Can I Still Get Work Comp If I Was Using Alcohol Or Drugs On The Job?
If you were injured on the job, your workers’ compensation benefits will cover medical bills and time away from work. You should be aware, however, that your employer may choose to conduct a drug test after your injury. In California, employers must have a legitimate reason to conduct a drug test, and the law considers a workplace injury a legitimate reason.
If you test positive for drugs or alcohol following your accident and injury, your employer may use that result as a reason to deny your claim. If this happens to you, rely on the attorneys at the Law Offices of Hussain & Gutierrez to defend your claim.
for a free consultation. From our office in Van Nuys, we serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area.
What Does Your Employer Need To Show?
A positive test result does not automatically mean you cannot receive benefits. The California Labor Code requires your employer to prove two facts to justify denying workers’ compensation benefits:
- You were intoxicated when the accident happened. The employer must prove you had drugs or alcohol in your system through drug tests or a breathalyzer, or even testimony from witnesses.
- Your intoxication caused your injury. This condition means the employer must show the accident would not have happened had you not been impaired. For example, if a forklift another worker is using malfunctions and collides with you, that has no connection to your impairment. If you were driving the forklift while intoxicated, however, and collided with an object, your employer might argue that your impairment caused the accident that resulted in your injury.
A judge must determine the facts of the case to decide whether your employer had a legitimate reason to deny your claim. Attorney Gutierrez spent 23 years as a workers’ comp judge and can help you figure out how to approach your case.
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Experience counts when it comes to difficult workers’ compensation issues. For a no-cost initial consultation, call our office or fill out our online form.
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