Accountability is a bedrock principle in the civil law. Of course, filing a civil lawsuit and receiving compensation is based on helping those affected by negligence receive support to recover. But there is much more to the system. Not only does the suit help those immediately affected, it also can work over the long-term to improve circumstances for everyone.
This is true no matter what the specifics of the civil lawsuit. For example, many high-profile car accident lawsuits involved claims against car manufacturers for defective, dangerous designs. As a result of those suits, manufacturers were spurred to change their practices, make safer vehicles and ultimately saving many lives.
The same basic principle applies in brain injury lawsuits.
New Research Following Lawsuit
For example, take the most high profile brain injury lawsuit in recent years–the class-action suit against the NFL filed by former players. A few months ago a large settlement was reached in many of those cases which will result in hundreds of millions of dollars going to thousands of former players affected by long-term brain injuries connected to their days in the league.
Not only that, but the mass media attention on the issue threw the powerful league on the defensive, forcing it to finally confront in a very real way the dangers of the game and the steps that needed to be taken to better protect players. This includes changing playing rules and internal league protocol to prevent players from unnecessarily risking serious harm following head trauma.
Additionally, the lawsuits spurred the league to jump into external efforts to better understand brain injuries and improve current knowledge of prevention and treatment. As discussed by CBS this week, the NFL announced that it is joining with the National Institute of Health (NIH) to fund various research projects aimed at concussion diagnosis and treatment.
A researcher with the NIH explained one goal of the project, nothing that “we need to be able to predict which patterns of injury are rapidly reversible and which are not. This program will help researchers get closer to answering some of the important questions about concussion for our youth who play sports and their parents.”
Because of the widespread nature of the studies, many more than just NFL football players may be impacted by learning more about these injuries.
Needless to say, it is reasonable to assume that none of these positive developments would have accrued–at least not this quickly–had those affected by concussions and other brain injuries stayed silent. Silence helps no one, and is the surest way to guarantee that more and more individuals will be hurt in preventable ways.
Do Not Stay Silent
No one harmed by the negligent actions of another should be forced to deal with the aftermath of the injury alone. Civil lawsuits are critical to providing very real financial support for injured parties to be used in recovery. Those pursuing suits should also remember that their actions can help others. Out of tragedy, positive developments can arise.
If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury as a result of any form of negligence, from sports officials to negligent drivers and everyone in between, please consider reaching out to our legal team to see how we can help.
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