by Bernard D. Nomberg, Partner, The Nomberg Law Firm
This is one of the most often-asked questions we receive from our clients during the workers’ compensation claim process. Many times while the injured worker is receiving medical care they inquire with us on this issue.
The answers that we provide are largely dependent upon the facts at the time we address the question. Regardless of the timing of the inquiry, the authorized treating physician’s return to work orders predominately help us to determine how to deal with this. For example, if a client is post-surgery but still doing rehabilitation or physical therapy, the doctor may still have the patient off from work until they reach a certain level of recovery. Other times, they might be doing work hardening which ramps them up to their prior abilities in the workplace.
Another scenario where this arises is after the client has reached maximum medical improvement. Unfortunately, the employer might not have made a determination if the worker can return to his or her former job position. During this time the weekly compensation checks have stopped by law and the client is likely not receiving any income, but their bills are continuing. Usually during this time our advice to the client is for them to start looking for a new job, but to stay within the authorized treating physician’s return to work restrictions or limitations.
While every situation is fact specific, it is a very real issue that our clients must deal with. We are glad to assist our clients during this time and helping them to make the most informed decisions that they can given the circumstances.
If you find yourself in this scenario, please feel free to give us a call at 205–930–6900 or check out our website for further information at nomberglaw.com.
Bernard D. Nomberg has practiced workers’ compensation law in Alabama for more than 20 years. Bernard has earned an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell’s peer-review rating. He has been selected a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine as well as a Top Rated Attorney by B-Metro Magazine.