After you have been injured at work and your physician has given you a permanent disability rating that includes restrictions, you may be unable to return to your former position at your job as a result of those restrictions. If you’ve been struggling with the complexities of your workplace injury, speak to our team of lawyers in Richmond, Virginia, who have handled Workers’ Comp cases like yours in the past.
An important thing to keep in mind during Workers’ Comp cases is the purpose of a vocational rehabilitation counselor. Superficially, it seems that their goal is to get you a job and help you get back on your feet, but the reality of the situation is that a vocational rehabilitation counselor’s ultimate goal is to get you a job, any job, as quickly as possible, because the sooner that you have another means of employment, the sooner the Workers’ Comp insurance provider no longer has to provide you with benefits.
Here are 8 considerations for when you speak with a vocational rehabilitation counselor during Workers’ Comp cases in Virginia:
- Bring your Workers’ Comp attorney with you to your first meeting with the vocational rehabilitation counselor. This will discourage the counselor from taking up any unprofessional habits, such as attempting to wear you down so that you will accept a cheap offer.
- Document everything. Time and date all of your documents and keep a job search log.
- Don’t treat the counselor like your friend or allow yourself to speak too liberally with him or her. Counselors will attempt to twist your words to make it look like you are refusing to cooperate, so you should ensure that everything you say gives the indication that you are fully compliant and in total cooperation – however, don’t go too far and speak with the counselor like he or she is your buddy. As ideal as it would be if the situation were otherwise, you and the counselor are on opposite sides of the table, both practically and metaphorically.
- Don’t miss any job interviews. Even if you’ve been sent to an interview that is inappropriate for you, you do not want your counselor to be able to say you are refusing to cooperate. In that vein, go to all your interviews.
- Return to working as soon as you are able. You should not go back to work before you are able to, but once you are capable of working a job, you should return. Not only will you earn more income than if you remain on benefits, but it also will prevent you from being stuck with a job you are forced into by your counselor.
- Don’t allow the vocational rehabilitation counselor to come into your house. There’s never a reason for this counselor to come to your home, where he or she will have access to your personal life and may twist details against your case. Always meet at his or her office or a public place.
- Insist that you are given “suitable” employment. This is a requirement under Workers’ Comp rules; if you suspect these stipulations are being violated, demand an explanation. It’s not a bad idea to get your attorney involved.
- Keep your attorney in the loop. You should let your lawyer know about every job you are offered, any vocational training suggestions, and anything that violates the guidelines or gives you pause.
If you have received permanent restrictions following a work-related injury, make sure that your vocational rehabilitation counselor is adherent to the rules that govern Workers’ Comp, and speak with a member of a team of Workers’ Comp lawyers in Richmond, Virginia.
Contact a Team of Workers’ Comp Lawyers in Richmond, Virginia
When you have difficulties with your Workers’ Comp case, seeking a Virginia Workers’ Comp attorney can help bear some of the burden you’ve been placed under. To get back on your feet, whether it means getting back to work or getting the benefits you deserve, order a copy of our free book, the Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia, and contact a Workers’ Comp attorney at the Injured Workers Law Firm for a no-cost consultation – 1-877-755-7744.
About the Author: Injured Workers Law Firm
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia Workers’ Compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.