The critical aspect of documenting how your injuries affect your ability to perform your job is your medical records and your medical doctor’s testimony. Your doctor must know what your job duties are at your job, as they existed before the accident and apply your current medical condition and prognosis and thereby placing work restrictions on you. As such, it is important that you talk to your doctor and tell him of your job and your job duties. You must clearly and consistently communicate those limitations to your doctor during each medical examination. In addition, as your medical condition improves, you must let your treating doctor know that your ability to work has changed. However, if your injury symptoms continue to prohibit you from doing your job duties required at work, you have two choices. Either change your treatment plan to provide a more successful treatment for your injuries, or change the type of work or work environment that you have. Your primary care physician is the person most knowledgeable about the appropriate course of action for you and the choices you can make.
According to the “Americans with Disabilities Act”, your employer cannot discriminate against you because of your disability. This specific exception is if your disability prevents you from doing the type of work that you have been hired to do. For example, if you are a carpenter, and cannot swing a hammer, it is not discriminatory to not hire you or rehire you.
Special needs may mean that the employer may need to make accommodation for you at your jobsite. You may return to work with certain restrictions as to lifting, sitting, or be required to have ergonomic changes at your desk. If you have been seriously injured in the motorcycle accident and are unable to return to your work, you need the team of doctors, lawyers and vocational rehabilitation specialists to help you learn of your alternative employment opportunities and choice that you can make.
In seeking a work restriction from your doctor, you should have the doctor include the following:
- Your name
- The date of the accident
- The limitation to employment
- The length of your work restriction
- The date that you will be re-evaluated
- Whether your restriction is temporary or permanent in nature
- Whether your position requires retraining or alternate employment
- The types of functions at your job that you are unable to perform, such as lifting, bending, sitting, standing for prolonged period of time, or restrictions on the amount of weight that you can lift or carry
- Documentation of the limitations caused by injuries that may not be related to physical movement, such as memory loss, speech impairments, sight or other sensory impairments, closed head injuries, decrease in sense of smell or taste, or, most importantly, decrease in hearing that might affect the safety of others
- A detailed list of work-related functions and activities in which you are unable to participate in as a result of the injuries sustained in your motorcycle accident. In other words, if you are unable to do certain activities or there are physical limitations.
California Motorcycle Lawyer