Protecting Pitchers on the Mound
A line drive ball that travels at more than 80 miles per hour and hits a pitcher in the head can cause a catastrophic brain injury. When it comes to baseball, most of the focus is on a pitcher’s arm, but the real danger on the mound is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Major League Baseball continues to develop solutions regarding headgear for pitchers. Until this new idea catches on, pitchers at all levels of baseball face the chance of experiencing head trauma. From Little League to the big leagues, if you or a loved one experiences a TBI, contact a Florida traumatic brain injury attorney and seek medical care.
The exit velocity is the speed at which a bat hits a baseball. In 2017, Aaron Judge recorded one of the highest exit velocities ever in Major League Baseball. Once a pitcher throws a pitch, all eyes move to the player at bat. Standing about 60 feet away, the pitcher is most vulnerable to a line drive.
Former Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb knows all too well the effects of a line drive. In June of 2013, Cobb experienced a concussion after being struck in his right ear, resulting in time away from the mound and problems with vertigo. While Cobb recovered, he is not alone. Other Major League pitchers have also been TBI victims of line drives.
With the pressure for players to hit harder and the use of alloy bats in youth sports for this purpose, players of every age are at risk. A line drive to center field, rather than a pitcher with a TBI, is something fans want to see.
Headgear Protection for Pitchers
Protective headgear designed to protect pitchers from a TBI is on the market. The focus of the gear is the pitcher’s baseball cap, with the gear designed to fit snugly inside. Critics warn that this doesn’t protect a pitcher’s ears and pitchers want to focus on their pitching arms—not their heads. Some MLB pitchers wear the protection, but most state that the gear is uncomfortable and bulky. Pitchers remain hesitant to add any gear that might affect their game.
Protective headgear for pitchers is not required across all leagues of baseball. Until authorities enact such a rule, a line drive with a high exit velocity puts pitchers at risk for a TBI.
A TBI is a sudden, traumatic event that occurs when an object violently strikes the head or penetrates the skull. Immediate medical attention is necessary—even if the patient states that he or she feels fine. Symptoms range from mild to severe and include the following:
- Mild TBI
- Mild confusion
- Brief loss of consciousness
- Moderate TBI
- Persistent headache
- Severe TBI
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Slurred speech
- Loss of coordination
Factors such as the age and health of the victim, the exact location of the injury, and the severity determine any possible long-term disabilities. Common disabilities among those with a severe TBI include:
- Decreased cognitive, sensory, and communicative, skills
- The development of mental health issues
Emotional changes may include:
- Mood swings
Communication problems often lead to many of these feelings due to speech impairment or difficulty writing. Memory loss is also a frustrating result for many TBI patients. Infections and fluid on the brain are two additional complications from a TBI. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about half of patients with a severe TBI need surgery to repair or remove bruised brain tissue or broken blood vessels.
Dolman Law Group—Proven Results
At the Dolman Law Group, we take TBI cases very seriously. We have learned from past and current clients about the long road back from a sudden and violent blow to the head. Some patients do not recover from such an injury and face years of physical, speech, and occupational therapy. Although we guarantee no specific outcome and no two cases are identical, we may in some instances be able to negotiate with insurance companies so you can focus on the recovery process. Although we make no promises to represent you, we may be able to proceed to trial if the circumstances are right.
In past cases, we have recovered:
- $1.75 million – Shoulder surgery with mild TBI
- $750,000 – Accident resulting in TBI
- $500,000 – Brain injury and moderate neck pain
While these achievements reflect our experience, they do not ensure similar results in your case.
Our attorneys work hard on behalf of our clients. If you believe that either you or a loved one suffered a TBI due to someone’s negligence, call (727) 451-6900 or contact us online. While no two cases are alike, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The attorneys of the Dolman Law Group offer free consultations. In some instances, we operate on a contingency-fee basis, charging no fees until win your case or obtain a favorable settlement.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765