Can Your Employer Prove You Were Drunk or High at the Time of Your Workplace Accident in Baton Rouge?
When you start a new job, they almost always go over the company’s workplace injury and accident policy. Of course, a lot of employees don’t pay a lot of attention to this policy. They can’t imagine that they’ll ever get injured on the job. And, if they do, they certainly can’t imagine why their workers’ comp claim would be denied. For the most part, workers’ compensation claims are approved. Unless your employer has a good reason to deny your claim, the insurance company will pay it. However, there are times when your employer has no choice but to deny your claim. Some of the reasons are based on technicalities. For example, you may have received medical treatment from someone other than a company approved doctor. Other times, your claim is denied for good reason. If you were drunk or high at the time of your accident, there’s a very good chance that your claim will be denied.
You’re better off having an experienced workers’ comp lawyer in Baton Rouge handle your claim. They know how to deal with insurance adjusters. They also know how to negotiate with your employer to negotiate the best possible outcome.
Most Workplace Accidents are Covered Under Workers’ Comp
Normally, if you get hurt at work, your medical treatment would be covered by workers compensation insurance. You can also qualify to received wages while you are out recovering from your injuries. To qualify for workers comp, you must meet the following criteria:
- You were hurt on company property
- You were in the middle of your shift when you got hurt
- You were performing your actual job duties at the time of your accident
- You reported it promptly to a manager or Human Resources
- You went to the company approved doctor for treatment
- You were sober at the time you were injured
If you meet all of these criteria, you should start receiving your benefits within a week or two of your injury.
Why Would Your Claim Be Denied in Louisiana?
Most worker’s compensation claims are actually approved. However, if your claim is denied, it’s probably for one of the following reasons:
- You missed the filing deadline
- You didn’t report your injury
- You got hurt outside of work and pretended it happened on the job
- You had a pre-existing medical condition
- You were high or drunk when you were injured
- You didn’t follow your company policy
- You refused to comply with medical treatment
- You went to a doctor that wasn’t approved by your employer
Any of these things on their own can cause your workers comp claim to be denied. So don’t be surprised if being on drugs is the basis for your claim’s denial.
You Can Be Ordered to Take a Drug Test
Almost every employer reserves the right to drug test their employees if they report a workplace injury. Most policy and procedure handbooks specify this. The employer has a right to do this. Even if they don’t typically drug test their employees, when it comes to workers’ compensation, they have more liberty to do so.
If you refuse to take the test, your claim will most certainly be denied. Your employer wants the test done immediately. Otherwise, they know that the drugs or alcohol will disappear from your system. They want to test you right away to get a good idea of whether you were drunk or high at the time of your accident.
Your Employer May Offer Substance Abuse Treatment if You Were Drunk or High
Some employers have more lenient policies when it comes to drug related accidents and injuries. For example, some companies have programs in place where employees can qualify for workers’ comp if they agree to go to substance abuse treatment. However, this isn’t a guarantee. Your Baton Rouge workers’ comp lawyer will check your company’s policy to find out if they offer this benefit.
Contact a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
If you use drugs at work and get hurt, you may not be entitled to workers’ comp. It’s not as if they’ll miss the fact that you were drunk or high on the job. Before they send you out for medical treatment, they can require you to take a drug test. If you fail your test and they will deny your claim. But you may still be entitled to some benefits such as medical care. To know for sure, call our office and talk to one of our expert workers comp attorneys.