With the recent $765 settlement between the NFL and former NFL players, not everyone knew that former NFL punters and kickers have been filing workers’ compensation claims against the NFL in California for brain injuries for several years. *Source: www.latimes.com; also see The NFL Settles Lawsuit Related To Concussions And Permanent Brain Injuries For $765 Million
Over the last 6 years, 64 former NFL punters and kickers have filed claims against their former teams for serious head or brain injuries. 55 of the 64 players did not play for California teams.
In addition to these 64 claims, over 4,000 other workers’ compensation claims have been filed by former NFL players in California for serious head and brain injuries.
Many out-of-state athletes file workers’ compensation claims in California because they cannot do so anywhere else. California’s statute of limitations is much less restrictive than other states, and workers’ compensation in California covers injuries suffered over time, including brain trauma.
The NFL tried to push the California legislature to pass AB 1309, a bill that would restrict filings by former athletes who did not play for California teams. Further, the bill would also exclude athletes who play on California teams for fewer than 2 seasons or if they spent 7 or more seasons on non-California teams.
On Friday, September 6, 2013, the California State Senate voted to pass Bill AB 1309, and out-of-state professional athletes will no longer be able to file claims under California’s workers compensation system.
Most of the time, we don’t see punters or kickers get hit on the television because the cameras follow the ball downfield. The cameras rarely focus on the kickers after the footballs are in the air.
With the number of former NFL players filing suit and workers’ compensation claims against the NFL, the violent nature of the sport is truly highlighted. Further, the hits and brain injuries do not only happen to linebackers and tight ends, it also happens to kickers, punters and every other player on the team.
Therefore, coaches and team doctors have to be vigilant in diagnosing concussions and bench players after hard hits to avoid players sustaining permanent brain injuries.
If you or a loved one has a head or a traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to recover damages. Your injuries may be due to someone’s fault. For example, if you sustained a concussion but were not pulled out of the game, and you sustained a second blow to the head which led to a traumatic brain injury, you may have a claim. You shouldn’t have to suffer because of someone’s negligence. Feel free to contact the sports injury lawyers at White and Williams for a free initial consultation to discuss your legal rights. 877.944.8396
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