Our Illinois sports injury lawyers know that one group that is at a high risk of suffering a brain injury are student-athletes. Throughout the year many young people-such as high school football players-engage in rough sports and expose themselves to potentially harmful accidents. In certain games, the risk of head injuries is particularly high. It doesn’t take much imagination to understand how things like the helmet-on-helmet collisions seen in many football games can expose students to potential brain injuries.
A recent New York Times article explored how one state is working to protect student-athletes from these often life-altering injuries. The story explains how new studies have shown that high-school age students experience more than 60,000 concussions each and every year across the country. The vast majority of those injures can be traced back to high school football. It is undeniably that the game is a rough one.
Not only that, but more and more evidence continues to mount revealing the long-term consequences of that repeated head trauma. A concussion can affect the lives of these students beyond the football season, the school year, and their high school experience. In fact, it is not uncommon for those who experienced continual small injuries to face permanent brain damage because of the problem.
The state recently passed new legislation which aims to protect athletes from this potential harm. For example, football programs will now be required to re-condition the oldest football helmets every two years. All helmets that are older than 16 years old cannot be used by players, because of risk that they cannot provide the protection that players need to keep them safe. On top of that new laws also require all schools to appoint a concussion oversight team, including physicians, to help better treat those who may have suffered from these injuries.
The chief sponsor of the legislation-known as the “helmet bill”-actually believes that the new measures do not go far enough to protect athletes from concussion risks. Instead he urges the lawmakers to require all athletes to undergo a baseline cognitive test to measure their memory before an injury. This then allows medical professionals better determine if a concussion was actually experienced in the event of intense head trauma.
Our Illinois brain injury lawyers are open to working with all those who suffer head injuries that could and should have been prevented. All those who run these athletic programs for all age levels must understand the risks associated with many of these sports. They must appreciate things that can be done to prevent the accidents and properly treat those who have suffered from a sports-related head injury. If you or a family member has been hurt in this way, consider visiting our office, sharing your story, and learning how the law applies in these situations. There is nothing to lose from learning more about the legal realities of these cases. Besides receiving fair compensation for the expenses caused by the loss, seeking accountability for these accidents may force decision-makers to enact changes that may spare others from suffering similar injuries.
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