For some reason, a lot of people assume that being out on workers comp is like having an extended, paid vacation. In a way, our Georgia workers comp lawyers can understand why they would feel this way. Depending on the seriousness of your injury, you may only need to go for treatment a few times a week. The rest of the time, you are sitting at home collecting weekly benefits.
However, any Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney will tell you that being out on workers comp is no picnic. When our clients ask us how long they’ll be out of work, we cannot give them a precise answer. There are too many factors that impact how long you’ll be out of work. Here, we will discuss these factors.
Every Case Our Atlanta Workers Compensation Attorneys Handle Is Unique
One thing our Georgia workers’ comp lawyers understand is that every case is different. We have represented clients who are out of work for a year and end up permanently disabled. We have also handled cases where our client is back to work within a month. It all depends on what kind of work you do and what type of injury you suffer. It isn’t just about the seriousness of your injury.
It depends on whether your injury prevents you from being able to do your job. This is why there are some clients who are unable to return to work for several months despite the fact that their injury didn’t seem all that serious at the start.
What Kind of Injuries Did You Sustain in Your Workplace Accident?
When our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney is trying to gauge how long you’ll be out of work, there are several factors they must consider. Obviously, the type of injury you suffered will be paramount. If you suffered a wrist injury, you won’t be out of work for all that long. Unless you use your wrists as part of your daily duties, you may be able to return to work in no time.
If, however, you suffer a back injury, there is a chance you’ll be out of work a lot longer. You may need surgery and long-term physical therapy. Obviously, with an injury of this type, it will take a lot longer to return to work. This is why it is so difficult for your Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney to predict how long you’ll be out of work.
Has Your Workers Comp Doctor Given You an Anticipated Return Date?
Sometimes, when you first meet with your workers’ comp doctor, they give you an idea of how long your treatment will last. For example, if you break your leg, they should know how long the recovery period will be.
They’ve handled plenty of cases where workers have broken a leg before. Of course, there are times when your progress may get derailed. Perhaps you suffer a setback during physical therapy. Or the doctor may discover something that wasn’t apparent to them when they first examined you.
If you feel that you’re being pushed to return to work too soon, you should tell your workers’ comp lawyer in Atlanta.
At Some Point, Your Doctor Will Determine That You’ve Reached Maximum Medical Improvement
One of the reasons why you are required to be treated by a state-approved workers’ compensation doctor is because they are qualified to determine when an employee is ready to return to work. To do this, they must confirm that you have reached the point where further treatment will no longer help you.
This is referred to as reaching maximum medical improvement. Once the doctor has determined that you’ve reached this point, you might be ordered to go back to work. However, if you aren’t completely better you might be given a partial permanent disability rating.
In some cases, the doctor may determine that you are not fully healed but are ready to return to work in a light-duty position. You may be entitled to temporary partial disability benefits if you’re earning less while on light duty.
Your Georgia Workers Comp Lawyer Will Make Sure You Aren’t Forced to Return Before You’re Ready
When a person gets injured on the job, they normally go out on workers’ compensation. Most of the time, our clients are back at work within a matter of a couple of months. Unless you suffered a life-threatening injury, there is a good chance you’ll fully recover in two or three months.
The problem is that it seems like a lot of workers’ comp doctors try to rush this process. They know that your employer needs you back in the office. They can’t afford to pay another employee to do your job any longer than absolutely necessary.
If you think this is happening to you, then you need to let your Atlanta workers’ comp lawyer know immediately. You may end up reinjuring yourself if you return to your job too soon. If you aren’t ready to return to work, then you deserve workers’ compensation until you are.
We recommend that you contact our office at the start of your workers’ compensation claim. One of our Georgia workers comp attorneys will sit down with you and review your case. All you have to do is call and schedule your free, initial consultation.