Posted on Friday, December 16th, 2016 at 2:00 pm
As a firm that focuses on workers compensation, we receive many, many calls each and every day from injured workers, many of whom are injured severely. As explained on our website, in order to best serve our family of clients, we are very selective about the cases we take.
Some folks want to know why we do not take their case. I can tell you that one of the biggest reasons is because the injured worker has quit or resigned his or her job, usually out of frustration.
Unfortunately, especially in Virginia, this action will most likely end or severely damage your case. I can understand why you might do this. You are legitimately injured and cannot seem to get any satisfaction. Sometimes the employer and the insurance carrier will stonewall you and you just cannot seem to get any answers. You are being told you need to come into work, but the injuries are so bad, you can’t work. So you quit.
I don’t know how many ways to say this: DO NOT DO THIS! You can be as frustrated as you want to be, but quitting or resigning will kill your case. Why?
Your entitlement to ongoing workers compensation checks is based on your ability to return to work. If you are able to get under an Award, whether you get payments under that Award is based on your ability to return to your pre-injury job. But if you have already resigned from your pre-injury job, how do we know what is preventing you from working? Maybe the employer will say that they were going to accommodate your doctor’s restrictions? They will argue that the only thing holding you out of work is the fact that…. you quit!
Because you have quit, you have now given the employer the advantage. All they have to do is say that if you had not quit, you would have a job to come back to. Maybe it’s not true, but now that you have quit, there is no way to prove otherwise.
Now for a while, if your doctor holds you completely out of all work, you may be able to prove you are entitled to compensation during that time. But once you are released to light duty, that is over. All the employer has to do is say they would have accommodated your restrictions, and you will not get another penny.
The way to handle things after you are hurt and you come up against a “stone wall” is to do your best to get to any doctor, even a family doctor, after your accident, or an emergency room to give you treatment and some written excuse to be out of work that you can present to your employer. If you cannot do that, and you are truly and demonstrably severely injured or laid up in a hospital, then that is what you tell your employer. But under no circumstances should you ever say that you “quit” or “resign” or make any such statement, because that will end your case.
If the employer wants to fire you because they cannot accommodate you being out due to your injury, then guess what? They have just proven part of your case! As long as you can prove that you were unable to return to work during that time frame due to your work injuries, then you should be able to get benefits.
The main thing is, you have not just handed over your case to the employer and insurance company by quitting or resigning.
If you’ve been severely injured at work and have questions about your case, please do not hesitate to call us at 888-667-8295 or visit us online at www.TheWorkInjuryCenter.com .