Can a Failed Drug Test Affect My Workers' Compensation Claim?
After an accident, your employer may wish to have you drug tested in order to determine whether or not you were under the influence at the time of the accident. A failed drug test could certainly impact your claim, although it does not completely disqualify you from receiving coverage. If your employer asks for a drug test, make sure you know what to expect in order to better defend your right to workers’ compensation.
In order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, the insurer will want to determine whether or not the worker is legally entitled to compensation. If the worker was violating a company policy or state law, or if the injuries were caused as the result of worker intoxication or drug use, the claim may be denied. By law, employers are permitted to impose drug tests on their employees, and if an employee fails a test, he or she can lawfully be denied compensation benefits.
However, it is standard for an employer to establish a policy regarding drug testing within the company so that each employee is aware of the drug testing procedure. When an accident does occur, the employer is required to provide necessary medical attention as a first priority, not drug testing. Employers are not to prioritize drug testing over the health and well-being of their workers under any circumstances. That being said, drug tests should be administered as quickly after the accident as possible in order to guarantee accuracy.
Even if a drug test shows the employee was under the influence, the employer must still prove that the worker was intoxicated at the time of the injury. Timing can be a difficult factor to prove, especially if the injured worker was first treated for injuries and the test was delayed. The employer may also need to prove that the worker was at fault in the accident that caused the injury, and that the injury was related to the drug use.
If you were denied workers’ compensation benefits due to a failed drug tests, it could be beneficial to have your claim reviewed by an experienced workers’ comp lawyer.
Contact Alvandi Law Group, P.C. to schedule a free consultation.