Common Baseball Injuries and Loss of Value Insurance
Common Baseball Injuries and Loss of Value Insurance
Baseball season is ramping up, but elite high school and college baseball players are already working toward their future. This means more than just preseason workouts—if you expect a professional team to draft you, you need to prepare for and protect your future.
It’s not just a lot of money at stake, but your ability to perform the important duties of a baseball player and earn compensation during your career. No one likes to think about when things go wrong, but consulting the right professionals and putting strong protections in place can give you peace of mind now and in the future. If you do get injured or sick, these protections can allow you to focus on recovery.
What Loss of Value Insurance Means
At a certain point, experts will start to project the positions where high school and college prospects will get picked in the draft. Draft position will determine how much players can expect to make under their first contract. Unfortunately, injuries and illnesses can occur in the years leading up to the draft that can raise questions concerning an athlete’s longevity or abilities.
If this occurs, an athlete’s draft position and potential income can drop. The difference between what the athlete expected to sign for and what they actually signed for is what the insurance industry refers to as Loss of Value Insurance.
Of course, athletes currently playing professionally in a free agent year can also lose value due to injuries or illnesses. The analysis of value involves different criteria, but the concept is the same—due to injury or illness, the athlete may continue playing, but possibly at a reduced value.
Athletes can purchase Loss of Value (LOV) insurance as a rider to permanent and total disability/career ending coverage to guard against these scenarios. Offered as a rider to a disability policy, the LOV policy would pay a percentage of the difference between what the athlete expected to make in his or her slot in the draft or free agency and the actual amount he or she signed for professionally.
Later on, we’ll discuss whether LOV insurance is right for you, but let’s first review some common baseball injuries and how they can decrease an athlete’s contract offer.
Although they aren’t common, head injuries and concussions do take place in baseball. Outfielders can run into the wall or collide with other fielders while tracking a fly ball. Baserunners can collide with infielders on the basepaths or while sliding head-first into the base. Catchers are especially at risk, even with rule changes designed to protect them from serious collisions. Pitchers can hit batters in the head, and batters have knocked line drives right back into the heads of pitchers. Head injuries may result in loss of value in the draft or free agency as well as a career ending permanent disability.
Knee injuries are not as common in baseball as in other sports, but baseball players can still tear their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus. While knee surgery is quite common, it can raise concerns about the athlete’s longevity and abilities. Catchers are notorious for knee problems, and many teams are likely to see a knee surgery as a sign of things to come. Likewise, knee surgery for a player valued for his speed on the basepaths can also raise questions about whether he can return to play at his pre-injury level.
Meniscus tears are less serious than torn ACLs—it’s possible to delay surgery for minor tears, and the player may lose only a few weeks (as little as two in some cases) for surgery and rehabilitation. Surgery and recovery for a torn ACL can take as long as six months. As a result, ACL surgery is likely to result in a greater loss of value depending on when the injury occurs in the player’s career.
Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) Injury
This injury commonly affects pitchers. The ulnar collateral ligament provides stability to the elbow. Due to stress from the throwing motion, the ligament weakens with time and eventually tears. Tommy John surgery, named after a Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher who underwent it in 1974, is required to repair the tear. The surgery generally involves a recovery of six months to one year. Although doctors have refined the now fairly common surgery, it still raises questions as to the pitcher’s longevity and whether he can still perform at the same level as before the injury.
This is another injury that worries pitchers. The labrum is a cuff of cartilage in the shoulder socket that can tear due to stress and the repetitive motion of pitching. Treatment for minor tears involves rest and anti-inflammatory medication, but major tears require surgery. Some tears can end careers, and recovery time may result in the pitcher missing an entire season.
Rotator Cuff Tear
This is another injury that primarily afflicts pitchers due to the repetitive use and the stress of the throwing motion, but can affect other position players as well. The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. The athlete can suffer a minor tear or a major tear of the rotator cuff.
Rotator cuff injuries don’t always require surgery, but many do. Regardless, recovery can take a long time and result in a permanent loss of performance. Some rotator cuff injuries can end a player’s career, especially for pitchers.
Whether LOV Insurance Is Right for You
Loss of Value insurance is a good way to guard against contract offer decreases that stem from injuries or illnesses. In our experience, LOV insurance makes the most sense for athletes who are truly in the top tier of their sport—those who expect teams to draft them in the first, second, or third round professionally.
How DarrasLaw Can Help
Before paying expensive premiums, consult an experienced Loss of Value lawyer and skilled disability insurance attorney at DarrasLaw about whether this type of policy is right for you. DarrasLaw’s seasoned Loss of Value and career ending disability insurance lawyers can explain exactly what a policy covers, what it does not cover, and how to file a valid claim.
DarrasLaw goes beyond the minimum when helping our clients. DarrasLaw can help evaluate proposed contract language of the LOV policy and career ending coverage and negotiate favorable terms. In the event of an injury or illness, we can handle the LOV or career ending claim process from start to finish. If your insurance company denies you coverage, we’ll fight to make sure you get the LOV or career ending benefits you deserve.
Contact DarrasLaw’s Nationally Renowned Loss of Value Insurance Lawyers and Award-Winning Disability Attorneys for Athletes
DarrasLaw is an award-winning and nationally recognized litigation firm helping athletes protect their futures and recover from illnesses and injuries. No matter where you are in your athletic career, our nationally respected LOV attorneys and top-rated disability lawyers are here to help when you need us. To schedule a free policy analysis and free claim consultation with one of our top-ranked LOV attorneys or knowledgeable disability lawyers, call DarrasLaw at (800) 458-4577 or contact us online.