Can NFL Football Players File for Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina?

May 8 , 2024

At the Ramsay Law Firm, P.A., our Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys are also professional athlete injury lawyers representing workplace injury victims throughout North Carolina. This is important because research suggests that head and brain injuries, which can have devastating and potentially fatal effects, are shockingly prevalent in professional athletes who play for the National Football League (NFL).

One of the most common questions we receive is whether NFL football players can file for workers’ compensation in North Carolina. We are pleased to inform you that the answer is yes. The workers’ compensation laws in North Carolina extend to professional athletes, including NFL players, just as they do for any other employee.

While the process of filing for workers’ compensation in North Carolina is similar for all employees, there are some unique aspects for NFL football players. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of these key points, ensuring that you are fully aware of your rights and the procedures specific to your situation.

Workers’ Compensation Claim for NFL Player in North Carolina

Jurisdiction and State Workers’ Compensation Laws Apply to NFL Players

One key factor determining where and how NFL players can file their workers’ compensation claims is the jurisdiction. As NFL players often play in multiple states, the location of the injury frequently determines which state’s workers’ compensation laws apply. If the injury happened in North Carolina, you may be eligible to file under our workers’ compensation system.

However, other workers’ compensation rules apply, just as they do for other injured workers.

  • NFL players must have sustained an injury or illness during the course and scope of their employment. This can include injuries sustained during games, practices, or other team-related activities.
  • Players must report their injuries to their team and file workers’ compensation claims. The process involves notifying the employer (the NFL team) and completing the necessary paperwork, including providing medical documentation of the injury.

The Same Workers’ Compensation Benefits Apply to NFL Players as Other Injured Employees with Special Considerations

Injured NFL players may be eligible to receive the same types of North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits as other non-professional athletes can after getting hurt at work.

They include:

  • Medical Benefits

Covers the cost of medical treatment related to the injury, including doctor visits, surgeries, rehabilitation, and medication.

  • Wage Replacement

Provides compensation for lost wages if the injury prevents the player from performing their job. This typically includes temporary total disability (TTD) or temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits.

  • Permanent Disability

If the player sustains a permanent injury, they may be eligible for permanent partial disability (PPD) or permanent total disability (PTD) benefits.

The high salaries of NFL players can complicate workers’ compensation claims, particularly regarding wage replacement benefits, which may have statutory caps that do not fully compensate for the player’s lost income.

Given the complexities involved, NFL players should seek legal representation when filing for workers’ compensation in North Carolina.

Where Does a Professional Athlete File a Workers’ Comp Claim in North Carolina?

While many professional sports injuries are covered under workers’ compensation in most states, professional athletes often are not aware they can file a claim or where to file. There may be multiple venues where you can file a claim, such as where your injury occurred, where your team is based, where your team’s corporate headquarters is based, or where your official residence is located.

Martha Ramsay has been a member of the National Football League Player’s Association (NFLPA) Workers’ Compensation Panel for North Carolina since 1995 and a Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist since 2012. She represents current and former professional football players in workers’ compensation claims for injuries sustained during their careers. She can help you determine where and how to file a claim based on your professional sports career circumstances.

Our dedicated Mecklenburg County workers’ compensation law firm provides free consultations to all employees who have suffered a workplace injury in North Carolina by calling 704-376-1616 or contacting us online.

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