Am I Entitled To Workers’ Compensation Benefits Following A Failed Drug Or Alcohol Test?

Recognizing the dangers of an impaired workforce, Georgia has passed laws that deny workers’ compensation benefits to injured workers whose intoxication is the cause of the accident that led to their injuries. Although these laws contain important safety features, they sometimes result in the denial of workers’ compensation benefits to an injured worker who is not impaired or intoxicated.

If your workers’ compensation benefits have been denied due to a failed drug test, call Skibiel Law at 770-968-3445 or toll-free at 877-874-6650. We offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options. With convenient office locations in Jonesboro and Atlanta, we serve clients in the metro Atlanta area and throughout Georgia.

When Can Workers’ Comp Benefits Be Denied?

In order for a denial of workers’ compensation benefits to be upheld in court, the employer must prove 1) that the injured worker was impaired AND 2) the impairment was the cause of the accident. Proof of these two facts is usually obtained from:

  • Fellow employees who saw the injured worker’s impairment
  • Blood or urine tests

Following a work accident, an employer will usually request a drug and alcohol test. The injured worker is not legally obligated to undergo this test; however, a refusal to undergo this test normally results in a legal presumption that the injured worker was impaired and the impairment was the cause of their accident. Positive drug and alcohol testing taken within a short time following the accident may also result in the same legal presumption.

Although our office does not condone the use of intoxicating substances, it has been our experience in some cases that workers’ compensation benefits have been wrongfully denied when an injured worker was neither intoxicated or their impairment was not the cause of the work accident. Our lawyers will engage in a thorough investigation of intoxication defense cases to determine whether the denial of workers’ compensation benefits was justified.

How Can I Disprove Impairment?

The following information may be helpful to a lawyer in disproving impairment or intoxication:

  • Testimony of fellow employees who may have ridden to work with, went to lunch with and were around the injured worker prior to the accident
  • A precise description of how the accident occurred
  • Testimony of witnesses to the accident
  • Whether a drug and alcohol test was performed and if so, when
  • If a drug or alcohol was consumed prior to or after the accident, the amount of consumption and witnesses to the consumption
  • If testing revealed the presence of a prescription drug, the prescribing doctor’s information

For Legal Advice If You Have Been Denied Benefits

If you have been denied workers’ compensation due to a failed drug or alcohol test, call attorney Mark A. Skibiel at 770-968-3445 or toll-free at 877-874-6650 to schedule a free consultation. Hablamos español.

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Mark was very knowledgeable and kept me informed with my case. He wasn’t intimidated with the large law firm. I know for a fact that without his expertise and diligent work ethic my settlement wouldn’t have reached the amount it did. He worked far beyond what I expected, meeting with the company doctor, therapist, and insurance representatives. HAVE A TALK WITH HIM ITS FREE!!!!!
-Royce – Fayetteville, Georgia – Work Injury

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Mark takes the time to get to know you as a person, not just as a case. He’s an attorney you can trust to keep you informed on every aspect of the case. I received all info about the case as soon as he did, and Mark carefully answered every question that I asked. I would recommend Mark to anyone who is in need of an honest attorney.

– Derry – Riverdale, Georgia – Work Injury

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When my adjuster refused to pay for lost wages and for prescriptions, I felt the need to hire an attorney. After a brief consultation, I hired Mark. Within days, I saw results in my case. Everything that happened in my case went exactly as he told me it would happen in our initial consultation. When we went to the hearing, it seemed very one-sided and we won “hands down.” From start to finish, my case lasted less than nine months. My lost wages were recovered, and a sizeable settlement as well. Kudos Mark.

– Ronald – Stockbridge, Georgia – Work Injury

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Mark explained, in detail, how the law would apply to my case and assured me it would take some time for me to accomplish my goal. During my case Mark and his staff kept my wife and me informed and updated. Every time my wife or I called Mark’s office we were able to get a response from either him or his staff. When we settled my case, it was more than I ever expected. Mark and his staff were professional in handling my claim. My experience with Mark and his office was wonderful!

– Timmy A.
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