How long can I stay home to recover from a work injury?

by Glady
(Canyon Country, CA)

A base of a work basket was hit by another associate by mistake which moved the front end of the basket. I was walking past at the time and the basket caused me to trip and fall on my wrist. I went home in pain after filing an incident report and the next day went to my employer's workmans compensation doctor who x-rayed me and found my wrist was broken.

I don't feel well now and I'm in a lot of pain. I'd like to know how long I legally have to stay home and recover? Is there anything else I have to do? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "How long can I stay home to recover from a work injury?":

Glady (Canyon Country, CA):

California Workmans Compensation statutes do not set a certain amount of time an injured party has to recover after they were injured on the job. Normally an injured employee can receive insurance benefits until such time as they have been formally released by their physician, and sometimes their chiropractor.

The best thing you can do is recover fully from your injuries, especially while you're receiving Workmans Compensation benefits. If you attempt to return to work before you are fully healed, and your injury becomes exacerbated you may not be able to take time off from work again and worse, not be covered for your injury.

Once you stop your treatment it's very difficult to go back to the insurance company and ask them to start again paying for your medical treatment.

The insurance company’s position will probably be that they'd been prepared to pay for your medical bills the first time when you were injured, but because you went back to work before your injuries were fully healed it's probable your new exacerbated injury will now take longer to heal and will cost additional and unnecessary money.

You may think doing so is not such a big deal, but if the insurance company agreed to continue to pay what they consider additional amounts of unnecessary money, the amounts they pay (extrapolated for all of the other persons who went back to work early) can amount to millions.

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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