Can You File for Workers Compensation if You Were High When You Got Injured?
We all get up in the morning and go to work. The last thing we think about is whether or not we’re going to get hurt on the job. Yet, it happens to hundreds of people every day. They’re going about their business and, the next thing they know, they’re in the hospital. Most people who get hurt at work are eligible for workers comp but the question comes in when the person is drunk or high. You’ll file a claim with your employer’s insurance company and wait to hear if you’ve been approved. Most of the time, your claim will be approved without issue. However, this isn’t always the case.
Some workers comp claims are denied. If this happens, you’re going to need a worker’s compensation lawyer in Atlanta. Your lawyer can help you appeal your claim. They can also try to negotiate payment with the insurance adjuster and your employer.
How Do You Qualify for Workers Comp in Atlanta, Georgia?
If you get hurt at work, you should qualify for worker’s compensation. There are certain criteria you have to meet in order to qualify for benefits. Some of these criteria include the following:
- Your injury took place while you were on the clock
- You were working within the scope of your employment
- You followed all company policies regarding workers comp
- Also, you were treated by the company approved doctor
- You followed all your doctor’s recommendations
- You weren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your accident
There are a few other things you need to do to preserve your claim. You have to report your accident to your manager or Human Resources right away. You have to fill out an accident or incident report as well. This will be submitted to the insurance company to determine if your claim will be paid.
If you meet all of these criteria, you should start receiving your benefits within a week or two of your injury.
Could Your Claim Be Denied?
There’s no guarantee that your claim will be approved. There are lots of reasons why your employer may deny your claim. It really comes down to whether they believe you were doing your job at the time of your injury. It may also have to do with whether or not your employer thinks you caused your injuries.
If your claim is denied, it’s probably for one of the following reasons:
- You didn’t file your claim by the due date
- Your employer doesn’t think the injury happened at work
- There could be a clerical error on the claim paperwork
- You didn’t follow protocol or didn’t wear personal protective equipment at the time of your injury
- You got hurt on purpose in order to collect workers comp
- Also, you were drunk or high at the time of the accident
For many of these reasons, your Atlanta workers comp lawyer can file an appeal. However, if your claim is denied because you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it will be difficult to do this.
Drugs and Alcohol Will Impact Your Claim
If your boss learns that you were under the influence of drugs at the time of your injury, they’ll probably deny your claim. They’re going to assume that you were hurt for no reason other than because you were using drugs.
This is legitimate grounds on which they can deny your claim. Most insurance companies are going to refuse to pay a claim filed by an employee who was using illegal drugs at the time of their injury.
The courts will have a hard time requiring employers to cover these types of claims. They certainly don’t want to set a precedent that it’s okay to use drugs while on the job. They aren’t going to force employers to pay for damages caused by impaired workers.
While your Atlanta workers comp lawyer can certainly file an appeal, they’ll be fighting an uphill battle.
Contact a Workers Comp Lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia
If you got hurt at work and your claim has been denied, call and speak with an experienced workers comp attorney in Atlanta. Your lawyer can find out why your claim was denied. They can also negotiate with the insurance company to arrange for payment of your claim.
Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. Your attorney will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.
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