After suffering a workplace injury, you may want to know: Can I still receive a workers' compensation settlement in Pennsylvania if I return to work? If you return to work after having been cleared to do so by your doctor, you will not jeopardize the settlement or your ability to continue receiving workers' compensation benefits.
In cases involving workers' compensation, your needs and those of your employer are frequently quite different. When receiving workers' compensation benefits, your employer will want you to return to work as quickly as possible, but there may be better options. You may wonder if you can still receive a settlement through workers' compensation if you return to work.
In the state of Pennsylvania, the workers' compensation insurance program safeguards both employers and employees. In the event of a workplace accident, The Workmen's (Workers') Compensation Act of 1915 ensures that employees' medical needs and lost wages are compensated. In addition, it protects employers from crippling lawsuits filed by injured employees.
Whether you will continue to receive compensation after returning to work is a very valid concern, and the answer depends on the specifics of your case.
This article will discuss the Pennsylvania workers' compensation system, including who is eligible, how to negotiate a settlement, what to do if your claim is denied, and how a Brandon J. Broderick PA workers' compensation attorney can handle the claims process so you can focus on a full recovery.
How Do I Determine When I Should Return to Work?
Before returning to work after sustaining an injury on the job, it is advised to obtain a doctor's approval. If you are not physically and mentally prepared to manage the routine demands of your job, you run the risk of being injured again—possibly to a greater extent than before.
Before returning to work, your physician must determine that you are healthy enough to perform your job duties without worsening your condition. A workers' compensation lawyer can also help you evaluate the pros and cons of returning to work, including whether or not your workers' compensation claim can still result in a settlement.
Will Going Back to Work Risk my Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
Yes, it is risky for your health and workers' compensation claim to return to work before you are physically able.
The two primary risks are:
- Your employer has decided to let go of you.
- Through your workers' compensation, you are losing temporary total disability benefits.
If you return to work too soon, you may be unable to perform your duties adequately, which could result in the termination of your job. In addition, attempting to work could cause you to forfeit your disability benefits, which are only provided if you are unable to work for a certain period of time. This means that you are unable to pursue compensation through workers' compensation.
In the worst-case scenario, you could be left without a job, still recovering from injuries, and with no workers' compensation income to assist you as you look for a new job.
If I am Cleared to Return to Work, Should I?
If your doctor clears you to return to work, you will need to do so promptly. Otherwise, you could forfeit your benefits for failing to return to work if it has been determined that you are now able to work. It is very important that you consult with a PA workers' compensation attorney who can assist you if you are uncertain of the best course of action.
Do I Need to be Fully Healed Before Going Back to Work?
Suppose you are seeking compensation from the workers' compensation insurance company. In this case, it is likely that you have sustained severe injuries that are still being treated, preventing you from performing your previous duties. If you return to work, the insurance company may argue that you do not need a larger settlement because you are able to work.
Before returning to work while pursuing a settlement through workers' compensation, you will typically need to attain maximum medical improvement (MMI). A physician must determine that you have reached MMI, the point at which your condition can no longer be improved.
Can I Still Receive a Settlement if I Go Back to Work With Restrictions?
If you reach your MMI but are still partially disabled, your doctor may grant you permission to work with certain restrictions. You may be provided with a list of prohibited activities at work. As an alternative to operating machinery, this list could include light-duty tasks like completing paperwork.
As long as you are permitted to return to work, you should be able to continue receiving workers' compensation. You may also be able to pursue a settlement, depending on the specifics of your case. The best method to know for certain is to consult with an attorney who can examine your situation and how it relates to Pennsylvania's workers' compensation laws.
Should I Hire a PA Workers’ Comp Attorney to Help Me With My Claim?
If you are having trouble collecting a settlement or navigating the filing process, a workers' compensation attorney can help you overcome these obstacles. A lawyer can assist you in protecting your rights and receiving the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. A lawyer can also help you collect the evidence necessary to demonstrate the extent of your injuries.
Don’t Delay; Let Workers’ Comp Attorney Brandon J. Broderick Assist You With Your Claim and Protect Your Rights
If you are injured on the job, you must protect your legal rights to workers' compensation. You will have difficulty receiving a settlement from workers' compensation if you return to work before you are medically cleared. It is best to hire a workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible so they can assist you in making the best decisions for your case.
When you retain Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, you will have a committed advocate in your workers' compensation case. We have the necessary expertise and resources to help you win your claim. We look forward to answering any questions that you may have and assisting you with your Pennsylvania workers' compensation claim. Contact us now for a complimentary case evaluation.