Tampa Workers Comp Lawyer: Returning After Workers Comp

Oftentimes, when we meet with a new client for the first time, one of their first questions is when they’ll have to go back to work. Sometimes, they ask us this question before they even know whether they need surgery or not. This is because when someone suffers a serious injury, it can be frightening to think that you’ll reinjure yourself all over again when the time comes to go back to your job. Our Tampa workers comp lawyer tries to reassure our clients that they won’t be forced to return to work until they’re fully healed. Of course, this can always come back to haunt us when one of our clients are deemed to have reached maximum medical improvement sooner than they feel they’re ready to go back to work.

Here, we will discuss who determines when you have to go back to the job and how they make that determination. We will also discuss your options should your employer demand that you go back to work before you think you’re ready. If you still have questions about your own workers comp case, contact our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. Sit down with a workers compensation attorney in Tampa who has handled dozens of cases just like yours before.

They’ll do their best to make sure you’re not forced to return to work any sooner than necessary. They can also inquire as to whether there may be any light duty positions you can take advantage of while you’re waiting for your injuries to fully heal. Since we do offer our consultations at no charge, you’ll have nothing to lose by taking the time to come in and sit down with one of our skilled associates.

Your Workers Compensation Doctor Decides When You’re Ready to Return to Work

Despite what you may believe, your employer and their insurance carrier are not the people who decide when you’re ready to return to work. This decision is made by your state-approved workers comp doctor. When your doctor declares that there’s no need for further treatment, you will be released back to your job. This is called reaching “maximum medical improvement.” What it really means is that no matter what treatment your doctor provides for you, it is not going to make your injuries any better.

The problem with this is that it may not be more medical treatment you need. You may need time to heal. You may mean additional time to do exercises or see a chiropractor. Just because your doctor who happens to be a state certified doctor believes you’re ready to go back to work, that doesn’t mean it’s true. Hopefully, this is something your workers compensation attorney in Tampa can help with.

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Your Tampa Workers Comp Lawyer Can Always Get a Second Opinion

If you feel that your employer or your workers compensation doctor is pressuring you to go back to work too soon, make sure you let us know. Call your Tampa workers comp lawyer as soon as you find out that you’re being ordered back on the job. Provide them with a copy of the letter you have received indicating that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement.

Your attorney will look for an independent doctor who can provide you with a second opinion. When you see this independent doctor, let them know how you feel both physically and mentally. They will run their own tests and determine whether they feel you are truly ready to go back to work. If they believe that your state approved workers comp doctor is correct, they’ll have no choice but to confirm their findings in their final report. If, however, they believe that you need another three to four weeks recovery time, they’ll put their findings in their report, and you can submit it to your employer and their insurance carrier.

Ask if Your Employer Has a Light Duty Position Available

One final option that you have is to request a light duty position from your employer. Not only will this give you more time to physically heal, but it also shows your employer that you’re not trying to avoid going back to work. If they do offer you a light duty position, you must take it. While your pay rate will stay the same, it may be work you find beneath you or unchallenging.

You cannot complain about this since you were the one who said you were not ready to return back to your real job. One way to look at it is that you no longer have to sit home in a state of limbo wondering whether you’ll go back to work in a week or in a month. This also will be good news for your Tampa workers comp lawyer who will be relieved to find out they don’t have to file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Your Tampa Workers Comp Lawyer Can Help

We all know that pain is a relative concept. What feels painful to one person may feel like minor discomfort to another. This is why it’s hard for employers to understand that a worker may not be ready to return to the job just because their doctor says they’re ready. Our workers compensation attorneys in Tampa have represented several clients over the years who were forced to go back to work long before they were fully healed. This is because the main determining factor in going back to work is the declaration that you have reached maximum medical improvement.

As explained above, this simply means that there is no more benefit from medical treatment as far as your injury is concerned. But that doesn’t mean that you are completely out of the woods. You may still be in a lot of pain and discomfort. You may feel tentative in using the parts of your body that were injured in your workplace accident. If this is the case, make sure you let your Tampa workers comp lawyer know right away. They can always move to get you a second opinion from a different doctor, one who is not certified by the state to determine when employees are ready to go back to work. Your attorney can also negotiate with your employer and their insurance company to approve a little more time to fully heal. If that isn’t possible, you always have the option of filing a lawsuit against your employer.

For now, we recommend that you contact our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. See what your workers compensation attorney in Tampa has to say about your case and the seriousness of your injuries. When it comes time for you to return to work, your workers compensation attorney in Tampa will be right by your side making sure that your rights are protected. Since your initial consultation is free, you have absolutely nothing to lose.

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