One of the first questions many people have after a severe car accident is, “How long should I take off work after a car crash?” They may also ask, “Can I even afford to take time off from work?” How long should I take off work after a car crash?
These questions come up so often because there is a desire to put the accident behind you and return to your life and your routine. While this is a typical reaction, it is important to remember that your first concern has to be your health. Taking the right amount of time off from your work is critical to taking care of yourself and healing fully. Speak with our experienced South Carolina car accident lawyers today if you’ve been involved in a car accident.
How Long Should I Take Off Work after a Car Crash?
However, knowing just how much time you should take for your recovery can be difficult. Some accident victims return to work too early and risk increased pain and further injury. The lawyers at The Jeffcoat Firm know how serious this question is and how hard it is to answer. There have been many cases in which someone injured in a car accident returned to work too soon when they should have taken more time for rest and recovery.
To make sure you don’t make the same mistake, we have provided guidance on some of the most pressing questions here. If you have any further questions, or if you want to begin pursuing compensation for your injuries and time away from work in South Carolina, contact the experienced attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm by phone or online today.
When Can I Go Back to Work After a Car Crash?
There are multiple ways to answer this question. You could, after all, return to work as soon as you are physically able to get to your place of work. This, however, is not advisable. In fact, this can lead to even more serious injuries.
Another way of understanding this question is to reframe it. Many people, when they ask this question, are really asking whether returning to work will hurt their potential case or harm their ability to collect compensation. Luckily, this is not the case. You will still be able to pursue a case against those responsible for your accident regardless of the time it takes for you to return to work.
Since it does not help or harm your case, there’s no reason to return to work before you are completely healed and have been cleared by your doctor.
Why Do People Return to Work Too Early? Why Is That a Bad Idea?
There are many reasons why people may return to work sooner than they should. Many people injured in a severe accident are primarily motivated by a desire to get back to normal life as soon as possible. This can be a powerful desire that makes people ignore what their bodies are telling them.
Others may fear what others are thinking. When they consider the question, “How long should I take off work after a car crash?” they don’t think about their health.They think about whether their boss will consider them unreliable or lazy, or if work colleagues will assume they are just trying to take advantage of the situation and get an extra vacation.
The truth is, the people around you are far more likely to be sympathetic than cynical, and they are far more likely to urge you to take the time you need than judge you for focusing on your health.
Another common reason people return to work too soon is that they convince themselves they are doing better. A car accident releases adrenaline into the system, which can make people feel like they are fine, even if they are suffering from a severe injury. It is best to wait at least three days to let the adrenaline entirely leave your system to make sure you aren’t hurting and injured.
A final reason for an early return to work is the need to earn income. With medical bills, rent or a mortgage, and all the other expenses of life, many people can’t afford to take the time off to get better. However, this money can be recovered through a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for the crash that injured you.
Returning to work before your injuries have healed is often about more than pain or discomfort. Injuries can be exacerbated and it may take even longer for them to heal. A back injury that might otherwise have resolved within a few days may take months to heal if not treated immediately. Other issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety may be harder to detect immediately but may also get worse if the person forces themselves back into the pressures of work too soon.
Can I Get Compensation for Lost Wages?
Lost wages can be recovered through an injury claim. In fact, you can be compensated for any adverse financial consequences directly related to your car crash, including your medical bills, damage to property and your vehicle, and rehabilitation. Lost wages falls very neatly into this same category, and can be recovered in full.
If I Take Paid Sick Leave, Can I Still Get Compensation?
Whether returning to work right away, taking time away from work without pay, or receiving sick leave, you can still receive compensation. If your job provides paid sick leave that can help you avoid financial distress while you recover, you would do well to take advantage of it. You may be able to get compensation for paid sick leave you take because you should not be penalized for having to use your leave because of an accident caused by someone else.
Why You Should Talk to Your Doctor
Those who want a definitive answer to “How long should I take off work after a car crash?” should look not to their doctor. Only your doctor can advise you on how much time is right for your body and your mind after your crash.
If you follow your doctor’s advice, you will have a better chance of fully recovering from your injuries. If you are considering filing an injury claim, it is imperative that you follow your doctor’s orders to make sure that you do not unintentionally complicate or jeopardize your injury case.
Contact an Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Today
Anyone suffering from the results of a car accident in or around Columbia or Lexington, South Carolina should not have to worry about working, income, or paying for the losses that were someone else’s fault.
Let the South Carolina car accident lawyers at The Jeffcoat Firm can take care of the legal aspects of your injury claim so you can focus on getting healthy again. Contact us today by phone, fill out a contact form, or chat with us live to set up an appointment with a member of our team today.