The Connection Between Football & Brain Injuries
Football is one of the most violent sports out there, so it should come as no surprise to learn that concussions occur in 1 in every 5.5 high school or college football games, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to concussions, football players can suffer much more severe head injuries caused by tackles, falls, collisions, and other game-related injuries.
In football, most head injuries occur through direct impact to the head or face, rather than by internal injury. Through these direct hits to the head, the brain and spinal cord may suffer serious damage, which can cause painful and potentially disabling injuries. On top of the initial injuries, the continued trauma to the brain caused by multiple blows to the head can lead to the development of degenerative brain diseases.
Common brain injuries football players may suffer include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
- Early-onset dementia
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS)
Studies involving former professional football players have found that the majority have suffered serious brain damage as a direct result of their involvement in the game. One notable study, conducted by DR, Cantu at the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, found that 79% of all autopsied brains of former football players, and 96% of autopsied brains of former NFL players showed evidence of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a progressive degenerative disease caused by repetitive blows to the head, usually caused by repeat concussions.
Any injury to the head, no matter now minor, can result in serious damage. In the event that a person experiences blows to the head on a regular basis, as is sometimes the case with athletes, they should know what to look for in a serious brain injury.
Symptoms of a brain injury include:
- Uncharacteristic mood swings
- Excessive lethargy
- Memory loss
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Nausea or vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty with problem solving
- Visual or auditory issues
If you or someone you love was injured while playing football for a high school, college or professional team, you may have a legal right to compensation. Coaches are not legally permitted to push players with head injuries to continue to play, as they have in years past, and can potentially be liable to taking action to cause a player further damage. Additionally, leagues must provide regulation helmets and protective gear to better prevent serious brain injuries from occurring. If you feel your injury was the result of some negligence or error, you may have a case.
Contact Willis Law, P.A. to schedule a free consultation with our Boca Raton personal injury attorney.