All too often, we see injured workers fail to make the most of the time they are off work. Disabled workers from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia routinely believe that if they are hour on the job, they can "rest easy," recuperate, and their jobs will be there when they are well enough to return. However, this is not always so. Very few people have "no cut" contracts or written guarantees. Just as we advise our Abrams Landau clients in car crash and slip and fall cases to "mitigate damages", we suggest to workers compensation recipients that they "keep their eyes and ears open" and be amenable to looking for light duty work that they can perform.
At the Landau Law Shop, we have unfortunately seen many permanent injury victims who may never be able to return to the physically demanding jobs they had before the on the job accident. If the disabled worker fails to take reasonable steps to look for light or "selective duty work," the employer, its insurance company and especially its lawyers will look to terminate benefits once the worker gets a light duty release or is able to return to work with restrictions. So rather than being reactive, it is always best to be proactive. Use the time you cannot work wisely. Speak frankly with your treating and family doctors about what physical activities you actually performed at work and what you are able to do now. And keep records of where you look for work, who you call or meet with, and the newspapers, journals, web sites and advertisements you act upon. In tomorrow’s post, we will discuss some of the ways clients have successfully demonstrated that they have taken reasonable steps to market their residual physical capacities and abilities to return to light duty work.