Traumatic Brain Injury and Football: Making the Connection
Even as Met Life Stadium is polished up for the 2014 Super Bowl, New Jersey personal injury attorneys are dealing with a different aspect of football — the devastating effects of concussion injuries.
With the dramatic increase in awareness over the past few years, traumatic brain injury (TBI) has become a national priority. Rule changes and new training protocols are in place at all levels of football. And recent developments signal growing awareness at all levels of the justice system, too, from the establishment of the NFL’s $765 million concussion injury settlement fund to the $2.8 million settlement for the family of Montclair High School football player Ryne Dougherty, who died at age 16 from a football-related brain hemorrhage.
Ryne’s parents sued both the school and the Montclair Board of Education, charging that the hemorrhage occurred because he was allowed to return to play prematurely after a concussion. Research shows that young athletes recover from concussions more slowly than adults and that a second injury, even if less severe than the first, can cause significantly more damage.
If your child is active in youth sports, make sure that the coaches, administrators and trainers are well-versed in sports-related TBIs. And make sure your child is evaluated by a medical professional if concussion symptoms exists, such as:
- Seizures or convulsions
- Loss of consciousness
- Confusion, memory loss or trouble concentrating
- Numbness or weakness
- General lack of coordination
- Slurred speech, unequal pupils or ringing in ears
- Persistent headache or sensitivity to light or noise
- Changes in behavior or mood
- Stiff neck
- Nausea or vomiting
Find out more about TBI management and prevention in child athletes on the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Be Smart. Be Well website. And if your child has been endangered through the carelessness or negligence of others, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury attorney.