Sports Concussions And Traumatic Brain Injuries: Cause For Concern

Head injuries are very common in motor vehicle crashes and in situations where someone falls down. Sports accidents and violence are also top causes of brain injury.  In many situations, someone can be sued after a brain injury happens. This may be a negligent driver, a property owner who provides inadequate security, a school whose sports coach doesn’t follow concussion protocol, or anyone else who is responsible for causing head trauma.

When a victim suffers losses, the victim or his family members can pursue a damage claim against those responsible.  While plaintiffs should be “made whole” or fully compensated in any type of injury case, it is difficult to precisely measure the true and lasting impact of injury that affects the head.  A personal injury lawyer should be consulted for help in making a damage claim so victims will be able to put together a legal case demonstrating their losses.

Recently, NBC News published an in-depth report about some of the far-reaching and lasting consequences associated with suffering trauma to the brain. The report was published following the suicide of a football player at Ohio State University who had allegedly suffered a debilitating concussion shortly before taking his own life. The suicide prompted a discussion about the link between suffering a blow to the head and experiencing mental instability.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as any type of head injury that comes from either blunt trauma or penetrating trauma. Concussions are the most common, and mild, form of TBI, although “doctors say they don’t consider any brain injury as simply mild.”

Signs of TBI occur immediately after the injury and can include amnesia and confusion.  When multiple similar traumas occur, post-concussion syndrome can also develop. The symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include problems concentrating, headaches, and dizziness.

Long-term consequences of TBIs also develop, even in some cases after just one or two injuries. Some of the potential long-term health impacts that have been linked with head trauma include Parkinson’s disease; dementia; epilepsy; vertigo; and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a degenerative disease that can be caused by repeated damage to the brain and it can lead to many serious conditions including Lou Gehrig’s disease.

TBIs can sometimes be treated to successfully reduce the risk of long-term impact, but treatment options are limited and expensive and reversing the damage the patient has endured is not always possible. For example, one treatment option may involve removal of severely damaged tissues followed by “neurointensive care.”  It can take days or weeks for the patient to recover after this treatment, and the patient is at major risk for a second concussion or brain swelling after the treatment.

Those who are involved in an accident that affects their head need to be aware of these lasting potential risks and need to consider the long-term impact of TBI as a factor when negotiating a settlement or presenting a case for compensation to a jury. A lawyer should be consulted for help in taking legal action in head trauma cases to potentially prove how badly the incident has harmed you. Contact Howell & Christmas for a free consultation.

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