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The Civil Justice System’s Role in Concussion Prevention

Posted on in Personal Injury

concussion prevention, Chicago Illinois personal injury lawyersContact sports are exciting for both the athletes and the fans, but they are also violent and competitive sports that cause millions of concussion injuries per year. While this is known and understood by the medical community, fans, and even the general public, the civil justice system seems to be oblivious to the risks, thanks to their lack of regulations and monitoring of concussions in athletes of all ages. A report from the American Association for Justice seeks to change that for both professional athletes and those participating in sports in schools and universities.

Just How Frequent Are Concussions?

While most people associate concussions with professional athletes in high contact sports, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that athletes of all ages and at all levels of sports experience around 3.8 million concussions per year.  Concussions are also experienced by the general public at a rate of about 2.5 million per year. Falls are the most common reason, but car accidents, falling objects, and assaults are some of the other potential causes.

Concussions and Their Insidious Nature

When most people think about a concussion, they think of a “big hit” that immediately leaves someone dazed, unconscious, or otherwise debilitated. Such concussions can and do happen, but medical science shows us that it does not always happen this way. Smaller concussions may display no immediate symptoms, making them difficult to detect. As a result, the concussion goes untreated and, in the case of athletes, they return to activities that place them at extremely high risk for serious and potentially fatal injuries.

Legislative Policies on Concussions in Athletes Severely Lacking

Concussions and professional athletes has been a topic of discussion since the early 1900s, yet even today, there are few regulations and policies protecting athletes. In fact, it was not until the settlement of a $70 million class-action lawsuit in 2014 that policies really began to change at all. Since that time, every state except Wyoming has placed some sort of laws in place that protect athletes (i.e. “When in Doubt, Sit Them Out” laws), but most are still severely lacking in policies and regulations.

Out of all 50 states, only one has an enforcement mechanism in place to ensure regulations are followed. Only five states mandate that a medical professional be present at contact sport games. Just six mandate that parents be notified if their child suffers a concussion while playing. And only a little over half (31) of all states require concussion training for coaches.

Get Experienced Legal Counsel for Your Concussion Injury

If you or someone you love has suffered a concussion because of an accident or negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, the legal system can be difficult to navigate and, without a solid case, your claim may be denied. For this reason, victims wishing to pursue compensation should obtain experienced legal counsel.

At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. we go the extra mile to ensure the rights and best interests of victims are protected. Committed to justice, honesty, and advocacy, we will even come to you to discuss your case. To schedule your free initial consultation, contact our skilled and aggressive Chicago traumatic brain injury attorneys. Call 312-553-4900 today.

Sources:

http://concussion.justice.org/

http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html

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