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A few years ago, I was in a pretty serious car accident. During the aftermath, I became really familiar with a lot of different types of lawyers. I worked with personal injury lawyers, insurance lawyers, and many others. Perhaps the most important, though, was the estate planning lawyer. I was really young, and neither my wife or I had thought about starting a will. But the accident kind of scared us into it. What would happen if one of us were to die? Even when still in the hospital, I was working with the lawyer to draw up a will. Now, I have some peace and security about what the future will be like if something should happen to me. And I have a lot of experience working with various types of lawyers! The accident was kind of a blessing in disguise in that way.

What You Should Do When Workers' Comp Sends You a Suitable Job Offer

Law Blog

When you get hurt at work the last thing on your mind is having to do more work but at some point, you might be in that exact position. If your injury has left you unable to go back to the job you had when you were injured the workers' comp insurance carrier may ask you to work at an alternate position. Read on to learn more about this issue.

Why would you be offered another job?

Healing from an injury is a process and your benefits often include getting a partial salary while you stay out of work. Depending on your injury, you might be able to work at another job. Any money you can earn means the workers' comp carrier won't have to pay you as much and it helps to keep insurance premiums more affordable for employers. Accident victims are not only encouraged to accept a job but in some cases they have little choice.

For example, if you used to drive a forklift and suffered from a debilitating back injury while at work, you may not be able to do that type of work again. The workers' comp carrier will offer you a package of benefits and often that includes the provision that you accept a suitable job offer. They might train you to do a desk job instead of driving a forklift and then they will find you a position.

What is meant by a "suitable job"?

The job must meet the guidelines and those can vary but check out the following common provisions:

1. The job must not require the employee to undergo an extraordinary amount of training. For example, a few months of training should be sufficient to adequately perform the duties of the job.

2. The job must provide adequate pay. It may not be as much as the employee previously earned but it should be as close as possible.

3. The job must actually be "suitable." It must be a job that the worker would consider and that takes into consideration their objectives, goals, preferences and level of disability.

4. The job must be a reasonable distance from the claimant's home.

5. Some states require that the job be in the same industry or at least related to the industry of the previous job.

6. The job should not violate any medical work restrictions imposed by the workers' comp doctor and suitable accommodations must be made if necessary. The former forklift driver above, for example, might be provided with more rest breaks, a more supportive desk chair and other accommodations.

This can be a tricky issue and requires that you know what your rights are. Speak to a workers' comp service such as Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S. to learn more about suitable job offers.


14 August 2018