Work Injury and Returning to Work –
Many people use a workers compensation injury claim as an exit strategy from their current employment situation. It is true that many of those who enter the system end up leaving it with a lump sum of cash and with no job. The reasons for this result are numerous. But what about those who do go through the process and end up returning after an industrial accident? Under what circumstances can an individual return to the same company and what are the trade offs for doing so? These are important questions to ponder when strategizing about how to navigate the claims process and how to conclude it. Anyone who hires a California workers compensation lawyer should discuss with that attorney what their options are. Since the attorney will not have a crystal ball to know the future, goals for ending the case will be evolving in nature the medical recovery progresses. However, it is important to get knowledgeable advise about what going back to one’s employer means.
When the condition leaves a claimant temporarily totally disabled (TTD), that employee will remain off until the doctors have done all that they can do to cure the industrial ailment. If the condition improves, the claim on a whole will be worth less money. If the condition improves to the point where the employee can go back to their same position and they choose to do so, the case will be worth even less money. This well known effect on the value of a case is often not a desirable one for the applicant, leaving them to choose between a larger payout and their old job. For some who are too injured to perform their duties, the direction is a simple one: Take the largest amount of money that can be had and move on with life under their new physical restrictions. For those with lesser conditions that will still allow them to perform their old duties, a choice must be made between taking a lump sum of money and resign or going back to the same company. Let’s look at some factors that can affect one’s situation.
Workers Comp Injury Return To Work Factors
The following are some factors or considerations that affect an individual’s choice to go back or take a lump sum cash settlement. Of course, every case is completely unique so there is no right decision that should be based on the general information provided here. In general, the worker will choose to stay with their employer where on a whole the employment relationship is salvageable and outweighs the benefits provided by the settlement available at the time. This is a very subjective determination that will vary, and the following might be considered when choosing between the two options:
- Availability of Prior Job or Modified Work: Before moving to the other considerations, one should first know whether their is a position available with the company still. If there is and the employee can perform it, then the option of taking their old job back is on the table. In the event the permanent impairment restricts the person from being placed in their prior position, one should then ask whether their is modified duty or an alternate position available with the employer. If there is, then the option of taking it will be on the table. If neither are available, then this whole analysis will not apply to the scenario.
- Relationship with Employer: Even if going back is an option, the employment relationship could have soured to through the claims process. This is not uncommon. The claim probably increased the employers insurance premiums. The culture of some companies is to ostracize or give a hard time to those who have exercised their rights under the law. Even though discrimination is illegal, it is a reality that the workforce does face. Since it is real, it must be considered in the analysis. If upon return latent or patent discrimination is likely, this could lead a person capable of performing duties within the company from going back.
- Availability of Other Work: At this point, if going back is an option, one must consider whether an alternate employment relationship would be just as good or better than the current one. If so, taking a lump sum settlement could be like having cake and eating it too. Someone could maintain income and also receive a lump of cash as part of their compensation package.
- The Desire to Leave the Comp System: Those going through the process know that it is not an easy process. Medical treatments are often delayed or denied, and many find the actual care to be subpar compared to private health plans purchased on the insurance exchanges or through another company. Because further care through workmans compensation is not desired, the only way to get out of the system is to fully settle the case for cash. Therefore, if getting out is desired above all, this consideration may lead to a settlement.
Call A California Workers Comp Injury Lawyer For Help
Before Returning To Work After Workers Comp Injury
Those looking for options other than just taking what the insurance adjuster offers them need to consult with a lawyer. An experienced and intelligent workers compensation law attorney will be able to help maximize settlement value and advise their client on the options and what they will mean for the client. Only after review with a knowledgeable California injury lawyer will an individual be armed with the facts needed to make the best decision for themselves. Do not rely on general information provided on this website. It is only available to present my personal views from working within the system so that you know that I know what I am talking about!
My office is here to help you today! For more information on me and what I do, visit calinjurylawyer.com‘s main page. Remember, legal rights need to be exercised in a timely manner to be effective. Do not hesitate to talk to me about your situation before it’s too late! The insurance company does not care about you! They want to keep the costs as low as possible, and that means less for you! Get a trusted advocate on your side as soon as possible. Call today!