Forced to return to work?

by Debra
(Wells, Nevada)

My husband broke his lower back (L2) 4 months ago. His last doctor visit states that the L2 is fully healed, and now he has physical therapy twice a week. He might be able to go back to work on the 9th of February. He is still in quite a lot of pain. Even his physical therapist said his muscles are still really tight, and have a lot of spasms.

If the doctor says it is healed, and the physical therapist says he still has muscle pain, does he still have to go back to work? The letter that was given to him says from a medical standpoint the back is okay.

What can we do? We didn't get an attorney. The insurance company so far is working with us. Any information or perspective you can give would be appreciated.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Forced to return to work?":

Debra (Wells, Nevada):

Your husband’s primary treating physician controls whether or not your husband is medically able to return to work. While the therapist may believe otherwise, your husband’s primary treating physician's medical opinion takes precedence over his therapist’s.

Your husband is entitled by workers' compensation regulations to consult with another physician. A second medical opinion may find your husband is not yet able to return to work, or if he is able, at what level of work he is physically able to perform.

Because of the nature of your husband's injuries, and the extent the claim has progressed, it is unlikely a workers' compensation attorney will accept your husband's case. Nevertheless, you and your husband have nothing to lose by consulting with one.

Most workers' comp attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Gather your husband's medical and therapy records and make several appointments with workers' comp attorneys in your area.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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