Effects of Drugs and Alcohol on Workers Compensation Claim

Effects of Drugs and Alcohol on Workers Compensation Claim

If you have been injured on the job, you could be eligible to claim workers compensation benefits. However, if you have been using drugs or alcohol prior to the injury, you may lose the right to obtain your benefits.

There are many factors that may determine whether or not your recreational drug usage affected your condition. But one thing is certain – if your employer can prove that you were impaired by the effects of drug or alcohol at the time when the injury occurred, you will lose your worker’s compensation benefits.

Here is how drugs and alcohol could affect your worker’s compensation claim.

The Eligibility

In most cases, an individual who got injured on the job is entitled to compensation. This compensation serves to provide the injured individual with:

  • Medical benefits
  • 2/3 of the lost wages
  • Costs of retraining for another working position
  • Compensation for permanent injuries
  • Benefits to the surviving family if the injured individual died as a result of the injuries sustained

However, using drugs prior to the accident could completely change things around for the injured individual. In most companies, right after getting injured, the individual is asked to provide a urine (or blood) sample, depending on the company policy. If the results test positive to drug use, the employer can start an investigation to try and prove that the injured individual was impaired at the moment when the accident occurred. If the employer cannot prove that the worker was impaired, according to the law, the injured worker has the right to collect workers compensation benefits.

If the injured worker was taking prescription drugs at the time, and if he did not take more than the prescribed amount, he will still be able to collect workers compensation benefits. Speak with Los Angeles workers compensation attorneys from Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach to learn more about the eligibility to claim work comp benefits after testing positive to a drug test following a work-related accident.

On-The Job Alcohol Use

When it comes to alcohol usage, the same rules apply: if the employer can prove that the person under the influence was impaired because of the effects of alcohol, the injured individual may lose their right to file a claim. Most workplaces have rules against alcohol and drug usage. If the company policy strictly forbids alcohol usage at work (including the lunchtime and breaks), everyone who gets injured as a result of alcohol use will face consequences. And these consequences can affect one’s workers compensation claim in a few different ways:

  • Reducing the total amount of benefits that one can receive
  • Leaving one without any benefits

Be sure to contact workers compensation attorneys in Los Angeles right after getting injured on the job to obtain a free case evaluation and professional legal advice. An attorney will help you understand the situation you are in, as well as help,  provide you with the best possible solution. They will represent your case if you choose to hire them and charge you only once your case is successful and you obtain your work comp benefits (work on contingency). Do not wait to contact them, as you only have a limited amount of time to act before you lose the right to seek your benefits.