When you have a workplace accident for which you receive an examination by the employer insurance company’s designated doctor, there may be a general sense of when injuries will take a certain amount of time for recuperation. As you are the person who sustained the injuries, your body tells you when you have finally recovered or not. With consultation with your doctor, you decide when you are physically able to return to the job you had at the time of your accident.
Returning to work before you are fully recovered from your injuries, or an illness can make you a liability at your workplace. For example, if you badly sprained an ankle and you return to work at your manufacturer’s workplace, you may be still unable to fully balance your body weight on both feet because of continuing pain in your injured ankle. When someone asks you to hold a heavy steel pole upright and you are physically unbalanced because of pain, you could lose the pole as it falls over. Worse yet, this accident hurts another employee.
In nearly all Arizona workplace scenarios, the employer cannot fire you if you cannot return to work within a few weeks and are on workers’ compensation benefits. If the injury is bad enough that you cannot return at all to work in your previous job, ask your employer if they have another job available you could fill. Assess your skills, look at areas your employer needs help with, and work up a great offer for taking on that new job. You are also entitled to vocational rehabilitation if you need to change your career path because of your injuries.
If you know how to work with spreadsheets, you could do data entry and analysis. You might also have skills in writing business letters which is always helpful. You do not have to stand on your legs and feet all the time, and you can continue to recover while still working. If your arm or hand was injured, you cannot do office work until fully recovered.
On occasion, communications between an employer and a worker can become difficult. If you are pressured to return to work and you know you are not ready to do so, call an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney for a consultation about your circumstances and how you should handle them. Always remain calm and collected in any dealings you have with a difficult boss.
Be sure to also get a doctor’s letter that verifies you are not ready yet to return to work. If you have a physical therapist, get a letter from the therapist as well. The more evidence you have available to back up your case, the better you will be ready in case you later go to court.
If you need help with a difficult employer or assistance for filing your claim, call an Arizona workers’ compensation attorney immediately. Arizona Injury Law Group offers experienced and Certified workers’ compensation lawyers and legal services for injured workers. Call for your free consultation! 480-300-7273.
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