I Tested Positive for Marijuana. Can I receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Even though you have tested positive for marijuana following a work accident, you may still be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia. But you probably also need to hire a lawyer as soon as possible!
In Georgia, anyone who has an accident at work may be asked to take a drug test. If you refuse to take a test, or if the test comes back positive you will almost certainly have your claim denied by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.
If you refuse to take a test or if you take a test and it comes back positive, Georgia law presumes that you were intoxicated at the time of your accident and thus not eligible to receive medical or income benefits. (See O.C.G.A. §34-9-17).
But a positive drug test does not mean that you are barred from arguing your case.
You may still be able to receive benefits, despite a positive test, by proving your case in one of several ways.
First, the law places many requirements that must be met in order for a drug test to be valid. Thus, if you test positive, but your test was not performed within the required period of time, or there was some other irregularity with the test, you may be able to successfully argue that the test is not a valid reason to presume that you were intoxicated at the time of your accident.
Secondly, marijuana is different from alcohol in one significant way. It is possible that you may test positive for marijuana even though you had not actually used or been under the influence of marijuana for several days or weeks. If you find yourself in that situation, you may be able to show in court that you were not “under the influence” at the time of your accident.
If you have tested positive for marijuana following a work accident, we would be happy to discuss your potential case with you. You can give us a call at 404-410-0034.