This is a magical term of art, science, and law. In the Georgia workers’ compensation realm, this medical certification functionally translates to the injured worker having no physical limitations related to any work injury. Generally taken, your Employer will assert that you are able to work with your normal job as if the injury never occurred.
From a legal standpoint, this term allows for the Employer and the insurance company to “cut-off workers’ compensation benefits” provided it follows proper procedure. As I mentioned before, the term “full/normal duty” is magical for insurance companies. However, it may be devastating to the injured worker when he or she sincerely believes otherwise.
If the employee continues to experience pain resulting from the work injury; requires pain medication to function; or is physically limited in what he or she can do on the job, the certification of “full duty” may be inappropriate. Perhaps a light duty release would be more accurate. A light duty release should outline what medical or physical restrictions the injured employee currently has as it relates to the work injury. Essentially, these “full duty versus light duty” determinations are done by the treating physician. Unfortunately, many of these doctors have been pre-selected by the insurance company. Therefore, it is crucial that the injured worker be completely honest and candid with the treating doctor about how the hurt employee feels. This is no time to be stoic as this may have lasting legal ramifications.
If you have any questions about your light duty or full duty releases, please contact the Ramos Law Firm at 404-355-3431 or email us for your free consultation.