If you are injured on the job in North Carolina, you may be wondering if you will have to take a drug test as part of your workers’ compensation claim. The answer to this question is not always straightforward, and it depends on various factors.
If you have questions about drug testing and workers’ compensation claims in North Carolina, we encourage you to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options and ensure that your claim is handled properly.
Workers Compensation and Drug Testing Laws in North Carolina
In North Carolina, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that, in most cases, it does not matter who was at fault for your accident or injury. You should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you were injured while performing your job duties.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Under the Industrial Commission §97-12, you may not receive benefits if:
- The workplace injury was caused by the employee’s intoxication (unless the substance was provided by the employer or a professional associate of the employer)
- The worker was under the influence of a controlled substance not prescribed by a medical professional during the accident.
- The accident was caused by an employee’s willful intention to hurt or kill themselves or another person.
This is where drug testing comes into play. If an employer suspects that an injured worker was under the influence at the time of their accident, they may ask you to take a drug test.
Do I Have to Take a Drug Test After a Work-Related Injury?
Drug tests are meant to determine whether or not an employee is impaired during an accident. However, there are some instances where drug tests may be conducted even if there is no suspicion of impairment. For instance, drug testing may be required if an employer has a policy requiring all employees to be tested after a workplace accident.
In most cases, however, drug testing is only conducted if there is reason to believe that an employee was impaired at the time of the accident. This may be the case if an employee shows signs of impairment, such as slurred speech or difficulty walking. If there is suspicion of impairment, the employer may ask the employee to take a drug test as part of the workers’ compensation claim process.
It’s important to note that, even if you fail a drug test, this does not automatically mean that your workers’ compensation claim will be denied. The workers’ compensation insurance company will still need to investigate the accident and determine whether or not your impairment was a contributing factor.
Is a Drug Test Required to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
No, workers’ compensation law does not require employees to take a drug test to file a claim in North Carolina. However, as we mentioned above, your employer may ask you to take one if they suspect you were impaired at the time of your accident.
Can I Refuse a Drug Test?
Yes, you can refuse to take a drug test. However, injured workers that refuse to take drug tests may give insurance companies grounds to deny workers’ compensation claims.
If the employer has a drug testing policy that has been consistently enforced, taking the test may be best. However, the safest route is always to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. At Collier Law, we can help you determine whether you should take a post-injury drug test.
What Happens If I Have a Positive Drug Test?
If you have a positive drug test, contact a lawyer at Collier Law. Your employer or their insurance carrier may deny your claim based upon a positive drug test, but it is still their burden to prove that the intoxication caused your accident.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in North Carolina
You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you have been injured at work. However, the claims process can be complex and confusing. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate the system and fight for the benefits you deserve.
Contact us today for a free evaluation. We will honestly evaluate the details of your individual case and offer personalized, compassionate legal counsel at no obligation to you. We work hard to earn our client’s trust and business, and we only get paid when you do.