Suffering an on-the-job or work-related injury can be a harrowing experience. Many people who are severely injured in their workplace understandably feel unsafe there afterward, even if their employer takes steps to improve safety standards. Continuing to work in the same place might be a thought so unpleasant that you want to change occupations and work somewhere else.
How soon can you job hop, though? Are you allowed to quit your job while your workers’ comp claim is still pending? Yes, in an at-will employment position, you can decide to quit at any time, even if you just filed a workers’ compensation claim yesterday. But there could be some complications if you do leave before your claim is resolved.
Three primary concerns that can arise if you quit during a pending workers’ comp claim:
- Worsened injuries: The injuries you suffered at your job could worsen with time and in unexpected ways. If that happens, you will need different and likely increased medical treatment benefits. However, if you have quit your job and started working somewhere else, then your original employer is practically guaranteed to argue that your injuries have worsened because of your new work. In such a situation, they would not necessarily responsible for your medical care. Your new employer would be, so there could be a heated conflict between your employers that ends with you not getting the medical benefits that you need.
- Missed work at your new job: Similarly, there could be difficulties determining who should provide you with wage replacement benefits if you miss work at your new job due to injuries suffered while at your original place of employment. The responsibility could shift depending on why you are missing work now, creating another conflict that might become detrimental to your claim overall.
- Resignation benefits: Lastly, you should be aware that insurance companies and employers often come up with resignation deals when offering a workers’ compensation settlement amount. In exchange for your resignation, they might offer additional finances. But you won’t be offered any sort of deal if you have already quit your job.
Overall, if you think you can stick it out at your job while your workers’ compensation claim is being resolved, then it might be a wise choice. On the other hand, you shouldn’t have to subject yourself to an uncomfortable or unsafe work environment just to try to avoid legal complications. If you want to quit, then you should.
But in either situation, you can do yourself a favor by working closely with a trusted local workers’ compensation attorney. Workers in Orange County know they can rely on Alvandi Law Group, P.C. for assistance with their workers’ compensation claims. We are here to uphold and protect your rights as an injured worker, including challenging employers who attempt to sidestep their responsibilities because you no longer work for them.
Call (800) 980-6905 or contact us online to get more information.