Sports Workers Compensation Claims

About California Sports Workers Compensation Claims

Two types of claims can commonly be made in California for former professional athletes – cumulative trauma claims and specific injury claims.

Cumulative Trauma Claims are the most common claims for athletes because they involve the wear and tear on one’s body over the course of one’s career.  Imagine a construction worker who runs a jack hammer for an entire career.  He may not have one single injury that forces him to stop working but the accumulation of wear and tear on his body from using the jack hammer on a daily basis will necessitate higher medical care costs later in life for him.

Rather than having the public via Medicare or Medicaid pay for the injured construction worker’s medical care; or your premiums increase because the injured construction worker must utilize his private insurance – thereby making everyone’s premiums increase; the social public policy mandates that the employer –  that benefitted from the labor which resulted in the wear and tear of the injured construction worker – should be responsible.

This theory applies equally to professional athletes.  The wear and tear on your body from the constant hitting and pounding and multiple injuries from your sport will result in higher medical care later in life – not to mention the pain that you will experience.

Cumulative Trauma claims allow you to get compensation for every part of your body from head to toe – physical, internal, psychological, etc.

Specific injury claims commonly involve specific injuries that occur that cause a player to miss time from games or practices, i.e., a torn ACL, etc.

Whether you had one tryout in California, played one game in California, or played 10 years for a California team, you may qualify for workers compensation benefits in California depending on the circumstances.

How Professional Athletes Qualify

In order to qualify to file a claim, you must have some form of a California connection. That connection could be any of the following:

  • Played for a California team:
    • Professional; semi–professional; or received compensation by other means, e.g., per diem, transportation, etc.
  • Played for a minor league affiliate based in California – even if the major league affiliate was not in California;
  • Signed a contract for any team while physically in California;
  • Orally agreed to a contract in California
    • E.g., you were on the phone with your agent and agreed to a contract offer; you agreed to a contract offer directly with someone from the team; etc.
  • Had a California agent; or
  • Played for a league that was based in California and your contract was with the league
    • E.g., Harlem Globetrotters when based in CA; American Basketball League when it was based in CA; etc.

There are certain other laws that must also be considered so please complete the Questionnaire below so that we can evaluate your possible claim.


Possible benefits include:

  • Cash Settlement
  • Future Medical Care for Life
  • Life Pension
  • Out of Pocket Expenses for Medical Care