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Former NFL player wins workers' comp case

Workers' compensation claims are intended to give workers quick resolution when they are injured while in the course of performing work-related duties. It is not necessary to prove negligence, only that the injury was work-related. Claims can get complicated, especially when insurance companies and employers contest an injury as a "work-related." Last week, a former NFL player won a workers' comp case involving an injury he suffered while warming up for a preseason game.

The court had to decide whether football injuries should be considered accidental because of the rough nature of the sport. According to the Maryland Court of Appeals, the injury happened, "out of and in the course of (his) employment." Simply put, the player was warming up for the game, landed awkwardly and had to seek immediate medical treatment.

The court decided that he suffered a compensable accidental injury during the course of his employment, even though the team and its insurers argued that the injury should not be covered under workers' compensation law. A lawyer for the former player argued that players cannot be denied benefits because football is a dangerous sport.

This case could make it easier for professional athletes to collect workers' compensation in the future. It is also a reminder that employers, insurance carriers and their designated medical practitioners are not working on your behalf. If you suffered a work-related injury, it is important to consult with an experienced workers' comp attorney who can review the facts of your case, help document your injury and present your case. After a work-related injury, you are entitled to full compensation for lost wages and medical expenses.

Source: Associated Press, "Ex-NFL punter wins case for workers' compensation," Aug. 23, 2012

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