Brain Injury Lawyer Miami FL

What do I need to know about sports-related brain injuries in childrenSports-related injuries are nothing to take lightly, as has been shown by a number of high profile litigation cases brought against the NFL and other sports teams. Some of these cases involved players who had suffered traumatic brain injuries and filed a lawsuit against the NFL who allegedly hid the risks and seriousness of brain injuries. Brain injury lawyers representing the players succeeded in the case and won former players a total $900 million.

According to research, up to 30% of NFL players will develop dementia or Alzheimer’s due to brain injuries from playing sports. Mental illness, suicide, and other health consequences are also possibilities. These types of risks are not only limited to professional sports players. In fact, amateur sports players including school-age children and adolescents are at a very high risk for brain injuries. Up to 68% of brain injuries treated in the hospital are for children between 5 and 18, according to the CDC. Because of the young age of the children, and lack of development, they could experience:

  • Impaired thinking
  • Memory loss
  • Speech problems
  • Language problems
  • Behavioral changes
  • Emotional changes
  • Paralysis
  • Changes in any of the five senses

If your child has suffered from a brain injury while playing sports, and you’re wondering whether or not you can file a claim just as the NFL players did, the short answer is that it depends on the circumstances of the case.

Understanding the Assumption of Risk

In a majority of cases, it is not easy to file a claim or lawsuit for a sports-related injury because of the assumption of risk. This basically means that when someone is playing sports, they have acknowledged and accepted any associated risks of that sport. This assumption prevents the injured person from recovering damages in nearly all situations, including brain injuries.

Depending on the state you are in, there may be laws that protect children and schools from injury claims. In some states, parents are required to sign a policy with the school that discusses the risk of head injuries that come with playing certain sports. By signing this, the parent agrees and accepts this risk. Schools may also be required to remove a player from the team until their injury has completely healed. Although the school might not able to be pursued for compensation, there are other parties that could be held liable including:

Medical Doctors: If a head injury was not diagnosed or treated properly, and the child returned to the sport while injured, a brain injury lawyer in Miami FL might consider filing a medical malpractice claim against the doctor if the injury worsened.

Coaches: If the coach knew the child was injured, but failed to identify the signs of a brain injury or took little to no action in protecting the child from harm, he or she could be liable.

Schools: In a small number of cases, the school could be responsible when malicious conduct occurred, hid risks from parents, was using defective equipment, or had not hired enough qualified trainers.

To filing an injury claim, the parents should retain a brain injury lawyer who can pursue damages from the liable party’s insurance company. Call a brain injury lawyer Miami FL clients recommend at Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. today to learn more about filing a sports-related brain injury claim.