Over the last couple of years, news about sports-related concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in football have been a topic of serious concern. Indeed, numerous current and former NFL players have alleged personal injuries resulting from the sport, and researchers have been delving into the long-term effects of head trauma and a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). According to a recent article in Medscape, brain injuries sustained in football have reached a “tipping point.”
What do you need to know about personal injuries and football? In short, TBIs can happen at any stage of the game-from youth football to the NFL-and players may be able to file personal injury claims to seek compensation.
Dangers of Contact Sports and Head Injuries
As the article explains, researchers published articles decades ago in JAMA that alerted medical professionals and athletes to the risks associated with boxing-a sport in which participants regularly endured bumps or jolts to the head. We know now that many former boxers, like football players, suffered from CTE as a result of mild TBIs sustained over a period of time. Yet it has taken scientists and physicians quite a long time to acknowledge similar risks for football players.
The Medscape article emphasizes that “blows to the head damage the brain, whatever the sport and whether or not the person delivering the blow is paid.” Given the similarity of the injuries sustained in both sports, why has it taken so long for doctors and sports fans to recognize the potential harms of football? The so-called moral difference between boxing and football, according to the article, may be to blame. One sport-boxing-encourages the participants to intentionally harm another opponent until there is a knockout. In football, differently, the goal is not to injure another player. Yet similar head injuries occur in both sports.
Preventing TBIs and Long-Term Disabilities in Football
As the article notes, we have now reached a tipping point in football. And that is largely the result of more information about CTE. In short, players, coaches, and others involved in the sport need to do more to prevent players from suffering multiple concussions that ultimately can result in this debilitating condition.
As the website for the CTE Center at Boston University details, CTE is a degenerative brain condition that can occur after a person has suffered multiple concussions. The symptoms can include the following:
● Memory loss;
● Impaired judgment;
● Problems with impulse control;
● Suicidal thoughts; and
● Generally progressive dementia.
Symptoms often do not begin immediately after a person suffers concussions. Rather, symptoms can take years, and sometimes even decades, to appear. But the fact that CTE results in a loss of enjoyment of life and often early death, someone who has sustained TBIs on the football field may be eligible for compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Currently, there is no cure for CTE, according to Boston University’s CTE Center. If you or someone you love has sustained multiple sports-related concussions, or multiple concussions as the result of automobile accidents, falls or due to another’s negligence, you should discuss your case with a West Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Valrico Law Group to find out more about filing a claim for compensation.