Some industries cause workers in California and elsewhere to face more risks on the average workday. Industrial or factory workers are prone to certain dangers in the work environment, making certain workplace injuries more likely. Thus, employers in these industries take the initiative to reduce these harms through education, continual training and protective gear and equipment. Despite these efforts, injuries still occur, causing employees to suffer physical and financial harm.
As a means to address the losses and damages suffered as a result of an industrial injury, workers’ compensation is available. These benefits can help address the medical bills associated with the injury, such as initial treatment, ongoing medical care and rehabilitation. Additionally, workers’ compensation benefits can also offset financial losses caused by lost wages.
In cases of a severe injury, these benefits can be necessary, as the worker will have no means of income until he or she has recovered. In other situations, these benefits help bridge the gap for the employee while he or she recovers from the injury and has proven that he or she can return to work on either a short-term or long-term basis.
Returning to work
If an employee is able to return to work after an industrial injury, he or she is likely to have many questions about this process. The worker may be unsure of the process to prove that he or she is able to return to work. Additionally, injured workers may fear that even though they were cleared to return to work, it may prove to be too challenging for them right now. Thus, they wonder if they could maintain workers’ comp benefits until they can fully return to the work environment.
In the state of California, in order to return to work safely, several people will work with an employee to decide if he or she can return to work. This includes the employees primary treating doctor, their employer, claims administrator and their attorney, if they have one. Among these individuals, certain topics and issues should be communicated. This includes the work done prior to the injury, the medical conditions involved, the work that could be done now and any adjustments that could be provided by the employer whether it is changing positions or job duties.
The workers’ compensation application process can be complex. An injured worker may not know hoe to proceed or what rights they have, even if they are currently receiving benefits. Thus, one should take the time to fully understand their rights and options.