The purpose of workers’ compensation benefits is to ensure that both replacement wages and medical care are available to those who are injured on the job. And while most people might be familiar with construction workers, teachers and truck drivers filing for benefits, a new group of workers are beginning to take advantage of the system: former players in the National Football League.
WORKERS’ COMP CLAIMS: AN ALTERNATIVE TO CONCUSSION LAWSUITS?
The NFL is currently facing a great number of lawsuits over player injuries. In the past year, over 3,000 former players or family members have brought suit against the league claiming long-term damage from concussions and other brain injuries. For many players, however, filing a California workers’ compensation claim is also an option.
In order to collect on a workers’ compensation claim, an NFL player – just like any other person who is injured at work – must prove that he suffered his injury while on the job. Once the state in question determines that the player’s injury claim is valid, then the player can collect from his team’s insurer. Unlike many people, however, NFL players often have the option of choosing to file their workers’ comp claims in the states that offer the best coverage – after all, NFL players often practice and play in many states throughout their careers. A great number of players and former players are discovering that filing for benefits in California is by far their best option.
WHAT MAKES CALIFORNIA LAW UNIQUE?
California workers’ compensation law is unique because it allows injured workers to file claims for cumulative trauma. Cumulative trauma is an injury that results from constant overuse on the job. There is no time restriction on when a worker can file a cumulative trauma claim. Even better, it is not necessary for the injured NFL player to have been employed by a California-based team: the only requirement is that the player practiced or played just one game in the state, even as a member of another team.
Only a handful of cumulative trauma cases involving former NFL players have been decided so far in California, but hundreds of players are currently waiting to have their claims heard.
NFL players are not the only ones to benefit from California’s workers’ compensation laws. If you or someone you love has been injured at work, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. A knowledgeable workers’ comp lawyer can assess your case and help you get the compensation for your injuries you deserve.