Pro Athlete Injury Compensation Lawyers Palm Beach County
Professional athletes are subjected to some of the most intense and brutal bodily damage in any field of employment. We represent many professional or semi-professional athletes. These athletes are constantly at risk for injuries, accidents, and repetitive trauma. Some of these athletes play for the following:
- MLB (Major League Baseball)
- MLL (Major League Lacrosse)
- NBA (National Basketball Association)
- NFL (National Football League)
- NHL (National Hockey League)
If you have sustained an injury while playing a sport professionally or semi-professionally, you are not alone. Statistics reveal that in early September 2013, almost 600 workers’ compensation claims were filed against NFL franchises, almost 300 claims against Major League Baseball, more than 100 clams against National Hockey League teams, and 79 against NBA teams.
Prior to changes made in the law by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, professional athletes employed by a Florida team, but who played games in other states, could file claims in other states that had more favorable laws than Florida. Since those changes went into effect, Florida players are restricted to filing workers’ compensation claims in Florida. Further, in 2013 California approved a law that prevents workers’ compensation claims made by players who play for non-California teams, but happen to play a game or limited games in California. However, labor unions, collective bargaining agreements and proactive players associations have created coverage for injured professional athletes.
At the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt we have had the privilege of representing many professional athletes who live in Florida and who have played for Florida’s best major league teams. We invite you to contact us if you believe you or a loved one has suffered an injury while employed with any of Florida’s professional or semi-professional sports teams, and you wish to receive the workers’ compensation benefits available to you under the law.
Specific sports accidents include many well know and infamously gruesome and jaw dropping injuries. NFL fans recall one of the most horrific injuries seen on Monday Night Football when Washington Redskin’s quarterback Joe Theismann suffered a career ending leg injury at the hands of New York Giants’ Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor. Hockey fans can still recall the gruesome sight of witnessing Buffalo Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk’s jugular being sliced open by the blade of St. Louis Blues defenseman Uwe Krupp. There are many many more sports injuries that cause fans to cover their eyes and divert their heads.
Reeling From an Overlooked Sports Injury
There is another class of sports injuries that won’t make any worst-of lists, be seen in flashback clips or recounted by commentators and announcers in the years to come. Repetitive injuries do not have the flash, pizzazz, or level of interest that draws fans in like rubberneckers on a highway following a 10 car pileup, but they are the types of injuries that don’t just end a career, they end lives. They are called repetitive trauma injuries.
Repetitive trauma injuries result from factors including:
- Applied force
- Repeated impact
- Continued use
- Sustained damage
These injuries do not suddenly happen because of one big hit. Rather, these injuries happen microscopically, getting worse after every hit, every tackle, every slide or every throw. These injuries can be found in the arms, shoulders, elbows, knees and back of athletes in every type of sport. Another subset of repetitive trauma injuries making its way to the spotlight, despite the fact that its dangers have been known since the 1920’s, is repetitive brain trauma or traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Studies show that on an annual basis there are between 1.6 million AND 3.8 million traumatic brain injury accidents resulting from sports and recreation activities in the U.S. alone. Over the past decade, many retired professional football and hockey players are breaking their silence and the world is gaining insight on how these warriors’ final days are playing out. In many cases, these former gladiators’ final battle is not with another opponent, but rather with the damage done to their brain.
Both current and retired NFL football and NHL hockey players have reported symptoms associated with concussions and TBI’s. TBI’S have been found to occur when an outside force impacts the body and causes the brain to strike the skull. Following an impact which jostles the brain, often called a concussion, symptoms such as confusion, dizziness, loss of coordination, headaches, vision problems and nausea will develop. Long terms effects of multiple blows to the head include neurodegeneration, memory loss, cognitive problems, severe depression and dementia.
Many retired football players, and other professional and semi-professional athletes, are now discussing their injuries and resulting debilitating conditions such as dementia. Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior. Rayfield Wright, a 68 year old Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer, was part of a New York Times article where he revealed that he is one of more than 4,500 players suing the NFL for concealing what the league knew about the dangers of repetitive head trauma. Wright stated in the article that he incurred so many concussions that he couldn’t even count them.
Even local Florida sports heroes have filed workers’ compensation claims, including Miami Dolphins former quarterback Dan Marino. Other well known athletes to make claims under workers’ compensation laws include NFL greats Boomer Esiason, Lynn Swann and Thurman Thomas, MLB stars Randy Johnson and Willie McCovey, and NBA legends Clyde Drexler and Gus Williams. Almost 70% of workers’ compensation claims filed against the MLB, NBA, NFl, and NHL included brain or head injuries due to repetitive trauma injuries or accidents.
If you or a loved one play, or played, professional or semi-professional sports and have suffered an injury, including a traumatic brain injury, or are now experiencing the symptoms of a TBI, call one of our workers’ compensation attorneys today. Our dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys are experienced in handling repetitive trauma injuries, including traumatic brain injury cases. We understand the devastating impact an injury of this nature can have and are ready and willing to fight for the medical and lost wage benefits that are available under Florida’s workers’ compensation laws.
Hurt at Work? We Can Help!
Call an attorney at the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for a free and confidential consultation today.