Returning to Work After an on-the-Job Injury
How a Des Moines Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help
Returning to work after an on-the-job injury is a stressful time. Your employer and their insurance carrier want you to return to work as soon as possible—often before you are ready to do so. Why? Because it costs them less to have you come back to work instead of continue to receive benefits, and it portrays your injury as less severe than it might actually be.
If you are having any issues with returning to work, turn to a Des Moines workers' compensation lawyer who can fight for your rights and protect your best interests. At King Law, PLLC, Attorney Mark King has over two decades of legal experience, including past experience in employer and insurance defense. He has an intimate, firsthand knowledge of how these entities operate—and he knows how to fight back.
Understanding Your Rights
Iowa Code § 85.33 provides that employers and their insurance carriers must pay temporary total (TTD) benefits until you have returned to work after an injury or until you are medically capable of returning to substantially similar employment. Like everything in the law, there are many nuances that can change the way this may affect your case. Generally speaking, after a work-related injury or illness, your employer is required to offer you some type of work that is suitable for any physical limitations you may have, but this may not always work for you. If this suitable work is not offered, you should be entitled to weekly benefits while you continue to heal from your injury or illness.
Return to Work Disputes
Employers and their insurance companies are becoming more and more aggressive in returning injured employees back to work soon after injury. In Iowa, employers may now even return an employee to work the next day after surgery. Employers can offer light duty work to injured and ill employees if such work exists and meets any/all restrictions provided by an authorized treating physician.
If your employer is giving you a hard time about returning to work or putting you in a job that you are not capable of performing, you need legal help. Reach out to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Des Moines, like Attorney King, to learn more about your legal rights and options.
What If an Employer Does Not Offer Light Duty Work?
Many employees are eager to get back to work after an injury or illness. However, if your doctor places restrictions on the type of work you can do, your employer must offer light duty employment if such work exists. In many instances, however, employers are unable or unwilling to accommodate your restrictions.
If your employer truly does not have any light duty work to offer, you can continue receiving temporary total disability benefits until light duty work becomes available or until you have healed completely and no longer have restrictions from your treating physician. If, however, your employer simply does not want to offer light duty work, it’s time to speak to an attorney.