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Can A Worker Get Workers’ Compensation If They Were Intoxicated?

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

If you get injured at work, you may be entitled to claim worker’s compensation benefits. This will be crucial to ensure you do not end up out of pocket.

Yet what if you had been drinking or taking drugs beforehand? Can you still successfully claim the medical and other benefits you need?

Your intoxication may invalidate your claim

Worker’s compensation is no-fault insurance, so in most cases, it does not matter that you played some role in your own downfall. Everyone makes mistakes, after all. There are exceptions, though, and being intoxicated is one of them.

If the accident happened because you were drunk or drugged, the insurer might be within their rights to reject your claim altogether.

There are exceptions, though

This rule does not apply if your employer or someone acting on their behalf gave you the substance. So, if you got injured while drunk at a work event where the employer put on the wine, you may still be able to claim benefits on their insurance for your related injuries.

Another possible exception could involve prescription medication. If you were on controlled drugs that a doctor prescribed to you, that might also allow you to still make a valid benefit claim.

You can challenge their definition of intoxicated

Let’s say you had a beer off-site at lunchtime and then got injured at work in the afternoon. Does one beer mean you were intoxicated? Your employer and their insurer might try to claim so, but that does not mean a court will agree. The law talks of a “sufficient quantity.” There is no strict definition of this, so having a good legal representative to argue your case will be crucial to your chances of getting worker’s compensation.

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