Can You Lose Workers Comp Benefits Over a Drug Test in FL?
On Behalf of Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa | November 31, 2022 | Workers' Compensation
Sadly, workplace accidents happen frequently. Injuries from workplace accidents can easily wreak havoc on a person’s life, from hefty medical expenses and lost wages to resulting financial challenges. Workers who sustain a workplace injury or illness can turn to workers’ compensation coverage to cover their medical bills, lost earnings, and other related losses.
Many employers mandate routine drug testing to make that their workplace is safe for everyone. But a positive drug test result can affect a worker’s eligibility for workers’ comp coverage. If you test positive on a drug test and your employer can prove that you suffered an injury because you were intoxicated or impaired when the accident happened, they can use your positive test result to dispute your workers’ comp claim and deny you benefits.
But it’s important to point out that getting a positive test result doesn’t mean you will automatically lose your workers’ compensation claim.
What If You Test Positive for a Drug Test?
An employer can deny workers’ comp benefits if an injured employee tests positive on a drug test if the company has a strict drug-free policy because a positive result creates a presumption that the accident and injury resulted from intoxication. But the injured employee can dispute this presumption. The employee must clearly show that drugs or alcohol couldn’t have possibly contributed to the accident.
However, if the company doesn’t have a drug-free policy, this does not mean that the employer can’t deny the claim. Fortunately, experienced West Palm Beach workers’ compensation attorneys can challenge a denial. For example, they can dispute the validity of the drug test. Routine medical tests may or may not be considered valid evidence. Likewise, if the drug testing procedures detailed in statutes were not followed properly, the court may deem the test results unreliable and inadmissible.
In addition, a lawyer can dispute the denial by showing that even a completely sober worker would have sustained the same injury under the same circumstances. For instance, if a construction worker working on a roof fell because of defective or lack of safety fall equipment or measures, it does not matter that the worker tests positive for drugs. The worker fell because of defective equipment, not because they had drugs in their system.
Speak to a Seasoned West Palm Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Now
Workers’ compensation claims involving failed or positive drug test results can be complicated to navigate. You should seek legal guidance from a West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer if you suspect your claim will be denied or has already been denied to find out about the most appropriate course of action for your case.
Remember, having alcohol or drugs in your system when you got injured at work does not necessarily prove that you injured yourself because you were intoxicated. Your employer and their insurance provider must still show that you suffered an injury because you were on drugs or drunk. Contact Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa today at 561-478-2500 or online to arrange your free case review with our West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer.