If you are a professional athlete injured in the State of New Jersey, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This may sound trivial, but it’s not the multi-million dollar quarterback who needs to worry about his medical treatment and out of work benefits. It’s the practice squad player or minor leaguer who may never make the team who needs to rely on workers’ compensation benefits.
The recent settlement negotiated by the NFLPA regarding concussions highlights the risks that athletes face. An injury can reach far into the future and impact your way of life long after your playing days are over. It’s important to know what protections are available while you are still active, before it’s too late.
It’s important to know that you must report all injuries and that you only have two years from the date of an accident to file a workers’ compensation claim. You have a maximum of 90 days to report an injury in New Jersey, so trying to tough it out and not say anything is not a good idea. If, for example, you blow out your knee during training camp, you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits including out of work pay while you recover and a dollar award to compensate you for any permanent impairment.
Unfortunately most athletes don’t ever make it to start on Sunday or get the call up to the Majors, and this is often due to injury. If you’re a professional athlete who has been injured or you just want to know what your options are, call me to discuss any questions you may have. Knowing your rights now can avoid losing out on benefits when it’s too late to file a claim.