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What are my worker's comp rights regarding repetitive injury?

Pensacola, FL |

I have had nagging pain in my ankle from standing long periods at my job. Recently, there was a sharp pain and a pop in my ankle. I told my employer, who sent me to a doctor that concluded the injury was work related. The doctor has given guidelines for physical activity at work. These are unrealistic considering the job.
My employer told me to rest for a couple days, and let them know how I feel, but this job isn't worth permanent injury.
Am I entitled to payment for the missed work days?
What can I do if the employer doesn't follow these doctor recommended guidelines?
Truthfully, I don't feel recovery is realistic if I go back to work. I've worked at this place for many years. I know how the business works, and there's no way the doctor's recommendations can be accommodated.

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

If your employer does not or cannot accommodate the restrictions placed upon you by your authorized doctor, the employer/carrier will have to pay you temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits while you remain out of work. Issues arise when the employer alleges the work is within the restrictions and you dispute that allegation. At that point, you will need to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney.

Asker

Posted

This makes the most sense without the fear mongering of a couple other answers. I'm going to be contacting HR tomorrow to see company policy, then talk with my manager. If they cannot, will not, or we disagree on what is acceptable, I will look into legal counsel. It will be very hard for me to adjust habits I've had for 8 years, but this injury simply will not heal if I don't.

David Scott Benn

David Scott Benn

Posted

I would be more than happy to have a free consultations with you. I handle cases statewide. Please feel free to contact me if any issues arise.

Posted

It sounds like your employer is avoiding reporting this claim to their insurance company. If your wages fall below 80% of your normal wages, you should be eligible for indemnity benefits, as long as your wage loss is longer than 7 days. I suggest you consult with a qualified workers compensation attorney to discuss your case in detail.

Asker

Posted

They sent me to a worker's compensation doctor, who determined the injury was work related.

Posted

I don't wish to be alarmist but you should get an aggressive Worker's Compensation lawyer as soon as possible. To be compensable as a repetitive trauma injury, you must prove distinct and unique activities in your job activities that are different from standing and walking in your ordinary life. For example, I handled a claim for a department store employee who was required to wear high heels and walk on hard floors all day long. She developed a serious foot condition requiring that's she undergo surgery. The store's workers compensation carrier fought the case for over a year but I was able to obtain a settlement in six figures for her. Definitely, you will need a lawyer for this. Secondly the FMLA or Family Medical Leave Act gives you the right to come and go from work as you please, when you're under doctor's ongoing care to try to control the condition, but the condition has an Masefield flare up without warning and make you unable to work. This is contained in 29 CFR Sec 825.202 & 825.204. But, you will need your lawyer to document a request for this type of leave and a report from the doctor with specific findings which support his opinion that you will need intermittent absences from work.
Sincerely,
Robert Shapiro

The answers given are limited to the facts as given and presumed by the answer itself. Without seeing actual written documentation or having a conference to more fully explore the issues, this short answer has only limited application and should NOT be relied upon. Make sure to seek legal counsel and provide all documentation to get assistance in making informed legal choices.

Asker

Posted

I appreciate the response, but I do not feel there is reason to acquire an attorney just yet. I hope it doesn't come to that, but I asked this question to be prepared in case it is required.

Robert David Shapiro

Robert David Shapiro

Posted

As you wish, but you may find yourself without a job and without much of a case by waiting. Trusting your employer & the carrier is like letting the fox watch the henhouse! Don't complain later when the lawyer you hire gives you the bad news.

Posted

The first question is whether or not the doctor your employer sent you to was through workers' compensation. If so, the guidelines are what are referred to as work restrictions. If the restrictions are through an authorized workers' compensation physician then the employer is obligated to either give you work within those restrictions or explain that there is no work available within your restrictions. If the ladder is the case, then you are eligible for compensation. In addition to the above you may also be eligible for missed days depending on the length of time you missed, and the reasoning.

We would be happy to speak to you in more detail. Please call me for a FREE consultation at (877)817-4127.

Please view our website for more information:

http://workerscompfl.net/services/workers-compensation

Sincerely,

Lyle B. Masnikoff, Esq.
Law Offices of Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A.
1645 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. Suite 550
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone: (561)598-7120
Fax: (561)598-7127
Website:

www.workerscompfl.net
Email: lmasnikoff@workerscompfl.net

Offices also located in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you full written information about our qualifications and experience.

Asker

Posted

Yes, this was a worker's compensation doctor. This is sound advice. I will keep this in mind.

Posted

It's pretty black and white. If your employer authorized care, you got work restrictions, and the employer sent you home rather than accommodate them, you're entitled to lost wage benefits if you go more than 7 days out of work (there's a 7 day waiting period to exclude minor injuries with limited time missed from work). If they bring you back within 7 days they can either accommodate the restrictions at that point, or not. If they don't, you should get paid. If they do, you've got work the light duty assuming it's within your restrictions.

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