I’m Getting Better – Can I Go Back to Work Now?
When you suffer a serious injury in a car accident, your immediate focus is usually on medical issues. There are hospital stays, discharge plans, treatments to be arranged and appointments to be kept. This is all vitally important because, after all, you want to recover to the best degree possible.
If you were employed at the time that you were injured, or if you planned to become employed, the time will come when you have to consider returning to work. If your recovery is less than perfect or if it is going to take a long time to complete, you may not be ready or able to return to the job you had before.
The standard Ontario automobile insurance policy provides coverage for rehabilitation benefits that specifically include help with returning to work. The policy provides benefits to car accident victims for expenses that are reasonable and necessary to reduce or eliminate the effects of any disability resulting from your impairments or to facilitate your reintegration into your family, the rest of society and the labour market. Among other benefits, there is specific coverage for the cost of measures to reintegrate you into the labour market. The goal is to enable you to engage in employment (including self-employment) that is as similar as possible to what you were doing at the time of the accident or, if that isn’t possible, to enable you to lead as normal a work life as possible.
Particularly if you cannot easily return to your pre-accident employment, you may benefit from vocational assessments, training, counselling or workplace modifications or devices. Vocational rehabilitation experts can assist you to investigate possibilities through assessments, volunteer placements, job coaching and job searching assistance. Particularly if you need to change careers, it is important to get help assessing your personal interests, aptitudes and skills to identify job possibilities that have a strong likelihood of success for you. Labour market information can help you work toward a career in which there are realistic opportunities so that you can get back to doing meaningful work that is rewarding for you and, to the best extent possible, will replace at least some of the income you may have lost due to your injuries.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can explain this coverage to you and can assist you in identifying the best qualified professionals who can help you achieve your goal of returning to work after you have been injured.