Let’s take a moment to talk about Clearwater, Florida. It’s one of the desirable parts of the state to live and work. There are a lot of job opportunities, especially for a few particular industries.
If you live and work in Clearwater, a situation might arise where you need to apply for worker’s compensation. What you might wonder is whether those who distribute that worker’s comp can workplace drug test you and whether the result can impact whether you get that money.
We’ll explain in this article both what worker’s comp is, how much workers compensation costs and how a positive drug test in Clearwater can impact it.
What Precisely is Worker’s Comp?
Before we get into worker’s comp and drug testing in Clearwater, you should know just what we mean when we use that term. Worker’s compensation is an insurance variety that nearly all business entities need to have by law. The typical business won’t open before it has a worker’s comp policy because, if they neglect to get one, they leave themselves open to all kinds of lawsuits.
Worker’s comp is there to provide an employee who injures themselves on the job with money to cover lost wages, medical bills, and so forth while they cannot work. Worker’s comp might cover them in the short term if they did not injure themselves very badly, or the worker might need it for a longer time with a more serious injury or illness that lasts for months or years. Furthermore, there are workers compensation requirements to protect small businesses.
If someone applies for worker’s comp, it’s also vital for you to understand that they give up certain rights. The right to sue the company that injured them is at the top of this list.
If you live in Clearwater and apply for worker’s comp after a workplace injury or illness, you explicitly state that you will not sue the company for negligence. You can do one, but not the other.
Does Filing a Claim in Clearwater Guarantee You Will Receive Money?
Let’s run through a brief scenario. You work at a company in Clearwater, FL, and you injure yourself while on the job. You feel like you can get financial compensation through your company’s worker’s comp policy.
Simply filing a claim, though, does not guarantee the company will pay you that money. These insurance companies are for-profit businesses. The more claims they don’t pay out, the more money they can keep. Their CEOs get a disproportionate amount of that money, and they are loath to lose any of it.
This means they will look for excuses not to pay you. Drug testing you after an accident is one of the primary ways they’ll do that.
What if Intoxication Caused Your Accident?
Whether intoxication played a part in your accident or not will vary state by state. In Florida, for instance, if you consumed alcohol or illegal drugs before you went in to work that day, a jury might reasonably assume your intoxication caused the accident or played a part in it. This might come into play if the tox screen shows alcohol or some other drug in your system after the accident, and you try to sue the insurance company because they will not pay you.
Florida law is pretty harsh on this point. It states, with very few exceptions, that if intoxication caused your injury, then the insurance company does not have to pay you for the injuries you sustained. It’s also possible that your job might fire you rather than invite you back once you recover. That is a separate issue, though.
The only gray area might be if you ingest prescription drugs for a legitimate medical condition before coming into work the day the accident happens. Then, if you get dizzy and fall or something along those lines, it’s possible you could argue that since a doctor prescribed you those drugs, you were not in the wrong when you started feeling poorly and fell over, injuring yourself.
This is a technicality, though, and you will likely need to hire a skilled attorney to argue this matter in court. The bottom line related to worker’s comp in Florida is that the law is rather harshly against you if you ingest alcohol or other drugs and come to work.
You can harm yourself or a coworker, and if you do, no worker’s comp will probably come your way. Remember that the next time you think about coming to work drunk or high in Clearwater.