Dangers of Returning to Work Too Quickly After a Crash

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on June 11, 2024 in Car Accidents

stock image of a warehouse worker with an injured back If you sustained injuries in a car crash, healing and getting back to your life is a priority. Unfortunately, the reality of medical bills and other costs may be pushing you to return to work too quickly. You might even feel your employer is pressuring you to come back. The problem is, returning to work before you are ready is a bad idea.

At PKSD, we understand all too well why injured crash victims want to get back to their jobs. It is stressful to worry about whether you could lose your position while you are out and healing from your injuries. Below we address these and other concerns, including why returning to work before your doctor clears you could put your health at risk.

Were you injured in a Wisconsin car crash? Is another driver responsible for your injuries? If so, our experienced car crash lawyers in Milwaukee want to help. Find out if you may be eligible to seek compensation for your medical costs and other losses. Your initial consultation is completely FREE.

Request your FREE case review today. 414-333-3333

What Is the Problem With Returning to Work Too Quickly?

Returning to work too quickly could put your health at risk and slow your recovery. It could also severely damage or limit your ability to recover compensation for your medical costs and other losses caused by the crash.

Returning to Work Too Soon Risks Your Health

Returning to work before you have reached your maximum medical improvement or before your doctor clears you risks your health in several ways.

To start with, your body needs time to heal. Rushing the process can lead to complications such as by:

  • Causing your injuries to worsen
  • Causing secondary issues, including chronic pain
  • Delaying your recovery
  • Reducing the likelihood of a full recovery

Physical tasks at work might make your injuries worse. Even the mental stress of being at work while you are still in pain can hurt your ability to heal. Ignoring your doctor’s recommendations may result in long-term health issues and reduced overall well-being. It is essential to follow your doctor’s recovery plan to ensure an optimum recovery.

Going Back to Work Before Being Cleared Risks Your Claim

Wisconsin is an at-fault state. This means, you would need to file to recover damages through the insurance company of the person or party who caused your crash. The liable insurance company will be looking for valid reasons to pay you less – or not at all.

Going back to work implies that you are healthy, well and able. To an insurance company—even one that is representing you—going back to work too soon may signal one of the following:

  • Your reported injuries never occurred
  • You were not hurt as severely as you claimed
  • Your injuries have fully healed

Whichever outcome the insurance company determines may be true, it calls your credibility into question. Credibility is everything in an injury claim. If the insurance company successfully casts doubt on your credibility, they may have valid cause to devalue or deny your claim.

When Should You Go Back to Work After a Crash?

You should not go back to work until your doctor clears you to do so. Following your doctor’s orders is better for your health and overall well-being, as well as your claim.

Even when you feel physically ready to go back to work, your doctor may recommend taking additional time to allow yourself to heal emotionally as well. This is especially true for severe or catastrophic crashes, or for victims who suffered life-altering losses, such as an amputated limb.

Some car crash victims may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can be debilitating. In extreme cases, PTSD may cause individuals to skip social or family gatherings they once enjoyed just to avoid getting in another vehicle.

If you have physically healed but feel like you are suffering from emotional scars left by your car accident, it is a good idea to let your doctor know. PTSD is very common after an experience as traumatic as a car crash, and help is available. Consider scheduling an appointment with a mental health professional or therapist.

What if You Are Not Ready To Return to Work When You Are Cleared?

Doctors and medical professionals give their professional opinion based on facts at hand and what tests reveal. That said, you may feel differently.

If you do not feel comfortable with returning to work once your doctor says it is safe to do so, you still have options. You can see another doctor and get a second opinion. If the second opinion validates your reason for not returning to work, you may be able to get more time to recover from your injuries. It is important you carefully document your intentions and the outcome of a second opinion.

If you are suffering from depression, anxiety or any mental disorder after your crash, you should see a professional, such as a therapist, who may be able to help you.

What if My Employer Is Pressuring Me To Return to Work Sooner Than My Doctor Recommends?

If your employer is pressuring you to return to work sooner than your doctor recommends, consider the following steps:

  • Communicate Clearly: Let your employer know you are looking forward to returning to work but want to protect your health and follow your doctor’s recommendations. Keep him or her informed about how things are going throughout your recovery. Personal details are not needed, just a general update. The idea is to show them you are eager to return to work as soon as you are able.
  • Provide a Doctor’s Note: Provide your employer with a detailed note from your doctor outlining your medical condition and the recommended recovery period.
  • Know Your Rights: Discuss your situation with a car crash attorney for legal help. He or she can explain your in the situation, as well as whether you may have a valid injury case.
  • Discuss alternative work arrangements: If your employer persists in pressuring you, check with your doctor to discuss alternatives, like light-duty work or a phased return. Communicate any alternative work arrangements your doctor approves with your employer.

Are Your Injuries Keeping You Out of Work? Call PKSD Today

At PKSD, we help crash victims injured by negligent Wisconsin drivers every day. We are committed to holding at-fault drivers accountable and protecting your best interests. We want you to be able to fully focus on your recovery.

Worried about the cost of hiring a lawyer? Like most car crash attorneys, we accept injury cases on contingency. This means no upfront costs or fees. We only get paid if we achieve a successful outcome, by recovering compensation for you through a settlement or jury-awarded verdict.

Call PKSD to get started at 414-333-3333 . We are here to help you.

Back to top