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Can I Still Collect Workers Compensation Benefits if I Fail the Drug Test?

In order to qualify for workers compensation benefits in Florida, you must meet certain criteria. One of these criteria is that you were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. This is why so many employers insist that workers take a drug test prior to being treated for their injuries. If the test comes back positive, your employer has the right to deny your claim. 

Even if they wanted to pay the claim, out of sympathy perhaps, their insurance carrier wouldn’t let them. There is no way they’ll pay out a claim for someone who was potentially high at the time of their workplace accident. Knowing that this is the case, if you do test positive for drugs, you should contact our office immediately. In fact, you should request to meet with one of our Miami workers compensation lawyers that same day if possible. 

While there may not be a great chance of getting your claim approved, that chance dwindles with each day that goes by. The best thing for your workers compensation attorney in Florida to do is to file an immediate appeal. They’ll also have to come up with a good reason for why you tested positive for drugs. 

Here, we’ll discuss the impact of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the moments before your workplace accident. We will also explain what can happen if you refuse to take the drug test per your company’s policy. Finally, we’ll discuss why even prescription medications can cause your claim to be denied. If you still have questions about your claim, we suggest you call us right away. You can schedule your free, initial consultation either by phone or through our website.

Almost All Employers Require Workers to Submit to a Drug Test Following a Workplace Accident

If an employee gets hurt on the job, it is their employer’s responsibility to take care of them. This is what the workers compensation system is all about. However, companies are allowed to protect themselves from fraudulent claims. They are also entitled to drug test their employees immediately after a workplace accident. 

If their workers happened to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they have the right to deny their workers compensation claim. Why should your employer be held liable when you were high or drunk at work? This mere fact makes it almost impossible to hold your employer liable for any injuries that ensue.

If You Refuse the Test, Your Workers Compensation Claim May Be Denied

As with many other things, you have a right to refuse to take a drug test. Even if you didn’t get hurt on the job and your employer wanted to screen you for drugs, you can refuse. This is your right under the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be repercussions. Your employer has the right to terminate your employment. And they certainly have the right to deny your workers compensation claim. 

Miami workers compensation lawyers

Of course, you have the right to hire a Miami workers compensation lawyer to fight the denial. If you refused to take the test based on religious reasons or some other personal reason, your attorney can file an appeal. This doesn’t mean your employer will approve your claim. In fact, their position probably won’t change. Sadly, by the time you meet with an attorney and file your appeal, it will be too late to agree to the test. By then, there is a good chance any drug that was in your system at the time of your injury will have disappeared. 

What Happens if You Test Positive for Drugs?

If you do test positive for drugs, you should probably retain a workers compensation attorney in Florida right away. You will have an uphill battle to fight. This is especially true if you were fired once the drug test results were revealed.

Whether or not you can challenge your termination will depend on a lot of things. For example, if the drugs you were on were prescribed to you, then you have a strong chance on appeal. As long as you were taking them as prescribed (and not taking more than the prescribed dosage), your Miami workers compensation lawyer will hopefully be able to get you benefits. 

There Isn’t Much You Miami Workers Comp Lawyer Can Do if You Were High at the Time of Your Accident

It may not seem fair that you could be denied benefits just because there are drugs in your system. For example, if you are a recreational cocaine user but have not used the drug in days, it will still show up in your drug test. The same is true for marijuana. While it may be illegal to do some of these drugs, it’s not your employer’s job to police your personal habits. Unfortunately, since there’s no way to prove that the drugs were taken only hours before a week before, you will suffer the consequences of your drug use. 

It’s Worth Meeting with a Workers Compensation Attorney in Florida

Even if you tested positive following a workplace accident, it’s still worth meeting with a workers compensation attorney in Florida. Maybe the drugs you had in your system were prescribed to you. Or you may have taken the drugs days or weeks prior to your workplace accident. These are the kinds of things you can discuss with your Miami workers comp lawyer. Every case is different so there’s no way to know for sure until you sit down and explain your story.

We suggest that anyone who is hurt in a workplace accident speak with a workers compensation attorney in Florida. Even if your claim has already been denied, you may still be able to collect benefits. Since we offer our clients a free, initial consultation, you have nothing to lose. Worst case, your claim is still denied. But at least you’ll know you did everything you could to protect yourself.