Marijuana use and workers’ comp cases

Marijuana will soon be legal in Virginia. You may be wondering if and how this may affect your workers’ comp case should you choose to partake. According to the Law Office of Darren Shoen, this is not an easy question to answer as there are many factors to consider.

In short, the answer depends on the situation.

For example, if you ingest marijuana, or any intoxicating substance (like alcohol), before a work-related accident, the insurance carrier would likely deny your claim due to intoxication. Another factor to consider is the amount of marijuana in your system at the time of the accident because it may play a role in the cause of your injury. Small amounts may not result in a denial of your claim.

If the insurance carrier denies your claim, you can always challenge their denial by filing a claim with Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. It is also a good idea to contact an experienced attorney.

Another example is if you are receiving treatment from a pain management physician. If the physician requires you to follow strict medication guidelines, using marijuana for recreational purposes could hurt your case. If your doctor is against marijuana use, the insurance carrier could claim that you are not cooperating with medical care and deny further medical care.

Many situations could arise from the legalization of marijuana in Virginia. Darren Shoen with the Law Office of Darren Shoen suggests treating marijuana intoxication and abuse the same as alcohol. Proceed with caution. To avoid issues with your workers’ comp case, avoid any forms of intoxication while at work.

The statements contained herein are for general information purposes only and are not considered specific legal advice to your situation as Mr. Shoen would need to meet with you individually to ensure client confidentiality and would need additional information not provided in this article. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult directly with an attorney for legal advice.

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