The impact of drug and alcohol use on workers’ compensation claims can be catastrophic for an injured worker. An insurer may refuse to cover your claim if it alleges that drug or alcohol use caused your workplace injury.
You would not be the first injured worker to face unfounded allegations of drug or alcohol impairment. A personal injury lawyer from our firm will work to secure the compensation you deserve and will directly address any baseless allegations of impairment an insurer lodges against you.
Insurers May View Drug or Alcohol Impairment as a Way to Avoid Paying Workers’ Compensation Claims
Insurers who offer workers’ compensation coverage do so conditionally. While these insurers broadly cover work-related injuries and even illness, an insurer may deny a claim if:
- The injured worker was under the influence of alcohol at the time of their work accident.
- The injured worker was engaged in “horseplay” that led to the injury.
- The worker was not involved in work-related activities at the time of the injury.
- The worker did not notify their employer.
- The worker did not receive medical treatment, or they received treatment from a non-approved medical provider.
- The employer did not file the claim properly.
An insurance provider may claim that your injury existed before the workplace accident and use this allegation to withhold compensation you are entitled to recover.
The Insurer Faces the Burden of Proof When Alleging Worker Impairment
If an insurer alleges that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of a workplace accident, it has the duty to prove the allegations of impairment. Insurance companies cannot simply deny workers’ compensation claims without provable reason—our team never lets insurers get away with such baseless actions.
To deny your claim, an insurer will need to prove that:
- You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the workplace incident.
- Any impairment from alcohol or drugs directly caused the resulting injury.
This is a very high standard of proof to meet. Even if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it may be extremely difficult for an insurer to prove the impairment caused the workplace accident.
As your lawyers, we will cast doubt upon or clearly disprove any allegations of your impairment. Our goal will be to secure all the compensation you deserve for your work-related injury or illness.
How Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Will Refute Allegations of Drug or Alcohol Use
Our firm fights back against insurers who try to deny our clients’ workers’ compensation claims.
You Were Not Impaired
StatPearls explains that it takes someone with years of specialized training to properly recognize impairment in the workplace. Reasons a worker may appear impaired include:
- Speech that is naturally slow or unclear
- Head injuries, which may cause confusion
- Shock from a workplace accident
An insurer may cite witness accounts to claim you appeared impaired, but this alone is not enough proof to deny a workers’ compensation claim.
Impairment Did Not Contribute to the Workplace Accident
Remember that an insurer must prove that impairment directly caused the event that produced your injuries. Even if there is proof that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol (such as a blood test), this may not be sufficient to deny you compensation.
You Were Legally Prescribed Medications
If you were taking medication that you were legally prescribed, it may not be held against you. It may be very difficult to prove impairment if you were taking a legally-prescribed medication as the prescriber ordered.
There may be other valid defenses against allegations of impairment. Our firm reviews the unique details of each claim we handle, and we provide the most compelling argument possible in the client’s favor. We will fight for you to get compensation covering all of your injury-related losses.
Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
We encourage you to hire a lawyer from our firm, especially if you have received any push back related to your claim. Our legal team will:
- Gather all relevant evidence related to your claim
- Communicate with the insurance company as necessary
- Submit all documentation that could result in a positive claim outcome
- Advise you throughout the claims process
If we need to take legal steps on your behalf, we will.
Call for a Free Consultation About Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
A workers’ compensation lawyer from KJT Law Group will fight for the insurance benefits you are entitled to seek. If your work-related ailment involves third-party negligence, we may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf. In either case, we intend to get the compensation you deserve.