If you experience an on-the-job injury in Florida, you’ll quickly discover your day-to-day life will change – often drastically. You must leave work to seek medical attention, and you may not be able to work or fully recover from the injury for several weeks, months, or longer.
While you may receive full medical coverage for all accident and injury-related expenses, the disability payments you receive will typically only cover about two-thirds (at most) of what you typically make.
You may wonder if you have the option to return to work before you are completely recovered from the injury. After all, if this is possible, you don’t have to worry about accepting the reduced income that comes with more workers’ compensation plans.
Requesting Accommodations After a Florida Injury at Work
Based on the type of work you do and the type of injury you experienced, it may be possible to ask your employer to keep working. If your doctor agrees to this arrangement, then you may be able to keep working if specific accommodations are made, such as equipment to reduce the strain caused by your job, breaks for you to rest, or completely new job responsibilities from what you usually do. Your doctor’s letter may be all that is needed to convince your employer to provide these accommodations and allow you to continue working.
With the right accommodations, you can stay on the job and alleviate the impact of the injury you experienced. In some situations, if you have an employer who allows you to take a different position until you are fully recovered, they may require that you accept less pay. In this situation, workers’ compensation will be protected by offering temporary partial disability benefits.
What Happens if Accommodations Aren’t Possible
In some situations, the nature of your job, or even the size of the company you work for, can make it challenging for them to accommodate your needs. If there are not enough additional workers to cover the responsibilities of your job, or if there aren’t any light-duty options, it may be necessary to take a leave of absence until you have fully recovered. Again, temporary total disability benefits will help you if you cannot earn any income due to a work-caused medical condition.
Reasons You May Want to Wait to Return to Work
While financial hardships may make it seem like you don’t have any other options but to return to work to earn your full wage while recovering from a work-caused injury, there are a few reasons you may want to wait.
You May Make Your Injury Worse
One of the most important reasons to avoid going back to work early is to give your body time to heal. Your doctor usually advises you to take a certain amount of time off work for this reason. Even if you begin to feel better, you may not be completely healed, which means you may re-injure yourself or worsen the injury.
You may also be in a lot of pain if you go back to work too soon. If you want to avoid making your injuries worse and suffering while trying to work, you should follow your doctor’s orders regarding how much time you should take off.
Returning to Work May Hurt Your Florida Workers’ Compensation Claim
It’s important to consider your workers’ compensation case. You may hope that what you receive will cover all your medical costs, any lost wages, and all other costs related to your on-the-job injury. The bad news is some companies may attempt to deny your claims, even if they are legitimate.
If you return to work willingly, your employer’s insurance company may claim you weren’t injured initially or that your injuries were not as bad as you claimed. If this happens, it can cause quite a few problems for your case. Because of this, before you return to work, it is a good idea to speak to your Florida workers’ compensation attorney. They can help ensure you make the right decisions for your case and compensation.
You Have Rights as an Injured Worker in Florida
A common reason an injured worker may return to work after an injury is if their employer requests it. If this happens, you should understand that you have rights. Your employer should not be asking you to come back to work early or threaten you if your doctor has stated you are not ready. If this happens, you need to speak to your attorney.
Hire our Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorneys to Help with Your Case
If you have been injured at work and are considering returning to work while recovering, it is best to speak to an experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorney first. They can provide you with advice regarding what to do and how to move forward. They can also let you know if returning to work is a smart move.