Returning to Work and Workers’ Compensation in Ontario, CA
Workers’ compensation, or “workers’ comp” as it is commonly called, has gone through many changes in California over the last two decades. Employers have pushed for reforms that would limit the liability that the state-mandated insurance regime demands of them. Injured workers should rest assured that they have rights for injuries suffered while on the job.
After the initial claim, many injured worker often wonder what about returning to work in Ontario or other Inland Empire cities. Will the worker have any say in the decision? Will the doctors report the full extent of pain and push for an extended period of rehabilitation? What if the doctor and the worker agree that surgery would be best? What if your doctor is unresponsive to your needs?
Some wonder if they will be forced to return too soon, before an injury heals completely, or if they will be fired for not being able to work in the same capacity as before the injury. The California Department of Industrial Relations can be a resource here on their website, or you can call or write to Richard Irwin at Heiting & Irwin, a state-certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist for over 25 years.
First, an employer who fires an employee injured on the job may be held liable for more than the injury. The employer could be penalized for retaliation as well.
Aside from losing a job entirely, many people worry about how they would even be able to do their job after having been injured. If you believe that your injury requires a longer rehabilitation period, or that it’s possible you could not do your previous job at all, this is a very common fear. The situation is not hopeless, but it does require very close attention from the medical and legal professionals assigned to your case.
Working closely with your Workers’ Compensation approved doctor’s office requires open and clear communication. It also requires following advice about medication, care, and follow-up. It isn’t enough to simply show up on time to the doctor’s or physical therapist’s office, although it is a good start! An injured worker who follows the steps of rehabilitation can help obtain a successful result, medically and legally.
A dedicated, experienced, and thorough advocate on your side can make all the difference. If you have a workers’ comp case in Ontario or the Inland Empire, and need to speak to someone about your doctor, the process, please do not hesitate to reach out and speak to someone in our office at Heiting & Irwin.