Featured image illustrating the connection between work injuries and substance abuse for the blog post Navigating Work Injuries & Substance Abuse Impacts

Navigating Work Injuries & Substance Abuse Impacts

February 20, 2024 | Attorney, Allan Ziffra

Suffering an injury at work can be a disconcerting and agonizing ordeal. Be it a fractured bone, slip-and-fall incident, or strain from lifting heavy items – work-related injuries can throw your life into disarray and leave you struggling to make ends meet. Therefore, understanding your legal rights and alternatives when seeking compensation for injuries is essential for seeking justice and getting through these tough times.

Unfortunately, alcohol and drug consumption can have negative consequences on your work injury case, so it’s essential to be aware of the legal repercussions.

Legal Perspective on Substance Abuse and Work Injury Cases

Workers’ compensation laws differ by state but generally aim to provide benefits to employees injured on the job. Unfortunately, if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol during your injury, getting compensated can prove a difficult battle.

Employers or insurers may argue that your substance abuse caused or contributed to your injury, disqualifying you from receiving benefits. Florida statute 440.102 states that employers can require testing and if drugs or alcohol are detected in an employee’s system, they may be terminated and forfeit any eligibility for medical and insurance benefits – this is known as the “intoxication defense,” which can prove challenging in court.

Understand The Consequences of Substance Abuse on Your Case.

If you have a substance abuse history, it can significantly hinder your case. For instance:

  •  Alcohol and drug use impair judgment and memory, making providing an accurate account of what happened more difficult.
  • If you have a history of substance abuse, employers or insurance companies might claim that your injury wasn’t the result of an occupational accident but rather due to your own decisions.
  •  Even if a workplace accident caused your injury, substance abuse can be used against you to show that you were partially at fault and reduce any compensation award resulting from it.

Safeguard Your Rights: Strategies for Handling Substance Abuse in Your Case

If you have a history of substance abuse, it’s essential that you be open with your attorney and provide as much detail about the situation as possible. Here are some tips for protecting your legal rights and maximizing compensation:

  • Seek treatment for your substance abuse issues if you have not already.
  • Be honest with both your doctor and attorney regarding any substance abuse history you have.
  •  Follow through on the treatment plan provided by your physician, attending all scheduled appointments as instructed.
  • Partner with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who can guide you through the legal system and craft a strong case.


If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, it is essential to understand the legal repercussions of substance abuse and how this could impact your case. By working closely with an experienced personal injury attorney like Rue & Ziffra, you can protect your rights and maximize compensation. Don’t let substance abuse stop you from receiving assistance – reach out today for a complimentary consultation with Rue & Ziffra!

Attorney Allan Ziffra

Allan Ziffra

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article has been written and reviewed by Allan Ziffra. Allan L. Ziffra is a founding partner and president of Rue & Ziffra, a personal injury law firm. With over two decades of experience, Allan has litigated cases involving catastrophic injuries, securing over $100 million for clients. He holds a Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Miami and a JD from Stetson University.

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