If you’ve been out on workers’ compensation for a few months, you’re probably wondering when you’ll have to return to work. Our Miami workers’ compensation attorneys have found that the longer you’re out of work, the harder it is to go back. You get used to the routine of going to the doctor’s and coming home. You can hardly remember what it felt like to get up early in the morning to get ready for work. You sure don’t miss the bumper-to-bumper traffic you had to contend with one the way to and from work. However, even your Florida workers comp attorney will tell you that, at some point, you need to go back. It may not be easy, but you can hardly expect to sit home for another month or even year.
If you’re having a hard time getting ready to go back to work, you should call our office. We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation. This gives you a chance to sit down with someone who has been through this experience before. They understand how torn you are feeling. They also understand the law and will do their best to protect your rights. Since the consultation is free, you don’t have anything to lose.
Your Workers Compensation Doctor Will Determine When You’re Ready to Go Back
When you first report your workplace accident, you’ll be assigned a state-approved workers compensation doctor. This is the doctor who will treat you throughout the course of your workers’ compensation claim. At some point, your doctor is going to determine that you have achieved something called maximum medical improvement. This refers to the point at which you will no longer benefit from further medical treatment. Once your doctor makes this determination, you’ll be expected to return to work.
Just because your doctor feels you’re ready to go back to work, that doesn’t mean you feel ready to return. You may feel unable to return for any number of reasons. It’s important that you communicate this to your Miami workers compensation lawyer. They will reach out to your employer and their insurance carrier and let them know what is going on. If they refuse to work with you, your Florida workers comp attorney can seek a second opinion from a different doctor.
Your Miami Workers Compensation Lawyer Can Get a Second Opinion
If your workers’ comp doctor says you’re ready to go back to work and you don’t agree, you can get a second opinion. Your Miami workers’ compensation lawyer will contact an independent doctor and ask them to evaluate you. If this second doctor agrees that you’re reached maximum medical improvement, you won’t have much choice. There will be nothing to support your claim that you need more time and more treatment. If, however, this second doctor feels you would benefit from further treatment, they will document this in their report. Your Florida workers comp attorney can then forward this report to your employer and the insurance adjuster. This may be enough to get them to extend your workers’ compensation benefits.
You May Be Asked to Return to a Light Duty Position
Sometimes, your employer doesn’t ask you to come back to work in your old position right away. Usually, they like to ease you back in. They may offer you a light-duty position at first. Or they may have you work half-time hours until they feel you’re ready to move forward in a full-time capacity. You can’t refuse these offers. Your Miami workers compensation lawyer will have a hard time convincing your employer and the insurance company that you can’t handle a light-duty position. Usually, these positions are not taxing on the body. Your employer will even make any necessary accommodations you may need.
You Don’t Want to Refuse to Go Back to Work
One other mistake you don’t want to make is flat out refusing to go back to work. While it is one thing to tell your Florida workers comp attorney that you don’t think you’re ready, it’s another to outright refuse your employer. This will, more than likely, end up with your benefits being terminated. If this happens, there isn’t much your attorney can do to fix things. You’ll be expected to return to work immediately. In fact, if you wait more than a couple of days, you may find that you’ve been fired. That’s the last thing you need. At least with workers compensation, you have some sort of income coming in.
Your Florida Workers Comp Attorney Will Be in Your Corner the Whole Time
It can be frustrating if your employer tries to force you to go back to work before you’re ready. The problem is that your doctor may feel you’re ready to go back before you do. Sometimes, this is just a matter of your being afraid to go back. You may worry that you’ll reinjure yourself. Other people just have a hard time getting back into the routine of going to work every day. It’s not easy. The longer you’re out of work, the harder it is to get back into the groove of things. The good news is that our Florida workers comp attorneys have handled dozens of cases like yours before. They know what it takes to convince the insurance company that you need a little more time before coming back to work. While this doesn’t always work, it’s better to have someone on your side throughout this process.
We suggest that you call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. You can do this by phone or through our website. If your employer is putting pressure on you to come back to work and you’re not ready, we may be able to help. We can never make any promises or guarantees. However, we will do whatever we can to make sure your workers compensation benefits are extended until you feel ready to go back on the job.