Recent headlines are filled with stories about the dangers of traumatic brain injuries among players in the National Football League (NFL). The aggressive hitting that intrinsically accompanies the game creates an environment where players are at substantial risk for blows to the head. As players advance in age, the possible long term effects become obvious, leading to an abundance of legal actions against the league. A class action lawsuit alleges that NFL leaders purposely withheld information about the potential ramifications of multiple concussions and brain injuries. The two sides are currently finalizing a settlement agreement. In consideration of these findings and events, several players are making the decision to prematurely end their professional football careers.
The Boston Globe is reporting about Chris Borland, who is a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. At 24 years old, he announced his decision to leave the NFL after only one season of play. According to the article, his decision is based on concerns about about long lasting brain conditions. The significance of his actions stems from the fact that Borland is a member of the first generation of players to have full disclosure about the dangers of the game. Players are now armed with enough data, studies and personal experiences to make in informed decision about playing the game for an extended amount of time.
The article states that Borland consulted a neurological expert prior to making his decision. Though he was not able to specifically state his level of risk, Borland reportedly stated that any risk was not worth continuing to play the game.
The backlash from his decision is divided. While some experts are praising his actions, others assert that the risk is overly exaggerated. The NFL responded by reporting a decline in concussions by 25%.
NFL Concussion Statistics
***During the 2011 season, the league reported 252 concussions ***The 2012 season numbers increased to 261 concussions
***Numbers decreased by 13% during the 2013 season, with 228 reported concussions
Since the class action suit was filed, the NFL has implemented new procedures for treating concussions and preventing further brain injuries, including
***Removing players who demonstrate concussion symptoms from the game, with no return until medically cleared by a neurologist. Symptoms include dizziness, loss of memory, headaches
***Increasingly penalizing players for hits to the head of a defenseless opponent
The actions of the NFL and its players exemplify the seriousness of the TBI. What starts as a concussion can end with debilitating or fatal injuries to the brain. Football is only one source of TBIs. Automobile accidents, assaults and falls can all result in a serious brain injury. When TBIs occur due to the actions of another, the injured party may secure monetary compensation with the assistance of a capable attorney.
If you or a loved is suffering with a severe brain injury, contact the experienced attorneys of Levin & Perconti at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation.
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