Justin Turner, the Dodgers 3rd baseman apparently tested positive for Covid-19 and had to come out of game 6 of the World Series. But after the Dodgers won the game and the Series, he came back on the field to celebrate, like all World Series Champs (like the Washington Nationals last year!) do.
It's part of the tradition of baseball and all professional sports.
But if one of his teammates got Covid from Turner, could that player get workers comp benefits. In D.C., the answer is yes.
Pro sports injuries are covered by Workers Comp in DC.
A lot of people don't realize that pro athletes playing for teams in Washington, D.C. can get workers comp benefits for the injuries that occur when they are playing. Many people think pro sports is just a game, but the reality is it is a business. It's a business with a high risk of injury to players, no matter the sport, when it is played at the highest level, serious injuries, permanent injuries, and career ending injuries happen.
And pro athletes need to protect their livelihood and ability to make money, just like any other worker injured in D.C.
Kevin Blackistone, a Washington Post columnist, ESPN contributor and journalism professor at the University of Maryland wrote a thoughtful column (like he usually does) recently on what will happen with pro athletes who need medical treatment if Obamacare is ruled unconstitutional.
Whether you agree with his political point of view or Obamacare doesn't matter. It made a good point that pro athletes often need ongoing medical treatment and have limitations from injuries they suffered as players.
But I'd add one thing that a lot of pro athletes don't even realize - the medical treatment from injuries that happened while they were playing can continue after they retire from the sport (and they may be eligible for DC workers comp monetary benefits in addition to medical treatment).
Like any other worker hurt on the job in D.C., pro athletes still have to prove that the injury occurred at work, but that is pretty broad in team sports - games, practice, training, travel - when are you not working during the season? And you have to prove that the problems with the injury you're having now or that prevent you from playing or working are medically related to the injury.
Most of the time, especially with trainers and team doctors, then specialists you need to see for orthopedic or neurologic injuries, that can be done if you have a workers comp lawyer who understands the medicine and can work with the doctors to prove the case.
You can also get Workers Comp Benefits for Covid 19 if you catch it at work.
As experienced D.C. workers comp attorneys, we represent a number of health care workers - they are obviously at risk for Covid 19 if they work at a hospital that sees and treats those patients. So it's usually easier to prove that the disease came from work in that setting.
But remember, as far as Covid 19 is concerned, it is no different than any other occupational disease or illness caused by work in DC.
You still have to prove it came from exposure at work, so your doctor needs to address that and you need to get all of the information you can - was a co-worker sick and diagnosed before you? did your job involve contact with patients who had the disease?
Just like any injury at work, make sure your physician documents the cause.
And if you have serious complications from Covid 19, if you have to be hospitalized or have lasting respiratory issues and can't go back to work, that becomes critical, because the workers comp insurance company will do everything they can to deny your claim or blame the disease on anything other than your job so they can avoid paying workers comp benefits.
Back to the Justin Turner example.
If that happened in D.C. and he was playing professionally for a D.C. sports team, it would be relatively easy to show his teammates contracted the virus from that exposure, with all the photos, video and everything written about it.
But you probably don't have that kind of media coverage at your job, so if you're hurt at work in D.C. or getting D.C. workers comp benefits for an injury at work,
Get the Nationally Recognized Attorney who Wrote the Book on D.C. Workers Comp.
If you have a serious, permanent injury that prevents you from working, and may end your career, don't mess around with it. You could lose everything you've worked so hard for.
Call us today at (202) 393 - 3320 or fill out our no obligation, confidential form and we'll contact you to get started.