Can Returning to Work Too Soon Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim?
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Oct 30, 2020 in Personal Injury
Personal injuries are often financially devastating as medical treatment can be very expensive and victims may be unable to work, which results in lost income. That is why injury victims are often itching to return to work, regardless of their pain or other symptoms. This is particularly true for victims with spouses and children.
However, returning to the job too soon could hurt the value of your personal injury claim. The insurance company will take your return to work as a sign your injuries are not that serious. How bad can they be if you are able to work?
Below, learn more about when injury victims should go back to work and how the timing of this decision could impact a personal injury claim, either positively or negatively.
If you have any questions about pursuing a personal injury claim, consider contacting the trusted Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Phillips Law Group. Our firm has recovered more than $750 million in compensation on behalf of personal injury victims throughout Arizona. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience.
Going Back to Work After an Injury
Generally, you should not return to work unless you are cleared to do so by your doctor. Disobeying your doctor’s orders could hurt the value of your claim. By doing so, you are giving the insurance company room to dispute the severity of your injuries. They may do that anyway, so you do not want to give them something else they can use against you.
Going back too soon could also cause you to reaggravate your injuries. If that happens, the insurance company may try to exclude doctor’s visits and other medical treatment you receive after aggravating your injuries from the value of your claim.
When you do go back, make sure to abide by any restrictions your doctor placed on your work activities. These restrictions are for your own good, as they are designed to accommodate your injuries and prevent them from worsening.
Your return to work may not mean your treatment stops. It is important to continue going to follow-up appointments as requested by your doctor. If he or she refers you to a specialist, make an appointment and go see the specialist.
Following your doctor’s orders and going to treatment helps to show you are injured and you are taking appropriate steps to try to recover. Insurance companies routinely dispute the severity of an injury, even an injury that is clearly serious, like a back injury or brain injury. If you stop treatment, the insurance company might say you are simply trying to inflate the value of your claim.
The cost of traveling to appointments and the lost wages from work hours missed may be compensable in your claim. Make sure to keep detailed records of the times you missed work and the wages you lost because of it. This may include paid time off you used because you could not work or needed to leave to receive medical treatment.
What if I Do Not Think I Can Return to Work?
There are times when a doctor says it is OK to return to work, but the victim feels he or she is in too much pain or cannot handle his or her work duties.
Fortunately, you have the option of going to another doctor for a second opinion. He or she may agree with you, or at least recommend certain restrictions on your work duties. Make sure to get a note from your doctor about work restrictions to provide to your employer.
Limiting Your Activities While You Are Not Working
Your recovery is the top priority after suffering a personal injury. That is why continuing treatment is so important. However, it is also important to follow your doctor’s orders about limiting your activities. You do not want to reaggravate your injuries or give the insurance company something to use against you.
That is why it is important to limit what you post on social media or avoid posting anything until the conclusion of your claim. If you post pictures of yourself at parties or out with friends, the insurance company may use this against you.
Need Help with Your Claim? Call Phillips Law Group
Personal injury victims often have many questions about pursuing compensation. That is one reason why meeting with an experienced attorney can be an important step in the recovery process.
When you meet with an attorney from Phillips Law Group, you can find out if you may have a case and what it may be worth. We can also answer your questions and explain the benefits of working with our firm. The initial consultation is 100 percent free of charge. We also bear the cost of pursuing your case, which means there are no fees unless you receive compensation.
Phillips Law Group. Millions Recovered. Call 1-800-706-3000