Workers’ Compensation: No benefits If Impaired

Typically, if a worker suffers an injury at work and the employer regularly employs three or more employees, the injured worker is entitled to benefits provided in the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.  However, there are some exceptions to what would otherwise be a compensable injury.

If an injured worker was injured due to his own intoxication, he or she may not be entitled to benefits.  This exception may be nullified in the event the injured worker was provided the intoxicating substance (alcohol or drugs) by the employer or the injured worker’s supervisor.  The mere fact that an injured employee was intoxicated may not be enough for the employer to escape liability.  The injury to the worker must be proximately caused by (as a result of) the worker’s intoxication.

Another exception to what might otherwise be a compensable injury is when the injured worker intentionally injures or kills himself or another employee.

Under certain circumstances, if an employer fails to comply with any statutory requirement or order of the Industrial Commission, the payments due to an injured worker with a compensable injury who was injured as a result of the willful failure of the employer to follow such regulations may be increased by 10%.

Likewise, if an injured worker has been injured as a result of not following prescribed safety procedures, the benefits due to that worker may be decreased by 10%.

Blood or other medically accepted tests may be used to determine impairment of an injured worker.