It’s pretty clear that using drugs or alcohol while working is a bad idea. Not only is it unprofessional, but depending on your job, being intoxicated could bring up some serious safety issues that could put you and your coworkers in danger. But it’s also vital to note that if you suffer an injury on the job while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your intoxication can significantly lower your chances of collecting workers’ compensation for your injury.
For the most part, if an employer can prove that intoxication was the cause of your injury, then the employer doesn’t have to provide workers’ compensation for that injury. This is known as the intoxication defense. However, there are exceptions to this defense. In order to avoid paying workers’ compensation, the employer must show that your intoxication was in fact a substantial factor in causing the injury. Also, if your intoxication resulted from activities that were in pursuit of your employer’s interests (or if your employer encouraged you to drink) this defense may not apply.
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can explain the details of this area of workers’ compensation law to you and determine the best way to present your case. Overall, being intoxicated on the job can be a major obstacle to receiving workers’ compensation benefits in addition to the blatant safety and professionalism issues it brings up as well. However, if you were injured at work by a coworker under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your case will not be affected. Regardless of your situation, our attorneys will take the time to evaluate your case and advise you of the best course of action in pursuing your workers’ compensation claim.