Can You File for Workers Compensation if You Were Using Drugs at the Time of your Injury?
Nobody really thinks about what’ll happen if they get hurt at work. We just get up every day, go to work, and come home to our family. The last thing we worry about is getting injured on the job. Unfortunately, this happens to thousands of people every year in Louisiana.
If you get hurt on the job, your injuries should be covered under workers comp. This is insurance maintained by your employer to cover work-related injuries. As long as you meet certain criteria, you’ll be eligible for workers compensation benefits.
Sometimes, however, workers comp claims are denied. There are lots of reasons this can happen. It all comes down to whether your employer believes your injuries are legitimate. It also depends on what caused your injuries.
If your claim is denied, you should call a trial lawyer. Your Baton Rouge workers’ comp attorney will review your case and deal with the workers compensation insurance company. They’ll do their best to get you the benefits you deserve.
How Do You Qualify for Workers Comp in Louisiana?
If you get hurt at work, your treatment should be covered by workers comp. You’ll also receive replacement wages while you wait to recover from your injuries. In order to qualify for workers comp, you must meet the following criteria:
- Your injury took place while you were on the clock
- You were working within the scope of your employment
- You followed all company policies regarding workers comp
- You were treated by the company approved doctor
- You followed all your doctor’s recommendations
- You weren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your injury
If you meet all of these criteria, you should start receiving your benefits within a week or two of your injury.
What are the Reasons Your Claim May be Denied?
There are some employers out there who deny a certain portion of their employees’ workers comp claims. But, for the most part, companies are pretty on the level when it comes to these issues. If an employee gets hurt on the job, it’s in their employer’s best interest to help them get well.
One reason an employer would want to do this is to protect their employee. If you do a good job, your employer should want to take care of you. They also want you to recover from your injuries so you can return to work.
It’s a lot cheaper to maintain an employee than hire someone else, train them and pray they work out. So, generally speaking, most workers comp claims are approved. If your claim is denied, it’s probably for one of the following reasons:
- You didn’t file your claim by the due date
- Your employer doesn’t think the injury happened at work
- There could be a clerical error on the claim paperwork
- You didn’t follow protocol or didn’t wear personal protective equipment at the time of your injury
- You got hurt on purpose in order to collect workers comp
- You were drunk or high at the time of the accident
For a lot of these reasons, your Baton Rouge workers comp lawyer can file an appeal. If they can show that your injury was indeed work related, you should be able to get your benefits. For some reasons, however, your lawyer will be fighting an uphill battle.
How Can Drugs and Alcohol Affect Your Claim?
If your employer finds out that you were drunk or high at the time of your accident, they’re not going to pay your workers comp claim. They’re argue that you wouldn’t have gotten hurt had you been sober and clear minded.
Often times, this is grounds to deny your claim. The courts aren’t going to expect employers to pay for injuries that their employees caused due to their being drinking or on drugs. There are very few exceptions to this rule.
The best you can hope for is that your medical treatment will be covered. Very few employers are going to cover your replacement wages if you were under the influence at the time of your injury. You may also qualify for a drug and alcohol rehab program through your employer. Your Baton Rouge workers comp attorney will have to discuss this with your employer.
Contact a Workers Comp Lawyer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
If you got hurt at work and your claim has been denied, call and speak with an experienced workers comp attorney in Baton Rouge. Your lawyer can find out why your claim was denied. They can also negotiate with the insurance company to arrange for payment of your claim.
Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. Your attorney at Babcock Trial Lawyers will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.