Consulting a work injury lawyer in Des Moines is a good way to learn all about the Workers' Compensation process and your rights under these laws as an injured worker. Light duty status refers to assuming duties that accommodate an injury or disability sustained at work if you are unable to perform your former duties, and light duty is available.
After you have been injured at work, Workers' Compensation law dictates that you should be granted a “healing period” in which to recover from your injuries while receiving continued pay and medical treatment. Once you are no longer completely incapacitated, you may be able to return to work.
However, a lingering injury or disability could make it impossible for you to perform your old job. At this point, your employer should offer you a different or modified job to accommodate your injury if such a job exists; this different or modified job is known as “light duty.”
If this option is not presented to you and you feel that it should be, contact an experienced work injury attorney in Des Moines. The attorney will make sure your employer treats you fairly and that you're awarded compensation when not treated fairly.
Should I have light duty status?
Some employers are not overly fond of workers claiming the need to work less often or less strenuously. But whether you should be on light duty when you return to work must be determined by your doctor. Any restrictions of your working capacity should be put in writing and signed by the physician. If the light duty job pays less than your old job, the difference should be made up through your Workers' Comp benefits.
What should you do if the company doctor tells you to return to work with restrictions?
It is very important that you contact your employer often in person, by telephone, in writing, and/or through email and notify them that you have been released to return to work on light duty status. You should tell your employer you are ready, willing, and able to work within these restrictions. Failing to do so may result in you losing your job, not receiving weekly workers' compensation benefits and being denied unemployment benefits. If you return to work and cannot physically do your job, then you should immediately tell your supervisor, foreperson or other appropriate person at work and also promptly call the doctor's office to notify them and ask for a return appointment.
What if you still have questions about what to do in your workers' compensation case?
If you or someone you know has been injured at work, Walker, Billingsley & Bair is here to help answer your questions. Iowa workers' compensation attorney Corey Walker offers a book about Iowa work injuries at no cost, risk or obligation. The book is titled “Iowa Workers’ Compensation - An Insider’s Guide to Work Injuries” and includes 7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid if You are Hurt at Work. To order your copy go to www.IowaWorkInjury.com or Call Now 1-800-707-2552 (ext. 811) (24-Hour Recorded Message). Corey offers his Iowa work injury book at no cost because he has seen too many hard-working Iowans from Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Ft. Dodge, Newton, Ankeny, and throughout the state of Iowa who were hurt at work make mistakes which cost them thousands of dollars. Iowans hurt on the job are beginning to realize that the insurance company is not there to help them and that they should learn about Iowa's workers' compensation laws. For immediate assistance with your case, contact us online or call 515-440-2852 and ask for Corey or Erik.