Most employers have one objective following a worker injury, which is to get that employee back to work as soon as possible. It can make for a confusing and traumatic experience when a pushy employer is demanding you come back to work before you feel like you are ready.
When Are You Required to Return to Work After an Injury?
For any serious work related injury you need to see a doctor to assess and monitor the damage. The doctor will be able to let you know how long you should stay off work. Some companies allow this doctor to be your own personal physician, but most will require that you use a physician of their own choosing. You have the right to see both if you choose. The doctor will be responsible for determining the category of work-related injury and if, when, and how you’re able to return to work.
The doctor will also note your work status upon each appointment, how long of a recovery you will need and whether you will have work restrictions. In many cases it is not uncommon to be released for work before you have reached MMI (maximum medical improvement,) and you may still even be in therapy or under treatment when your doctor releases you.
Who Determines When You Should Return to Work?
Your doctor, not your employer, decides when you’re able to return to work, and you never have to accept a job that exceeds your doctor’s restrictions. Contact Goldstein and Peck P.C. to represent your rights if your employer is pressuring you to return to work early or without accommodating your medical restrictions.
If your doctor says you can return and your employer agrees, then you must return to work or risk losing your workers compensation benefits. You must also notify your employer when the doctor releases you for work and be prepared to return to work on that release date.
Should your personal doctor disagree with the company doctor’s work release, you may face a court decision to determine your return to work. In this type of situation, it is important to contact an experienced Connecticut injury lawyer to discuss the legal process for such a dispute.
Contact a Connecticut personal injury attorney right away if you disagree with the doctor’s work release, if your employer isn’t making reasonable accommodations for your work restrictions, or you feel that you are being treated unfairly because of restricted work duties. A skilled attorney will defend your rights and help you determine the next steps to take.