Hayward, CA asked in Employment Law and Workers' Compensation for California

Q: im injured and off work w dr notes but am going to drug treatment program unrelated to injury dr said my injury is wc

I have been off work about a month with dr notes excusing my days off. My dr told me that my injuries are work related and I need to do WC claim with my work. I have not yet dont it but am going in on monday to file paperwork . On a seperate note I am struggling with drug addiction and am going to a 30 days treatment program on Tuesday per the referral from my dr. I am wonder if my employer will test me when I file the WC claim and if I was to test dirty how it would affect my claim eligibility or if it would make the claim not valid? I was also told that I may be able to get family medical leave for the last month I was off since I have dr notes. I am confused about this process and want to make sure I wont lose my job for either/any reason and make sure I will be getting income for my time lost already and the month Im going to be in treatment. Any clarification would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

1 Lawyer Answer
Ruben Montoya
Ruben Montoya
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer

A: Drug use will not automatically exclude you from workers compensation benefits. Insurance company can claim an intoxication defense only IF THE INTOXICATION WAS THE CAUSE OF THE INJURY. Let me give you an example:

(1) Worker is loading merchandise. Co-worker does not see him and runs him over with forklift. Him being under the influence had nothing to do with his intoxication therefore they will not prevail with intoxication defense.

(2) Worker is walking and he starts to curve due to intoxication. Due to curve he falls off a ramp. Here the intoxication was a clear cause of the injury and therefore WCI will probably prevail.

Obviously the issue is a lot more complicated and my best advice is to get an experienced attorney to help you out.

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