There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that most athletes face significant risks when they play their sports, especially when it comes to football or basketball, Those risks carry with them the possibility for long-term consequences. While most people assume that this wear and tear on their body is compensated for in huge salaries, bonuses and endorsements, athletes also take advantage of workers compensation settlements as well.
Many athletes, including former Philadelphia 76er Moses Malone, often receive incredibly substantial workers compensation settlements after they have finished playing. Most settlements must be specific to an injury, such as a broken knee or torn ligament; however many athletes are using provisions in a few states to get paid for the “cumulative effect of injuries” that come from years of playing sports. It is estimated that since the early 1980s and in California alone, over $747 million has gone to 4,500 players, many of which were out-of-state players.
On the other hand, not everyone who plays a professional sport makes the high salaries that grab headlines, and, workers compensation can be difficult to come by when these lesser-known athletes get hurt. Many times, the benefits are contested. Oftentimes, a worker’s compensation settlement attorney must get involved to ensure the workers’ rightful benefits are paid out. All that is needed many times is for someone to ensure that the proper paperwork is filed in the right place, but sometimes it can be very difficult to obtain the benefits.
An injured athlete or other worker should not hesitate to go for treatment the moment it is needed. Once the injury is stabilized, one of the best ways a worker can be sure to receive the settlement as quickly as possible is to report those injuries, remembering that in some states, a worker can get compensation for a series of injuries over time.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Athletes cash in on California’s workers’ comp,” Marc Lifsher, Feb. 23, 2013