Returning to Work After a Work Related Accident

It’s important to understand how returning to work can impact your workplace injury claim. Injured Workers’ Law Firm Attorney Michele Lewane explains what happens after you have been released from your doctor to return to work after a work related accident resulting in a job related injury.
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Video Transcript

A very difficult problem happens when an injured worker does not feel that they are ready to return to work and the doctor is saying yes they can return to work.

It’s a catch 22, do I refuse to obey my Dr’s orders and have all my workers comp benefits cut off or do I do something and risk injuring myself again, and um the best way to handle this is to specifically have your work restrictions in your back pocket because your supervisor and your co-workers, if you don’t have some cast on don’t realize that your back is hurt and you only have a 10 pound lifting restriction.

So my general best advice is to try it and if you can’t do it immediately go back to the doctor and try to request that he change the work restrictions. Maybe changing the number of hours a day you’re working or maybe specifically saying supposed to be emptying trash cans or you’re not supposed to be picking up boxes or getting on your hands and knees washing some type of equipment.

If your employer asks you to do something that violates the restrictions, you have the restrictions right there and you say, I’m sorry, my doctor says I cannot do that and you have the restrictions to hand to him.

So if you choose to do the work like you’re back at work, you’re stocking things and you’re not supposed to be using your left arm and you’re using your left arm and your right arm and you injure your left arm, you are the one whose in trouble, you’re the one whose violated the work restrictions that said no use of your left arm and you are the one that will have your medical benefits cut off.

So, it’s a very difficult situation to be in, cases are done on, it’s a very fact specific so it’s not in general oh you can do this or that, so my advise would be to talk to an attorney, you can either call me or any other workers comp attorney in Virginia and get the information that you need.

You could also, I’ve written a book just for injured workers, you can order that book from my website at and hopefully it will help with some of these tough situations you might get into.


About the Author:

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.