Ultimately, the main goal of workers’ compensation is to get injured workers the treatment they need to completely recover so they can return to work.
While this may not be possible if an employee sustains a permanent disability, a majority of employees are able to get back to work after a certain period of time. Returning to work after an injury can be challenging on many levels. But by knowing what to expect, you can make the process smoother. Here are some tips to follow:
1. Listen to Your Doctor
When it comes to our own health, many of us think we know best. But remember, unless you’re a medical doctor, it’s nearly impossible to know what the full extent of your injuries are, how long they will take to heal, and what the potential repercussions would be of returning to work before you’re ready.
The decision to return to work depends on whether your treating physician has determined what it is okay for you to do so. In other words, they must approve that your injuries won’t be exacerbated more if you begin performing certain job duties.
2. Communicate With Your Employer
It’s important to keep an open line of communication between yourself, your treating physician, and your employer. While your job is protected while you on a leave of absence during your recovery, checking in with your employer can strengthen their trust in you and make your transition easier.
Let your employer know as to when you will be returning to work, what modifications you may need, and whether you may require any special equipment. This way, your employer has time to make any necessary adjustments to the work schedule and get any equipment you need at your work site.
3. Ask for Accommodations
If you are still recovering, accommodations may be necessary if you are not yet able to return to the job you did before your accident, but you can perform other types of duties. In these cases, you may be assigned light duty work or temporary modified duty (TMD). The specifics of your modified job duties will depend on the restrictions required by your treating physician.
Your doctor should also give a timeline of how long you may need modified work before transitioning back to your normal job. You will most likely have regular check-ups with your physician to determine how your body is responding to the lighter demands of your job and whether you are fit to continue with more rigorous or more demanding duties.
4. Listen to your Body
Lastly, always listen to what your body is telling you and do not try to push your body past its capabilities. Doing so can cause you to worsen your existing injury or cause injury to another part of your body. The key is to find balance and listen to how your body is responding.
It’s a good idea to journal throughout the day and note any problems or pain you are experiencing and what activities you were doing when they occurred. This way, you can show your physician at your next appointment and they can determine if you require other job modifications.
Helping You Return to Work the Right Way
While your health and safety should be everyone’s top priority, even those with the best intentions may not see eye to eye when you are able to fully return back to your pre-accident job duties.
If you or a loved one needs assistance with a proper return to work after being injured, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Justice Law Office. Our Louisville workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of injured workers across Kentucky, and we are ready to hear your story.
Contact our firm at (502) 822-2230 or fill out our online contact form to get started today.