1. Am I part of the class?
To be part of the “Settlement Class,” you must be a retired NFL player, or a derivative/representative of a deceased retired NFL player. However, it’s not that simple. To be part of the settlement, you must have retired before July 7 of 2014. Meaning if you tried out for a team, or played 1 snap on the practice squad after that date, you are no longer eligible. Finally, the settlement class includes those players in the NFL Europa/Europe League, World League of American Football, or the AFL.
2. Okay, I’m part of the class. Now, how do I recover?
Although the details haven’t been completely worked out yet, as far as submitting claims and packets to the Class Administrator, we do know there are certain criteria for the settlement, that determines how much your compensation will be. Those suffering from ALS, Alzheimer’s Level 1.5/2.0 Neurocognitive Impairment/Dementia, Parkinson’s, or those deceased with CTE, may all be compensated in the class.
Weisberg Legal has gathered an expert team of neuro-psychologists, neurologists, and doctors across the U.S. to meet with and test our clients. Our medical professionals are reliable, our neurologists are certified, and they lead the industry in neurocognitive research. We understand that our clients can come from different parts of the country, which is why our network is set up to have medical professionals out West in California, in the middle in Houston, Texas, and out East in Boca Raton, Florida. All of our doctors are familiar with the NFL settlement protocol and know exactly which tests are required by the settlement and how to adequately administer these tests.
Once retained, we will arrange for our doctors to test you, and subsequently provide the necessary reports that the NFL Settlement requires. Some of you may not impair, but the NFL Settlement is set up so that years from now you can be re-tested in case your symptoms worsen. However, if you do impair, we will also make sure that all your documents are accurate, and that everything in your packet is just the way the settlement requires it to be, to avoid delays or even a denial of your claim. Finally, if your settlement claim is challenged/denied by the NFL, we will do everything in our power to push it through by filing an appeal or re-submitting with the proper documentation.
3. When can I start recovering?
The NFL Class Settlement was scheduled to open back in early September. However, before it became active, some former players filed last minute appeals, further delaying the process. Then a few more players appealed, and now we are down to 2 final appeals. Our sources tell us that the Supreme Court will decide on whether or not to hear the appeals when they convene on December 9, 2016. This means that if they do not choose to hear the appeals, the likely scenario, that will be the effective date of the settlement. After then, the settlement becomes active, and we will be given further instructions as to how to file your packets with the Class Administrator. If in fact the Supreme Court chooses not to hear the case, we predict players will begin to be compensated in the first quarter of the year.
4. Why get tested now and not wait until the settlement opens for a free assessment?
Once the settlement becomes active, you will no longer be able to choose your own doctors without receiving a significant reduction from your compensation. To avoid a reduction, you would only have a few doctors to choose from, picked by the settlement panel.
5. What else may reduce my compensation?
A number of things may reduce your compensation, including your age and time in the league. Other things that may reduce your compensation are whether or not you’ve suffered a stroke since your time in the NFL, or whether you’ve had traumatic brain injury not related to football, since the NFL.
6. Will I have to pay out of pocket to get tested?
No. Our firm will pay for your expenses up front: flight, transportation, hotel, and testing. If you impair, and do recover, our expenses will be reimbursed. If you don’t impair, we’ll eat the costs.
7. What should I be careful of?
There are less than ethical attorneys/predators out there looking for ways to exploit the needs of those who are impaired. Be wary of anyone operating as a lender and your attorney. This can lead to a major conflict of interest. A lot of firms are promising loans at very high interest rates as well. Before you sign anything, or take any advance, make sure you are well informed as to what you are getting yourself into. Weisberg and Associates takes the long game approach to protect our clients’ interests beyond the payday of the settlement. We will work with the clients and their families to ensure that treatment and counselling are considered for everyone moving forward after you receive your compensation.