Many injury victims are anxious about returning to work because they need the money to pay their bills. Not working for even a few days, much less weeks or longer, can be financially devastating for many people.
However, it is important not to rush back to work. You could end up aggravating your injury and making it worse. Returning to work too soon could also affect your claim for compensation, as the insurance company may use this as an excuse to devalue or even deny your claim. Their rationale is that you are working so your injury must not be that bad.
At Friedman, Domiano & Smith, our attorneys are here to help and answer your questions. Learn more about getting help legal help after an accident and how an experienced attorney may benefit your claim.
When Should You Return to Work?
Typically, you should only go back to work if your doctor clears you to return to work. If your doctor places restrictions on your work for the sake of your injury, you should follow those guidelines.
Straying from the doctor’s treatment plan could allow your injuries to worsen or cause new injuries. Often, injury victims need to compensate for their injury, which strains other body parts and can result in injury.
You may get used to the soreness or pain you feel and start to think you will be able to deal with it. You may start to push yourself so you can continue working. However, this is often how injuries get worse.
Every situation is unique, so it is important to discuss things with your doctors to determine how best to manage your injuries. Even though you may be pursuing compensation through an injury claim, the most important thing is your health.
Financial Consequences of Returning to Work Too Soon
Victims may feel anxious about not working because of mounting bills and other unexpected costs. However, going back to work too soon could cause other financial consequences they may not have considered. For instance, if you go back to work sooner than your doctor recommends, the insurance company is going to assume you are not severely injured.
The insurer will think you are not taking your recovery seriously. They may even argue they should not have to pay for your medical bills and other damages.
The insurance company may also try to use your return to work as a justification to deny your claim or make a lowball settlement offer.
Victims and Insurers Have Competing Priorities
It is important to remember that insurance companies and injury victims have competing priorities. You are trying to recover full compensation by proving another driver is liable for your damages.
However, the insurance company is trying to prove you do not have a valid claim or your claim is not worth much money. That means they will be looking at your credibility. In addition to carefully reviewing any statements you make about the crash and your injuries; they are reviewing your actions in the aftermath of the crash.
If you miss doctor’s appointments, skip appointments or do not follow the doctor’s recommendations, your credibility will take a hit with the insurance company. If you return to work too quickly, even if it is because you need the money, your credibility will take a hit with the insurance company.
The insurance company may think missing appointments is a strategy for dragging out the process to get more money from a settlement. They may say dragging out the treatment process is a way to ensure your return to work is delayed.
It is important to discuss your claim with a qualified Cleveland personal injury attorney who can advise you on taking steps to protect your claim. If you must miss an appointment, make sure to reschedule it, and make sure you have a good reason for missing the appointment. Keep your lawyer informed so he or she knows what is going on.
What if I Am Not Ready to Return to Work?
Sometimes injured victims are cleared to return to work but feel they are not ready. They may have excessive pain and feel they cannot handle the duties of their job.
Not returning to work after being cleared by your doctor will be looked at with suspicion by the insurance company. They may think you are just trying to drag out the process to get more money.
However, injured victims who are still concerned about returning to work can seek a second opinion from another doctor. Maybe the first doctor underestimated your level of pain and another doctor will see that you need more time off from work.
You need to get a letter from the second doctor restricting you from working, otherwise your claim could be negatively affected. Without documentation, not only could your claim be impacted but also your job may be in jeopardy.
Contact Friedman, Domiano & Smith Today to Discuss Your Claim
For decades, our firm has been representing accident victims and securing compensation for their damages at no upfront cost. We have the resources and knowledge to guide you through the legal process, fighting for your best interests each step of the way.
If you were injured and are unsure about your legal options, it is important to talk to a licensed attorney. The insurance company will be looking to settle for much less than the value of your claim, or simply deny your claim.
Millions Recovered. No Upfront Costs. Call 216-621-0070.
Comments are now closed