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Former NFL player complains of workers' compensation fraud

A well known former football player has publicly stated that he feels many players are simply seeking money from the NFL by filing lawsuits alleging injury. The player is publicly against workers' compensation fraud. However, what he has not made public on his television appearances is that he has also filed for claims. The former player filed his claim in California has have many other former players.

The NFL has been trying to get laws passed by the California legislature that would bar non-residents from filing similar claims in the future. The organization has recently made a public settlement in order to resolve many of the outstanding claims that have previously been filed. The majority of the injuries have involved alleged head and or brain injuries that can have long term affects and are sometimes difficult to diagnosis.

The former player who has come out against the other players for making these claims, filed his own about three years ago. He has allegedly been reported to have suffered more than an 85 percent disability due to repeated head injuries, such as concussions. Ironically, the man has stated that he believes others are attempting to collect money and that football is a safe sport.

If the National Football League is successful in its efforts to get a law passed banning future claims, then it could stand to save millions of dollars. The law would also cover other sports as well, including hockey. However, players who have been employed by California teams would still be able to file for coverage if they were injured while playing for that team.

The opportunity to play professional sports does come with inherent risks. The nature of football is that it is a physical, contact sport and many players will be injured during their professional career. There is an insurance program in place that is intended to provide assistance for workers that have suffered an injury while on the job. However, employers too, need some form of protection from workers' compensation fraud that may or may not be taking place, especially in the arena of professional sports where dollar amounts are skyrocketing and alleged injuries may be difficult to prove.

Source: Los Angeles Times, Deion Sanders, critic of NFL concussion suits, seeks workers' comp, Ken Bensinger, Sept. 5, 2013

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