Thomas E. Scifres PC - Attorney At Law.
Thomas E. Scifres PC - Attorney At Law.
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    Suite 103,
    Salem, IN 47167
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Strategies For Managing Personal Injury Claims Without Missing Work

Injured man on the couch with a laptop, seeking Personal Injury Claims. - Thomas E. Scifres PC - Attorney At LawIn this article, you can discover…

  • How to navigate your employment rights as an injured worker in Indiana
  • How to protect your personal injury claim while continuing to work
  • How an attorney can help you minimize work absence during an ongoing claim

What Are Your Rights As An Injured Employee Who Needs To Continue Working?

Most employers will grant your request to be off work if you are under a doctor’s orders. The Family and Medical Leave Act secures your right to be off for certain medical issues up to three months, assuming you have been with that employer for at least a year. If you’re a new hire and Family Medical Leave Act coverage hasn’t yet kicked in, this request may be denied. If your need to be off extends longer than the FMLA protection, then any disability program the employer may have, and your relationship with your employer, will dictate whether your job is secure.

In cases where there is substantial work and wage loss due to the severity of your injuries, you and your lawyer will work together to help prove that your case is sincere and that you’re doing everything possible to return to work quickly. Your lawyer will help you communicate effectively and truthfully with your doctor and employer; this honesty will help your case immensely with the insurance company as well as with a jury.

Exploring every possible resolution, documenting all communication, and keeping you transparently compliant with either doctor’s orders or employment requirements is also helpful.

For example, you may not be able to return to work immediately, but this can be recovered as lost wages in settlement of your claim. Alternately, you may feel forced to return to work or risk losing your job. In these cases, proper documentation between your employer, you, and your doctor will help make a solid case against insurance providers.

If You Go Back To Work, Does It Reduce The Value Of Your Personal Injury Claim?

Not at all. In fact, we believe the opposite is true. That is, if you intentionally prolong your time off work, and a jury sees through that, you are likely to be punished for it financially in the resulting verdict. Juries in Indiana are deeply sympathetic to genuinely injured people who make every effort to get back to work and move forward. Your personal injury claim should be sincere and seek to compensate for what has truly been taken from you.

Juries and insurance companies can sense when a client is out for “jackpot justice,” and you are more likely to be rewarded if you are earnest, honest, and genuine and try to return to work as soon as you reasonably can.

If you do return to work with restrictions or limitations and find the work to be more exhausting and less enjoyable, this should be communicated to your lawyer. You may miss breaks at work, feel unable to enjoy the job as you once did or struggle with depression or headaches. Such pain, inconveniences, and the impacts this can have on your life outside of work can be taken into consideration as damages that you’re entitled to.

This is often yields a better recovery than seeking “lost wages” by staying home from work for an extended period; you can keep your paychecks and make a much stronger case for yourself by returning to work quickly and making a genuine effort.

What Should You Document To Ensure Your Claim Is Unaffected By Continued Work?

It’s important for your attorney to know what your life was like before the accident. What did you enjoy about your job? This is important in establishing how your life has changed since your injury.

In contrast, has your injury made it tougher for you to get satisfaction from your work? Or has it impacted your social life, your alone time, or your time with family off the clock? Documenting these facets of your injury’s impact is an essential part of winning damages in Indiana, and you deserve to be compensated for these changes and losses.

How Should You Communicate With Your Employer About Your Injury And The Ongoing Claim?

Share all medical limitations with your employer while still showing an eagerness to work. Your employer can also be called as a helpful witness to support your claims of sincerity and truthfulness.

Let your employer know that you are still there for them and that you value your job. Be a productive employee. This cooperative attitude can go a long way in strengthening your case, improving your trustworthiness with a jury, and securing just damages.

Can An Attorney Help Coordinate Your Claim With Your Work Schedule?

Generally not. while there are situation where the attorney may need to get involved, your work schedule should be between you and your employer; having your lawyer get involved can hurt credibility claims as it can look like an attempt to manipulate the case. As a result, keeping your work schedule between you and your workplace is a safer and more helpful option legally.

What Strategies Can Help Minimize Your Work Absence During Recovery?

First, make sure you put effort into getting better as soon as possible. Follow all doctor’s instructions and take recovery seriously. Second, let your employer know that you’re still willing to work. It may be possible for you to switch to light-duty, a desk job, remote work, or to trade places with another worker while you recover.

The less time you lose from your job as you recover, the better your case will look to an insurance company and to a jury.

Can You Recount A Case Where Personal Injuries Were Impactful Even Before Returning To Work?

One significant case involved a man with a serious and impactful neck injury. He was sitting in traffic on the interstate and was hit by a tractor-trailer who didn’t notice the vehicles ahead had slowed down. The accident was so severe that it ripped his seat from the car’s floor and flung him into the back of his own vehicle. This client also had a pre-existing neck injury for which surgery had been required.

His neck injury was so serious that he couldn’t do much work at all. While waiting at home to return to work, he began to mow his lawn and try to keep his property looking nice. The riding mower jolted him in such a way that it aggravated his spinal nerve damage and cause even more pain. The same was true when he attempted to engage in recreational activities that he once enjoyed, such as motorcycle riding. Upon returning to work, he could not fully resume his prior duties without complication, so adjustments in workload had to be made. We were able to use these examples to help the insurance company understand that he was trying to resume normal life and that his injuries were genuine.

How Do You Help Clients Who Are Struggling With Managing Their Finances Because Of Their Injuries?

Significant expenses can pile up in relation to medical care. These can be especially devastating if you don’t have insurance. An initial ambulance ride and an emergency room visit can cost you thousands, and the follow-up appointments required with specialists are often more expensive.

Med Pay coverage can often cover some of these expenses, but it is important to sit down with your attorney and decide which bills to pay immediately and which to defer. Med Pay may cover $10,000 worth of bills, but wouldn’t be enough to cover a $70,000 emergency helicopter flight.

Delaying the payment of the larger bills until settlements are won can be the wisest way to move forward and help you save money. Returning to even limited or light-duty work as soon as you feel capable will also improve your financial prospects in Indiana, and a seasoned personal injury attorney can help you decide which avenues are best.

For more information on Managing Personal Injury Claims Without Missing Work, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (812) 359-8007 today.

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