Traumatic Brain Injuries in Sports
When you decide to play a sport, you are generally accepting that game play has the chance to result in certain types of injury, such as fractures, sprains, strains, and more. Such acceptance is referred to in legal terms as “assumption of the risk,”1 and assuming the risk of certain injury relieves the associated sports league, coach, and other parties from liability in the case of injury. This means that you do not have the legal right to recover in court if you simply suffer a sprained ankle during a routine practice or game. However, assumption of the risk does not mean that sports leagues and related parties are completely relieved of all liability for all injuries suffered by athletes. In fact, in many circumstances, athletes are able to prove that another party acted in a negligent or intentional way to cause the injury. If you can prove that your injury was caused by negligence or intentional actions, you will likely be able to recover for all of your injury-related losses.
Negligence and sports-related brain injuries
While sprains and strains may heal relatively quickly with some rest and physical therapy, many sports carry the risk of much more serious injuries. One such injury is traumatic brain injury, commonly referred to as TBI. TBIs are especially common in contact sports such as football or hockey. While getting hit in the head may sometimes be a natural part of such sports, on other occasions negligence may contribute to athletes suffering from a TBI. Some examples of negligence that may lead to a TBI in sports include the following:
- Not providing proper safety equipment, such as helmets
- Manufacturers selling defective helmets or safety equipment
- Not providing proper medical attention to athletes after a blow to the head
- Encouraging a player to return to playing the game too soon after a blow to the head
- Encouraging fighting or other rough play for the entertainment of fans
- Wrongful acts by other players
Former players of both the National Football League (NFL) and the National Hockey League (NHL) have brought class action lawsuits against the sports leagues in response to long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries caused by negligence of the sports leagues. The NFL agreed to settle2 for approximately $765 million with players suffering from early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE),3 and more. The NHL lawsuit is still pending, however the NFL case serves as an example of how sports leagues, coaches, and more may be held liable for traumatic brain injuries that were suffered while playing a sport.
Losses suffered after a TBI
If you have experienced a traumatic brain injury, your recovery may include extensive medical treatment, rehabilitative therapy, and many other struggles. You may need special accommodations for school or work and you may even suffer long-lasting cognitive difficulties or emotional struggles. If another party was responsible for causing your TBI, you deserve to hold that party liable and be properly compensated for your losses. Calculating losses can often be difficult in cases involving TBI. Though past medical bills and past lost wages may add up to an easily determined amount, future medical expenses and future lost income may be more complicated to estimate. Such estimations may require the assistance of medical and financial experts to ensure you receive the amount you deserve. Other difficult estimations include appropriate reimbursement for your physical pain, emotional struggles, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. At the Dolman Law Group, our Florida brain injury lawyers are committed to helping victims of TBI recover the full amount they deserve. We offer free consultations, so if you have been injured, call today at 727-451-6900 for assistance today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756