How to Return to Work After Injury


You’ve heard the phrase “life happens” before. Perhaps you’ve even used it to shrug off little things that happen. Yet, somehow we never expect life to “happen” to us. We have this instinctual element of optimism inside that says bad things happen to other people. But as you eventually discover, negative situations can also impact you.

If you’ve been injured – whether on the job or outside of work – you can feel helpless. Not only do you have to deal with the pain, medical bills, and suffering that comes with recovery, but you also have to think about your job.

Legally speaking, you may have some protections on whether or not you can be fired. Practically speaking, you know that every day of missed work is a day that you’re moving backward in your career.

The sooner you can reach a full recovery and return to work, the better off everyone will be. Here are some tips to help you through this process:

  1. Get the Right Medical Care

The most important thing you can do is get the right medical care. When you have the right team of medical professionals on your side, you can rest assured that you’re giving your body everything it needs to heal properly.

Along with seeing the right doctors and health professionals, be sure you’re following their advice and instructions.Make healthy lifestyle choices as it pertains to eating, sleeping, and exercising.

  1. Speak With Your Employer

If your injury occurred in the workplace, your employer will be in the loop. Workers’ compensation claims will have to be filed and specific protocols will be followed. But if your injury occurred off-premises on your own time, you’ll need to notify your employer and keep the appropriate parties in the loop. You may also need to find co-workers to cover for some of your work in your absence.

  1. Be Proactive With Financial and Legal Issues

Depending on the type of injury you’ve sustained, how it occurred, and where it took place, you may have financial and legal issues to sort through. It’s wise to be as proactive with these matters as possible.

Take an injury sustained from a car or truck accident as an illustration. Depending on where you live, you might not have very long to pursue a case.

For example, “Tennessee has one of the shortest statutes of limitations in the country,” attorney David E. Gordon explains. “If you are involved in a work place injuries, you have just one year from the date of your accident to bring a lawsuit against those who are responsible. If you fail to do so, you forever lose your right to compensation.”

Medical bills that stem from your injury are also time-sensitive.If you let them pile up for too long, you’ll find yourself drowning in high-interest debt that may never go away.

If you don’t have the mental capacities or skills to deal with financial and legal issues on your own, hire people who can advocate on your behalf. These aren’t things you want to ignore.

  1. Ease Back Into Things

When you finally are cleared to go to work, don’t rush back to full speed. Whether it’s a desk job where you sit behind a computer and attend board meetings or a blue collar-type job that requires lots of manual labor, you’ll need to ease back into things. This may look like only working half-days the first week back or only performing a few of your normal job duties. Eventually, you’ll work your way back up to normal.

Don’t Let an Injury Hold You Captive

There are certain things you have no control over. If you fall and break both of your legs, you won’t be walking in the foreseeable future. If you throw out your back, you won’t be lifting heavy boxes the next day. But there are certain injuries and health situations that you do have some level of control over.

By making smart, proactive choices that reflect what’s best for your situation, you can promote faster healing and get back to work sooner. It won’t always be easy, but aggressively pursuing recovery will put your career back on track in no time at all.