If you get hurt at work, it can be very expensive for you and also for your employer. The company may need to train someone to take over your position, and the cost of their insurance coverage may increase. You will lose out on wages until you recover and will have medical expenses as well.
You should have access to workers’ compensation coverage, which can help replace your lost wages and pay your medical expenses. During your claim, a specific physician will oversee your treatment. Their recommendations will determine when you are ready to go back to work.
Sometimes, they can suggest special accommodations that could allow you to continue working despite your injury. Obtaining accommodations from your employer could help you reduce your lost wages, which can be beneficial for you and the company.
What are reasonable accommodations?
When a doctor indicates that there are certain limitations on the job functions you can perform, you may need to take a leave of absence. However, they could potentially suggest ways to keep you on the job.
For example, they could send written notice that you have restrictions for lifting or that you cannot perform certain repetitive motions. They could also recommend certain equipment to reduce your risk of injury. Employers can even accommodate injured workers by moving them into a different position, such as customer service, until they recover and can get back to work.
Your employer will typically need to attempt to provide you with the resources that would help you continue working. Both the rules for workers’ compensation and federal disability protections require that employers attempt to support workers with medical conditions that limit their job performance whenever possible.
A workers’ compensation claim helps a worker more easily access medical treatment that their employer can recognize as legitimate. A claim can potentially help them secure the accommodations that will allow them to continue working instead of becoming dependent on disability benefits. The right accommodations can drastically reduce the likelihood of a worker worsening their injury if they return to their job.
Occasionally, workers will find that their employer is not supportive of their attempts to get benefits or continue working despite their injury. Understanding the basics of how workers’ compensation claims work will make it easier for you to assert your rights after an injury on the job.