The workers’ compensation system, we sometimes observe, is a patchwork of contradictory and inconsistent rules that are hard to understand and even harder to live with.
Our courts don’t make this any easier.
We were reminded of this recently at the annual conference of the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Association, where we heard several recitations of the weirdness of workers’ compensation case law.
One presentation, by attorneys Jim Rawley and Kelly Genova, focused narrowly on issues related to return to work.
When a worker is recovered from an injury, something is supposed to happen: he goes back to his old job, or he chooses not to go back to the job, or because of his injury he can no longer do the job, or a hundred other possibilities.
Workers’ compensation is a statutorily micromanaged system. The law is supposed to provide explicit guidance about who is obligated to do what for whom. But reality plays tricks.
Do you know the TV show, “What Would You Do?” This column is like that game. Read and guess.