After a workplace accident, it can be difficult to know when it is time to return to work. Whatever your situation, it is important to know what California law says about returning to work after an on-the-job injury.
Determining When to Return to Work After an Accident
There is no set time for when a person must return to work after an accident. Every time you see your doctor, he or she will evaluate your condition and make notes about your work status. The extent of your injuries and the physical demands of your job are the major factors that determine how much time you can miss from work and still collect workers' compensation benefits. Once your doctor determines that you can return to work, he or she will need to recommend how much work you can take on. Your primary doctor will determine if you can return to work with or without restrictions. In some cases, workers are kept from working until they reach maximum medical improvement. This means that they have recovered as much as they can after their workplace accident. However, many workers will return to work before reaching maximum medical improvement. Your doctor will determine the extent of your injuries and how those injuries will affect your ability to perform any job-related duties. As a result, many workers are released for a modified work schedule or "light duty." If you disagree with your doctor's orders, then you should make every attempt to return to work. However, if your pain increases or you simply cannot do the work required, then you must immediately notify your employer and return to your doctor, detailing what you did at work that increased your level of pain. Your doctor will reevaluate your work restrictions and determine how to proceed.
Following Your Doctor Orders Closely
After a workplace accident, it is important to follow your doctor's orders, including attending all therapy sessions and taking medications promptly. It also means returning to work when your doctor gives you the go ahead. If your doctor releases you to work a modified schedule, then be sure to follow those orders and work with your employer to accommodate your new restrictions. Do not work outside of your restrictions, or you could compromise your health and your workers' compensation benefits. If your employer fails to accommodate your new restrictions, then it is important to speak to an experienced Gilroy workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can protect your rights during this time and ensure that you receive the entirety of your workplace benefits.
Contact Our Gilroy Workers Compensation Law Firm
If you suffered a workplace injury on the job in Gilroy, or anywhere in California, then it is important to know when it is safe to return to work. At Cramer & Martinez, LLP, our Gilroy workers' compensation lawyers know that returning to work too soon can negatively impact your health and your workers' compensation claim. To learn more about your legal options, call us today at (408) 848-1113 or fill our confidential contact form. We offer free initial consultations and are ready to help you!