Brain Injuries Resulting from Football
In recent years, there has been a lot of attention placed on football players and the risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI). While the majority of studies have focused on professional players, there are obvious implications for pre-teen athletes as well as high school and college football players.
In this post, the attorneys of Quick Law Group, PLLC discuss the most common brain injuries associated with football. Our skilled brain injury lawyers can help victims in the Bellevue, WA area explore potential legal options in the event of a sports-related injury.
Concussions are the most common brain injury associated with football. A concussion can occur when the head strikes an object, or when force causes the head and neck to jerk, and the brain slams against the inside of the skull. Concussions can result in varying degrees of damage, depending on the impact of the injury. Common concussion symptoms include:
- Disorientation or confusion
- Memory loss
- Changes in mood and/or personality
Multiple Concussion Risk
Once someone sustains a concussion, they become more susceptible to future concussions. Subsequent concussions are likely to result in more severe and longer lasting symptoms.
Multiples concussions are a concern for football players since they are regularly involved in situations that can cause a concussion. Our Bellevue attorneys are particularly mindful of the long-term effects of suffering multiple concussions.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is an even greater concern for football players. CTE is a neurodegenerative disorder that can develop after repeated concussions and other head injuries. The irreparable damage of CTE changes the brain over time, resulting in dementia.
It can take years, or even decades, for the effects of CTE to become obvious. Potential symptoms of CTE include:
- Memory loss
- Impaired judgement
- Increased aggression
Minimizing the Risk of Brain Injuries
Football carries an inherent risk for brain injuries because of the aggressive nature of the sport. However, there are steps that players’ associations, coaches, and athletes can take to minimize the risk of brain injuries.
It is important that football players wear protective gear such as helmets and mouthguards. However, even with these protective measures in place, brain injuries can (and do) occur.
Altering Style of Play
To further minimize the risk of brain injuries players, should limit body checks, tackling, and other aggressive maneuvers. It is important that players are taught to avoid unnecessary roughness, and for coaches to avoid aggressive maneuvers during practices and scrimmages.
Improving Concussion Protocols
Additional concussion safety protocols for football should include:
- Rapid concussion screening
- No return to play when a concussion is suspected
- Re-evaluation in the days following a concussion diagnosis
- Physical and mental rest for the athlete
- Gradual return to sports after symptoms are clear
Can I Sue for Brain Injury Damages?
Football players (or their parents) typically sign some type of waiver to clear leagues of liability in the event of an injury. However, there are still cases where coaches, leagues, or other players can be held liable for injury damages.
If safety protocols are not followed, or if reckless or negligent actions result in a brain injury during football, the injury victim may be due financial compensation for resulting losses.
Schedule a Legal Consultation
If you’ve suffered a brain injury associated with football, the lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC can help. We encourage you to send us a message online or call our Bellevue law firm at (425) 576-8150.