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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    3

    Default Rights Upon Returning to Work

    My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: NJ

    After a year and a half of agony, I was recently allowed surgery. I still have quite a long way to go in terms of rehabilitation and am still out of work. But things are looking up!

    This leaves me with a question that I know has been touched upon in other places... Say I get to the point where my doctor thinks I'm ok to return to work. Before I was hurt, I was full-time management staff in a store, and did grunt work. What are my rights?

    Is it true that as long as my employer offers *something* that I am not eligible for unemployment if I decline?

    For example:

    Since so much time has passed, I am sure my old position is no longer available. If my employer offers me a comparable position in different location, am I obligated to take it?

    What if my employer offers me a lesser paying position, or part-time hours?



    Follow up:

    Does it make anyone else uneasy to think of going back to work for an employer that is directly responsible for their injury? ...I would much prefer to go to a vocational school and get training to work somewhere (anywhere) else when the time comes. Does anyone do that?


    ...Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Tato; 03-28-2012 at 12:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: Rights Upon Returning to Work

    you need to tell us what your injury was and more back ground to answer these questions.
    but you have a while before any of this will come into play peace

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,018

    Default Re: Rights Upon Returning to Work

    Does it make anyone else uneasy to think of going back to work for an employer that is directly responsible for their injury? ...I would much prefer to go to a vocational school and get training to work somewhere (anywhere) else when the time comes. Does anyone do that?
    WC is no fault, your ER doesn't have to prove they are not negligent, you don't have to prove the injury...no one disputes injury, only causation, and liability for benefits.

    If your treating physician determines you cannot return to your pre injury job functions, you could be offered VR services. If your ER finds a job for you that fits your restrictions, no one can force you to accept the position, but your benefits may be adversely affected. And no VR.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    2,992

    Default Re: Rights Upon Returning to Work

    You need legal advice from a qualified NJ work comp attorney. You are asking good questions and the answers will affect your life quite a bit.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney at Law

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Rights Upon Returning to Work

    I had injured my shoulder at work. I went a long time without my eventual RSD diagnosis because workers comp sent me to the wrong types of doctors. No diagnosis meant no treatment and no management of pain (and six months of no ttd checks). I hired a new lawyer that got the ball rolling again, which is when I got my diagnosis. It's also when I got news that lack of treatment left me with adhesive capsulitis. My surgery, which was long overdue, did break up my adhesions. That said, I still have very little strength in my non-dominant arm, and am still working on upper back and neck issues that came from my altered posture.

    My job was a lot of lifting, merchandising and re-merchandising, and lots of running around.

    In response to BvIA, I don't necessarily mean liable in a legal sense... I mean that I feel cheated of a huge portion of my life I spent in pain, house-ridden, and financially struggling.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,018

    Default Re: Rights Upon Returning to Work

    I don't necessarily mean liable in a legal sense... I mean that I feel cheated of a huge portion of my life I spent in pain, house-ridden, and financially struggling.
    Unfortunately those issues are not compensable in WC. Pain and suffering are not paid.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Rights Upon Returning to Work

    I think we're still misunderstanding each other. I don't mean that I want them to pay me for my suffering. I mean that I don't know how comfortable I am with going back to my old store and answering to the people that I personally blame for my injury. In an I-dont-trust-these-people kind of way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,018

    Default Re: Rights Upon Returning to Work

    No one can force you to accept a job anyplace you don't want to work.
    That said however, your ER/IC is not going to be responsible for retraining/VR services because you don't "trust" the people you are working with.

    The goal in WC is to treat the IW, to a stable condition or MMI... and return to work. The complications arise when there is residual impairment/partial disability due to the injury. Whether or not you can return to your preinjury job function is a medical determination. Whether or not you wish to return to work for this ER... that's up to you, but not compensable...no cash for that.

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