Concussion Injury Attorney
If your child plays sports or regularly participates in recreational activities, you should know that a sports-related concussion can occur. In college and professional athletics programs, sports-related concussions also occur very frequently. Athletes can suffer long-term consequences as a result of these traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including the degenerative brain condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
According to a study in the North Carolina Medical Journal, “concussions are an inherent part of collision sports such as football and soccer,” but this does not mean that these serious brain injuries cannot be prevented.
Coaches, team owners, and other parties have a duty to take preventive measures when it comes to sports-related concussions. It is necessary to ensure that athletes do not prematurely return to the field after suffering a concussion. If you or someone you love sustained a sports-related concussion, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. I am highly experienced in Ohio brain injury law, and I can help you or your family member obtain fair compensation for the injury that was suffered.
Get the Facts About Sports-Related Concussions
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) provides some of the following information about sports-related concussions:
Sports-related concussions and other TBIs temporarily impair brain functions.
Patients with sports-related concussion may have difficultly with issues of memory, speech, balance, and coordination.
Concussions typically heal in seven to 10 days, but in post concussion syndrome, symptoms can linger.
Once an athlete has suffered a sports-related concussion, that athlete is more likely to sustain another concussion.
Repeated sports-related concussions have long-term implications and can sometimes result in death or disability.
Certain sports have higher rates of concussions, including football, ice hockey, and soccer.
Sports With Concussion Risk
American football is a contact sport played with two teams, each aiming to advance a ball towards the opposing team’s end zone. Concussions are common in football due to the high level of physical contact and tackling involved. Players can experience concussions from collisions with other players, helmet-to-helmet hits, or impact with the ground. In recent years CTE has come to the forefront because of its frequency and life-altering impact on players in the NFL. CTE injury claims have been more prevalent of late for brain injury lawyers, like myself.
Ice hockey is a fast-paced sport played on ice, where two teams attempt to score goals by shooting a hard puck into the opponent’s net. Players can get concussions from various incidents such as body checks, collisions with the boards, being hit by a puck, or player altercations. Falls on the frozen ice can also result in head injuries. If proper safety practices were not in place, I’ll find out what happened and I’ll Make Them Pay!® I’ve been a personal injury lawyer for more than 40 years, so if you or a loved one suffered a concussion playing hockey because of negligence, call me now.
Soccer, also known as football in many countries, is a popular sport played on a large field where two teams compete to score goals by kicking a ball into the opponent’s net. Although soccer is primarily a non-contact sport, concussions can still occur due to player collisions, aerial challenges, accidental head-to-head contact, or collisions with the goalpost.
Lacrosse is a team sport that originated with Indigenous people in North America and is now played internationally. It involves two teams competing to score goals by shooting a small rubber ball into the opponent’s net using long-handled sticks with netted pockets at the end.
Lacrosse poses a risk of concussions due to several factors. Firstly, the physical nature of the game contributes to the potential for head injuries. Players engage in checking, which involves using their sticks to dislodge the ball from opponents or impede their progress. These checks can sometimes result in accidental high hits to the head, leading to concussions.
Basketball is a fast-paced team sport played on a court, where two teams try to score points by shooting a ball through the opponent’s hoop. Although basketball is not typically a high-contact sport, concussions can occur from collisions with other players, accidental elbow or head contact, falls, or collisions with the floor or basketball hoop supports.
Here is a list of concussion symptoms to watch for while playing sports, along with a brief explanation of how each symptom may indicate a serious concussion:
A persistent or worsening headache can be a common symptom of a concussion. It may feel like pressure or aching in the head and can range from mild to severe. Headaches lasting weeks after a concussion diagnosis is a sign of post concussion syndrome.
Dizziness or balance problems
Feeling lightheaded, unsteady, or having difficulty with balance can be indicative of a concussion. This symptom may make it challenging to maintain coordination and perform normal movements.
Nausea or vomiting
Experiencing nausea, queasiness, or vomiting can occur as a result of a concussion. It may be triggered by the impact to the head or the changes in the brain’s functioning.
Confusion or disorientation
Feeling confused, disoriented, or having difficulty concentrating and remembering recent events may suggest a concussion. This symptom can affect cognitive abilities and may be accompanied by a sense of fogginess.
Sensitivity to light or noise
Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia) or noise (phonophobia) is a possible symptom of a concussion. Exposure to bright lights or loud sounds may exacerbate headaches and overall discomfort.
Fatigue or drowsiness
Feeling excessively tired, fatigued, or experiencing a significant decrease in energy levels can be a sign of a concussion. This symptom may persist even with adequate rest or sleep.
Blurred or double vision, difficulty focusing, or changes in visual perception may occur as a result of a concussion. These visual disturbances can impact an athlete’s performance and overall well-being.
Speech difficulties, such as slurred or incoherent speech, can indicate a concussion. This symptom may be caused by impaired brain function affecting communication pathways.
Experiencing difficulties with short-term memory, such as forgetting recent events or having trouble forming new memories, can be indicative of a concussion. This symptom can affect an athlete’s ability to recall information or follow instructions.
Significant changes in mood, such as increased irritability, sadness, anxiety, or unexplained emotional outbursts, may be associated with a concussion. These mood alterations can result from disruptions in brain chemistry and function.
