Why Do I Have to Take a Drug Test After My Workplace Accident?
Typically, by the time we meet with a new client, their workers compensation claim has already been denied. If their claim was approved, they wouldn’t need to meet with a Charlotte workers comp lawyer. In most cases, the person’s claim was denied for reasons that can be appealed. That is not the case if your claim was denied for failing a drug test after a workplace accident.
For example, if your claim was denied because your employer believes you had a pre-existing condition, your workers compensation attorney in Charlotte can submit medical records showing that this is not the case. Or, if your employer denied your claim because they believe you were hurt outside of work, your attorney can appeal that claim as well.
However, if your claim was denied because you tested positive on a drug test, it will be very difficult for your lawyer to convince the insurance company to pay your claim. While there are situations in which our associates are able to successfully appeal this type of denial, they are few and far between.
You Must Meet Certain Criteria to Qualify for Workers Compensation
In order to qualify for workers compensation in North Carolina, you must meet certain criteria. These criteria are the same in just about every state. If you meet these criteria, your workers comp claim will be approved, and you’ll start to receive benefits in about a week or two. In addition, your medical care will be covered from the moment you realize you’re injured.
Some of the requirements to qualify for workers compensation include the following:
- your injury took place while you were on company property and on company time
- if you are a salaried or a remote worker, your injury must take place while you were acting within the scope of your employment
- you must report your injury to your manager or human resources department immediately
- you agree to be treated by a state- approved workers compensation physician
- you are not working anywhere else while collecting workers comp benefits
- you actively participate in your medical care
Some people meet these criteria, but their claim is still denied. In those cases, our Charlotte workers comp lawyers are usually able to negotiate payment of our client’s claim. Unfortunately, if the reason your claim was denied is because you were under the influence of drugs and you failed your drug test, you will be fighting an uphill battle. But it is better to fight that battle with a workers compensation attorney in Charlotte then it is to fight it by yourself.
Almost all Employers in Charlotte Require Workers to Take a Drug Test
One concern a lot of our clients bring up is the fact that they believe a drug test would be a violation of their privacy. We hear this a lot, and we can understand how somebody would feel this way if their back was against the wall. However, almost every employer requires injured workers to submit to a drug test before they are treated for their injuries. There are a few reasons why they do this.
One reason you need to take the drug test is so that your employer can determine if you were high at the time of your workplace accident. Not only would this be a violation of your company’s policy, but it would also disqualify you from collecting workers compensation benefits. Another reason why your employer performs this test is so that the medical provider knows the condition of the employee when they first assess them. In all the years our Charlotte workers comp lawyers have been practicing, very few clients have successfully challenged the legality of the drug test.
Your Workers Compensation Attorney in Charlotte Can File an Appeal
Just because your claim was denied doesn’t mean your workers compensation attorney in Charlotte can’t appeal your claim. For example, you may have been under the influence of a legally prescribed medication at the time of the drug test. If your attorney can show that this is the case, your claim may be approved.
Another approach your attorney can take is to argue that the test itself was inaccurate. If you know for a fact that you did not take any drugs in the days and weeks leading up to your workplace accident, your Charlotte workers comp lawyer can request a secondary, independent drug test be performed.
It’s a Good Idea to Consult a Charlotte Workers Comp Lawyer
There’s no way to sugarcoat it. If you test positive on a drug test after a workplace accident, your workers compensation claim will be denied. The point of workers compensation is to make sure companies take care of workers who get hurt on the job. There is no way an employer would be expected to cover injuries suffered by somebody who was under the influence of drugs at the time they were injured. Unfortunately, there isn’t much a workers compensation attorney in Charlotte can do if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your workplace accident.
Most employers would terminate an employee who failed a drug test. Some employers are more compassionate than others and will let you attend a drug rehabilitation center. If you complete the program, your employer may let you return to your position. However, this is rare, and it is not something an employee is entitled to.
While we understand how important it is that you receive workers compensation benefits right now, the law is the law for a reason. If we are able to prove that you were prescribed the medication that appeared on your drug test that will certainly improve matters. However, if your employer or the insurance company finds that you were not taking the drug as prescribed, your claim will be denied.
We suggest that you contact our office as soon as possible after your workplace accident. One of our Charlotte workers comp lawyers will review your claim and let you know if you have a valid case. We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation, so you will not have to pay anything upfront to meet with an attorney. And, while we cannot guarantee that we will be able to successfully appeal your claim, we will do our best to negotiate the best possible outcome with your employer. Since your consultation is free, you have nothing to lose.