Injured workers who have been released to return to work are, sometimes, under limitations that restrict their driving abilities, or they are on medications that affect their ability to drive. Or, they may have a manual shift car that is uncomfortable for them to operate due to their injury and they want to know if they still have to return to work.
The answer is YES! The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission views driving or transportation issues as a PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and they are not concerned with HOW you get to work – be it by your own car, a ride from a friend or family member, or even by public transit (taxi or bus). Transportation to and from work was the responsibility of the worker before the injury and it remains that way after the injury – even if the injury impedes your driving abilities. Transportation issues DOO NOT affect your ability to work!
The next question I get is from folks who drive for a living (truck driver, delivery driver, and so on). They want to know, if the doctor will not let them drive, per their CDL license, can they work? The answer is YES! If the employer is willing to accommodate your restriction of no driving (maybe by letting you work in the office), then it is still your responsibility to get to and from work because, at work, you will not be doing any driving and the office work provided by the employer is within the doctors limitations.
If you choose not to show up for work because the doctor has placed you on driving limitations or because your car is inconvenient for you while you are injured, you run the risk of the employer reporting to the insurance company that your are not cooperating with the work they are offering you and your workers’ compensation benefits could be terminated!
I understand that this transportation issue is inconvenient for some folks but know the rules in order to protect your benefits and make sure you are doing everything that is required under Virginia law.
Bottom line – if the doctor says you can return to work, you need to do it regardless of the transportation issues you may encounter. Transportation Issues DO NOT Affect Your Ability to Work!
If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order my book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” by clicking this link, or call our office today (804) 755-7755.