Work comp: What if I can’t go back to work?

One of the most serious aspects of a work comp claim is when there is the possibility the injured worker can never return to his/her old job.  I have seen this happen hundreds of times.   It’s a frightening situation for the employee, but there are solutions if you hire an experienced lawyer.  Here are some of the things that can happen:


  1. The employer brings you back to work at a different job.  This is a very tough call for your lawyer to make.  We have to be certain that you can physically do the job on a long term basis.  More importantly, we need to be confident that the job is real and lasting.  I have heard of employers offering new positions to employees, only to eliminate those jobs (and the employee!) once the case is settled.  Be careful and consult a work comp lawyer before you accept a new position.
  2. The employee finds work in another field.  This is often the best scenario but, again, has some complicating factors:
    1. How do you find a new job?  Does the employer provide job placement assistance?
    2. If you have to be retrained or educated for the new job, who pays for it?
    3. Is this job one you can do for an extended time?
    4. Is the pay comparable to what you earned when you were injured?
    5. Does the job offer similar benefits to what you had with your former job?

All of these issues impact the value of your settlement or award. 

  1. The employee is permanently totally disabled from all employment

This is the most severe and frightening possibility…but one a good work comp lawyer can handle.  I have settled or tried over 100 of these cases in my 22 years of practice.  Whether you are permanently disabled is an issue of proof requiring expert doctors’ opinions, vocational experts’ testimony, job search documentation, calculation of future medical expenses and household needs…and on and on.  We can get you through all of this.  We can help you get social security disability and can balance those benefits with the money you receive in the work comp settlement to maximize your monthly income. 


When it comes to workers’ comp, there’s no question we can’t answer.


Call us at 618-254-0055 or 618-655-9499

The Law Office of Keith Short, P.C.

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