How Talking About Sports Related Head Injuries Can Enact Change

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The catalysts for change in our society is information and open dialog.

When we become informed of the facts and the issue becomes prominent in our media coverage, we as a society then and only then contemplate and enact real change.

Concussions and closed head injuries as a result of contact sports was something that was swept under the rug. The occasional mention by a sportscaster that an athlete “had his bell rung” was the end-all in the discussion. In the last five years medical studies and news stories on these issues has been gaining momentum.

The two lead stories in today’s New York Times Sports section deal exclusively with sports-related head trauma. The lead story exposes the “hidden world” of concussions among synchronized swimming.

According to U.S. Olympic Committee managing director for sports medicine, Bill Moreau, approximately 50% of swimmers he has supervised have suffered concussions— this is a conservative estimate.

The recent choice of closer swimming formation is yielding a higher number of injuries than in the past, but recognizing concussions in the sport is not easy. Concussion symptoms include dizziness, nausea, and sensitivity to light. All of these symptoms are similar to the outcome of swimming upside down and holding your breath underwater.

Today’s second lead story is a two-fold issue: the long-term effects of a closed head injury can be horrific for the injured and their families, and the issue of how insurance companies treat people should not go unnoticed, as in the lawsuit of former NFL player Haruki Nakamura vs. insurer Lloyd’s of London.

Retired NFL athlete Nakamura suffered a severe head injury in a preseason game 3 years ago that has permanently affected his physical and mental abilities.

Nakamura’s severe head injury resulted in the end of his professional football career; his disability insurance company says otherwise.

Lloyd’s of London disability insurance is denying Nakamura’s one million dollar policy unless he can prove the seriousness of his brain injuries. He had suffered serious side effects months after the concussion, and in 2015 the NFL’s Player Retirement Plan determined he suffered from chronic post-concussion syndrome.

Although he was eligible for this retirement plan, his disability insurer was not convinced. It is this very example that I cannot stress enough; insurance companies cannot be trusted to do the right thing!

As this lawsuit unfolds the question of whether or not insurance companies will include concussions to be covered by their policies remains.

The essence is that if your child is contemplating participating in contact sports, your family simply needs to be informed of the long-term consequences of closed head injuries.

Long-term damages may include:

  • Severe headaches
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Incompetent decision-making

I have developed a specialty over 34 years representing families who have suffered head injuries as a result of work related injuries, car accidents or slip and falls.

If you or a loved one has suffered a severe head injury due to another’s negligence, you need to call me immediately. I will stand by you and fight for the justice and compensation you and your loved ones deserve.

As your Ohio catastrophic injury attorney, I will be there for you and I’ll Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

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How Talking About Head Injuries in Sports Can Enact Change
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The number one catalyst for change in our society is information. When we are provided more information on an issue, we can begin to understand the problem and search for a solution. This is the same for sports-related head injuries. Doctors, scientists and athletes have worked together to understand the dangers of traumatic brain injuries and the lifelong effects they can have.
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