Clients often ask me, “How can X do this?” It is not safe to assume that an employer knew the law and should have voluntarily refrained from taking the objectionable action. If an employer or an adverse party takes what you think is an illegal action — such as placing you back at work if you feel like you can’t go to work, getting a particular medical record, etc. — the question should be “What are the legal consequences to their case or to themselves should they take a particular course of action?”
A good example of this is when an employer fires one of my clients after being injured. My client asks me “How can the employer do this?” I reply that they have done it. It is a fait accompli. Your employer firing you is a fact. If you show up on the premises unwanted they have the ability to call their security or the authorities. So the question “How can they do this?” is irrelevant. The relevant question becomes, “Have they engaged in retaliatory discharge or breached some other state or federal employment law? And what kind of compensation can I demand?”
This is when you need the protection of an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney knows the proper steps to take — and the time frame in which to take them — in order to hold the offending party responsible and bring a judgment or settlement down in your favor.