Another NFL season is almost upon us. For Chicago Bears fans that means one thing. It’s time to get ready for another season of disappointment. I certainly didn’t think when I was in 8th grade that would be the last Super Bowl victory in my lifetime, but here we are.
For Chicago Bears players, unfortunately, the new season also likely means injuries. They are like any other Illinois worker when it comes to accidents on the job and are covered by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
But you know what other NFL players can take advantage of the Illinois Work Comp Act even though their employment is in places like Green Bay, Wisconsin or Detroit, Michigan? All of them if they get hurt while playing a game in Chicago.
When the Packers come to town, they are traveling employees. If they get hurt while working in Illinois, they, like any other worker whose business gets the benefit of them going out of state. They get to file for an Illinois work comp claim.
This is a really important part of the law. For Aaron Rodgers, if he gets hurt, he presumably isn’t going to be worried about money or having his medical bills covered. But for around 75% of the NFL whose careers are less than three years, getting good work comp benefits could keep them out of bankruptcy or in some cases prevent them from being homeless.
Where you can bring a legal case is called jurisdiction. Under IL law for work injury jurisdiction, you can file your case here if you primarily work out of Illinois, were in Illinois when hired or your accident took place in Illinois. So a Bears player can bring a workers’ compensation case here no matter where the injury took place and players on visiting teams can bring a case if they get hurt at Soldier Field or even if they get hurt while in Illinois for the game.
You don’t think of NFL players being on a business trip, but the reality is that they are. So just like you, if they are in town for work and go to a restaurant and slip on a wet floor, that would be a covered work comp injury. It’s not just the dangerous game they play that can cause a work-related accident.
While I’ve helped many pro athletes in the past, most of my readers work “regular” jobs. But no matter what you do, it’s important to know that if you are injured while on business in Illinois, even if it’s not doing your primary job, you are covered by our laws. And whether you play in the NFL, drive a truck, or are a salesperson, being able to take advantage of Illinois laws can literally be the difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars for you.
We are experienced Illinois attorneys who will talk to you for free. If you’d like to speak with a lawyer, call us any time at 888-705-1766.