Brain injury and trauma from repeated concussions have become a regular topic of conversation in the sports world today. Recently, a host of new lawsuits have been filed stemming from brain injuries due to sports. Former athletes are claiming that the injuries they suffered from playing sports throughout their lifetime have left them with a lifetime of debilitating consequences.
In 2016, the United States Soccer Association banned children under the age of 11 from using their heads in training or games due to a lawsuit from parents concerned about long-term damage due to concussions. Earlier this year several lawsuits were filed by former football players at NCAA universities. These ex-players alleged that they incurred debilitating injuries. Also, the NFL is set to pay out large sums of money to former players who have suffered health problems.
Identifying Brain Injury
One of the most devastating sports-related injuries is repeated trauma to the head. This is large because head trauma is often underdiagnosed or missed entirely. When ignored, the impact of concussions can be far more damaging than if a player is diagnosed and given the time to recover before reengaging in the sport. When ignored, brain trauma can be a silent killer that slowly stalks its victims. There may be no warning as to when the full impact of the trauma will be felt, but in most cases, the injuries eventually catch up with the victim. Depending on the severity of the trauma, the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury could be masked for years.
Not all brain injuries occur as a result of a massive blow to the head. Some athletes can “see stars” after hits that seem rather routine, and some can even seemingly easily rebound from major blows as though nothing happened. Unfortunately, in both cases, something is happening inside the head that is unseen and both types of trauma can have lasting effects.
What Happens After a Brain Injury?
After an athlete suffers a brain injury, it can become financially exhausting to treat the ailment. In some cases, the victim will never fully recover. Rather, the symptoms from the injury will pile up, as will the medical bills it takes to treat them.
For young athletes playing recreationally or dreaming of a big-league career, this can cause problems later in life. Although there is no set number of years after which symptoms will surface, constant head collisions will often cause mounting problems as athletes grow older. One common result of brain trauma is early-onset dementia.
Still Studying the Brain
Concussions in sports have only been researched thoroughly in the last 10 to 20 years. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), brain trauma is the leading cause of death from sports-related injuries.
Brain Injury in Sports
The AANS’s 2009 stats on sports and brain injuries are quite alarming. The organization’s website lists the top 20 sports and the number of brain injuries incurred in each during the year. Note that these were only those treated in emergency rooms in the United States.
Cycling – 85,389 head injuries
Football – 46,984 head injuries
Baseball and softball – 38,394 head injuries
Watersports – 28,716 head injuries
Recreational vehicles – 26,606 head injuries
Lulich Legal Attorneys and Consultants
If you or a loved one have been a victim of brain injury, Lulich Legal Attorneys and Consultants can help. Visit our page on brain injury to see how we can help you. Lulich Legal Attorneys and Consultants can help you with all your personal injury law needs. Contact us today.