After you are injured in an on-the-job accident, you may be told by your doctor or physical therapist that you may soon be able to go back to your job. In other words, the treating healthcare providers believe you have healed sufficiently for you to go back to your employer.
However, very few physical therapists or orthopedic surgeons have done heavy physical labor like digging ditches, laying cable, roofing, or heavy construction.
That is why it is critical that if you are injured, you explain the physical requirements of your job. If you are a hands-on manager, the doctor needs to know this information, so that he or she is not under the mistaken impression that you sit behind a desk and push paper all day. Likewise, if you perform several different job functions, your treating physician needs to know how heavy objects are that you lift during the day, how much bending, stooping, squatting, reaching etc. you do in the course of your job.
If the attending physician does not have accurate information as to what your precise job duties are, he or she may release you back to perform your job well in excess of anything the doctor would otherwise recommend for a patient who had to do what you do. This can lead to re-injury, aggravation of an underlying condition, or injury to another part of your body by virtue of “favoring” the damaged body part.
At the Workers’ Compensation injury law firm Abrams Landau, Ltd., we try to get accurate information from the treating doctors as to what physical abilities our clients have when they are released to return to light duty, part-time, and/or selective duty employment. It is important to have clear restrictions set forth in writing in every single case, so there can be no misunderstandings later.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an on-the-job accident and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).