Failed drug tests are a concern for many injured workers. Just because you failed a drug test after a work accident does not necessarily mean your workers’ comp claim is invalid. You could still have a successful claim if traces of a drug were detected in your system at the time of the accident.
If your employer or an insurance company is trying to deny your claim due to a failed drug test, contact The Law Office of Perry Dean Ellis. We have extensive experience in these matters, and we can fight to get you the workers’ compensation you need and deserve.
Rules for drug tests after a work injury
If you have been injured at work, you may need workers’ comp benefits for medical care, lost wages and other losses. To avoid covering those costs, employers and insurance companies may try to mislead you about the impact a drug test will have on your claim. Here are some things to understand about drug tests and workers’ compensation:
1. The drug test is supposed to be given within eight hours of the injury. If the test happens after that eight-hour window, your employer must somehow prove that your injury was caused due to drug impairment. It can be very difficult for an employer to prove that.
2. Your employer could fire you for a failed a drug test. If that happens, you could still be owed workers’ compensation if your injury is a legitimate work-related injury. At this point, after you have been terminated from your job for a failed a drug test, the big key to your case is to be put on work restrictions by a doctor. Being put on work restrictions for your injury will trump the failed drug test. An experienced attorney can use the work restrictions to make a strong workers’ comp case, regardless of the failed drug test and the resulting termination.
In most work accidents, the drugs that are later detected in the worker’s system did not cause the injury. You might have taken a drug days or weeks prior to the injury, and the drug could still show up in your system after the accident. In other words, even if you took a drug test within the eight-hour window, a failed test does not necessarily mean the accident was caused by drug use.
Still, employers and insurance companies may try to deny your claim on the basis of a failed drug test. Instead of simply accepting the denial, talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. The reality is that a work injury could affect every aspect of your life, and you should have the workers’ comp benefits you need to move forward.