I was hurt on the job what to the hospital got to document at the doctor said I can return to work but I have restrictions I have to sit down every 2 hours take a five-minute break so that I can stretch the muscles in my leg my job can accommodate me but they still want me to do maintenance work when my doctor stipulated Unlimited to the work that can be done
I cannot get enough information from your question to provide a simple answer. However, I can tell you that you are faced with an important decision that will affect your claim going forward. I recommend that you try to get in for a free consultation with a qualified workers' compensation attorney today to talk through your situation and make a plan. Good luck!
You should obey the restrictions the doctor gave you. The purpose of those is to keep you from getting hurt any worse. If your employer does not want to honor them, you have to "put your foot down" and insist that you don't do anything that violates the restrictions. But until your workers' comp claim is properly filed by you, and accepted as compensable by the insurance company, you don't have much leverage. You can file your claim at the Industrial Commission by filling out, signing, and sending "Form 18" to the Commission. You can get the Form on the Commission's web site.
This answer is intended as general information and not as specific legal advice.
When a doctor assigns you work restrictions because of a workers' compensation injury, you should follow those instructions. You don't want to risk aggravating the injury or making it worse. I usually recommend to my clients that they carry a copy of the doctor's note with the restrictions so that you can show it to any supervisor or manager if they have a question about your limitations.
What happens sometimes though is the employer doesn't understand your restrictions or simply doesn't care what the doctor says. Either way, you can end up getting pushed to do more than you can safely do during the healing period. This can lead to further injury or cause you to lose your job due to "poor performance."
In light duty return-to-work situations, it is usually a good idea to have an attorney to protect your interests and make sure the employer and/or insurance company are respecting your rights. It is not their job to tell you your legal options, that's what your attorney would do.
I recommend you contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney to discuss your claim. Consultations are usually free and can sometimes be completed over the phone. You can use the search feature on Avvo to find a qualified attorney near you. Good luck!
Always carry a copy of your written work restrictions with you at all times at the workplace. When you are asked to do something in violation of the restrictions pull those out and say I am sorry but my Doctor has me on restrictions and I cannot do that work. If they have further issues ask them to confirm in writing that you have shown the restrictions to them. If they refuse that, write them a letter confirming that you showed these restrictions. If further issues arise you may be best served by making an appointment with an attorney who is qualified to handle this case under Worker's Compensation.
We frequently find that it is hard for employers to follow the doctor’s work restrictions for injured employees. Sometimes it is because the Employer is short handed and needs the help, sometimes it is because they don’t carefully think about the work restrictions, and other times it is because the Employer just doesn’t care.
We encourage all of our clients to keep a copy of their job restrictions in THEIR POCKET at work at all times. If anyone asks them any questions or assigns them a task, they should pull out the work note and ask for help in confirming that the task doesn’t violate the doctor’s restrictions. It is our client’s job to take the doctor’s restrictions seriously and balance their work with the instructions from the doctor.
We also request a job description which shows the physical requirements of the job to make certain that the work assigned is within our client’s restrictions. If you are worried about a re-injury on your job or not having time to recover from your injury, you should seek the advice of a workers’ compensation specialist.
Martha Ramsay is a North Carolina Board Certified Workers' Compensation Specialist. As such, her responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to her understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which she practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, this answer is not a substitute for a proper legal evaluation of the facts in your specific case. Additional facts may alter the evaluation. Do not rely upon this answer to decide whether or not to pursue a claim. There are time limits in legal claims and this answer does not evaluate those time limits. No attorney-client relationship has been created by this answer.
You have received some solid and correct answers. Also remember that quite often when the employer pushes the envelope in your duties at work and you are struggling; many doctors will take you back out of work because it is negatively affecting your recovery.
Best of luck to you,
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