Every now and then I receive a call from a potential client who asks whether the insurance company could deny their claim based upon a positive drug test, and if so, whether there was anything I could do to help them. In response, I ordinarily explain that a positive drug test doesn’t help matters, but that it doesn’t mean the insurance company has a valid basis for denying the claim.
You see, Georgia law doesn’t say that an insurance company can deny a claim based upon a positive drug test; in general, it says that an insurance company can deny a claim if the injured worker was intoxicated and the accident occurred as a result of the intoxication. In other words, an injured worker can be entitled to workers’ comp benefits even if he or she was high as kite when the accident occurred. They simply need to show that their intoxication in no way caused or contributed to their accident.
For example, if the injured worker was a passenger in a delivery truck when the truck was struck by an oncoming driver (who was at fault), then the injured worker would be entitled to workers’ comp benefits even if his positive drug test was valid, and even if he admits that he was high as a kite.
There are other cases in which a positive drug test may not be valid or admissible, and in those cases, the injured worker may also be entitled to workers’ comp benefits as well. Of course, each case is different and these issues can be complicated. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to seek the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can analyze your case and determine the best way to proceed.