It is imperative that team owners, leagues take measures to prevent concussions. It is also very important that concussion testing be administered if any of the above symptoms are present when a player is injured or knocked unconscious. I care deeply about the safety of our children, and our athletes. If you feel necessary precautions were not taken, you need to call me. I’m highly experienced in personal injury law, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Concussion Testing In Sports
Concussion testing in sports involves a multi-step process to assess whether a player has suffered a concussion. Coaches and doctors play a crucial role in recognizing the signs and symptoms of a possible concussion in an athlete. Here is a breakdown of the testing process:
Observation and Evaluation
Coaches, trainers, or medical personnel observe players closely during and after a suspected head injury. They look for visible signs like loss of consciousness, disorientation, balance problems, confusion, or any other noticeable symptoms of a concussion.
After a suspected concussion, immediate testing is often conducted on the sidelines or in a controlled environment. This typically involves a series of assessments, such as:
SCAT (Sport Concussion Assessment Tool) or similar sideline tests: These tests evaluate symptoms, cognitive function (memory, attention, concentration), balance, coordination, and sometimes neck function. They are often standardized and help provide an initial indication of the presence and severity of a concussion.
King-Devick Test: This is a quick eye-movement test that assesses rapid number reading. Slowed or impaired eye movements may indicate a concussion.
Maddocks Questions: A set of simple questions about the game, score, location, or opponent that checks for orientation and memory recall.
Balance assessments: These tests assess the player’s ability to maintain balance in various positions to detect any balance deficits associated with a concussion.
If the immediate tests suggest a possible concussion or the player’s symptoms worsen, further evaluation may be necessary. Continued participation could lead to serious brain damage. These additional tests typically involve more comprehensive medical assessments, such as:
Neuropsychological Testing: These tests evaluate cognitive function, memory, attention, reaction time, and other aspects of brain function. They provide a more detailed assessment of an individual’s cognitive abilities and can help track recovery progress.
Imaging Tests: In some cases, imaging tests like CT scans or MRI scans may be conducted to rule out more severe injuries or complications, although they cannot diagnose a concussion directly.
It’s important to note that each testing method has its limitations, and no single test can definitively diagnose a concussion. The evaluation process combines clinical judgment, medical history, symptoms, and test results to make an accurate diagnosis and guide appropriate treatment and recovery protocols. If all necessary steps are not taken, it can lead to personal injury cases.
Ultimately, the goal of concussion testing in sports is to promptly identify and manage concussions, ensuring the safety and well-being of the athletes. If a concussion is suspected, it is crucial to follow medical advice, adhere to proper rest and recovery protocols, and gradually return to play under the supervision of healthcare professionals.
If you are an athlete who suffered a concussion, and these steps were not taken, you need to call me today. We’ll discuss the details of your personal injury case, free of charge.
Sports Concussion Protocols
Concussion prevention methods must be in place for all contact sports, and teams must abide by certain concussion protocols to prevent additional harm. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information about return to daily activities and return to play. When teams do not follow concussion safety protocols, they liable for the harm of the player, and possible lawsuits-brain injury cases.
Problems With Brain Development
Concussions in children can result in cognitive impairments, including difficulties with memory, attention, concentration, and problem-solving skills. These long-term effects may affect academic performance, learning abilities, and overall cognitive functioning.
Emotional and Behavioral Changes
Children who have experienced concussions may exhibit emotional and behavioral changes. This can include increased irritability, mood swings, anxiety, depression, impulsivity, or changes in social interactions. These alterations may impact their relationships, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life.
Concussions can disrupt normal sleep patterns in children. They may experience difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or excessive sleepiness during the day. These sleep disturbances can lead to fatigue, decreased daytime alertness, and difficulties with concentration and cognitive functioning.
Some children who suffer concussions may develop sensory disturbances. These can manifest as heightened sensitivity to light (photophobia) or noise (phonophobia), visual disturbances, or problems with balance and coordination. These sensory impairments can impact their daily activities and overall quality of life.
Increased Risk of Future Concussions
Children who have experienced a concussion are often at a higher risk of subsequent concussions. These repeated injuries can lead to cumulative effects on brain development and increase the likelihood of long-term consequences, including; persistent cognitive impairment, emotional disturbances, and greater risk of other neurological conditions.
Timeline for Filing a Sports-Related Concussion Claim in Cleveland
If you need to file a lawsuit for a sports-related concussion, Ohio law limits the amount of time you have to do so. I want to make sure you get your claim filed on time. Under Ohio law, brain injury lawsuits need to be filed within two years from the date of the injury.
If your claim is not filed within that timeframe, you will have a time-barred claim, and there is likely nothing I can do to change that. However, if you get in touch with me as soon as possible, I will ensure you do not miss your chance to file a lawsuit.
What is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)?
CTE is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is associated with repeated traumatic brain injuries, including concussions. It is often found in individuals who have a history of participation in contact sports, such as football, boxing, hockey, and soccer.
The symptoms of CTE typically appear years or even decades after the repetitive brain trauma has occurred. Symptoms may include cognitive impairments, memory loss, confusion, mood disorders (such as depression, anxiety, or aggression), behavioral changes, difficulties with impulse control, and motor impairments.
It’s important to note that CTE can only be definitively diagnosed postmortem through an examination of the brain tissue. However, ongoing research aims to develop diagnostic methods that can detect CTE in living individuals.
Contact Me – Your Cleveland Concussion Lawyer for Help
As an experienced Cleveland catastrophic injury lawyer, I know how devastating a concussion or another type of traumatic brain injury can be. I also know that multiple concussions can result in life-long injuries for athletes, and I want to make sure we hold the responsible parties accountable.
When it comes to sports and brain injuries, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Give me a call today to find out more about how I can help you obtain compensation after a sports-related head injury.