Workers' Compensation

Like anyone in Pennsylvania, celebrities, musicians and athletes must deal with the possibility of becoming ill or injures. This may be abundantly true for athletes such as NFL players who face the risk of serious injuries daily in the course of their employment. Unfortunately, when an NFL player does experience a work accident, the road to recovery, both physically and financially, can be grueling.

Perhaps no one knows this better than NFL star Reggie Williams. Since 2005, he has lived with multiple health problems, surgeries and even a bone infection. These injuries, primarily in his legs, are believed to be due to his 14-year NFL career. Unfortunately, Williams has been unable to get workers’ compensation benefits to help him cover his mounting medical expenses. In fact, the team that he played for during his entire career is challenging his claims.

Williams played his entire career for the Cincinnati Bengals. Their resistance has shed a light on a common problem for NFL players; what happens after retirement when injuries persist? According to reports, the average NFL player can expect his career to last 3.3 seasons. Statistics show that one in four of these players will suffer severe physical and brain injuries or illnesses. NFL benefits are not adequate at providing care for the players, and NFL disability board has a 60 percent denial rate.

Currently, there are at least 3,000 former NFL players who have filed claims, Like Williams’ seeking benefits for injuries or illness. No matter what industry a Pennsylvania worker works in, there is the potential to suffer a work accident resulting in injuries or illness. When these workers are unable to obtain the benefits that they need, such as through workers’ compensation claims, the illness or injury can result in more than physical concerns. Financially, a work accident can result in lost wages as well, which can seriously affect the livelihood of the worker and his or her family. Whether NFL player or factory worker, suffering should never be the only option.

Source: theoaklandpress.com, “Who should bear the costs of retired NFL players’ medical bills?” Sally Jenkins, May 12, 2013