When someone is severely injured on the job, Workers’ Compensation, paid for by the employer’s insurance, takes care of the employee’s medical bills and provides income while the worker recuperates. While is it important for the worker to take time to heal completely, employers want workers back on the job as soon as possible.
Sometimes, the worker may want to go back to work sooner than they should to would receive full wages rather than partial. Other times, an employer may want the worker back on the job to cease paying benefits. No matter whose idea it is, it is never a good idea for an employee to go back to work before they are physically able.
A doctor must clear the worker to return, and it is not wise to push for a medical release if the physician thinks more time is needed. It is important to wait until the doctor declares that you have reached your maximum medical improvement level. For some workers, that means they are 100 percent healed, while for others, it may mean they will have a disability. In the latter case, returning to work may not be an option at all.
While it is understandable that a worker and an employer both have an interest in getting back to work as soon as possible, the worker is the one taking on personal risk. If the worker goes back before they are able to handle the demands of their job, they run a greater risk of reinjury. This could worsen an injury to the point where a worker may no longer be able to perform their assigned job duties.
Under Workers’ Compensation, employees are entitled to certain benefits. These include:
Medical care: This includes compensation for all medical bills, prescription medications, and mileage to and from healthcare provider appointments.
Temporary disability payments: These payments can compensate for some wages lost due to injury. In most circumstances, temporary disability payments average two-thirds of a worker’s normal weekly wage, up to a certain limit.
Permanent disability: Workers who cannot return to their jobs may prove eligible for permanent disability payments. Much depends on the limitations put on the worker by their injuries.
Vocational Rehabilitation: If the worker cannot return to their former job but can still work, they may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation training. During the training period, they will receive some income, similar to temporary disability payments. Services available during rehabilitation training may include placement with an employment agency, career counseling, and other programs.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured on the job, or you feel you are being made to return to work too soon, you need the services of the experienced Allegheny County work injury lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. To schedule a free case evaluation, call us today at 412-765-1888 or contact us online. From our offices in Pittsburgh, we serve clients in Allegheny County, Lawrence County, Washington County, and throughout western Pennsylvania.