The case Romero v. Louisiana was recently taken to the Court of Appeals where the judge held that a driver is not entitled to benefits if his injury was caused by his or her intoxication while on the road. This means that in Louisiana, an employer is not required to pay for his worker’s medical bills or lost wages if the accident was caused because the worker was intoxicated. The employer must prove intoxication through solid evidence in order to avoid paying the compensation expenses.
Romero v. Louisiana was a case concerning a truck driver who arrived at his jobsite to pick up a load which would be taken to another location. Another truck was in the loading area, so he parked on the two-lane roadway. Another driver was speeding towards the truck, and tried to swerve when the trucker opened his door. Unfortunately, the truck driver was hit by the pickup and fell onto the asphalt, suffering serious injuries.
He was transported to the hospital by an ambulance, and submitted to a urine sample for testing while inside. The doctors found that the driver had marijuana metabolites in his blood. The employer paid for the truck driver’s emergency room visit but refused to pay further worker’s compensation benefits. When the driver sought more compensation, the Louisiana Court of Appeals declared that he was not entitled to any more compensation because of his marijuana use.
The driver argued that he had not smoked marijuana for almost a month, but the lab results showed that Romero had smoked marijuana sometime within the past week. The court declared that the driver was intoxicated, which is why he was inattentive and made the poor decision to open his door as a pickup truck was speeding by. They claimed that he was therefore responsible for his own injury. If you have been involved in an accident in a commercial vehicle you may be able to receive compensation for the incident. As long as your employer cannot declare that you were intoxicated at the time of the accident, you will most-likely receive compensation.
Because of this ruling, some employers may falsely claim that you have been drinking or doing drugs before your accident in order to avoid paying you worker’s compensation. Chances are that they will not be successful in proving this fact unless they have tangible evidence. Yet if they try this trick, you will want to battle back at them with a personal injury lawyer that will be relentless in seeking your best interests. Talk to a lawyer at our Shreveport firm if you need help with one of these delicate cases! We are here to stand by your side as you fight for the compensation that you deserve!