Professional Athletes: Minnesota Workers’ Compensation?

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Professional athletes who suffer injuries while working in Minnesota, may be entitlted to Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits. Professional athletes often times suffer debilitating injuries in the course of their career. A study in 2003 found that the NFL players were nearly eight times higher to have an injury than that of any other commerical sports league according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In fact, between 2000-2003, NFL players had over 6,558 injuries.

With the recent awareness of brain trauma, former athletes are bringing workers’ compensation cases for brain injuries suffered as result of their playing days. Ralph Wenzel, a former football player, has filed a claim alleging that his dementia was caused by his eight-year career as a lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers. The N.Y. Times wrote an article concerning a growing area of litigation for professional athletes including NFL players. NFL teams have attempted to deal with this issue and the potential workers’ compensation exposure.

Even more recently there has been speculation that the death of former Minnesota Wild player, Derek Boogard, was related to his concussions suffered as a player.

A concussion is typically caused by a severe head trauma during which the brain moves violently within the skull. The brain cells all fire at once, much like a seizure. In 2004, data was collected from the head impact telemetry system used in the NFL concussion studies found that 58 of 623 (9.3 percent) of professional football players who suffered a concussion also had a loss of consciousness.

With cell phones and computers, it has become a lot easier for the professional athlete to keep track of the various injuries sustained. A free application for the Iphone, PPC Injury Tracker, will keep track of the injury, the team, and the state where the injury occured. A professional athlete, may not only have a specific injury that occurs but they may also have a repetitive injury or Gillette type injury as result of cumultative trauma. It is neccesary to show that the work activities were a substantial contributing cause to the condition.

If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits or need to discuss your Minnesota workers compensation case, we at The Law Office of Thomas Mottaz are workers’ compensation attorneys that help people with Minnesota work injuries anywhere in MN. Contact us for a free consultation and we will answer your questions or help you find the right lawyer for your situation.

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