Testing positive for drugs does not necessarily mean that you will be denied workers’ compensation benefits.
With opioid abuse at epidemic proportions and the use of medical marijuana becoming legal in many places, you may not be eligible to collect workers’ compensation if you are injured while on the job and you are found to be under the influence. If you are injured, and your employer suspects that you were under the influence, then they may request that you be subjected to a drug test.
Many insurance carriers routinely test the urine or blood of workers who seek medical attention after being injured on the job. If you are ordered to seek treatment from a company doctor, then you must know that there is a good probability that they will perform a routine drug test – with or without your permission. It is always best to inquire what tests are being done, and to ensure that you have not given consent to have a drug or alcohol test run when you are injured while on the job.
If You Test Positive
If you test positive for drugs that does not necessarily mean that you will be denied workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer wants to deny you eligibility, they have to prove that your intoxication was the sole reason that you were injured. Although it can be a common issue, there are times when an employee’s injury has nothing to do with being impaired or under the influence.
For instance, if you were taking opioid drugs due to a previous injury and your job was to lift heavy objects at work, and you hurt your back while moving something, then testing positive for drugs would not necessarily be a reason to deny you workers’ compensation benefits. If, however, your job was to operate a forklift and you got into an accident at work and tested positive for drugs or alcohol, it’s likely that your employer could prove that it was your impairment that led to your injuries.
If you suffer a work-related injury in Missouri, you need to know that it is one of the few states that have no laws related to who can and who cannot be tested while at work and injured. In Missouri, drug testing is neither legal or illegal, which makes the results of testing an employee that much more controversial for both sides.
Drug Tested Without Consent
If you were injured while on the job and subjected to a drug test without your permission, then you do have the right to have a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer defend you against being tested illegally. In addition, even if you are found to be intoxicated, your employer will have to prove that your impairment lead to your injuries, regardless of what types of drugs were found in your system. To ensure that you don’t risk losing your benefits, hire a St. Louis workers’ comp attorney to make sure that you receive all that you are entitled to.
St. Louis Work Accident Lawyers
Our Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorneys can provide you with the necessary information to make the right choices so that you can receive the best medical care, benefits and income. Missouri Workers’ Comp enables an injured worker to receive medical benefits as well as income benefits. You should be receiving treatment for ALL of your injuries, not just the ones the insurance company wants to accept. Do not let the carrier deny you benefits.
Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online case evaluation form to discuss your case.