Concussions in Football: A Cause for Concern

Authored by Joseph Cammarata

The controversy surrounding concussions, also known as traumatic brain injuries, in football has existed for over 20 years. In the past several years, the issue has reached its boiling point. Just recently, the NFL settled a massive lawsuit with former players in which the NFL agreed to pay $765 million dollars in compensation and in medical services for current and future players. A similar claim has also recently been filed against the NCAA.

Studies have found a connection between concussions and serious neurological conditions. Repetitive head trauma, which is common in football, has been identified as one of the leading causes of Alzheimer's, memory loss, depression, and even suicides among former players.

Players and families from all levels of football have encountered profound, life-altering difficulties as a direct result of football-related concussions. While these types of incidents and cases may be well publicized at the professional and collegiate level, they also occur frequently in younger athletes, including school-aged players.

Youth Concussions: Who is responsible?

Youth athletes make up about 70% of all football players in the United States. Athlete injuries at the high school and lower level, especially head injuries, can be extremely dangerous for young players who are still growing. As there is so much concern about the serious impact of concussions in football, leagues, teams, and schools are now adopting a number of preventative measures to reduce the risk of getting a concussion and of further injury if a youth athlete does sustain a concussion. These include:

  • New policies, rules, and regulations to protect youth athletes
  • More coordination between coaching staff, teachers and school staff
  • Increased awareness of the signs and symptoms of a concussion
  • Procedures providing for a gradual return to athletic activity after a concussion
  • Better safety equipment
  • Rules to prohibit high hits or helmet-to-helmet hits
  • Reducing the number padded practices

Unfortunately, these preventative measures will not always eliminate risks, especially when those in a position of power fail to enforce safety precautions. The failure to enforce safety precautions can lead to serious injury. Coaches, schools, leagues, and other organizations have a responsibility to make sure players are kept free from preventable harm or further harm once injured. Parents and guardians also have a role to play by understanding the signs and symptoms of a concussion and monitoring their child's functioning after an injury.

Fortunately, a lawyer from our firm with experience in athlete injuries, concussions, and brain injuries is prepared to guide victims and families through the personal injury claim process and work hard to obtain full compensation.

Learn more about athlete and student injuries and how our firm can help by contacting a Northern Virginia personal injury lawyer from Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. at (301) 952-1552.