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California Seeks to Restrict Workers’ Compensation Claims for Out-of-State Professional Athletes

Written by Ankin Law Office

Workers’ compensation benefits are generally available to any injured employee, regardless of who is at fault for the accident or injury. In the case of traveling employees, such as airline employees, traveling salespersons, or professional athletes, on-the-job injuries are sometimes sustained when the worker is in another state and questions about jurisdiction can arise.

A controversial bill in California seeks to restrict most professional athletes playing for out-of-state teams from filing workers’ compensation claims in California. An overwhelming majority of the California General Assembly  recently voted in favor of the bill, which now moves on to the state Senate for a vote.

California is currently one of nine states that allow workers’ compensation claims for cumulative trauma injuries. Under workers’ compensation laws, benefits for on-the-job injuries are paid by an injured worker’s employer. If the employer or its insurance company fails to provide the appropriate workers’ compensation benefits, an injured employee can submit a claim through the state’s workers’ compensation system.

According to the Los Angeles Times, California has become “a magnet” for out-of-state workers’ compensation claims because current California law provides for financial payouts and lifetime medical care for long-term injuries that are not available in other states. Moreover, California’s liberal statute of limitation makes it possible for older athletes to submit workers’ compensation claims long after they have stopped playing.

The new bill would prohibit out-of-state players from filing workers’ compensation claims in California for non-specific cumulative injuries and reduce the statute of limitations on workers’ compensation claims to one year from the athlete’s final game or of a physician diagnosing the condition, whichever is later.

Unfortunately, the bill would allow team owners to skirt their responsibilities to provide workers’ compensation benefits to injured former players, many of whom have suffered cumulative trauma injuries that are incurred by extended periods of wear and tear. Moreover, the bill unfairly singles out professional athletes, and it could also negatively impact traveling employees in other professions, such as airline workers or traveling salespersons.

At Ankin Law Office, LLC, our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers focus on helping injured workers pursue any and all legal action for their injuries, including workers’ compensation claims and third-party personal injury claims, so that they can obtain a full and fair recovery.

If you have been injured while on the job, we can help you determine how to proceed in order to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. Contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Chicago workplace injury attorneys.

Categories: Personal Injury