Sports history was made on Saturday as American Pharoah (I hope I can make it through this blog without misspelling the horse’s name, which is itself a misspelling of “pharaoh”). This was only the first time since 1978, and only the twelfth time in history, that a horse has won the Triple Crown of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
Kudos to jockey Victor Espinoza, who treated a national audience to words of celebration that left NBCred faced.
As far as I’m concerned, Victor can say whatever he wants. No job in sports matches the dangers of jumping on the back of a racehorse. The jockey’s protective equipment is meager. He or she is atop a thousand pound animal, racing at speeds of about forty miles-per-hour with other thousand pound animals wooshing past them in close quarters.
In this work environment, injuries-serious ones-are a given. Then what? Jockeys go from state to state plying their trade but the outcomes in the event of an injury could be very different depending on where it occurs. Espinoza won his Triple Crown races in different states with historically different approaches to compensation for jockey injuries.
In New Jersey, where I enjoyed the Belmont under sunny skies at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, jockeys are covered under workers’ compensation laws. The Horse Racing Compensation Act created the New Jersey Horse Racing Injury Compensation Board for the purpose of “securing workers’ compensation insurance coverage for certain designated horse racing industry employees… .” N.J.S.A. 34:15-130. Those employees includes a “jockey, jockey apprentice or exercise rider of a thoroughbred horse, who is licensed or is required to be licensed by the commission, while engaged in performing those services for which that jockey, jockey apprentice or exercise rider is or is required to be licensed at a permitted New Jersey racetrack in connection with the racing or exercising of a horse.” N.J.S.A. 34: 15-131b.
The Board is to obtain this insurance by making assessments which “shall include, but shall not be limited to, deductions from gross overnight purses paid to owners, so long as such deductions do not exceed 3% of standardbred purses or 4% of thoroughbred purses, as applicable, and additional assessments may be collected as needed from standardbred owners, thoroughbred owners and thoroughbred trainers who are licensed or are required to be licensed by the commission. Track owners shall not be assessed for such costs.” N.J.S.A. 34:15-134b.
Given the amount of money generated by the horseracing industry, I think states like New Jersey have it right in providing workers’ compensation coverage for the men and women who literally put their lives on the line every day, several times a day, in order to make it possible.
Have you been injured at work? If so, call us at JOWORISAK & ASSOCIATES. When you contact our office, we will immediately set up a free, confidential appointment where you will meet an attorney who will listen to you and evaluate your case. We have conveniently located offices in Perth Amboy, New Brunswick, Jersey City, Roselle and East Orange. We understand traumatic brain injuries, neck injuries, back injuries and other medical problems caused by workplace accidents and the problems that they can cause in your daily life. Our law firm will always work to make sure you are compensated fairly and get medical treatment.
Whether you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or the occupant of car, motorcycle, boat or have been hurt at an amusement park or injured in any kind of accident at work or elsewhere, you should immediately call one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at JOWORISAK & ASSOCIATES at (732) 442-5900 during regular business hours or 1-800-RITELAW (800-748-3529) toll free. You can even call either number on weekends or after regular business hours. We have offices in in Middlesex, Union, Essex and Hudson counties.
Experienced lawyers in our offices in Perth Amboy, Jersey City, Roselle, East Orange, New Brunswick are ready to help you.
If you need personal injury lawyer, car accident lawyer, bus accident lawyer, slip and fall lawyer or workers’ compensation attorney, please feel free to contact us.
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