After you have been off work, the doctor signs a release that allows you to return to work. If there are any restrictions due to an accident, the doctor must put that in writing.
In many cases, a doctor may specify that you are restricted to “light duty” work, at least temporarily.
Work restrictions often limit the amount of weight you can lift. That may be a limit of 15 pounds, about the weight of three reams of paper. If a job requires you to lift and move materials, restrictions can impact the amount of hours you can work or whether you can even do the job.
If your employer does not have any light duty work available, then the employer must state that in writing. Again, this is documentation required for the insurance company.
In another example, computer work might not involve heavy lifting, but may require that you sit in the same chair in front of a computer for 8 hours a day. If that situation aggravates any injuries if you sit for more than 2 hours at a time, then your doctor must provide more details about work restrictions.
For a serious injury, you may never be able to go back to doing the work you did before the accident.
For example, the tasks done by a pipe fitter make it a very physical job. That type of work generally does not require a college degree. Being hurt in an accident to the point where it’s not possible to lift heavy objects affects not only the employee’s ability to do the job, but may have a major life impact.
If you are self-employed, you might find yourself in a situation where you previously did everything yourself, but now cannot handle all the tasks.
Even if you continued working, you had to hire someone to do some or all of the work because of injuries sustained in the accident. For example, you used to take care of all inventory for a small shop, but now need someone to lift and move boxes, unpack items, stock shelves, and so on. That expense can be part of a claim.
Our office has years of experience working with clients when they are dealing with work restrictions after an accident. Call our office if you have any questions about the details of your situation.