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Rockford football players denied workers compensation coverage

People put a lot of dedication into their careers and, by extension, the Sangamon County companies that they work for. It’s their hope that if they are ever injured on the job, they’ll be able to rely on their employers to compensate them for any medical expenses associated with the accident. It’s important that employees understand what their employment agreements or contracts entitle them to in the event of an injury. Failure to know what those benefits are can leave one unprotected in dealing with their medical expenses.

Such is the case of three football players who were injured while playing for an indoor football team in Rockford. All three were injured while playing on the team’s home field, yet all three are being denied workers compensation by the insurance company whose policy the team’s ownership had in place to cover player injuries. The reason for the denial centers on two issues: First, the policy was purchased when the team owner owned a football team in Wisconsin, and thus the policy called for compensation to be paid according to Wisconsin state law. Because the players’ injuries occurred in Illinois, the insurance company claims they are not required to cover the expenses.

The second issue at play in the case is that team ownership had changed since the original policy was purchased, so the players are no longer employees of the company protected by the policy. Trial and appeals court judges both agreed that it was clearly stated in the players’ contracts that they were not employees of the protected company, and therefore not covered under the workers compensation policy.

Workers compensation claims can become very complicated when circumstances such as these are present. One’s best chance at overcoming such obstacles is knowing beforehand that they exist. One may therefore wish to have an attorney experienced in workers compensation laws review his or contract or employment agreement prior to signing it.

Source: Courthouse News Service “Indoor Football Players Lose Workers’ Comp Bid” Jeff Gorman, Oct. 09, 2013

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