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How does a positive drug test affect workers' compensation?

You work hard at your job, but you get into an accident one day. The problem that is plaguing your mind now is that drug test that you are likely going to have to take. You might have used a prescription pain medication that wasn't prescribed to you or you might have used an illegal drug to try to relax. In either case, there is a chance that your drug screen will show positive results. Not only do you have to worry about medical issues from the accident, you also have to worry about how that result will affect your worker's compensation claim.

How does a positive drug test come into the workers' compensation equation?

The issue of a positive drug screen can come into the workers' compensation equation if it is determined that you being under the influence of the drug contributed to the workplace accident. For example, if a construction worker comes to work under the influence of prescription pain medications not prescribed to him or her and falls from scaffolding, the question that comes up is whether the fall was because of the pain medication or not.

Does a positive drug test automatically disqualify me from workers' compensation?

Not necessarily, but it can have a big impact on the decision. Generally, the effects of the drug and the way they contributed to the accident are considered. Since each case is different, it is crucial that you learn how the law pertains to your case. This can be difficult, so it might be necessary to ask these questions to someone familiar with workers' compensation claims in New York.

Source: FindLaw, "Can You Get Workers' Comp If You Fail a Drug Test?," Christopher Coble, Esq., accessed May 26, 2016

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