A workplace accident can turn your world upside down. You might assume that it will take a couple of days and then you’ll be back to normal. But too many people who are hurt on the job learn after the fact that it might take months or even years to recover with your life and get things back on track. Severe injuries might never allow you to recover in full.
In certain situations, you could be eligible for vocational rehabilitation if the injuries from your workplace accident are so severe that you cannot go back to your old job. An employee unable to earn wages equal to the earnings he had before the accident is entitled to vocational rehabilitation services. An employer must select a licensed vocational rehabilitation counselor to assist the employee with the appropriate vocational retraining or job placement. There are several different options available to an employee who finds themselves in this situation. The first is to be returned to the same position, if possible, the second is to return the employee to a modified position, and the third option is to move the worker to a related occupation suited to their marketable skills and education. Employment in the local job pool needs to be considered prior to consideration in the statewide job pool. The vocational rehabilitation counselor might also look at on-the-job training for the employee. Since it is not always possible to go back to the job that you had prior to the accident, you need to share your concerns about this and consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney immediately. The management of your workers’ compensation claim will be especially important for your ultimate recovery and how you will be able to support yourself and your family well into the future. The right workers’ compensation lawyer is strongly recommended from the outset of your workers’ compensation case but he or she can also help you if you have recently been denied coverage and need help navigating the appeals process. A lawyer’s insight is especially valuable when you are coping with the many impacts of a serious job injury.