Can the Work Comp Insurance Company Deny My Claim if I Tested Positive for a Drug or Alcohol Test After a Work Injury in Iowa?

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Posted by Emily Anderson

Did you have a work injury that was immediately followed by a positive drug or alcohol test? If so, the work comp insurance may deny your Iowa workers’ compensation claim.

Iowa Workers’ Compensation Law Changes Affect Drug Testing

In 2017, the Iowa legislature voted in sweeping changes to the Iowa workers’ compensation system.  One change they made now allows the work comp insurance companies to deny claims if you test positive for drugs or alcohol after suffering a work injury. This is called the “intoxication defense.”

The bad news is, the law presumes that the drug or alcohol in your system was the cause of your work injury, allowing the insurance company to deny the claim.  The good news is that presumption is one you can fight.

You Can Fight Your Denied Iowa Work Comp Claim

If the injured worker can prove that the test was not in fact positive, or that the substance found in his system was not the cause of the work injury, then the injured worker is entitled to Iowa workers’ compensation benefits.  It’s important to remember that a positive drug test does not tell the whole story.

For example, THC, a chemical found in marijuana, can stay in a person’s system for several days to weeks after the drug is ingested.   The presence of it in a worker’s system after a work injury does not necessarily mean the injured worker was “intoxicated” or “high” at the time of the injury, or that the substance was the “cause” of the work injury.

If your work injury has been denied by the insurance company due to a positive drug test, you may be able to fight the denial.  In order to do this, you’ll likely need the help of an experienced Iowa workers’ compensation attorney.  This attorney will need to gather the appropriate evidence to combat the defense’s arguments.  This evidence may include an expert medical doctor or toxicologist to testify on your behalf.

If your Iowa workers’ compensation claim has been denied because you tested positive for drugs or alcohol after a work injury, we may be able to help.  Contact RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1783.

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