With many auto accidents and other personal injuries, it is necessary to miss some time from work in order to physically recover. With more serious injuries, the injured person might need to be out of work for several weeks or even months or longer.
Most people do not enjoy being out of work for an extended period of time. Usually, they can’t wait to get back into their regular routine of going to work, socializing with co-workers, and earning money again. In other words, they are looking for a return to normalcy.
Wanting to get back on the job as soon as possible is understandable, but what if it is too soon? If you go back to work before you should, how will it impact your personal injury claim?
When is the Right Time to Go Back to Work after an Auto Accident?
The right time to go back to work after a car accident or any other type of personal injury is only after your doctor clears you (to return) and you feel physically able to do your job again. Returning to work too early could be a big mistake for a couple of reasons:
You Might Re-Aggravate Your Injury
Although you may want to get back to work as soon as possible after an auto accident injury, your first priority should be your physical health and well-being. With this in mind, you do not want to start working again if there is a chance that your injury could get aggravated.
For example, you might feel pretty good right now, but you don’t know what physical movements might cause your injury to flare up again. If this were to happen, your recovery could take a major setback and you would probably end up being out of work for a much longer period of time. There is also the chance of re-aggravations that could result in long-term physical problems, which could even mean not being able to go back to your previous job at all.
It Could Complicate Your Personal Injury Claim
If you have filed a claim for damages from your auto accident, returning to work too soon can definitely hurt your claim. For one thing, the insurance company might see your return to work as proof that your injuries are not really as serious as you say they are, which could result in a significantly lower settlement offer. Remember that the insurance company is looking for ways to diminish the value of your claim and enhance their bottom line – and going back to work too soon gives them an opportunity to do just that.
If you go back to work and your injury gets re-aggravated, this could complicate things even further. As an injury claimant, you have a legal obligation to mitigate the effects of your injury, which essentially means following through on all of your doctor’s recommendations and doing everything necessary to get recovered or reach maximum medical improvement. If you return to work too soon and your condition gets worse, the insurance company might say that they are not responsible for any additional treatment that is required as a result.
What If My Doctor Clears Me to Go Back to Work Before I Feel Ready?
There are some injury victims that run into a different dilemma when their doctor says they are ready to return to work, but they do not feel like they are physically able to yet. In a case like this, the first thing to do is speak with your attorney about what options you may have. One possibility is that you could go to another doctor and get a second opinion. By getting a second opinion, you might be able to get your time away from work extended or at the very least, you might be able to get some work restrictions put into place.
Suffered a Personal Injury in Alabama? Contact Hedge Copeland for Assistance
If you or a loved one got injured because of someone else’s negligence or reckless actions, Hedge Copeland is here to help. Call our office today at (251) 432-8844 or message us online for a free consultation and case assessment with a member of our legal team.