When you watch your favorite NFL team play you might not think you have much in common with the players at first glance. And while chances are that they are younger, faster and potentially make more money than you, if you have ever been injured on the job then you probably share at least one thing in common: you have struggled to get the payments you deserve through the workers’ compensation program.
Injured NFL players depend on workers’ comp for medical expenses
A little known fact, which the Houston Chronicle wrote about recently, is that NFL players (and other professional athletes) are covered by workers’ compensation.
In Texas and several other states, that means players cannot sue their employers after they are injured on the job because of unsafe conditions. Instead, have to file a workers’ comp claim. Like any other worker, they are also limited to income replacement limit of $913 under Texas’ workers’ comp laws.
However, NFL players aren’t necessarily after the income replacement aspect of workers’ comp. Like many workers who are injured on the job, it’s the medical expenses that they need covered.
In Texas, workers’ comp — for those who qualify — covers medical expenses related to the on-the-job injury for life. This is extremely important for anyone who has suffered a serious injury that could lead to a lifetime of issues.
Players face same struggles as other workers with claims being denied
The Houston Chronicle pointed out that, like any other worker, injured NFL players face the same struggles as workers in other fields as they attempt to navigate the complicated workers’ comp system, and they often face denials and undervalued claims, too.
The only difference is that the pro athletes usually have access to attorneys and other professionals who can help guide them through the process.
The NFL is just another employer benefiting from workers’ comp system
The Houston Chronicle also pointed out that, like many employers, legal experts say the NFL benefits financially from the current workers’ comp system as it is often cheaper to pay out these claims to injured workers than it is to make sweeping changes to the workplace that would prevent workers from getting injured in the first place. The NFL disputes this claims, as do many employers in other industries.
However, few can argue with the fact that the system is built to favor employers and their insurers, who also have teams of lawyers on their side. Professional athlete or not, every injured worker needs help navigating this complex system that is built against them. Most injured workers do not stand a chance without a lawyer’s advice and guidance.
You can read the entire Houston Chronicle article here. To read more about how The Law Offices of Miller & Bicklein, P.C. helps get injured workers in Texas the workers’ comp that they deserve, click here.