You’ve been injured on the job. The good news is that workers’ compensation has stepped in and is covering your medical bills and paying you some replacement wages. The bad news is that you really hate your job.
You wanted to quit even before you got hurt. Do you have to wait until your claim is settled to make a career move?
The problems with leaving before your claim is closed
Generally speaking, your employer will still have to cover any medical bills related to your workplace injury — even if you decide to quit. However, the consequences to the rest of your workers’ comp claim could be problematic in the following ways:
- You lose the right to wage replacement benefits when you voluntarily leave your position. Unless you’ve already found another position, that could create a big gap in your income.
- If your new disability makes it difficult for you to do your job without significant accommodations, your employer may be willing to pay more in a lump-sum settlement if you’re willing to resign. If you resign prematurely (even if you plan to leave eventually), you lose that negotiating power.
- If your condition worsens after you start work somewhere new, your previous employer can use that as an opening to argue that your condition is now related to your current job (and now your current employer’s responsibility). That could lead to serious complications with your medical benefits.
It’s usually far better to wait the situation out and let your workers’ comp claim come to a close before you quit. At the very minimum, you may want to seek experienced legal guidance on the issue prior to making your move.