It's a sad reality that athletes, just like any other worker, can suffer injuries on the job. Just like any other worker, in New Jersey they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer a significant and permanent injury while working for a professional sports team.
This was made clear during a Monday Night Football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills earlier this month. During the game, Bills Safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field after suffering a cardiac arrest. Hamlin’s collapse sent shockwaves across the country and served as an important call-to-attention for this serious health condition, which is not exceedingly rare among young male athletes and requires immediate CPR and medical attention to avoid fatal and life-altering outcomes.
While Hamlin has since been released from the hospital, his recovery and the long-term effects of his injury are still unknown. Just as injuries that occur in other non-athletic professions can threaten the futures of workers, so too can Hamlin’s injury threaten his ability to not only play ball again at a professional level, but also potentially his ability to live as he did before.
In situations like these, it’s important to remember that athletes are entitled to the same workers’ compensation benefits as any other employee if they suffer an injury “arising out of the course of their employment.” These benefits include medical treatment, financial assistance for lost wages, and compensation for their permanent injuries. This may be in addition to any kind of Social Security Disability or private disability benefits that their league may provide.
We wish Damar Hamlin the best in his recovery.
Fighting for Injured Workers Since 1939
When work-related injuries occur, it's important that all workers receive the support and benefits they need to make a full recovery. Getting hurt during a professional game should not be the start of games with the insurance carriers.
If you or a loved one have suffered any kind of work-related injury in New Jersey, consider reaching out to the experienced team at Levinson Axelrod. With offices throughout the state and a history of representing injured workers dating back to 1939, we have the knowledge and resources to help you navigate the workers’ compensation system and recover the benefits you deserve.