Why You Should Not Return To Work Too Quickly After A Car Accident
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, car accident injuries are the second most significant cause of emergency room visits in Georgia. Car accident victims who sustain injuries may need to take time off work to recover from their injuries. However, car accident victims may be eager to get back to work. In many cases, bills are accumulating, and accident victims may feel pressured to return to work soon after their injuries. Along with financial demands, there may be pressure from employers that make car accident victims feel they must return to work despite their still-healing injuries. Although these are essential considerations, returning to work after injury too quickly is often not advisable. Car accident victims need time to heal and resuming work too soon may exacerbate injuries. Additionally, returning to work after injury too quickly may adversely impact insurance claims. The Mark Casto Law Firm understands how returning to work after injury may affect personal injury claims. Contact the compassionate and experienced personal injury attorneys atThe Mark Casto Law Firm at 706-450-7071 to learn more about when to return to work after your car accident.
The Importance of Following Medical Advice
Car accident victims who suffer from injuries should seek medical care. Some injuries, such as broken bones, may be apparent at the time of the accident. Other injuries, such as whiplash, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, and other injuries may not become evident until time has passed following the accident. Even if they think their accidents are minor, car accident victims may benefit from seeking medical care. Car accidents can be stressful, and injuries such as concussions may cause confusion. Doctors have the expertise to diagnose injuries, including hidden injuries. Further, doctor’s evaluations may be necessary for establishing insurance claims or bringing a successful negligence lawsuit against the driver at fault.
Once they seek medical care, car accident victims should follow their doctors’ advice regarding staying home from work. After a car accident injury, car accident victims need time to rest and recover. Returning to work after an injury too soon may result in additional physical and psychological harm.
For instance, if a construction worker sustains a traumatic brain injury in a car accident and despite the doctor’s advice, he returns to work it could result in astronomical damage. On the construction stie, the worker may feel tired and confused as a result of the concussion and makes an equipment error leading to an additional head injury. The worker’s injury is worse than before, and could lead to permanent disability or even death.
Additionally, car accident victims who wish to make insurance claims to cover the costs associated with their injuries should follow their doctors’ orders to stay home and rest. Failing to follow a doctor’s recommendation may undermine the argument that the car accident victim actually sustained an injury in the car accident. Insurance companies may use a car accident victim’s decision to return to work quickly after an accident against them, asserting that the injury was exaggerated or completely false. Additionally, returning to work too soon after a car accident may ultimately sabotage claims for lost wages. Indeed, compensation for lost wages rests on the theory that an injured victim could not work. Pushing through work while injured after a car accident may negate a lost wages claim.
Networking And Socializing in Public
In addition to staying home from work per their doctors’ advice, car accident injury victims should consider avoiding activities such as after-work drinks or get-togethers in public places. Pictures of social events or networking events may end up on social media. Insurance companies may attempt to use these pictures as evidence that a car accident victim was faking their injuries. Internal pain may not show up in photos, and victims of invisible wounds such as whiplash or post-traumatic stress disorder must be prepared to face allegations that their injury claims are false. Just as going to work when a doctor recommends staying home may undermine insurance claims, going out and socializing or partaking in networking events, despite a medical recommendation not to, may have the same negative effect.
Nevertheless, employees who suffer car accident injuries and must take time off work should let their employers know. In Georgia, employers are not required to hold positions open for employees and can fire employees for failing to show up for work. However, many private employers have sick leave policies, and public employers must provide sick leave to their employees .
Sick Leave for Workers Injured in Car Accidents
Whether an employer must provide sick leave to employees depends on whether the employer is public or private and the employer’s own specific policies. First, under Georgia law, public employers must provide sick leave. Sick leave accrues based on the amount of time an employee has worked for the public employer and is capped at 720 hours. As public employees, teachers and school employees get sick leave, and Georgia law has specific rules for these employees. Although Georgia law does not require private employers to give sick leave, many employers voluntarily provide sick leave and include this in employee handbooks, contracts, or other workplace employee benefit materials. Once a private employer incorporates sick leave into its own policies, it must abide by its own procedures. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney at The Mark Casto Law Firm can assist victims of car accidents with reviewing their employer’s policies regarding sick leave.
Car accident victims may also face another challenging situation. Sometimes, physicians recommend that patients return to work, but patients do not feel better. In that case, patients may worry that returning to work may worsen their injuries. Car accident victims who disagree with their physician’s advice should consider getting a second opinion from another doctor. Additionally, car accident victims may speak with their employer about obtaining reasonable work accommodations. Further, an employee that suffered injuries from a car accident may also wish to reach out to a compassionate personal injury attorney who may advocate for them.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Victim Personal Injury Attorney
Car accident victims contemplating returning to work after a car accident injury have several essential considerations. Although victims may desire or feel pressured to return to work quickly, ultimately, returning to work after injury too soon can have negative consequences. Consider talking to an experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney to learn more about when to return to work after a car accident. Call The Mark Casto Law Firm at 706-450-7071 today.