How Long Should You Take Off Work After a Car Accident?
By Space Coast Daily // August 13, 2020
When you will be ready to return to work after a car accident will depend on many factors, most of all, your doctor’s orders.
How long it will take you to recover will depend on your age, your general health, and the severity of your injuries. Your doctor will take these factors into account when deciding when it’s safe for you to go back to work.
If they don’t tell you, you should ask because you could hurt yourself if you go back too soon.
Why People Go Back to Work Too Soon
Did you go back to work too soon after your car accident? Are you considering it? If so, you are not alone. Many people go back to work prematurely, and these are the most common reasons.
Financial and Job Security
If you don’t have a ton of savings or sick days, your primary motive for returning to work prematurely may simply be that you need the money and you can’t afford to lose your job.
I did this myself when I was in a serious car crash. I was so worried about being late for work that I called an ambulance for other people and got right back into hellish Los Angeles traffic. By lunch, I was slumped over my desk, wishing I’d gone to the doctor instead of the office.
I ended up having an injury that I still have today, 20 years later. So how did I think I was okay to go to work? The answer is that the wreck released adrenaline into my system and this masked the signs of my injury.
This brings me to my next point. If you are like me and you decided to tough it out instead of seeing a doctor, it could be a costly mistake.
Without any medical records to document your injury, you may not be able to prove your case if you end up in court.
Wanting to Move On
Getting to enjoy a normal life is something we may take for granted until we’ve been injured in a car accident. You’re used to being able to walk, to drive, and to do your everyday tasks without pain.
After an accident, you may convince yourself that you’re recovering faster than you are because you just want to get back to your regular routine.
Unfortunately, doing this may worsen your injuries and keep you away from your normal life for even longer.
No matter how eager you are to put the accident behind you, it’s best to wait at least a few days before you return to work, even if you do not believe you’re injured.
Fear of Judgement
Some people return to work too quickly because they are worried what their bosses and coworkers may think about their absence.
This is especially true if you are in pain but don’t have any visible injuries or if your work culture is toxic. Office gossip, disapproving bosses, and people who may resent that you got time off can all motivate a person to go back to work.
If you are working in an environment that is so toxic that you feel like you can’t take a couple of days off work, you may want to consider taking off from that job and then returning to work at a different company as soon as you are able. Your doctor’s orders are more important than making a good impression on a bad company.
If you work in a great environment, your coworkers are probably going to be more understanding than you may think.
Getting Compensation For Lost Wages and Sick Days
After an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may want to contact a professional auto accident attorney so you can recover your lost wages and sick days through a personal injury claim.
You have the right to pursue a lawsuit to cover any damages that are related to your accident, and this also includes the cost of rehabilitation and any property that was damaged.
Recovering from an accident can be stressful, and if you don’t follow your doctor’s orders the recovery process could take much longer than it should.
Don’t hesitate to speak to your supervisors, human resources, and an attorney to find out what your options are to give yourself enough time to fully recover before you return to the daily grind.
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