After a work injury, many employees want to go back to work as soon as possible. But rushing back to work is not a great idea for everyone.
Reasons Not to Go Back to Work
There are many reasons why you may not be ready to go back to work yet, even if you want to return. For example:
- Your doctor may say that you need more time to fully heal
- You may still be in pain or on medications that could affect your ability to work
- You may have work restrictions that are difficult for your employer to accommodate, but that your doctor anticipates removing over time
- You may risk an overuse injury to another body part by returning
As to the last point, workers may feel pressured to return to work and then end up with new injuries. Overcompensating for a still-hurting limb by overusing the other limb is extremely common. That is why following your doctor’s instructions and taking time to fully heal is very important.
The Insurance Company Wants You to Return to Work as Soon as Possible
The less money the workers’ compensation insurance company has to pay you and your medical providers, the better for its bottom line. As a result, insurers may push injured workers to return to work before they are medically or psychologically ready. This can lead to problems with work accommodations or even overuse injuries as mentioned above.
However, if you feel physically and mentally ready to return to work but your doctor says no, you need to sort it out. Talk to your doctor frankly about how you feel and any other factors, such as financial need. Your doctor may be keeping you off work in an abundance of caution, or because he or she has observed symptoms that you have not. You may be able to agree with your doctor that you should return to work. Or you might leave the appointment with a better understanding of why you are still off work.
If the insurance company is aggressively pushing you to return to work before you are able, you do not have to obey. You should follow your treating doctor’s instructions. You also may want to speak to a lawyer, who can help you deal with the insurance company.
Are you struggling to balance your need to return to work with your medical progress? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.