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Getting back to work after a workplace injury

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Workers' Compensation, Workplace Injuries

Going back to work after getting injured on the job in California can feel both exciting and a little worrying for many people. Besides thinking about money, going back to work is important for your emotions and health. Making this return to work successful means planning it in a way that works best for you and what you need with your new medical condition.

Communication is key

When returning to work after a job injury, especially one where workers’ compensation was involved, communication with your employer, physician and claims adjuster is essential. It is critical for all of you to be on the same page regarding the duties that you have at work and the type of work you’re able to do after your injury.

Reporting on your condition

After your injury at work, the doctor who’s helping you will talk to the person handling your claim about what happened during your medical check-up. The doctor will explain if there are any restrictions or things you can’t do at work to keep you safe. The aim is to help you get back to work without getting hurt again. Sometimes, this might mean adjusting your work hours or the tools you use to do your job.

If your doctor outlines work restrictions, your employer is responsible for adhering to them if possible. If your employer can’t comply, you are not required to work in unsafe conditions. the situation is different if your doctor’s report says that you can go back to work without work restrictions. In this case, the employer is typically required to offer you the same rate of pay and position you enjoyed before your workplace injury.

When differences arise

If you return to work with restrictions, work with your employer to ensure the conditions are met. There is no obligation for an injured employee with work restrictions to accept a job that does not meet the conditions laid out by their physician. If you feel you cannot accept the new position, explain to your employer why it does not meet the limitations laid out by your medical professional. As with all things related to workers’ compensation cases, your reasons must be documented in writing. One copy should be given to your employer, and the other should be kept for your records.