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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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Tips for Returning to Work After a Job-Related Injury

If you have been injured on the job and are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you may be feeling apprehensive about your eventual return to work. As long as you haven’t suffered a severe permanently debilitating injury, you will likely be returning to your previous position in some capacity. However, the process must be done gradually and carefully to ensure that you can do your job without risking further injury.

Below are some tips to help you return to work the right way following a job-related injury:

  • Keep in touch with your employer while you’re in recovery. By regularly updating your boss regarding your progress, it will help assure them that you are not exaggerating or faking your injuries and that you are committed to coming back to work when you can. It will also help them be better prepared for what to expect when you return to work, especially if they must make temporary or permanent modifications to your job to compensate for your injury. If you ever feel pressured by your employer to return to work earlier than your doctor orders, contact a lawyer.
  • Follow all your doctor’s orders and wait until they decide you are ready. Never go back to work before your doctor gives you permission—even if you feel well enough to return. Going back too soon may cause you to reinjure yourself and can also compromise your workers’ comp benefits.
  • Fill out a “Notice of Ability to Return to Work” form as your condition improves and send it to your employer. You might receive this form from your employer or their workers’ comp insurance company before you are able to return to work. This is because the form must be completed when there are changes in your medical condition, such as improvements. Filling out the form will help give everyone a better idea of when you can return to work and how that will look. However, it might be best to consult with a lawyer before filing it out—otherwise, you may enter information incorrectly, leading your employer to think you are ready to return to work sooner than you are.
  • Discuss work restrictions with your doctor and boss. Depending on your injury, you may be asked to return to your previous job at a lesser capacity, either temporarily or permanently. For example, if your back was injured, you may be restricted from heavy lifting for a few months—or for the remainder of your time there. You may even be given an entirely new permanent position to compensate for a serious long term injury. By communicating your needs with your doctor and employer, you should be allowed to return to work in a way that makes everyone happy.
  • Document anything you think could affect your case. Save everything related to your case, including email correspondence with your boss, medical records and bills, copies of any forms you must fill out, and more. If at any point your employer does something which may constitute discrimination or punishment for your work restrictions or injury, document this as well. Such information can act as evidence should you need to contest something your boss or doctor does.
  • Consult with an attorney for more information or legal assistance. If you are looking for further advice, especially concerning your legal rights, talk to a workers’ comp lawyer in your area. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assist you in many aspects of your workers’ comp claim, such as helping you properly fill out paperwork, standing up to discriminatory or confrontational employers, and safely returning to work. Most attorneys who deal with work injury claims offer free consultations, so there’s little risk to reaching out even if you aren’t looking to take legal action.

At Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law, our Albuquerque work injury attorney can assist with all aspects of your claim. For more information concerning what we can do for you, reach out to us today.

Contact our law office today to set up your free case evaluation.