The Scholle Law firm is a Duluth, Georgia car accident and personal injury law firm. The firm limits its practice to cases involving serious injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents, work injuries and premises liability cases. In this content for the firm’s Georgia Personal Injury & Accident Guide the issue of a post accident return to work is discussed.
Specifically the firm answers a very common question about whether or not returning to work is a bad thing for someone’s personal injury case or car accident case. For most people working is absolutely necessary, so this is a real concern that we hear from prospective clients. If you have any questions about this topic or anything related to a personal injury matter, please contact us for a free case evaluation.
A Very Common Question
About two weeks ago our firm received a call from someone that was looking for answers after they had been in a serious car accident near Duluth in Gwinnett County on Interstate 85. In their situation they had been rear-ended by a driver that failed to stop before it was too late. Their car was smashed but the car accident’s real damage was to the caller’s back. When we spoke to this person they had a lot of questions about making an injury claim and how the process works. However, what sticks out is when they asked if it was ok for them to return to work.
This person had a friend that had told them that a lawyer would most likely not let them return to work because it would hurt their injury case. Essentially what they were trying to say is that the insurance company would not really believe them about their injuries if they were able to return to their job. We immediately corrected this misconception and explained that it would be improper to advise a client not to return to work if they were able to. Our office works hard to build cases but we will never encourage anyone to do anything unethical.
All of our clients are truly injured and some of our clients do return to work right after their accidents. In other cases it may be a few days or weeks before a client can return to work. Unfortunately, there are some scenarios where our clients injuries are so severe or catastrophic that they may never return to work. Those are not the majority of cases though. The bottom line is that yes it is ok to return to work after your accident case, but there are some things to know as well.
Talk To Your Doctor
A lawyer is the last person with the authority to write someone out of work after a car accident or other personal injury situation. The other person that shouldn’t do this is the injured person themselves. Not feeling like working after an accident is normal. Depending on the activity level required in the work, it may be improbable to think that returning to work would be ok. However, the person that should help document this determination is the person’s doctor.
After a car accident an injured person should seek out medical care. When they speak to a doctor about their car accident related injuries, they should address the topic of work. If you do not have a documented and excused absence from work it may be difficult to get the insurance company to compensate you for your lost wages. Yes we can get lost wages for our injured clients, but we do it by showing that our client was told by their doctor not to return to work.
Even with a documented note from a doctor there can be a fight over lost wages. However it is better to be armed with a doctor’s note when you are fighting with the insurance company over lost wages that resulted from the accident. Unfortunately, from time to time we receive calls for a 2nd opinion on cases where the person is upset about their lost wages. Generally we are told that they did not know they needed to have their doctor write them out of work. Hindsight is 2020 but if you were in a car accident recently and reading this, please take this advice to heart.
Talk To Your Employer
Another situation that comes up from time to involves the injured client’s employer. Even if a doctor writes you out of work and even if you are seriously injured in an accident through no fault of your own, do not assume that your employer will accommodate you or hold your position. Anyone in this position should talk to their employer, supervisor and HR person and find out their options for taking time off from work following their car accident or other personal injury related accident.
Our firm does not practice employment law so we will not get into the intricacies of that dense topic. The takeaway should be that there are rules and regulations (state and federal) that govern these types of issues and yes employers do break these types of laws. However, it is absolutely a best practice to find out what your employer’s position is. Remember, damages for your car accident do not include the cost of a job loss if you lost your job because you did not notify your employer about why you need to miss work.
In cases where you may have the need for an extended leave from work due to your injuries, there may be special forms or paperwork that you need to fill out to protect your job. You may be eligible for FMLA or other leave. Also, sometimes there are supplemental insurance polices and you may have some benefits from your employer. Talk to you employer if you are going to miss work following your car accident.
Why Does It Not Hurt My Case?
Returning to work does not mean that you are not hurt. Even insurance companies understand that people have to work. Also, if your case was ever presented to a jury, it is unlikely that you would be penalized for telling them that you returned to work because you had to. In a typical car accident case where someone has a moderate soft tissue injury it would be unlikely to expect them to be written out of work for an extended period of time anyway.
However, every case is different. In a case where someone is catastrophically injured and we are alleging permanent damages it may be a little strange to see them back to work doing a physical job. So, under those circumstances we can understand where it may not seem advisable for them to return to work. However, that is a very uncommon hypothetical and not something we would expect to encounter.
We mentioned it earlier, but the idea that an injury lawyer would have someone stay out of work just to bolster their injury case is contrary to the work that experienced personal injury attorneys do. From time to time we do hear about shocking things that other people may try, but that is not who we are and not who we want to be. We help truly hurt people and if they are able to return to work then we want them to. Seeing an injured client doing the things they were able to do before their accident is one of the most rewarding parts of our work.
Duluth Personal Injury Lawyers
Our law firm is based out of Duluth, Georgia. We have been representing injured people in Duluth for a very long time. We take pride in our community and we know the area very well. If someone is looking for a local law firm that handles cases in Duluth or elsewhere in Gwinnett County then we are here to help them. While we represent injured Georgians in Atlanta and across the whole state, Duluth is our home.
Every new case that we are involved with starts with a call to our office. When we are contacted about a new case it is discussed in a free consultation meeting with an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney. We take the time to go over the facts of your case and address your questions and concerns. The call is not over until we have resolved your questions and given you the information you need to know about moving forward with Scholle Law handling your case.
Our law firm has the expertise and the resources to handles complex injury cases. We handle car accidents, motorcycle accidents, tractor-trailer / 18-wheeler accidents, work accidents and premises liability cases as well. Client focused representation is what we offer and we take pride in handling cases like we would want them handled if we were the client. Call us and let us know about the facts of your case today!
To set up a meeting, call us today at (678) 921-3320 or contact us online.