You’ll likely require time off work to heal after experiencing injuries in an accident or incident due to someone else’s negligence or ill intentions. After all, muscle strains, sprains, broken bones, and internal injuries can all prevent you from performing everyday tasks as you once did.
However, it’s not always easy knowing whether you’re well enough to return to work and whether doing so would negatively impact your healing journey. Consider the following factors before making your decision:
Your Doctor’s Advice
Your primary healthcare provider will be among the best people to talk to about your timeline for returning to work. They can refer to your medical history, assess your condition, and decide whether now is the right time and in what capacity.
During your interactions with your doctor, you may ask yourself, ‘Can my employer call my doctor?’ After all, they need to know whether you’ll be returning to work and whether you’re fit for full-time work or light duties. Yes, your employer can call your doctor, but only to:
- Confirm a doctor’s note
- Comply with workers’ compensation laws
- Confirm your injuries won’t affect your ability to work
- Verify your health status won’t impact you or your coworkers
- Document your fitness level
- Be reimbursed for medical care they provided to you
Your Job’s Physical Demands
Some jobs are more demanding than others. As a result, an office worker with a broken leg might be able to return to work far quicker than a laborer with the same personal injury. The nature of your job definitely contributes to whether or not you’re ready to return to work. Write down what your job entails and talk through these activities with your doctor. They may believe the time is right or suggest extending your leave.
Your Pain Levels
Everyone’s pain thresholds are different. Some illnesses and injuries are also more painful than others. Your pain levels can be a leading factor in whether or not you’re ready to return to work. If you have your pain levels under control, your doctors might believe you’re ready to return to light or full duties. However, if you’re still experiencing uncontrollable pain, this might indicate that you haven’t finished healing, and returning to work might prolong the recovery process.
Your Workplace’s Flexibility
Some people have flexible roles that enable them to undertake a range of tasks of varying difficulty levels. When you can’t do something or don’t have time for something, you might be able to rely on other employees.
Such a working environment can be desirable for injured people who are close to ready to return to work. They can start with light duties and work up to regular duties. However, not everyone has such a working environment. If you must be able to perform one specific job, and your injuries or disability stops you from doing that, you may only be able to return to work once you’re completely healed.
It can be hard to know when it’s the right time to return to work after experiencing a personal injury. You may not know when you’ll be fully healed or whether returning to work will affect your progress. Consider some of the factors above and speak to healthcare professionals. You can then make an informed decision about what comes next.