Say what you will about the acting and the antics—the injuries to professional wrestlers are real. From high-flying stunts to body slams to the turnbuckle to hits by folding chairs, a wrestler’s bones and joints can only take so much abuse. Something can suddenly snap or pop, or the stunt can go horribly wrong in an instant. Sometimes, professional wrestlers absorb all the blows in the ring only to experience sickness or accidents in their later private lives.
America’s leading professional wrestling and athletic disability attorneys at DarrasLaw represent professional wrestlers in disputes with insurers over private disability claims. We have earned our reputation as the go-to litigation firm for high-end disability insurance litigation; we have extensive litigation and successful claim experience with professional athletes’ cases throughout the United States. Led by Frank N. Darras, America’s top disability attorney, he and his firms have recovered almost $1 billion in insurance benefits worldwide.
No case is too small or too large for DarrasLaw. Whether it’s guiding you through the process of claiming individual or group disability benefits after an extensive knee replacement surgery or fighting for your legal right to career-ending benefits, our top-rated disability attorneys have more than 100 years of combined litigation and claim experience in the field. We not only help our athletes, their families and agents review the language for their proposed disability plan purchases, but also with the disability claim application process, during which professional wrestling disability claims are won and lost. To schedule your completely free long-term disability policy analysis and free claim consultation, call DarrasLaw today at (800) 458-4577 or contact us online.
Professional Wrestling Disability Insurance Claims
Pro wrestlers often work for a decade or more, and both the mid-carders and superstars of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) can make a very good living. Sponsorships, endorsements, and out-of-ring income also contribute to their overall financial success and net worth.
For those who make good money from events, merchandising, and endorsements, a long-term or debilitating injury or illness can bring the fame and fortune to a grinding halt.
Wrestlers can be employees or independent contractors. Often they can be responsible for everything from their medical coverage to travel costs. Independence has its benefits, but also its drawbacks.
Some high-earning wrestlers and promoters purchase individual disability insurance policies and/or career-ending coverage to protect their incomes in the event of a debilitating injury or illness.
The insurance companies take advantage of insured wrestlers and other professional athletes through wrongful claim denials, slow-paying claim tactics, or by manipulating claimants into accepting settlements for far less than what is fair. The award-winning long-term disability attorneys at DarrasLaw have seen it all, and we know how to fight for your rightful individual or group long-term disability benefits or career-ending or disability benefits as a professional wrestler.
Purchasing Individual Disability Insurance Policies for Professional Wrestlers
The WWE provides a benefits package for employees, which includes healthcare, FSAs, tuition reimbursement, sick leave, group short-term disability insurance, and group long-term disability insurance. On the other hand, independent contractors who may also need healthcare and disability insurance must fend for themselves. They may need to purchase an individual disability policy from an agent or broker.
In either situation, professional wrestlers engage in a dangerous sport in which one wrong move can lead to career-ending injuries and total disability. Disability insurance plans for professional athletes are high-risk in any sport, but especially in the WWE.
Often, specialized for-profit underwriters offer athletic long-term disability insurance policies. Your individual disability insurance company will consider the following before offering individual coverage and setting your premium:
- Current health
- Pre-existing conditions
- Previous injuries and illnesses
- Earnings and financial interests
- Criminal history
- Out-off-ring considerations
Insurance companies concern themselves with risk. The greater the risk of insuring you, the more your premium.
Some companies may not offer insurance without sneaking certain exclusions or severe limitations into your policy. For example, if you contracted cancer in the past and you have a 30 percent chance of remission, a disability insurer may not offer any coverage.
Remember, insurance companies are in it to make money. Having an award-winning long-term disability insurance attorney from DarrasLaw on your side during negotiations can help protect wrestlers from fine-print exclusions and exceptions intended to trap them. Our experienced WWE disability attorneys understand high-value professional wrestling disability policies. We can help you win your case before it begins by protecting you from hidden terms and fatal limitations.
Individual Disability Insurance Policies for Professional Wrestlers
Individual long-term disability insurance should cover both work-related and off-duty injuries, illnesses, and permanent career-ending disability. Anything from cancer to a broken neck may qualify you for individual disability benefits if it prevents you from performing the important duties of your occupation. The specific terms and limitations of your policy determine what you need to prove to claim and collect individual long-term disability benefits.
Some insurance policies provide total permanent disability (TPD) coverage. This means they only provide individual long-term disability benefits if an injury or illness disables you from “your occupation.” A broken leg would prevent you from wrestling, so you collect benefits even if you could work as a commentator.
Federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a type of total, permanent disability federal benefit. Your injury or illness must be terminal or expected to last more than a year and prevent you from performing the important duties of any occupation to qualify for TPD/SSDI. A broken back resulting in paralysis, a terminal cancer diagnosis, or a severe traumatic brain injury may qualify you for TPD benefits.
True-own occupation coverage is the recommended long-term disability insurance for industry professionals and athletes. It provides disability benefits if you suffer injuries from your actual profession as you engage in it. This means a professional wrestler with a broken leg won’t have to generally ever seek other work. They should receive disability benefits if they can’t perform as professional wrestlers in their usual occupation. These policies are more expensive, but it’s a mistake to believe all policies cover an inability to wrestle. You should recover true-own occupation disability benefits if you tear your hamstring and can’t wrestle for a year, or break your leg and end your ring career.
