pushing so hard.
The Cultural Dissonance over Workers’ Compensation
The principle reason behind much of the battle over your return to work lies in how you view your injury. You and your doctor are both focused intently on your limitations due to your accident and injury. Since you are living with your injury every day, it can be hard to see it otherwise. To protect your own health, you must be well aware of what you are unable to do as a result of your current injury.
Your employer, however, may be looking at your injury completely differently. They may be focused on what you are still able to do despite your injury; yes, you have a lifting restriction that prohibits you from performing task X, but that still leaves you open for tasks Y and Z.
While you are fully aware of what you can do, it is what you cannot do that has prevented you from returning to work, and this is usually the sticking point between where employers feel employees should return and when doctors feel it is safe for them to return.
What it comes down to, ultimately, is what is in your best interest. Is there a suitable light-duty job available that allows for your restrictions? Does your doctor feel as though you are truly physically ready to return in any capacity? The ultimate decision is yours, and if your employer’s over-optimism is beginning to wear on you, you may need to seek further help from your doctor or a workers’ compensation attorney.
Have You Been Injured At Work?
If you've been injured on the job you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Augusta office directly at 706.863.6600 to schedule your free consultation.