Legal Battles Over Why Athletes (and You) Can’t Get Workers’ Comp

What if after an on-the-job accident, you find out your employer is fighting your claim and you can’t get workers’ comp? It can be totally debilitating right when you need to focus on getting better.

But sometimes employers will put up a fight—even against celebrities.

Fortunately, you do have options. One story out of Ohio shows what kind of fight you might have ahead of you and why you need a workers’ comp lawyer to help.

Getting Partial Disability as an Athlete

The fight in Ohio over Bengals players being able to get partial disability has caused a firestorm in the workers’ comp world. Basically, state lawmakers have proposed a bill that bans Ohio athletes from getting partial disability while they continue to play. 

The Bengals claim they’re just trying to keep people from double-dipping. They say players are requesting workers’ comp for injuries on the field even as they continue playing. Basically they argue that if you’re still able to play, you don’t need workers’ comp.

The NFL Players Association has come out in support of the athletes. They point out if the bill passes, players will have to pay for their own medical care at a higher billed amount. (Employers get big discounts as part of workers’ compensation programs.) They point out not every player makes millions. The lower-paid athletes especially, they say, shouldn’t be asked to carry this burden.

In addition, the law doesn’t account for ongoing injuries. The law as it is written says players only have 5 years from the time of injury to file a claim. So what should that player do if they get a concussion, continue to play, and then develop CTE 5 years later, when they aren’t playing anymore? Their injury came from their work, but they won’t be able to get benefits.

These are big questions for some of the biggest players in sports. But they also impact all the players (and workers) who make far less than the megastars. 

What You Deserve as an Employee

If you’re off work or working less and you aren’t getting paid, you need workers’ comp. This includes partial disability, where your injury impacted your health and work but didn’t take you out of the workforce entirely.

If you can’t get workers’ comp, you may end up with massive medical bills right when you aren’t healthy enough to make an income and pay for them. 

Sometimes the injuries last a long time and need a lot of medical attention. And workers’ comp programs typically take this into consideration.

That’s why it’s important to file your claim as soon as you’re injured—something the Bengals and many employers would like to stop. You need a record of when the injury happened and why. That way, you can get ongoing medical benefits as you need them.

The Ongoing Unwillingness to Pay Workers Comp

Most of us won’t be impacted by the specific fight happening in the NFL, but we’re all impacted by the theory behind it. 

Why don’t employers just want to pay the workers’ comp they owe you? Don’t they care if someone suffers a permanent disability on the job?

Most employers want a healthy and safe work environment for their employees. However, workers’ comp hits the bottom line. The more they have to pay into the system to cover their staff’s injuries, the less they and the company get to keep.

Companies don’t always look out for you, even if they should. So if you’re injured on the job and can’t get workers’ comp, you need someone who will stand on your side and fight for you.

A Trusted Memphis Lawyer for When You Can’t Get Workers’ Comp

If you apply for workers’ comp and can’t get it, don’t give up or go it alone. 

Our Memphis workers’ comp lawyers can help you get the benefits you need and deserve. We help prepare a strong case against the insurance companies. Our team communicates every step of the way and treats you with compassion and respect. And we don’t make a penny unless you do.

There’s nothing to lose and so much to gain. If you need workers’ comp, contact us today at 901-327-2100 or fill out the form below. The conversation is totally free, no strings attached.

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