Traumatic Brain Injury and Sports
All athletes face the risk of being injured while they are playing sports. When serious trauma such as brain injury occurs, it can result in permanent disability, a lifetime of care, and the loss of income earning potential.
At Quick Law Group in Kirkland, WA, our attorneys can determine if faulty equipment, improper training, unsafe policies, or any other type of negligent or reckless behavior contributed to the brain injury. If so, you may wish to pursue compensation for the injuries, losses, and emotional suffering you have endured as a result of traumatic brain injury caused by a sports accident.
Sports that Can Result in Traumatic Brain Injury
Many types of sports can cause traumatic brain injury. Team sports such as football, hockey, lacrosse, baseball, basketball, and soccer can increase the risk of head injuries when players collide with one another, the ground, or sporting equipment.
Combat sports such as wrestling, boxing, and mixed martial arts can also cause serious injuries when these athletes suffer a single blow or repeated blows to the face and head.
In addition, athletes can suffer brain injury when engaging in single player sports such as skateboarding, biking, snowboarding, skiing, and wakeboarding.
Types of Brain Injuries Resulting from Sports
The following types of injuries can result from sports accidents:
- Concussions: The effects of concussion are typically temporary, and can include difficulty with coordination, balance, memory, and concentration. It is important that athletes be allowed to rest and recover after a concussion. If a player is sent back into the game after exhibiting the signs of a concussion, the league, coaches, or other staff may be liable for injuries.
- Brain contusions: A brain contusion is a bruise, or bleeding, of the brain tissue. This is caused when the brain strikes the skull after an especially hard hit. Brain contusions often accompany concussions.
- Coup-contrecoup injury: A significant blow can cause the brain to hit the back of the skull and then the front of the skull. This jarring movement, pulling, and stretching can seriously damage the brain.
- Diffuse axonal injury: When violent shaking, shifting, and rotation occurs within the skull, it can cause the brain nerve fibers to tear. This condition often results in a coma.
- Second impact syndrome: When an athlete suffers a second brain injury that affects the previously injured area, it can cause more severe damage.
If you have suffered a brain injury, contact our Kirkland practice to schedule a case evaluation.
Football and Traumatic Brain Injuries
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 446,788 sports-related head injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2009. Of these, 46,948 were football injuries.
The dangers of football have been widely reported, with studies showing high rates for concussions, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and other types of traumatic brain injury. Because football players are more likely to suffer repeated blows to the head, they are more likely to suffer from permanent brain disorders.
Common causes of traumatic brain injuries in football include faulty helmets and headgear, improper training, and lack of proper safety policies and head injury protocol.
Liability for Sports Injuries
The league, coaches, medical staff, and other parties may be liable for injuries if they did not implement proper head injury safety protocol, failed to recognize the signs of head injury, or failed to train staff to safely conduct practice or look out for players’ safety.
If faulty gear contributed to the brain injury, the designer, manufacturer, or seller of the product may be liable for injuries.
Contact Our Practice
If you suffered a traumatic brain injury when playing sports, contact us online to schedule a time for a case review. You can also call us in Kirkland at (425) 576-8150.