Can You Get Workers' Compensation If You Were On Drugs?

When you are injured at work and can no longer perform your job, your first worry is likely how you will meet your own financial obligations. This is when workers' compensation insurance typically comes into play. Workers' compensation insurance is a form of insurance taken out by your employer to help compensate employees when they are hurt on the job. In exchange, the employee cannot then sue the employer for medical costs and lost wages.

Workers' compensation insurance is pretty straightforward and will cover most any injury as long as it happened while you were doing your job. However, there are some instances which your employer's insurance will not want to cover, particularly if you were involved in drug use. Here is some information about workers' compensation and how drug use can impact your claim.

When Does the Employer Not Have to Pay You for Injuries?

When you submit your workers' compensation claim, the first question you will be asked is whether or not the accident happened during the scope of your employment. You will then be asked about whether or not you were under the influence at the time of the accident. Your employer may require to you to do a drug screening if they have solid evidence to believe your injury was due to your own actions while under the influence. If you fail, the insurer has an argument to not pay your workers' compensation claim.

Does a Failed Drug Test Mean No Benefits?

Although it would appear as though you will not receive any benefits due to a failed drug test, this is not always the case. The employer has to have a business-wide drug screening policy to legally protect themselves. If there is no drug screening policy in place, you can argue that you should not have been made to take the test in the first place.

If your company does have a drug screening policy in place and you are required to participate before you can receive benefits, make sure you take an independently administered test. Go to a hospital or a neutral third party, such as a clinic or physician who is not privy to your case. Do not have your employer send you to his or her preferred drug screening facility.

If after you have failed a drug screening performed at an independent clinic, you may still have a way to receive your benefits as long as your employer cannot prove without any doubt that your injury occurred due to your drug use. As long as you can provide proof that the accident would have occurred whether you were under the influence or sober, such as using broken or faulty equipment that caused you to fall, you can argue that you have a right to your workers' compensation benefits. For more information, contact law firms like Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S.

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