If I had a beer shortly before my work injury, am I barred from receiving workers’ compensation benefits?


Generally, no compensation is allowed for an injury or death due to an employee’s “willful misconduct.”  O.C.G.A. §34-9-17.   Moreover, if the injury or death of the employee is due to alcohol intoxication or being under the influence of marijuana or other controlled substances, then there may be a “rebuttable presumption” that the injured worker is not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

HOWEVER, merely ingesting an intoxicating liquor, even being “under the influence” to a degree is not a complete bar to workers’ compensation benefits.  The injured worker must be able to prove he or she was not “intoxicated” and the alleged “intoxication” was not the legal cause of the injury.

These cases are very technical and fact specific.  Predictably, the workers’ compensation insurance company will likely take a hard line stance in these cases.  However, injured workers can win these cases.  For a free consultation, please contact the Ramos Law Firm.