When most people think of workers' compensation cases, they probably think of injuries on construction sites or in industrial plants. It's important to realize, however, that workers' comp law applies in workplaces of all types.
This includes professional football fields. Indeed, in the last few years, teams in the National Football League have been paying out increasing sums of money for deductibles on their workers' compensation insurance. According to one expert, Duke Niedringhaus, from an insurance firm that works with NFL teams, some teams are paying are now $3 million to $5 million annually for work comp claims.
As awareness of the consequences of head injuries in football goes up, the amount of the claims is also likely to go up in the future. "Most companies know, five years after a given year, how much money in claims they'll be paying," Niedringhaus explained to ESPN. "After five years, these NFL teams have no clue what the future will look like."
This doesn't mean one must feel too sorry for the teams. After all, they stand accused by over 3,000 former players of misleading players about the risk of injuries, particularly those involving concussions
The Baltimore Sun recently reported on a case involving two former Washington Redskins players - a punter and a wide receiver - who filed for workers compensation benefits in Maryland. The Redskins insurance carrier argued the players should have filed in Virginia, where the team practiced. The players countered that the team's games were played in Landover, Maryland.
Specific issues like this can arise in work comp cases, not only in Maryland but in other states as well. It's therefore important to get the legal advice you need to determine how to move forward with your injury claims.
Source: "Teams face workers' comp threat," ESPN Outside The Lines, Darren Rowell, 8-30-12
Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Maryland workers' compensation page.