The lawsuit filed against the NFL by former professional football players has been one of the biggest stories in professional sports over the last several years. Many former players have suffered the repercussions associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (“CTE”), and the lawsuit they filed in conjunction with other players suffering various traumatic brain injuries has netted a $1 billion settlement – a settlement which the United States Supreme Court has twice been asked to review. Players, fans, parents, and lawmakers have joined in calling on the NFL to do more to address the seriousness of traumatic brain injuries in the sport. Recently, The New York Times has reported that the NFL has tried to answer that call by spending $100 million in addition to a previous $100 million for the development of new technology and research related to head injuries.
Purpose of Additional Funds
After immense pressure and public outcry that previous funds have been used for self-serving purposes instead of addressing issues they were meant to address, the NFL has promised an additional $100 million in funding which it says will be used for “independent medical research and engineering advances” that are meant to address “prevention, diagnosis and treatment of head injuries; enhance medical protocols; and further improve the way the game is taught and played by all who love it.” Previous funding had been used for new equipment and long-term studies related to the impact of repeated concussions and head traumas. Critics have pointed out that funding for helmet improvements has done little to improve player safety because helmets are primarily meant to prevent skull fractures and do little to address the concern of repeated concussion and related side effects. To avoid continuing criticism of the way the new funds will be used, the NFL has also said that details related to the use of the new funding will be shared publicly.
While the medical field and others concerned with the impact of repeated traumatic brain injuries are supportive of the new initiative, they are waiting to see exactly how the new funding will be allocated. As part of an effort to ensure transparency in how the new funds are spent, the NFL will establish an “independent, scientific advisory board” that is comprised of up to seven members with medical and scientific backgrounds that will help determine a process by which proposals for concussion research will be selected for funding. The NFL will also hire a chief medical officer that will work with other medical professionals in and associated with the league to address concerns over proper treatment and diagnosis.
Personalized Legal Assistance for Traumatic Brain Injuries
While high-value funding from organizations like the NFL can have a tremendous impact in advancing technology aimed at preventing and treating the side effects of repeated traumatic brain injuries, such funding does little to address the concerns of victims and families of victims that have suffered moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries on a local level. Traumatic brain injuries can often be the cause of someone else’s negligence, like those that occur as a result of vehicle accidents or serious slip and falls, among other causes. In such cases, follow-up medical care can be costly for victims and their families. Depending on the severity of the injury, some victims may require lifelong medical care. In cases where traumatic brain injuries do have long-lasting side effects, victims and their families may be eligible for compensation to offset the burden of medical care. Finding a personal injury attorney that has experience handling claims related to traumatic brain injuries is an important step in beginning the victim’s road to recovery. Levin & Perconti has a dedicated team of personal injury legal professionals that focus their work on advocating for the rights of victims of traumatic brain injuries as well as the victims’ families. Contact the personal injury team at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation where you will be able to discuss the circumstances of the injury in question as well as begin to find out more about what options might be available to you.