Common Career-Ending and Career-Altering Professional Wrestling Injuries
Serious neck injuries are especially prevalent in professional wrestling. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Droz, Hardcore Holly, and Marty Garner all suffered career-altering and potentially permanent neck injuries. The following injuries are common among professional wrestlers:
- Broken necks: Your neck involves small bones that support your head and brain. Broken necks are often fatal or totally disabling. The delicate nerve fibers located in your brain stem at the base of your skull control communication to the rest of your body. Damage to those nerve fibers is nearly irreversible, and it may leave you completely paralyzed. You may lose the ability to control your own breathing. Even a neck injury that doesn’t damage your nerve fibers can cause lasting disabilities, as you cannot take the chance of reinjuring the area.
- Spinal fractures: Your central nervous system is in your spine, which protects the nerves that send brain signals to the rest of your body. Your central nervous system allows you to walk and controls voluntary muscle movement. Spinal fractures can splinter the vertebrae in your spine, severing and irreparably damaging your nerves. This will leave you paralyzed below the location of the damaged area due to the interruption of nerve signals. Neck and back injuries are the leading cause of disabilities in the United States, not just among professional wrestlers.
- Fractures: When you’re a professional athlete, even a minor fracture can derail your career. Severe fractures of larger bones, however, may require multiple surgeries, effectively ending or altering your life in the ring.
- Knee injuries: Many athletes need knee replacements after years of wear and tear or damage. Jumping into the ring may cause you to land wrong, breaking your patella or blowing out your knee joint. Knee surgery may alter or end your career, especially as you age.
- Torn muscles and ligaments: John Cena himself suffered a severe muscle and ligament tear that took him out of the ring. Conditioning is extremely important in preventing muscle and ligament damage, as it helps keep them flexible.
- Paralysis refers to the lost ability to move and/or feel certain parts of your body. It typically occurs in conjunction with broken necks and backs. Paralysis is irreversible and career-ending. Paralysis generally begins directly below the area where you injured your nerve/spine because the damaged nerve prevents brain signals from reaching the areas below your injury. An injury to your neck may result in quadriplegia or death.
- Herniated discs: Bulging or herniated discs often occur after a fall or blow to the back. Your spine weakens as you age, so such injuries are more likely in older aged wrestlers. Herniated discs cause a lot of pain as your vertebrae grind together, and they often require surgery to correct. Serious herniations can also result in nerve root compression, which causes career-ending spinal stenosis.
Even minor injuries or illnesses can disable a professional wrestler. Your occupation as a wrestler depends on your body, and you need a healthy body to perform. A lawyer can generally practice law with a broken foot unless they are on opioid paid medication, and a teacher might be able to teach with a bad back, but a wrestler can’t perform with such injuries. Qualifying injuries and illnesses that prevent you from wrestling, whether sustained in or out of the ring, may entitle you to individual or group long-term disability benefits or career-ending injury benefits. Protect yourself and your family’s financial future by contacting America’s top-rated pro-wrestling and athletic long-term disability attorneys at DarrasLaw today.
Recovering the Compensation That Clients Deserve
Many lawyers practice individual and group long-term disability law. So why should you trust the top-rated disability lawyers at DarrasLaw? For one thing, negotiating and litigating high-value athletic disability insurance cases is not the same as litigating employer-sponsored disability cases under ERISA. Payouts and disability settlements for valid individual professional wrestling claims can range into the tens of millions of dollars and we have done them successfully and for decades.
Remember, your long-term disability insurer was never planning to pay such valid claims when you signed your policy. The insurer was taking the chance it might have to litigate you into submission so you’d accept a lowball offer, but it was never planning on handing over a $15,000,000 check without full-court pressure.
This is where DarrasLaw can help. We are a disability powerhouse and are one of the few law firms with the resources to fight high-value, high profile WWE cases without ever backing down. The insurers know this, and more often than not they come to the negotiation table willing to make the right offer when we surface.
Many professional wrestlers face the wrongful delay, denial, or termination of disability benefits over the fine print of their individual or group long-term disability policies. Your individual or group insurers may claim the injury or illness predated your policy, making it an uncovered, preexisting condition. For example, if you fell on your knee biking before the policy was purchased expect your insurance carrier to find an independent physician, without the proper training or specialization, to claim the knee injury you suffered in the ring was due to your previous, completely healed knee. You may see a “medical” report claiming your prior accident destabilized your tendons, and as such, your insurance doesn’t cover your current condition. Sound familiar? That’s because you’re not alone. Athletes get denied all the time and usually make fatal claim application mistakes or poor claim decisions that lead to denial.
Our award-winning sports disability lawyers have more than 100 years of combined litigation and claim experience fighting for every penny you deserve. You pay high disability insurance premiums to protect yourself and your family. Don’t let your individual or group long-term disability insurance carrier take advantage of you while you’re working to recover from a career-altering or career-ending injury or illness.
Contact the Nation’s Leading Professional Wrestling Disability Attorneys at DarrasLaw Today
Our founding partner, Frank N. Darras, is unmatched in his national prowess and has over three decades of unrivaled success at disability insurance litigation. His tenacity and seasoned skill set is especially important when fighting for professional wrestling disability benefits worth millions and millions of dollars. Individual and group long-term disability insurers will fight hard to keep their money, even if it’s rightfully yours. Frank N. Darras and his team of nationally renowned professional athletic disability lawyers are familiar with the insurance companies’ most notorious reasons for denying or lowballing valid wrestling claims. We’re prepared to go to the mat, if necessary, and our courtroom reputation commonly brings the defense to the negotiating table.
Our nationally recognized athletic disability lawyers offer completely free, confidential policy analysis and free claim consultations to address professional wrestlers’ long-term disability policy concerns or claim questions. Call our top-ranked professional wrestling disability attorneys today at (800) 458-4577 or contact us online.