Sustaining an injury in the workplace can be traumatic and confusing, especially when you have to navigate returning to work after your recovery. As if being injured wasn’t enough, now you have to coordinate with attorneys, request accommodations, and answer snooping coworkers’ questions—only adding insult to injury.
If you feel like you don’t know where to start with your return to work, here’s a reference handbook to help you understand the steps.
1. Keep in touch with your attorney
You will need to contact a lawyer upon sustaining an injury when at work. When you start returning to work after an injury, be sure to stay in touch with your personal injury attorney.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is imperative, as hiring one can provide you with positive results. The research supporting this fact includes the following.
- An extensive survey of plaintiffs shows that those who hire personal injury lawyers are more likely to receive payment than those who failed to hire an attorney.
- Those with an attorney working on their behalf had the highest likelihood of recovering payment in auto insurance injury claims.
- State databases of auto insurance claims show that plaintiffs with personal injury attorneys had a higher chance of getting paid. Their payments were more significant, on average than plaintiffs without lawyer assistance.
Your attorney can also help ease your transition by advocating for any necessary accommodations on your behalf.
2. Pay attention to your doctor’s advice and your body’s signs
Whether your boss needs you back at work or you want to return to your job, you should always listen to your doctor’s advice and stay home until it’s safe to work again.
You should only return to work after your doctor gives you the all-clear. Even if work is your entire life, you shouldn’t go back too early, as doing so can negatively affect your health and your ability to work again in the future.
If you’re feeling bored at home, ask your doctor about simple exercises you can do to vent excess energy.
Your health is priority number one, so don’t forget to listen to your body and let your doctor know how you’re feeling.
3. Keep in touch with your boss after Returning to Work
You might want to let your employer know how you’re doing and keep them updated on your injury and health. However, you have a right to privacy regarding your medical records, so your boss will not have the right to ask personal healthcare questions.
Note that you don’t need to volunteer any medical information that you are uncomfortable sharing.
Nonetheless, if you choose, you can keep your boss up to date on your injury and keep communication channels open. You have full rights to ask for accommodations, so you may want to request such options before you are returning to work. Taking this extra step will make your home-to-work transition seamless.
4. Request accommodations if necessary
Suppose your doctor says you’re A-OK to return to work. You may feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about getting back to your job site. However, even with a clean bill of health, your injury can still affect your body, and you might need accommodations to complete your assignments.
Don’t be afraid to ask your employer for accommodations if you need them, as you are well within your rights to do so. Your doctor may be able to request accommodations on your behalf. You deserve to work in an environment that’s safe for you, so don’t be shy about speaking up.
You can also learn more about asking for accommodations at return-to-work programs.
5. Ask about return-to-work programs
Various companies offer effective return-to-work programs. Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and human resources departments all benefit from these programs. How? Overall, return-to-work programs ensure department heads remain compliant with rules and regulations that keep employees protected and more productive.
Furthermore, return-to-work programs can keep legal fees low for affected parties in a workplace accident.
Often, return-to-work programs provide employees with diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up healthcare services in one specified location. The convenience of these programs greatly benefits workers, as they do not need to visit many different doctors and incur health medical bills.
Remember: you should not return to work until you are entirely ready and your doctor gives you the go-ahead. Your health will outlast any one job, so value it accordingly.
These five factors should help you in returning to work successfully after sustaining a work-related injury.
If you have faced an injury on the job, you’ll want to hire a personal injury lawyer, follow your doctor’s advice, and ask for accommodations if you need them.
You should also keep the communication channels open with your employer and see if any returning to work programs are available at your company. These steps can help ease your transition back to the workplace after sustaining an injury.