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 770-872-4329 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 770-872-4329 or toll-free at 877-874-6650 to schedule a free consultation. Hablamos español.
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