What Happens When You Cannot Return To Your Pre-Injury Job?
The mere thought of not being able to return to your pre-injury job after a workplace accident can be distressing and overwhelming for most workers. For many workers, being told that they will never be able to return to their previous job is both painful and disturbing.
If you are not sure whether you should return to work or continue receiving workers’ compensation benefits, speak with a knowledgeable attorney to discuss your options. Our Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer Jason Kobal will review your particular situation and explain your options.
Can You Return to Work After a Workplace Accident?
If you filed a workers’ compensation claim following your workplace accident, whether or not you can return to work depends on the opinion of the doctor assigned to your case. The compensation you are entitled to is also dependent on your doctor’s opinion.
After a doctor’s examination, your doctor may decide that:
- You cannot return to work until you recover
- You cannot return to your pre-injury job at all because your injuries prevent you from performing your previous duties
- You can return to light-duty work
- You can return to work without any restrictions
Regardless of what your doctor tells you, it is advisable to follow your doctor’s instructions. Failure to do so may hurt your workers’ compensation case. However, if you do not agree with your doctor’s opinion, consider speaking with a lawyer to discuss your options.
What if Your Injury Prevents You from Returning to Your Pre-Injury Job?
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for employees to suffer work-related injuries that are so severe that they will never be able to return to their previous job. In other words, some workers may never fully recover from their injuries.
When this happens, a workers’ compensation doctor is likely to determine that a worker has reached their Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), which essentially means that further improvement is no longer reasonably anticipated.
While you may still continue receiving medical treatment for your injury, reaching your MMI means that you are not expected to get any better with additional treatment. When you reach your MMI but you still cannot return to your pre-injury job, your doctor will assign you the impairment rating.
Once you reach your MMI, your temporary wage benefits will be terminated regardless of your ability to return to work. However, the impairment rating assigned by your doctor after reaching MMI will determine whether or not you are entitled to impairment benefits in Florida.
Can You Still Return to Work Despite What the Doctor Says?
By returning to pre-injury work when your doctor has determined that you cannot return to your previous job, you put yourself at risk of aggravating your injuries and losing your benefits. If you are not able to return to your previous job, you may be entitled to government-provided benefits.
Contact a skilled workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your particular situation and determine what compensation is available to you. Contact Kobal Law to get a case evaluation. Call 813-873-2440.