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pieceofapuzzle's avatar

What do I do if I am unable to do my job after a car accident?

Asked by pieceofapuzzle (194 points ) May 30th, 2012

I was deemed “at fault” by the insurance company.
I sustained fractures in my foot and a seriously sprained ankle. I have been cleared by my doctor to return to work but only at half my normal schedule because my job requires that I stand for the whole shift. I am afraid that I may not be able to do my job at full schedule for a very long time.

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6 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

What country do you live in? Different governments have different rules on how this type of situation is to be handled.

pieceofapuzzle's avatar

I live in the USA.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Thank you. Then you may be covered under the Family Medical Leave Act I’m pretty sure that in your case, it would only apply if cannot work at all, but it is worth researching.

Does the company you work for have an HR dept? If so, set up an appointment to get advice from them, and keep your supervisor in the loop. They may be able to work on a temporary solution while you are on the mend. This could range from only working part time or working full time, but half of the hours are spent doing work at a desk job. If you have worked there long enough and are considered a valuable employee, most companies would work with you to find a temporary solution until you have permission to go back to your regular job full-time.

May you mend quickly. Good luck with this, and please keep us updated on how it all pans out.

pieceofapuzzle's avatar

I have run out of FMLA.
My company does have an HR department and (bless their heart) has given me a “reasonable accommodation protection” under the ADA. This helps in that I pay the same for my insurance that I did as a full-time employee rather than the higher rate as a part-time employee. Unfortunately, there aren’t any desk jobs available.

I have “personal injury protection” insurance that covers a percentage of my lost wages (with maximum claim limits). I am not sure whether or how to pay taxes on the lost wage payments I receive. Furthermore, I am not sure what I will do when that coverage runs out and I am still unable to return to my job full time.

I would just go back to school but I need income to cover my living expenses and responsibilities.

I am basically one paycheck away from financial ruin.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful that things aren’t as bad as they could be but I am still very stressed none-the-less.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It sounds like you work for a company that has a wonderful HR dept. If it were me, I would ask them for advice on what they think that you should do. I would also talk to my manager about the situation and ask him/her for advice.

Our company was large enough that we often used a temp. service to cover special projects, while an employee was out on leave, and sometimes on vacation. It would be much cheaper to have an existing employee fill in, due to the short-cut in ramp-up time. The downside is that it is contingent upon scheduling.

There have been other times where supervisors have been able to work with other dept. heads to find and prove a need for a part-time job that didn’t currently exist. Our dept’s. VP was brilliant at doing this. HR has their finger on the pulse of the needs of the company, and I’ve also observed them working their way through some loopholes in order to retain a good employee with a temporary problem.

Let’s say though that none of solutions can work. What about taking a second part-time job? Are there any ways you can reduce current expenditures? When I bought a house, a friend of a friend was in need for a place to live. He was up to his eyeballs in debt. We made an arrangement where he moved in with me, didn’t pay rent, but paid the utilities. We lived in harmony for eight years. Once he finally paid off his debts and saved up some money, he bought his own house.

When I was 30, I moved back in with Mom. My BF and I had just broken up, my father died suddenly three weeks later, and I wasn’t keen on living in Chicago anyway, so I moved home. Three months later, a former co-worker tracked me down and told me about a job that was ideally suited for me. I applied and got the job.

It sounds like you need to focus on the healing of your injury, even if it means making temporary sacrifices. If this leads to signing up for unemployment or medicaid, so be it. That is what they are there for…to temporarily help people out in situations like yours.

Please keep up the diligence in looking for potential solutions. I don’t know you, but I get the feeling that you are a good person and will land on your feet. (Just go gently on the one with the fractured foot and sprained ankle. :) )

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe you can get long term disability while you heal. Most large companies have coverage for long term disability.

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