Concern Mounts About Sports-Related and Medically Negligent Brain Injuries

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As we are beginning to understand through frequent news coverage and popular true-life films such as “Concussion,” serious brain injuries are more common than we think and can have long-term life-altering effects.

A brain injury is an injury caused by a blow or other traumatic impact to the head or body. If you have ever lost consciousness after suffering a blow to the head or even felt dizzy or nauseous after such a blow, you have experienced a brain injury. Injuries can manifest different degrees of damage, depending the force and source of impact and other circumstances. Brain injury severity can range from a brief change in consciousness to an extended period of severe unconsciousness or memory loss.

The Centers for Disease Control report that traumatic brain injuries (TBI) contribute to about 30% of all injury deaths in the United States. Those who survive a TBI can suffer effects lasting a few days to disabilities that can include impaired thinking or memory, movement, vision or hearing, or emotional stability.

The CDC lists the leading causes of TBI as:

  • Falls (40%)
  • Motor vehicle – traffic (14%)
  • Struck by/against events (15%)
  • Assaults (10%)

The most common injuries to the brain include:

  • Concussions
  • Penetration injury – from objects entering the skull
  • Contusions – bleeding caused by blows to the head
  • Diffuse axonal injury – Tearing of the brain tissue as in cases of shaken baby syndrome

Head injuries can result in all manner of ailments and recovery can be prolonged and extremely expensive.

Negligent medical care

Brain injuries also can be caused by the negligence of health professionals in hospitals and medical offices. When a medical professional can be held liable for any injuries caused when he or she acts contrary to accepted standards of care.

Medical malpractice can cause brain injuries when:

  • Surgeon botches a brain tumor surgery
  • Doctor fails to diagnose a brain tumor
  • Tissues are infection during surgery
  • Medial professional overmedicates
  • Doctor Improperly applies anesthesia

Injury to an infant’s brain can occur during childbirth. Conditions like cerebral palsy can be caused when medical professionals fail to detect or correct a shortage of oxygen supply (hypoxia) to the baby during birth.

Sports-related head injuries

School systems with athletic programs that include high-impact sports such as football, soccer, boxing, football, baseball, lacrosse, skateboarding, and hockey are subject to Georgia’s Return-to-Play law, which mandates that schools provide guidelines and other information to educate coaches, student athletes and parents on the risks of concussions. The law also dictates that student athletes be removed from further participation in the sport until examined by a physician and approved for physical activity.

The Return-to-Play law aims to protect Georgia’s athletes age 7 to 19 from concussion-related injuries. The law requires boards of education, administrators of non-public schools and charter schools to implement a concussion management program and return-to-play policy that:

  • Provides all parents or legal guardians of athletes with an information sheet informing about the risk of concussion and head injury;
  • Mandates that when an athlete exhibits symptoms of a concussion, the athlete will be removed from the activity and be evaluated by a health care provider
  • If health care provider determines that the athlete has a concussion, the will not be permitted return to practice or play until the athlete receives clearance from a health care provider

Similar requirements also are imposed on youth sports leagues, associations, and organizations.

The lawyers of Angell Law Firm are personal injury experts. If you or a loved one have been have been hurt and injured in an accident that caused an injury to your brain, you may have a legal personal injury claim and be entitled to recovered for your pain and suffering, loss of wages, and medical expenses. Call (770) 217-4954 today to discuss your case.

The Angell Law Firm is located in Atlanta and serves Chatham County, including Savannah; Clarke County, including Athens; Cobb County, including Marietta; DeKalb County, including Decatur and Stone Mountain; Fulton County, including Atlanta, College Park, and Roswell; Gwinnett County, including Buford, Lawrenceville, and Norcross; and Oconee County, including Watkinsville.