How Long Should You Stay Out of Work After a Car Accident?

Doctor applying hand splint

How long should you stay out of work after being in a car accident? You’re going to have this question pretty soon after being in a wreck, especially if it wasn’t your fault. You might even be worried about how you’re going to make ends meet if you have to miss a lot of work because of another driver’s mistakes.

When deciding how long you should stay out of work after a car accident, it is best to not make that decision for yourself. Instead, you should leave it up to your treating physician. They will know the limitations of your injuries and when you expect them to recede enough to make it safe to return to work.

Different injuries take different times to heal, such as:

  • Strains and aches: One to two weeks
  • Muscle tears: Two weeks to two months
  • Broken bones: One month to two months for most bones
  • Tendon damage: Up to 12 months or more

Please keep in mind that these healing times are rough estimations that can vary from one medical context to the next. The fact that healing times are difficult to estimate continues the point that you can’t really know how long you’ll need to miss work after being hurt. Your treating physician will have a better idea and, even then, they will first need to see how your body responds to initial treatments. You could be out for an entire month due to a knee ache, but someone else could be back on their feet in less than two weeks. In either situation, the duration of the injury makes sense if a medical doctor says it does.

What Happens If You Return to Work Too Soon?

Returning to work too soon after being injured is a bad idea for a few reasons. Firstly, you could be highly likely to exacerbate your injury. Not only will this put you through more pain, but it will also make it take longer for your injury to heal.

Secondly, returning to work too early could disrupt your workers’ compensation and/or personal injury claim. Insurers are hardly willing to pay for damages when someone is seriously injured. If they get the idea that you’ve exaggerated your injuries because you’re working before your doctor approved it, then you can bet they will challenge your claim outright.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t return to work any sooner than your treating physician says it is okay. At that point, you might also be expected to complete light-duty work. Whatever is necessary to care for your health and wellbeing is what you should prioritize.

After a car accident in Kentucky, see a doctor. Then, see an attorney from Kentucky Injury Law Center. We’re here to defend the Commonwealth from unfair insurance company tactics that leave injured people with next to nothing, even though they did nothing wrong. Call (270) 423-0023 or contact us online for more information.

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