Can a Positive Drug Test Prevent Me From Getting Workers’ Compensation in Illinois?

While a positive drug test could hurt your claim, you may still be able to get compensation if you have a strong case and the help of an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney.

How the Law has Changed

Prior to the Workers’ Compensation Act in 2011, it was the employer’s burden of proof to prove that the intoxication was the cause of the accident. After 2011, the law changed. If you were injured after that time period, you have the burden of proving that the substance use did not cause the accident that led to your injury.

That means that Illinois law allows insurance companies to deny workers’ compensation claims when the employee’s drug test comes back positive. This is called presumption — that is, it is presumed that being under the influence of the drug in question was the cause of your injury. You and your Illinois workers’ compensation attorney will have a chance to prove otherwise, and doing so will likely determine whether you will be eligible to receive benefits.

Under What Circumstances Could I Test Positive and Be Eligible for Benefits?

An example: an employee who smokes marijuana over the weekends but who is not under the influence while at work — and at the time of the injury — will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation, provided there is evidence that the employee was not under the influence at the time. It goes without saying that the same employee would probably not be eligible for benefits if it could be proven that they were in fact under the influence when they were injured.

How Else Can a Positive Drug Test Affect My Case?

Proving that a positive drug test has no bearing on a work-related injury takes time, which can in turn cause delays to treatment and recovery. A positive drug test is a red flag for an insurance company, and they will use it as evidence to try and deny your claim. With an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney on your side, you have a chance of getting benefits.

Speak With an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney at Rubens and Kress

If you have suffered a work-related injury, you should consult a capable Illinois workers’ compensation attorney. Rubens and Kress is a Chicago law firm with a track record of success, and we charge no fee unless you collect. For a free consultation, contact Rubens and Kress online, at 312-201-9640, or toll-free at 866-890-9640.