Who Decides When it is Safe for Me to Return to Work After an Injury?


At Hanning & Sacchetto, LLP, our Whittier workers’ compensation attorneys understand that when you have been hurt at work, there is a lot of confusion about the next steps. First, your employer’s workers’ compensation will entitle you to medical care, until you have reached maximum medical improvement.

However, the insurance company may also begin applying pressure that it is time to go back to work by denying further coverage. The insurance company cannot dictate whether you are well enough to go back to work.

Your physician is the best person to turn to for advice on when it is safe to return to work.

Here is why.

Your Physicians Will Decide When Is It Safe For You to Go Back to Work

Our Los Angeles County workers’ compensation attorneys know that your physician is the only person who understands the extent of your injuries, how your body is healing, at what rate, and how returning to work will impact your wellness.

Before you can consider going back to work, it is important to have an open, honest conversation with your doctor — or team of physicians — so you know where your treatment stands.

This will allow your physicians to chart your medical progress — including your range of motion and pain level — reassess your healing process and create a timeline for recovery, which will allow you to safely return to work.

Is It Okay to Return to Work Under Modified Duty?

Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Whittier, California know that dealing with injuries can leave our clients idle for longer than they would like. Depending on the extent of their injuries, they may simply want to get their lives back, which means getting out of the house and going back to work.

Depending on their line of work, our clients may be approved to return to work under a modified role, which will mean something different for each industry or position.

Modified or “light” duty is designed to help injured employees get back to work without the risk of further injuring themselves.

Again, each person’s workplace injuries will dictate what tasks they are or are not capable of performing safely. This is up to their physicians. He or she will outline approved duties, and those they cannot fulfill.

This requires our clients to communicate with their employers too, to confirm that the person in charge understands their injuries, any physical limitations they may have upon return, and the reasonable accommodations that will allow them to transition back to their previous position.

Do not allow your employer or their workers’ compensation insurer to force you to return before you are physically cleared to do so.

If you believe your workers’ compensation claim is being improperly managed by the insurance company, or if your coverage ended before it should have, contact our skilled personal injury attorneys in Whittier at Hanning & Sacchetto today by calling (562) 698-6446 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options to pursue the best outcome available for your claim.

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