Can Returning to Work Too Soon Hurt Your Personal Injury Claim?

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You are injured following an accident that wasn’t your fault. You have filed a lawsuit, and while your lawyer is busy seeking compensation, you might wonder if you can return to work. Can it hurt if you are returning to a desk job? 

The short answer is yes. Know that failing to follow the recommendations of your physician, physical or mental health therapist, or attorney can hurt your case.

Suppose you are facing boredom while at home. It is an excellent time to take notes on your pains and healing journey and the difficulties they present. That information on how your life has changed will be essential to establish your personal injury case presented to the insurer for the at-fault party. 

Injury Setback

Returning to work too early may mean you could reinjure yourself and suffer a setback that takes you even longer to heal. The following injuries take time:

  • Head trauma
  • Burns
  • Neck pain
  • Broken bones
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Bites
  • Back pain
  • Pain and suffering
  • Trauma
  • Infections

The body needs time to heal, and even sitting at a desk can make your situation worse, especially if you have back, bone, or spine injuries.

Running a big rig, moving heavy boxes, driving long distances, or walking long distances, all of these activities can contribute to an injury setback. 

Burns require extensive dressing so as not to become infected. That is not conducive to the workplace. Head trauma may make it difficult to understand instructions or numbers; again, it is not ideal to have that disability in a work environment.

Casts, crutches, and soft tissue injuries are best treated in a home or a rehabilitation environment. 

Mentally, the shock of experiencing the moment just before your accident may repeatedly play in your head. Seeing another vehicle careening toward your passenger door is not a sight you get over quickly. You may relive that trauma unless you enter counseling and allow for some passage of time, especially if the injuries it caused are severe or resulted in a fatality.

Returning to Work

Returning to work too early may signal to the insurer for the other side that you are not that injured. That is not the message you want to send. The defense will use your return to work as an example that your injuries are not as serious as you claim and, therefore, you should not receive compensation or a reduced compensation.

In essence, by returning to work too soon, you have given the other side the ammunition they need to use against you. 

Even after a passage of time and with therapy, once you return to work, your employer may reduce your workload. There likely will be limitations on what you can do, and the doctor will communicate with your employer your limitations. 

Someone who works retail may have to reduce the number of hours she is on her feet; a driver may be limited to shorter distances; someone who works in a warehouse may only be able to lift lighter loads.

You should not feel bad that you are letting yourself go through the healing process. Understand that your return to an everyday working life will take time. 

If yours is a workers’ comp claim, there is the concern that another employee will fill your job, but Mr. Nix advises you that you cannot be fired in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Your Alabama Personal Injury Attorney

You may be struggling financially, but if you look at the big picture, taking adequate and recommended time to recuperate will likely increase securing the compensation you seek. It is the best thing you can do to ensure your personal injury claim.

Attorney Chip Nix understands how to deal with the insurance adjuster for the other side and has seen all the tactics used to reduce your settlement. He will advise you never to discuss your case with the other side. Even though they seem friendly, they do not have your best interest. 

You want to return to work and do not wish to be reinjured. Your doctors, therapists, and Mr. Nix are your best allies in laying out your expected healing plan and presenting that plan to the other side.

Following that plan shows the other side you are a united front and your case is in good hands. Contact Chip Nix, Attorney at Law, at 334-203-6669 to schedule an appointment and review your personal injury case. 

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