Sports Injury Law
Professional athletes are often viewed as having dream jobs, and while they may work in enviable positions, they are still employees afforded the same protections as other workers by Massachusetts law. As such, if they suffer injuries at work, they generally have the right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation claims that arise out of sports injuries can be considerably more complicated than other claims, and it is prudent for any professional athlete to consult an attorney prior to seeking benefits.
James K. Meehan of the Law Office of James K. Meehan is a capable Bristol County workers’ compensation lawyer who is proficient at helping professional athletes seek any benefits they may be owed for their injuries, and if he represents you, he will gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of a favorable outcome. Mr. Meehan has more than three decades of experience acting as a member of the National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA) Workers’ Compensation Panel, and he regularly aids professional football, baseball, basketball, and soccer players in the pursuit of benefits in Bristol County and in Plymouth and Norfolk Counties as well.Pursuing Workers’ Compensation Benefits for a Sports Injury
According to Massachusetts’ Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act), employees who suffer harm that is related to their employment may be eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits. There are some exceptions, however, such as professional athletes who are parties to contracts that state their employers must pay them wages during the duration of their work-related injury. Professional athletes who are not subject to such contractual provisions, though, may pursue workers’ compensation benefits for sports injuries.
An eligible athlete must first provide written notice of the injury to his or her employer. The employer must then file a form reporting the injury with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents and provide a copy of the form to its insurance company and the athlete. The insurance company then has fourteen days to investigate the claim and determine whether it should be paid or denied. Many claims arising out of sports claims are initially denied, but there is an appeals process parties can engage in to argue their claims should be covered.Benefits Recoverable for Sports Injuries
Professional athletes that suffer work-related injuries are eligible to recover the same benefits as other Massachusetts employees. Such benefits include medical benefits for any care that is deemed adequate and reasonable to treat the injury. Disability benefits may also be granted if the athlete is not able to work for five or more days. Disability benefits are paid on a temporary or permanent basis for the partial or total inability to work. The amount of disability benefits owed and the duration for which they are paid depends on the nature of the benefits and the injury and the injured party’s pre-injury average weekly wages. Disability benefits are subject to maximum limits as well.
Athletes that suffer a permanent loss of bodily function, disfigurement, or scarring may be owed additional compensation in the form of a lump sum payment. Additionally, athletes that are unable to resume playing their sports because of their injuries may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation, which includes a vocational evaluation and training for jobs in different fields.Confer with an Experienced Bristol County Attorney
Professional athletes often suffer injuries that end their careers and permanently impair their health, and in many instances, they are eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits. If you are a professional athlete that suffered a work-related injury, you could be owed benefits and should confer with an attorney as soon as possible. James K. Meehan of the Law Office of James K. Meehan is a lawyer with ample experience representing people suffering from sports injuries, and he can guide you through the process of pursuing workers’ compensation benefits. Mr. Meehan’s office is located in Taunton, and he regularly aids professional athletes in workers’ compensation matters in Bristol County and in Plymouth and Norfolk Counties as well. You can contact Mr. Meehan by calling 508-822-6600 or using the online form to set up a complimentary and confidential meeting.