When you start thinking about returning to work after a truck accident, it really boils down to whether or not you can do the work without experiencing pain or making your injury worse. However, there are some key steps you will need to make to determine the right time to make the transition. Before you decide, you should seek out the opinion of:

  • Yourself – Although you may be feeling pressure to return to work, you know yourself better than anyone else—and you know your limitations. When making the decision to return to work, it’s important that you think about how you really feel and what you think you can handle at work.
  • Your doctor – Your doctor is the only person who can tell you if you are physically ready to return to work, and you’ll need to work together during your transition back to work. No matter how “ready” you feel, your doctor is the expert monitoring your recovery and protecting your wellbeing. Be honest with your doctor, and follow his or her recommendations for your recovery.  
  • Your attorney – While your attorney can’t tell you if you’re ready to return to work, he or she can make sure that you know what your options are, what your rights are when returning to work, how to document the transition, and how it might affect your personal injury claim.

What You Shouldn’t Base Your Decision On

In the real world, accident victims don’t always feel free to make their own decisions about returning to work. It may seem like everyone they know has an opinion about when they should go back to work or when they shouldn’t, even if they don’t really understand the injuries or what happened.

As victims recover, the push and pull of these many opinions can complicate the transition back to work. Instead of making decisions based on medical facts, many victims feel that they have to base their decisions on:

  • The opinion of family and friends. Whether your wife is convinced you need more time or your brother is starting to give you disapproving looks, the pressure from your loved ones can carry a lot of emotional weight.
  • Pressure from work. As you take longer and longer to recover, you may be feeling the pressure from supervisors, higher-ups, and even coworkers. But, just because they want you to work, it doesn’t mean that you physically can or should. 
  • Concerns about finances. Losing your regular income, especially as the breadwinner of your family, can create an extreme financial burden, and some victims are tempted to return to work before they are fully recovered just to start covering their day-to-day expenses. 

While we understand that these pressures are very real and can be very difficult to ignore, remember that the priority is making sure that you don’t reinjure yourself or complicate your recovery after the accident. Make sure that you’re making your health the priority—and that you’re returning to work for the right reasons.

If you need help with an injury claim after a truck accident, our experienced San Bernardino legal team is standing by to assist you. Reach out to by phone or email for immediate help, or visit us on Facebook to learn more about who we are and what we do for truck accident victims in California.


Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982