At the start of every fall, it seems as though there is more discussion about concussions resulting from sports related injuries. Most leagues and associations have protocols in place to guide players through appropriate precautions to help avoid head and neck injuries. Concussions are a serious health risk that can have long-term consequences, and concussions are among the most dangerous injuries an athlete may experience.
For high school athletes, an even more serious consequence of concussions is a severe traumatic brain injury. A recent study found that concussion rates across all high school sports have gone down in recent years, except in high school football, where concussion rates actually increased. Soccer, ice hockey, and cheerleading have a comparable risk to football when it comes to the incidence of concussion.
Coaches, parents, and players all have a responsibility to understand safety equipment and injury protocol for their sport. For young players, concussions can harm a still-developing and growing brain, leading to long-term memory loss, dementia, and other serious health outcomes. The CDC estimates that more than 800,000 traumatic brain injury-related hospitalizations occur per year for children in the United States, many of which are related to sports and other physical activities.
If your child plays a high school sport and has been the victim of a traumatic brain injury, your first and most important step is to access the medical care you need. Immediate diagnosis and response to a concussion can help prevent further brain injury from occurring.
Most public schools are immune to lawsuits related to sports injuries because of “sovereign immunity” for state and local government entities. A waiver may only apply in instances of gross negligence, where a coach or other school employee forced your child into a dangerous situation. It’s likely that the school also asked you to sign a waiver, giving your child permission to participate in the sport and you assume the risk for your child’s participation in that sport. However, even when you have assumed the risk of playing a sport, you should be able to rely on the school to provide a safe place for that sport to be played.
While lawsuits against public schools for sports-related injuries often fail, don’t let anyone tell you not to call a lawyer. As a personal injury lawyer with more than 38 years of experience, it’s my job to listen to you and provide you with your legal options. Call 877-944-4373 today, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®