In our law practice, our Chicago brain injury lawyers have developed an understanding of the subtleties and potentially devastating consequences of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Until recently, the National Football League (NFL) has taken an alarmingly lax approach to concussions and other traumatic brain injuries to its players. Fortunately, the National Football League has recently issued new guidelines for players that receive concussions while on the field of play.
The new guidelines come just after star players like Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Eagles running back Brian Westbrook sat out games due to recurring concussion symptoms. Still, the decisions to rest those players came with criticism from those with the “old school” mentality that a concussion is “no big deal” and a football player should be tough enough to play despite a “minor” head injury.
Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury, and occur when there is a significant blow to the head. The concussion may result in a mild, moderate or severe brain injury. All concussions must be taken seriously — they may result in a small brain bleed which, if left untreated, could spread and cause catastrophic injury. People who sustain concussions, whether in sports activity or otherwise, should seek immediate medical attention. A doctor will most likely order a CT scan (“CAT” scan) of the brain to see whether there is any noticeable brain damage.
Traumatic brain injuries resulting from blows to the head are certainly not limited to sports. Car and truck accidents, being struck by falling objects, and other falls are also common causes of concussions and TBI. Where a brain injury is caused by negligence or recklessness of another individual or entity, it important to contact a top personal injury lawyer about your case.
The new NFL guidelines state that a player who suffers a concussion during practice or a game should not return to any football activities until he is free of concussion symptoms. The NFL also requires players to be checked out and cleared by and independent neurologist.
The new guidelines are an important step, and one that colleges, high schools and other programs should follow. According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, 43,000 and 67,000 concussions occur among high school football players each year. Concussions can be serious, especially in high school players and younger children as their brains are still developing, and susceptible to permanent injury. Parents must take an active role in their childrens’ health — if you suspect your child sustained a head injury or concussion at his or her sports activity, err on the side of seeking medical attention.
The British Journal of Sports Medicine, in conjunction with the International Conference on Concussion in Sports, released new guidelines this year that say children and teens must be “monitored and activities restricted until fully healed. These restrictions include no return to the field of play, no return to school, and no cognitive activity,” including no texting, playing video games or watching TV, which are examples of activities requiring cognitive activity.
Traumatic brain injuries and other head injuries can cause permanent damage that requires life-long care. If you or a loved on has suffered a serious head injury as the result of someone else’s negligence, contact the Chicago brain injury lawyers at Passen Law today. Call us at (312) 527-4500 for a Free Consultation.