When people are injured while they are working, they should apply for workers’ compensation. Depending on the type and scope of the injury, workers’ compensation can cover a variety of things. Workers’ compensation benefits may cover medical bills and lost wages. However, if an injury is so severe that a person cannot return to his or her former position, workers’ compensation may also include job retraining.
A professional football player from Ohio, Tom Tupa, will receive workers’ compensation from the Redskins. After he had been playing professionally for 17 years, Tom injured his back during warm-ups at a preseason game in 2005.
Tom’s injury came during the peak of his career, and he hasn’t been able to play since the injury. In the season before he was injured, Tom punted in every game of the season.
When Tom filed workers’ compensation in 2007, he won the claim. Although the Redskins appealed, they were not successful in overturning the award. They will pay partial disability and medical expenses to Tom. Since his injury, Tom found a new job working as a recreation director at a community center in Ohio.
Tom is not alone in his fight to receive the benefits he deserves. The NFL Players Association is continuously fighting for better benefits for retired players. In high-risk occupations – such as professional sports, construction and manufacturing – it is critical for employers to make sure their employees are properly protected from dangerous situations. When those situations cannot be avoided, employers should work with their employees to help make sure they receive the financial compensation they need to readjust.
Source: The Washington Post, “Redskins must pay Tom Tupa for back injury,” Mike Jones, 8 March 2011