Can You File for Workers Comp in Baltimore if You Were Under the Influence of Drugs at the Time of the Accident?
The purpose of workers comp is to take care of you if you get hurt at work. It’s a short-term solution. The law understands it’s only fair. If you get hurt because of your job, you shouldn’t personally suffer. It makes sense for your employer to pay for your medical care if you get hurt on the job. It also makes sense for you to receive replacement wages during your recovery.
For the most part, as long as you’re on the clock at the time of your accident, your workers’ comp claim will be paid. There are a few exceptions to this rule. You probably won’t be eligible for workers comp in the following situations:
- The accident didn’t take place on company premises
- You weren’t “on the clock” at the time of the injury
- You were doing something outside the scope of your employment
- Also, you were on the way to or from work
- You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident
- You were committing a felony or other crime when you got hurt
- Lastly, you had been terminated prior to your injury
If any of these apply to your case, expect to fight an uphill battle. Even with an experienced workers comp lawyer, you’ll have a hard time getting your claim approved. One of the gray areas when it comes to workers comp is employees who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Should they be covered under workers comp?
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Know Why Certain Claims are Denied
The point of workers comp is to ensure you while you’re on company time. If you get hurt while you’re doing something for your employer’s benefit, you should be covered. It makes sense. But if you get hurt while doing something other than your job, you can’t really expect your employer to pay for your injuries.
When it comes to drugs and alcohol, Maryland’s workers’ compensation laws are a bit fuzzy. The general rule is that accidents and illnesses caused by drugs and alcohol are not covered. However, this doesn’t mean that they are never covered.
Under Maryland law, the following rule applies:
- If the accident is caused solely by an employee’s intoxication of drugs or alcohol, the claim is not covered
- If the accident was primarily caused by drugs or alcohol, the employee may be entitled to medical benefits (but not wages)
- The rule only applies to drugs not prescribed by a doctor
- Even for prescribed drugs, the use must not be excessive or your claim may be denied
If you were hurt at work while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you definitely need a Baltimore workers comp lawyer.
How Your Baltimore Workers Compensation Attorney Can Help
If your workers’ comp claim has been denied, you should contact a Baltimore workers compensation attorney. Your attorney can help you appeal your claim. If the denial was due to alcohol or drug use, you may still be entitled to benefits.
Your lawyer will have to prove the following in order to get your claim approved:
- Your intoxication was not the sole cause of your accident
- Also, your intoxications weren’t the primary cause of the accident
- The only drugs you were using were legally prescribed to you
- You weren’t abusing or misusing the prescribed drugs
- You weren’t under the influence of alcohol or drugs at all
- The accident would’ve happened regardless of your intoxication
It sounds like a lot of work. That’s because it is. If you’re drinking or using drugs at work, you can expect it to affect your workers’ comp claim. No insurance company is going to pay a claim if they don’t have to. And they know it’ll be hard to convince a court that your intoxication had nothing to do with your accident.
Contact a Workers Compensation Attorney in Baltimore Today
If you’ve been hurt at work, you need to contact a worker’s compensation attorney in Baltimore today. Don’t wait for your claim to get denied to schedule your initial consultation. The workers’ comp process is complicated. It can take weeks or months to sort out.
If your claim was denied, your attorney will help you appeal your claim. If it was denied for alcohol or drugs, there’s no guarantee your attorney can get you benefits. Call and schedule your initial consultation today. It’s free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.