What Are the Risks of Returning To Work Early After a Work-Related Injury?
Going back to work as soon as possible is a goal for many injured employees. Sitting at home doing nothing can get boring and frustrating really fast. However, as much as you may want to return to work and be productive, you want to ensure you only return to work when your doctor says it is okay for you to do so. Going back to work early can lead to significant problems. There are physical and psychological risks of returning to work early after a work-related injury. Additionally, your financial situation could suffer significantly if you return to work before your doctor has cleared you. Below is more on the risks of returning to work early after a work-related injury.
Physical Risks of Returning To Work Early After a Work-Related Injury
There are several physical risks associated with returning to work before your doctor says it is okay for you to do so. The following are some of these risks;
You Could Re-Injure Yourself
One of the biggest physical risks of returning to work before your doctor has cleared you is the risk of re-injury. You need to give your body enough time to heal. Otherwise, your body remains vulnerable, making it easier for you to suffer the same injury but with potentially more severe consequences. For example, suppose after suffering a broken bone, you return to work before the bone has fully healed. In such a case, it is easy for that bone to break under stress. And when it breaks, there is a high chance the injury will be worse than it was initially.
You Could Suffer a Secondary Injury
Suppose you hurt your left ankle. You might place more weight on your right ankle to protect your left ankle. This might lead to overuse of your right ankle, which can result in a new injury.
Psychological Risks of Returning To Work Early After a Work-Related Injury
The following are some of the psychological risks of returning to work early after a work-related injury;
Stress and Anxiety
If you return to work too soon, you will constantly be worried about hurting yourself. This constant fear of causing yourself further harm can lead to you developing anxiety.
If you go back to work before you are ready, your physical limitations can lead to you questioning your capabilities. You may begin doubting yourself and feeling inadequate.
Economic Implications of Returning To Work Early After a Work-Related Injury
Some of the ways your financial situation can suffer if you return to work too soon include;
Losing Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits
One of the biggest financial risks of returning to work too soon is losing your workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is designed to help workers who cannot return to work because of their work-related injuries. If you return to work before your doctor has cleared you, it may be a sign to your employer or their insurance company that you no longer need workers’ compensation benefits. Returning to work too soon can lead to a termination or reduction of these crucial benefits.
Future Medical Expenses
Returning to work too soon could lead to more extensive and expensive medical treatment in the future when you re-injure yourself or suffer a secondary injury.
Contact a Vermont Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you suffered a work-related injury, it is wise for you to seek legal advice to ensure you make the right decisions. Contact our Vermont workers’ compensation attorneys at Sluka Law PLC today to schedule a consultation.