If you suffer an on-the-job injury, there’s a chance that it can inhibit your ability to perform all the duties required of your job. When this happens, you’ll need to visit a doctor to be evaluated for work restrictions and file a workers’ compensation claim. These work restrictions may be either temporary or permanent depending on your injury, and while they might seem burdensome, work restrictions are put in place for your benefit. In today’s blog, we explain how work restrictions can help you in a number of different ways.
Understanding Work Restrictions
If you suffer an on-the-job injury that knocks you out of work, you’ll be evaluated by a physician to determine the extent of your injury, what limitations you might have and how long your duties may be restricted. Work restrictions can come in many different forms. For example, you may be told that you can’t lift more than 50 pounds, that you shouldn’t stand for more than two straight hours, or that you should remain off ladders or avoid certain power tools. A good physician will provide you with general work restrictions, but a great physician will tailor your restrictions to the exact nature of your job.
Work restrictions are put in place for a couple of reasons, all of which benefit the injured worker. For starters, the main reason they are put in place is so that you can return to work and continue earning a living without needing to worry aggravating the injury or making it worse. Secondly, they are put in place so that you can claim wage loss benefits should the injury be so severe that you need to take a different role in the company that pays less than your previous role.
Work restrictions can also serve to benefit you down the road. For example, let’s say you fall down the stairs at work and injure your shoulder and ankle. The doctor examines you and determines that you shouldn’t lift more than 50 pounds or be on your feet for more than an hour at a time. Thankfully, those limitations do not affect your current job as payroll processor who works at a desk all day. However, let’s say you are let go by your company a couple months down the road. Because you have those work restrictions, you may be able to file for wage loss benefits from workers’ compensation while you search for a new job.
Work With An Attorney
Work restrictions help keep injured workers from making problems worse, and they can also help them get wage loss benefits, but don’t be surprised if the insurance company’s doctor views your injuries different than your treating physician. The company can request that you undergo an Independent Medical Examination that will further evaluate your injury and work restrictions. Oftentimes these IMEs will result in a full clearance to return to work, and while some workers are grateful to hear this news, others know they are still affected by the work injury and need more medical treatment or some work restrictions in place.
If you believe you’ve been incorrectly cleared to return to full activity, or you have questions about filing for wage loss benefits, reach out to a workers’ compensation lawyer. We can walk you through all your options and ensure your health and income are protected. Do not leave yourself at risk for further injury because the insurance company’s doctor cleared you for work – talk to a Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney first.
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