Does a Positive Drug Test Affect My Work Comp Benefits?

Work comp benefits are payments that an employee receives for a work-related injury, but what if you had a positive drug test? That means the damage must have occurred due to a workplace accident while the employees performed their legal duties. The workers’ compensation program presents a win-win situation for both employer and employee.

The injured employees get adequate compensation for their losses, and the employees become immune to injury lawsuits. Work comp benefits cover the injured employee’s medical bills, lost wages, job replacement services, etc. If the injured employee dies, their family can get compensation for the funeral costs in addition to other benefits.

However, work comp insurance is a complex area, and you’d need help from a work comp lawyer to get results. Insurance companies will come up with any possible excuse to deny your total compensation. One of them could be that you tested positive on a drug test. We’d examine how that can affect your work comp benefits in this article.

What’s a Drug-Free Workplace Program?

A considerable number of employees are heavy alcohol and illicit drug users. That significantly reduces workplace productivity and efficiency. To solve this problem, the Drug-free Workplace Program offers assistance to employees who are struggling with substance abuse.

To qualify as a drug-free workplace, the workplace must have a written drug-free workplace policy. This policy must comply with federal, state, and local laws or requirements. Other components of a drug-free workplace program include supervisor training, employee education, employee assistance, and drug testing. Under drug testing, the employer tests employees and job applicants for alcohol and illicit drug use.

What if I Tested Positive for Drugs?

Generally, Florida uses a no-fault work comp system. That means that employers cannot deny their employees compensation even if their negligence caused the work-related injury. Furthermore, the employee isn’t required to prove the employer’s negligence before accessing their work comp benefits.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule, one of which is testing positive for drugs. Under Florida laws, an employer can get a work comp discount if it runs a drug-free workplace program. Also, an employee may forfeit their work comp benefits if they test positive for drug use. In such cases, the employer can assume that the injury was due to drug use or substance abuse.

How to Dispute a Positive Drug Test 

With help from an experienced work comp attorney, an injured Florida employee can dispute a positive drug test. If the test is successfully argued, the employee regains their rights to adequate compensation for a job injury. There are many ways to disprove the test, and many employees start by challenging the validity of the test.

By challenging the drug test’s validity, you’re saying that the drug testing didn’t comply with standard procedures. You can also argue that regardless of a positive drug test, a sober colleague would have had the same accident. That is, the injury had nothing to do with the employees’ state of mind at the time.

Some drugs remain in a user’s system as long as a couple of months after use. You can argue that you only test positive for drug residuals since you’ve been sober for a long time. Depending on the peculiarities of your case, your lawyer can come up with more defenses for you.

Why Do I Need a Miami Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

Like we mentioned earlier, work comp insurance issues can be too complex for workers to understand. Sometimes, even when some employees meet all their eligibility requirements, the insurance companies still deny them compensation. That’s because some employers and insurance companies can decide to be dubious.

If work comp insurance is complicated on its own, testing positive to drugs makes it even more complex. However, the insurance companies have experienced professionals in their employ who understand the nitty-gritty of insurance claims. Their experience gives them an unfair advantage over you. With an attorney by your side, you level the playing field and have greater chances of success in your claim.

Talk to an Experienced Work Comp Lawyer 

The earlier you contact a work comp attorney, the higher your chances of winning your work comp claim. If you tested positive for drugs, it could seem like you’ve lost all hope for adequate compensation. However, with our diligent work comp lawyers at Miami 360, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Handling cases like this is our forte. You can trust our 100% commitment to ensuring that you get ample damages for your work-related injuries. Give us a call now, and let’s get started on your case.

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