Understanding Brain Injuries in Sports

Understanding Brain Injuries in Sports

The transition between spring and summer in Arizona is a busy and exciting time for amateur and professional athletes. Athletes of different ages and skill levels are getting ready to practice and enjoy their favorite sports. Baseball, football and soccer are among the favorite outdoor sports in Arizona, and they all carry a certain level of risk with regard to brain injuries.

In late 2013, the American public learned about the lengthy legal battle between veteran athletes and the National Football League (NFL) over the ever-present risk of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). On the public television program Frontline, the documentary League of Denial explained how football players do not have to be diagnosed with a concussion in order to develop CTE. The sum of all hits absorbed by NFL players in a season puts them at risk of suffering from CTE, which is a deteriorating brain condition that can approximate the severe effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

TBIs are very serious medical conditions that may result from concussions, accidents, fights, or even the practice of sports. Unlike CTE cases, TBIs are acute and unexpected events. The best treatment for CTE and TBI conditions is to prevent them from happening. To this end, parents in Arizona are being reminded that although football and baseball are team sports known for their potential risk of brain injury, even soccer players can be at risk.

Legal Issues Associated with Brain Injuries

The League of Denial documentary offers many insights on how the lives of several former NFL players have been deeply affected by CTE. Over the course of a few years, the NFL has been named as a defendant more than 4,000 times in lawsuits related to brain injuries that players claim should have been handled differently. As plaintiffs, the players claim that the NFL failed to prevent brain injuries and adequately treat those who had been suffering from the effects of CTE. 

Neglect and inadequate treatment are just two of the legal principles that lawsuits involving brain injuries are often based on. In essence, CTE and TBI lawsuits are personal injury cases, but they stand out due to their complexity. Brain injuries can lead to years of suffering for both the injured and their loved ones. Due to the high cost of treating CTE and TBI conditions, medical insurance companies and health care facilities may attempt to cut corners. These are issues that should be handled by experienced trial lawyers.

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