Understanding What to Expect When Returning to Work After an Injury

After being injured on the job, protecting your rights by filing a workers' compensation claim is the clear first step — but understanding what happens next can be trickier. Once you've reached the "maximum medical improvement" defined by your doctor and going back to work becomes a possibility, what should you expect, particularly if you face long-term impairments from your injury?

Speaking with a skilled workers' comp lawyer is crucial for protecting your rights at each stage of your recovery. At Gatlin Voelker, PLLC, our team of skilled attorneys has over 50 years' combined experience representing workers injured on the job throughout Northern Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati area. We approach every case with compassionate and dedication in an effort to help our clients receive full and just compensation.

What Happens If You're Unable to Perform Your Previous Job Functions?

For many workers who have filled a workers' comp claim, achieving maximum medical improvement does not necessarily mean that they have made a full recovery. If you've been hurt on a work site, for example, you may find yourself unable to fulfill many of your prior job functions once you're cleared to return to work. What happens to you in these situations? It may depend on your location:

  • In Kentucky, you have the option of requesting a functional capacity evaluation (FCE). This test is administered by a health care worker to determine which of your job duties you are capable (or incapable) of performing.
  • Ohio has established remain at work programs that allow injured workers to stay on the job (and maintain their wages and employment status) with accommodation for ongoing functional impairments.

In both states, vocational rehabilitation is possible if you face a long-term functional impairment following a workplace injury. These programs provide workers with help returning to work after an injury and may assist with funding for further job training or education.

What Rights Do You Have When Given A Modified Job Role?

If your employer does allow you to return to work in a modified role that reflects the limitations of your injury, it's important to understand your rights in this new role. For example, you can't be paid less than you were awarded in temporary total disability benefits, and any restrictions that your doctor places on your duties must be followed.

Protecting your rights when returning to work is as important as filing your first workers' comp claim. At Gatlin Voelker, PLLC, our attorneys have the resources and experience to help you at all stages of the workers' comp process. To speak with one of our lawyers regarding your particular case, please call our office in Fort Mitchell at 859-781-9100, or contact us online.