Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are a major issue of concern within the medical community. These injuries can range from mild concussions to serious, debilitating conditions. The most common causes are falls, vehicle accidents and violent behaviors. Two professions rank high among the causes of TBIs. According to researchers, professional athletes and active duty military personnel experience brain injuries at significantly higher than normal rates.
Much has been done to address the issue of brain injuries among military soldiers, who are often impacted during active combat. Severe blows to the head, along with violent explosives leave these men and women with serious injuries. A recent report by ESPN discusses how military treatment efforts are now being expanded to include professional athletes, including members of the National Football League (NFL). Researchers hope that the new program will aid TBI recovery for both the participating soldiers and the athletes.
The Eisenhower Center is a residential neuro-rehabilitation facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Its “After The Impact” program is designed to assist military veterans who suffered brain injuries during battle. Treatment is given in a residential environment, where each patient is reportedly given intense, individualized attention. According to the ESPN article, the program was recently altered to include former professional football players. The athletes are paired with soldiers to receive treatment together, which contributes to recovery from TBIs, as well as Post Traumatic Stress Disorders and other conditions.
Former Detroit Lions Quarterback Eric Hipple was quoted in the article as stating, “Nearly one-third of all retired NFL players will suffer from a long-term cognitive problem. The players and veterans who have gone through the After the Impact program have learned a lot from each other and helped each other on the path to recovery.”
Brain Injuries and the NFL
The NFL has been at the center of numerous headlines over the last couple years in regards to concussions and the frequency of TBIs among current and former players. As stated in the article, more than a quarter of all retired NFL players are expected to experience the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Several research studies exemplify a link between brain injuries and these two conditions later in life.
Class actions settlements are currently in litigation against several professional sports programs, including the NFL and the National Hockey League. Last month, attorneys for the NFL argued in front of a federal judge for the approval a $1 billion settlement. Under the agreement, the league would establish a 65 year compensation fund to compensate a number of past, present and future claims. Some provisions of the settlement include:
***Ongoing treatment options
***Cost reimbursement for the families of deceased players, when the time death occurred within a certain time frame
***Financial compensation for specific neurological diseases
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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