Many of us like to go to work. While no job is perfect, people generally enjoy being productive, they like being paid and recognized for their on-the-job efforts, and they have become friendly (if not friends with) their co-workers. When you're injured on the job, and the injury is serious enough so you can't work, all of that stops. It can be a frustrating time for you and your employer, as you're suddenly forced to focus on recovering, and your employer has to do without your services until you return.
These pressures can make it hard to stay away from your job until you're fully healed. Maybe you're bored stiff, or frustrated because your usual work routine has been interrupted; maybe you're experiencing financial difficulties because your disability payments are less than your usual take-home pay, or your boss keeps bugging you and asking when you'll be back at work. No matter the reason, if you return to your job before fully recovering from your workplace injury, you run several risks that could make you regret your decision.
Your Medical Benefits May Stop or Be Reduced
If you return to work while still receiving medical treatment or physical therapy for your workplace injury, your employer (or its insurer) may use your return as grounds for trying to terminate or reduce your workers' compensation benefits. If you've been receiving rehabilitation therapy as part of your treatment and return to your old job, that therapy may cease based on your return.
If You Re-Injure Yourself, You May Have Problems Receiving Workers' Compensation Benefits
If you return to work before you're fully healed and re-injure yourself or suffer a new injury because your existing injury has not healed, your employer may fight your new claim for workers' compensation. They may argue that you are responsible for the new injury and that it would not have occurred if you had waited until you were completely healed to return to your job. If the new injury is permanent, your early return to work could also jeopardize your ability to get permanent disability benefits.
If You Are Injured Again, Your Employer May Claim You Can Still Work
A longer-term consequence of returning to work too early is that if you are injured down the road, your employer might use your early return from your first injury as a reason to claim that you should be able to return to work early from a later injury. While the argument might not have much merit, if your employer uses it to contest or terminate your workers' compensation benefits, it could certainly make life more stressful for you until the question is resolved.
The Delsa Law Firm, LLC, Can Help
If you've returned to work before you've fully healed and your employer is attempting to terminate your medical benefits, or if you've re-injured yourself on the job and your employer is contesting your workers' compensation claim, the Delsa Law Firm, LLC, can help you understand and enforce your rights. Attorney Delsa has been helping injured clients throughout Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast with worker's compensation claims in Louisiana for years. He is ready to talk with you about your case and your rights under the law. Contact attorney Delsa today at (985) 882-1222 or through the Delsa Law Firm, LLC contact form.
If you work in Louisiana – no matter if you live in the state or commute in from Mississippi – attorney Delsa can help you. The Delsa Law Firm, LLC, is located just off of I-12 in Slidell and is easy to find and get to.