Sports Concussions & Head Injuries

Sports Injury Lawyers Representing Clients Nationwide

The 2015 American biographical sports/medical drama “Concussion” delves into the research surrounding brain damage suffered by professional football players.

Unfortunately, this issue does not solely occur in professional athletes, but amateur athletes as well. For decades, the NCAA has promoted its organization as being one that represents dedication to protection of the physical and mental well-being of college athletes. With the increasing number of concussions within the NCAA, this is a mission that our sports injury attorneys are calling into question.

If you or someone in your family has suffered a sports related concussion, reach out to Shrader & Associates L.L.P. at (877) 958-7920.

Sports Concussion Litigation

Concussions and concussion-related disorders pose significant risks to many types of athletes. Concussions are linked to short and long-term physical, emotional, and mental injuries. Unfortunately, many of the problems athletes face from the effects of concussions could have been prevented. Those in a position to look out for athletes’ best interests failed to take effective action to protect athletes and/or failed to inform players of the true risks associated with concussions, brain injury, and brain trauma.

Concussions can occur in the following sports:

  • Football
  • Ice Hockey
  • Soccer
  • Lacrosse
  • Wrestling
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Volleyball
  • Baseball
  • Gymnastics

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury occurring when the brain impacts the interior of the skull due to violent head movement or a blow to the head. The impact triggers a cascade of microscopic changes in the brain and produces varying symptoms, such as headache, dizziness, confusion, amnesia, heightened emotions, and nausea. A concussion does not always result in loss of consciousness.

Following a concussion, the brain is extremely vulnerable for a period of time. Sustaining multiple concussions greatly increases the risk of long-term brain damage, especially if subsequent concussions occur before a previous concussion is properly rehabilitated. Repeated subconcussions (hits below the force required to cause concussion) pose similar risks.

The following are some immediate symptoms of concussions:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Confusion, disorientation, inability to focus
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Headaches
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Incoordination
  • Lack of balance
  • Amnesia
  • Metallic taste in mouth
  • Strong emotions (i.e. anger, sadness, excitement, etc.)
  • Vacant stare
  • Slurred/incoherent speech

Was My Injury Preventable?

Athletes involved in fast-paced sports are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of concussion and long-term brain damage. Unfortunately, those who could have prevented tragic concussion-related injuries often failed to act reasonably and failed to protect the most important participant in sports – the athlete.

Abundant information on the dangers of concussions has been available for decades. Despite knowledge of the dangers, sports organizations and individuals have regularly acted contrary to the best interest of the athletes in many regards.

Instances of sports authorities increasing risk of concussions include:

  • Utilizing insufficient return-to-play policies
  • Failing to issue/manufacture proper safety equipment
  • Failing to warn athletes of the risks and symptoms of concussions

A concussion is scientifically categorized as a traumatic brain injury, yet for years, many sports organizations and individuals have failed to treat it with the seriousness it deserves. If an athlete was to suffer a mild heart attack, a sports trainer or coach would never consider allowing a heart-attack victim to participate in sports without a satisfactory recovery. Yet, when the brain is injured, many do not treat it as a similarly serious injury.

Long-Term Risks Associated with Concussions

Athletes suffering from post-concussion syndrome experience one or more concussion symptoms for weeks or months following the concussive impact. The concussed athlete may experience symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and chronic headaches.

Long-term symptoms of concussion-related injuries include:

  • Cognitive decline
  • Depression or emotional problems
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Problems with inhibition and social interactions
  • Unusually aggressive behavior
  • Irritability and low frustration tolerance
  • Memory dysfunction
  • Alcoholism or drug addiction
  • Chronic or low-grade headaches
  • Insomnia

Concussions are linked to long-term brain damage and progressive neurodegenerative disease, namely, increased rates of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cognitive impairment and, most seriously, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE results when a toxic protein builds up in the brain, kills cells, and eventually causes severe depression or dementia. Sometimes it takes years for the symptoms to appear and the onset may include Parkinson-like symptoms. Some may experience post-traumatic epileptic seizures.

Find Out What You Can Do for Injured Athletes

When you or a loved one are a former NCAA athlete have suffered concussions or concussion like symptoms, it is important to contact one of our sports injury attorneys at Shrader & Associates L.L.P. so that we can protect your legal claims.

Contact (877) 958-7920 for a complimentary consultation and push for stricter athlete safety conditions!

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