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Fairfield police chief back at work following work-related injury

The Fairfield police chief has returned to work only two weeks after experiencing a work-related injury from a dangerous multi-car crash. The 49-year-old officer is taking the adjustment back to work one step at a time.

The investigation into the crash that injured the police chief is still ongoing. It appears a medical issue, rather than distracted driving, is at fault for the accident. An SUV heading north near the police headquarters rear-ended the chief's police cruiser while he was stopped at a red traffic light. The force of the impact sent the police cruiser into an occupied parked car while the SUV continued across the road, onto a patio and into a light pole and building. The SUV's driver and her infant child were treated and released from the local hospital while the parked car's occupant turned down medical assistance. The police chief spent the night at the hospital after enduring head trauma and soft muscle tissue injuries.

Many individuals, like the police chief in this instance, wish to return to work as soon as possible after an accident. Rehabilitation can be long, painful, and lonely; the stimulating environment of a workplace may be a motivating factor for some individuals while they heal.

Concerns may arise, however, if an employee cannot return to their full duties immediately even though they are able to work. Fortunately, if an employee has been receiving workers' compensation benefits for an on-the-job injury, he or she may still be eligible for the benefits even after partially returning to work. The benefits generally will cease once an individual returns to work and receives wages equal to or greater than what he or she was earning before the injury occurred. If the employee still experiences a wage loss, however, the benefits may continue even if for a lesser amount.

An employee wishing to return to the workplace as soon as possible should not be punished for zealously working toward getting back into regular society following an accident. Workers' compensation can help ease an employee's financial concerns even beyond the initial accident period as he or she makes the shift and adjusts slowly to the regular working world again.

Source: ctpost.com, "Fairfield police chief back at his desk after crash," Genevieve Reilly, Nov. 6, 2014

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