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When Is It Safe to Go Back to Work After an Auto Accident?

No law dictates a specific number of days you should take off of work after an accident. That’s because no two accidents are ever the same.

Are you eager to get back to work after a car accident, or do you think you need more time to recuperate? Many factors determine your readiness to get back to work after a car accident, but the most important one is your doctor’s orders.

No law dictates a specific number of days you should take off of work after an accident. That’s because no two accidents are ever the same, and different companies have different policies regarding injury-related absenteeism. So when is the right time to return to the job after an accident?

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Factors Determining When You Can Get Back to Work After an Accident

As mentioned above, lots of factors determine when you can return to work after a car crash. Some of them include:

Work Regulations

Some companies are very stringent about how much time employees can take off work following a car accident. As such, you’ll need to talk to your boss or HR to find out how long you can stay out of your job. After that, you can liaise with your doctor and develop a recovery plan that aligns with the stipulated period.

The Severity of Your Injuries

Some accident victims are able to return to work within a month of their accident. However, this is generally in cases involving minor injuries. People that get permanent or debilitating injuries might need a lot more than one month to recover. Regardless of the severity of your injury, it’s still imperative to inform your workplace about the accident to avoid future confrontations. 

Note: Some employers don’t offer paid sick time. Thankfully, you can still generally recover your lost wages and medical expenses by filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. You will benefit from working with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer.

What to Keep in Mind While Taking Time Off After an Accident

If you want your time off work not to interfere with your tenure, be sure you:

Inform your employer about the accident as soon as you can

  • Gather all your accident documentation
  • Communicate regularly with your boss
  • Inquire whether working from home is a viable option
  • Ask to be excused from physically taxing duties until you recover fully
  • Get a written note from your doctor

If you implement these tips, you’re more likely to be on good terms with your boss and have a seamless transition back to work.

Why Consult With Your Attorney Before Returning to Work?

Depending on the status of your case, going back to work can affect your car accident claim. 

For example, if you’re still in the process of filing a claim, returning to work too soon could negatively impact your case by making it appear as though your injuries are not as serious as you claim. Similarly, if you are receiving monthly payments, going back to work could also give the insurer an excuse to stop making payments. 

In either situation, it’s best to err on the side of caution and consult with your car accident attorney before making any decisions about returning to work.

Why Consult With Your Doctor Before Returning to Work?

By consulting with your doctor, you can ensure that you are physically and mentally ready to take on the challenges of your job. Here’s a look at eight key points you’ll need to inform your doctor about when you visit them:

  • The details of your job position: When you’re meeting with your doctor, give them a detailed overview of your job, including what your daily responsibilities entail. This will give them a better understanding of the physical demands of your job and whether or not returning to work at this time is feasible.
  • Your typical work hours: In addition to detailing the duties of your job, it’s important to also let your doctor know what your typical work hours are. This will help them determine if you’ll be able to physically handle working those hours, given the current state of your health.
  • How many hours you are required to be on your feet during a given shift: For some jobs, being on your feet for long periods is unavoidable. If this is the case with your job, it’s important to let your doctor know so they can decide if returning to work at this time is advisable.
  • If your job requires heavy lifting, climbing, working at heights, or other potential hazards: Some jobs carry a higher risk of injury than others. If yours is one of these jobs, be sure to inform your doctor so they can properly assess the risks involved in your returning to work at this time.
  • The details of your work commute: The length and difficulty of your commute could also have an impact on whether or not returning to work is feasible at this time. So be sure to share the details of your commute with your doctor so they can make an informed decision.
  • If you will be required to work overtime after you return: For some people, returning to work means picking up additional hours or working overtime to compensate for the lost time. If this is the case with you, be sure to let your doctor know so they can decide if it’s feasible for you to do so, given the current state of your health.

Take Your Time But Be Careful

It’s okay to take your time to recover after a car accident. However, it’s important to talk to the right people to know how much time you need to take off. If you have been injured in a car accident, it is essential to seek medical attention, speak with an experienced St. Louis car attorney, and notify your employer.


Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

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Updated: December 16, 2022