There is a lesson here for anyone who is considering a settlement for injuries they have suffered. How much is enough? Judge Anita Brody refused to approve a settlement in an NFL (National Football League) concussion case. Her concern is that the $760 million that has been offered by the NFL is not sufficient to cover the estimated 20,000 retired players who could be facing a multitude of brain injuries from their years of playing football. This negotiated settlement is designed to last 65 years. The settlement amount was determined by reviewing each retired player’s age and diagnosis.
Under this agreement, some players would receive several million for their injuries while other players could receive as little as $25,000. Again, these amounts are based on the ex-players age and the condition of their injuries. There is some fear within the NFL that having the judge balk at the settlement amount, might cause the ex-players to hold out for more money. Many have already argued that with the NFL $9 billion in annual revenues, they can afford to be more generous with the players who generate that source of income.
The other consideration here is, if the settlement is rejected by the ex-players and the case goes to court, will the attorneys for the plaintiffs (players) be able to show that the injuries were actually caused during the years they played for the NFL? There is a possibility that the players were injured in college. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has many concussion cases pending against them as well. There is a chance the debilitating injuries the players are suffering today came from injuries sustained in elementary school. It is also possible that the injuries are a result of a lifetime of playing tackle football.
Most Personal Injuries are Not from Playing Football
Very few Americans have ever been talented enough to play NFL football, but people are injured every day, in everyday situations such as car accidents, workplace accidents, and defective products. So, how much is your injury worth?
Of course, this is a determination only an attorney, experienced in personal injury cases, can begin to ascertain. Many factors go into determining what the magic number might be, and it is different for every victim and their families. Some factors would be:
- Compensatory or Actual damages
- Special Damages
- General Damages
- Punitive Damages
When a settlement is finally offered, generally by an insurance company, the decision must be made to take the money offered or take the case to court. There are pros and cons to either decision. A monetary offer on the table can be tempting, but is the offer reasonable or would a jury be willing to give the victim more compensation for their injuries? Of course, a jury, might give less or nothing. It is the proverbial “one in the hand or two in the bush” scenario. The ex-players of the NFL will have to agree to a number in their concussion case. Every victim is faced with the reality of what a settlement really means.