Workers Compensation laws in New Jersey determine the details behind whether or not an employer can drug test a worker following an injury. If there is drug testing involved in the scenario, the results may affect your claim in a different way than you think. To gain a better understanding regarding your request, be sure to contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
Drug Testing After an Injury
An employee that undergoes a drug test after an injury may still receive benefits if they are found to have been intoxicated. The determining factor in whether or not an injured employee can receive benefits is whether or not the intoxication caused the injury or directly contributed to it.
Most employers are allowed to test any employee that claims to have suffered an on-the-job injury. Whether it is an underlying injury to a single employee or a work-related accident involving other victims, an employer has the right to run a drug test to determine an employee’s state at the time of the crash.
If you were intoxicated at the time of the accident and this intoxication is the cause of your injury, your employer is not responsible for paying any workers’ comp benefits. To prove this, however, the employer has to show two things:
Intoxication can be proven through a drug test, witness testimony, or a high BAL/BAC. In some situations, though it is illegal to be intoxicated at work, an employer may have been merely under the influence while an outside factor caused the accident. For example, if an employee happened to have a high BAL but was injured by a falling object, the employee should still be able to receive workers’ comp benefits.
2. Intoxication is the Cause of the Injury
Employer’s that have found their employees to be intoxicated will try to use evidence to prove that the injury was the direct result of intoxication. However, a judge will ultimately rule if this intoxication defense will prevent the employee from collecting benefits.
Worker’s compensation laws are designed to protect employees whatever the situation when it comes to work-related injuries. For this reason, testing positive on a drug test doesn’t automatically result in lost benefits. Mainly because the burden of proof lies with the employer.
In some cases, an employer may not even go through the drug testing process of a workers’ comp claim as they have to pay for it and prove that the intoxication resulted in the injury. Unless there is a serious reason to believe that a worker was intoxicated during business hours, an employer isn’t very likely to go through with a drug test.
If you are facing a drug test following filing for workers’ comp, it is best to contact an experienced attorney to help with your claim. With the right lawyers, you’ll be able to make sure that everything in your case works towards your favor and that you get the justice and benefits you deserve.