Can Your Workers Comp Claim Be Denied for Using Alcohol or Drugs?
If you get hurt while on the job, you should be entitled to workers comp benefits. As long as you meet the basic requirements, your claim should be approved. There are situations, however, where your claim could be denied. This could be because you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your injury.
Most people who file for workers comp are approved without any problem. This is because a lot of work-related injuries are minor. The employee is back to work within a few weeks or months. As long as you meet the following two (2) requirements, your claim should be paid:
- You were hurt while you were on the job
- You were hurt while performing your job
The bottom line is that, as long as you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. But if you were drunk or high at the time of work-related accident, your claim will probably be denied.
If your claim is denied for alcohol or drugs, your workers comp lawyer in Atlanta will have to file an appeal on your behalf. However, if your company can prove you were drunk or high, there is a good chance your claim will be denied.
What Can Disqualify You from Benefits in Atlanta, Georgia?
Georgia law is very clear when it comes to workers compensation benefits. If you meet the basic criteria, your claim will be approved. However, there are certain criteria that can cause your claim to be denied.
Some of the things that will cause your claim to be denied include:
- You don’t report your injury right away or you don’t report it to the right person
- The employee doesn’t go to the doctor right away
- Nobody witnessed the accident
- You have a history of prior injuries
- You had a prior condition and never disclosed it
- You fail a drug test
- Your injury took place off the job
If your employer thinks you were drunk or using drugs at the time of your injury, they can demand you take a drug test. This is usually done when you go out for treatment on the day of your injury. Your employer will send you to a company approved doctor. They’ll perform the drug test right there.
If you refuse to take the test, or fail it, your workers compensation will likely be denied.
Your Atlanta Workers Comp Lawyer Can Help File Your Appeal
If you were denied benefits because of drugs or alcohol, it will be hard to win your appeal. Your employer has a right to require all employees to abstain from drinking and using drugs while at work. If they can show that your intoxication caused your injuries, your claim will be denied.
Some of the situations in which your Atlanta workers comp attorney probably can’t overcome your denial include:
- You failed a drug test immediately following the incident
- You were seen taking drugs or drinking alcohol on camera at the time of the accident
- The accident involved a car accident in which you were convicted of DUI
- You admitted to being under the influence
Your attorney will still file the appeal. However, you may be better off trying to negotiate to go to substance abuse counseling or a rehabilitation center. A lot of employers are willing to hold your job while you seek help. They may even agree to cover your injuries while you get well.
This doesn’t mean you’ll receive replacement wages. If your claim is denied, it’s denied. Your employer will be under no legal obligation to cover your medical care. Nor will they be required to pay you replacement wages.
Contact a Worker’s Compensation Lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia Today
If you got hurt at work and need medical care, you should call an experienced workers compensation lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia. They can make sure your claim is handled properly from the start. They can also try to negotiate a settlement of your claim with the insurance company.
If your claim is denied because of alcohol or drugs, the odds of winning your appeal are slim. Even the most experienced workers comp attorney will have a hard time overcoming that burden.
Call and schedule your initial consultation today. The consultation is absolutely free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.
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