What happens if my employer won’t allow me to return to work with restrictions?
This question comes up quite often in our cases. Suppose you are injured in an auto accident, maybe even an accident that was your fault. You have to take some time off work due to the injuries. After a few weeks, or really any amount of time up to three years after the accident, your doctor says you are able to return to work with restrictions that the doctor puts in writing.
You are eager to get back to work so that you can stop arguing with your automobile insurance adjuster about sending you wage loss checks through no-fault. And quite frankly you are looking forward to being productive once again, even if it means you are going to have to “back off” certain duties so that you don’t hurt yourself. But when you take the note back to your employer, you are told that they won’t let you come back to work until all restrictions are removed by your doctor.
What happens now? The employer isn’t going to take you back yet, but your adjuster tells you no-fault only has to pay you if the doctor has you completely off work, which in your case the doctor does not. Bad news? More trouble?
You win this time! Cases in Michigan that have looked at this situation say that the no-fault carrier has to pay you as long as is reasonably necessary (up to three years from the date of the accident maximum) if your employer will not take you back with restrictions imposed by your doctor. Of course, as soon as the doctor lifts the restrictions, the no-fault wage loss will stop, assuming you have a job to go back to. That’s a story for another day.
As with any legal issue, you can add or subtract details from this general rule to make things more complicated or harder to decide. But that’s the general rule. If you are having trouble with your insurance company regarding this common problem, you should talk to a lawyer who is very familiar with the No-Fault system in Michigan.