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What Happens If You Can’t Return To Work After An Injury?

If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you may be wondering, “Now what?” The assumption is that you’ll be back to your regular self in no time, but life isn’t always that accommodating.

To that end, we’ve detailed in the below important information on workers’ comp benefits and how they can serve as a safety net for injured workers, as well as the hazards you should be aware of in your workplace.

Alternatively, you can call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation today.

What Are The Top Hazards In The Workplace?

So, which workplace hazards are the most common? That’s what this section covers. Knowing what to watch out for while you’re on the job can make all the difference between safety and injury. Let’s explore.


Slips, trips, and falls may seem minor, but they can lead to serious, even debilitating injuries. Fall hazards are especially prevalent on construction sites where the work area may be uneven and cluttered with materials and equipment.

Chemical Exposures

Handling hazardous substances without proper safety measures can lead to severe health issues. While training and protective equipment can mitigate some of the risks, the hazard of accidental exposure is always present.

Heavy Machinery

Heavy machinery includes cranes, bulldozers, and forklifts — the giants of the construction site. Operating or even just being around these machines without proper safety protocols can be perilous. Proper training and strict adherence to guidelines are crucial.

Electrical Hazards

Exposed wires and unfinished electrical systems pose significant risks, especially in the construction sector. Electrocution can result in immediate severe injury, such as burns, or even prove fatal.


Many manual labor positions demand that workers operate at peak levels of their physical abilities. However, overexertion can lead to a range of musculoskeletal injuries, from minor strains to long-term conditions that can permanently keep you off the job.


Prolonged exposure to high levels of noise can have a significant impact on your hearing. It’s an often-overlooked aspect of workplace safety but no less important. Ear protection gear should be a priority, not an afterthought.

Remember, if an unfortunate incident lands you in one of these scenarios, you have a limited time to collect all the money and benefits you are entitled to.

If you have questions or need further assistance, feel free to get in touch with our seasoned, knowledgeable team by calling Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or visiting us online to schedule your free consultation today.

What Can You Do If Your Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied?

Workers’ comp claims may be denied for a variety of reasons, including employer errors like mischaracterizing your employment status or failing to acknowledge your reported injury. Here and elsewhere, an experienced workers’ comp attorney can help you right the ship in order to collect the financial compensation you deserve.

What Are Some Alternatives For Those Who Don’t Qualify For Workers’ Comp?

For certain injuries, federal programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be a viable alternative to workers’ compensation.

These require robust medical evidence and a commitment to the idea that you can’t work at all. Additional resources are available for those seeking free or low-cost housing, healthcare, and legal help.

If your claim faces obstacles, knowing which type of lawyer to consult can make all the difference. A workers’ comp lawyer is ideal for navigating the ins and outs of the workers’ compensation system.

What Can You Do If You Can’t Return To Work After An Injury?

Workplace injuries are never on anyone’s to-do list, but when they do happen, they can throw a wrench into your career trajectory. Your focus will inevitably shift from meeting deadlines to recovery timelines.

If you find yourself unable to return to work post-injury despite your doctor’s go-ahead, you’re walking a fine line between health concerns and workers’ compensation complexities. So, what happens if you can’t return to work after an injury? Let’s look at some scenarios.

The Doctor Says Yes, But You Say Not Yet

A doctor’s note can be a passport back to your job, but what if you’re not feeling up to the challenge? The first port of call should be a workers’ compensation lawyer. Their skills can help you counterbalance the bias of doctors who are more attuned to your employer’s agenda than your well-being.

Refusing to head back to work could jeopardize your workers’ compensation benefits, but rushing back may negatively impact your health. Here, a seasoned workers’ comp lawyer can be instrumental in helping you make the right decision for your situation.

To that end, you can call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 to hear how you can best protect yourself and your financial future.

Second Opinion, First Priority

Sometimes, the most useful advice is a second opinion, especially when the first one seems skewed. A workers’ compensation lawyer can guide you to a medical professional who specializes in your specific condition. Not only will this deepen the medical perspective, but it might also shift the verdict more in favor of your true state of health.

Informing Your Doctor About Job Duties

The more your healthcare provider understands your daily grind, the better their recommendations will fit your actual needs. Physicians often operate on tight schedules, so it’s easy for them to miss the nuances of your job. Be proactive. Let them know if your responsibilities include anything from prolonged sitting to heavy lifting.

Returning To Work With Restrictions

If your doctor agrees that you can make a partial comeback, make sure you get the guidelines written down. This could range from avoiding physically demanding tasks to working shorter hours.

Once you have this document, you should:

  1. Keep a copy for personal records.
  2. Keep a copy at your workplace.
  3. Provide your employer with a copy.

Note: If the employer can’t accommodate these restrictions, you’re not obligated to make a career reappearance. However, if you do go back, you should adhere to the doctor’s guidelines.

Return To Work Policy

A well-crafted return-to-work policy is crucial for a smooth transition. Collaborate with your employer and your workers’ comp lawyer to finalize a plan that accommodates your health constraints. It should detail your work accommodations and include a communication strategy involving you, your healthcare provider, and your employer.

That said, if you find your employer nudging you to go beyond your limitations, don’t give in and don’t delay. Instead, reach out to your workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

Making your way through injury, recovery, and the workers’ compensation process can feel like tiptoeing through a maze. From vetting doctors to documenting restrictions and ensuring you’re part of a concrete return-to-work plan, each step requires specific undertakings.

When in doubt, qualified legal advice should always be your go-to problem solver. After all, the objective is a healthy return to work — not a hasty one.

For more on this at no charge, please call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or visit us online today. Your recovery is our mission.

Your Path To Recovery With Schwartzapfel Lawyers

Fully grasping workers’ compensation, workplace hazards, and return-to-work policies is no small feat. Trust Schwartzapfel Lawyers to guide you through every obstacle and protect your rights along the way.

Now that you know what happens if you can’t return to work after an injury, you can take better control of your recovery and secure your future. But if you still have questions, simply dial 516-342-2200 or schedule your free consultation online. It will be our honor and privilege to fight – and win – for you!

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!


Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You

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