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Representing Injured Workers Since 1955

TV role puts workers’ compensation benefits at risk

In the event that someone is injured performing his or her work duties in California, he or she may be entitled to compensation. Workers’ compensation benefits awarded on the basis of permanent disability are intended to account for the injured person’s medical expenses and impaired physical state. Therefore, suspicions of workers’ comp fraud are often pursued vigorously by insurance providers.

After nine years of playing professional football for the NFL, one player filed a claim for workers’ comp in California four years ago. According to the NFL player’s attorney, the nature and severity of his injuries were established by several doctors and medical tests, and he was ultimately found to be 89 percent disabled. The claimant’s workers’ compensation lawsuit was settled the following year for $175,000.

Recently, however, the insurance provider of the NFL team that provided that settlement accused the player of deceit and fraud on the grounds that he was physically fit enough to participate on a reality TV show. In the lawsuit filed by the insurance company against the retired football player, the plaintiff also claimed that the defendant engaged in mixed martial arts.

The attorney for the football player argued contend that his injuries were valid and that the lawsuit against him should be thrown out. The insurance company maintained, though, that the supposed severity of the defendant’s disability should have made him unable to engage in such physical activities. Doubts over the legitimacy of a work-related injury or disability can result in serious legal ramifications for workers’ comp claimants. That is why people can speak with an attorney today about their rights and legal options.

Source: ABC 7 News Denver, “Former NFL player Brad Culpepper accused of workers compensation fraud after being on ‘Survivor,’” Adam Walser, Sep. 15, 2014

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