Sports are a natural part of many people’s lives. Whether it is a part of their extracurricular activities at school, a regular recreational activity with friends, or a weekly watch party to cheer on their favorite teams, sports captivate the hearts and imagination of our nation. As a result, sports injuries are increasingly common. As reported by the Center for Disease Control and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, as many as 3 million concussions occur every year in the United States as a result of competitive sport or recreational activities. However, this number may be higher, as many concussions may go unreported.
What Is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is a result of a bump or blow to the head or the body that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth, smacking into the skull. This type of injury creates a chemical change in the brain, which can stretch or damage the brain cells.
Symptoms of a Concussion
There are many different combinations of symptoms an individual can feel when they are suffering from a concussion. These symptoms can be both physical or a sense of confusion or forgetfulness. This can include, but is not limited to:
- Ringing in the ears
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurry vision
- Slurred Speech
Concussions can also cause other symptoms, such as irritability or moodiness, sensitivity to light, and sleep disturbances. These symptoms do not always occur immediately after the injury but can occur several days after the initial injury. It is vitally important to ask a health professional to check out injuries that occurred due to a hard blow either to the head or the body.
What Sports Pose the Most Risk of Suffering a Concussion?
- High contact sports like basketball, football, and soccer have the highest risks of an injury resulting in a concussion due to the nature of the sport themselves.
- Other recreational sports such as bicycling also see a large number of concussions related to injuries from falling off the bike.
- For females, the largest reported number of accidents among sports and recreational activities came from horseback riding and playground accidents.
- For men, the largest reported number of concussions came from accidents resulting from football and basketball-related accidents.
Can Concussions From Sports Accidents Be Prevented?
Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent the risk of getting a concussion but there are ways to reduce that risk. Here are the steps players of both recreational and competitive sports can take:
Wearing the right protective gear can help protect vulnerable spots of an individual’s body. This includes a helmet, knee pads, and a chest plate. This equipment needs to be well-kept, age-appropriate, the right fit, and worn correctly to ensure that the equipment can do its job on impact.
Encouraging good sportsmanship is paramount to ensure that players are safe and respectful on and off the field. To do this, all players, spectators, coaches, and parents must promote the celebration of teamwork and hard work as equally as they celebrate victory. Dissension in the group due to the fear of failure or the increased pressure of doing well can have a negative impact on players, causing them to act more aggressively or in anger, which can increase the risk of injury on the field.
Enforcing the rules will create a safe space for the sport to be played fairly, safely, and promotes good sportsmanship among the players. Make sure all individuals understand the rules of the game before allowing them to play on the field. Pull players out of the game or enforce penalties for actions such as:
- Hitting another player in the head or other vulnerable parts of the body
- Making illegal contacts such as checking or colliding with an unprotected player
- Intentionally trying to harm another player
What Should I Do if My Child or I Has a Suspected Concussion?
When you or your child is injured in a game, it is important to get checked out, regardless if you think the injury is serious. Concussions do not always show symptoms right away, so seeking medical attention is the only way to ensure that you or your loved one is getting the treatment he or she needs.
If you suspect you have a concussion, do not return to play on the field until you have been checked out. Likewise, if you have been diagnosed with a concussion, it is extremely important that you do not engage in any activity that has a risk of receiving another head injury until you have fully recovered. A second injury can lead to serious complications or lifetime consequences.
Can I Sue for a Concussion?
Suing for medical expenses that resulted from a sports injury is tricky. Every player assumes the risk of the sport when they decide to play, which can make proving negligence difficult. Some cases when negligence could be in play of the accident often occur from faulty sports equipment, a coach refusing to take an injured player out of the game, or from improper maintenance of the field or the equipment. These cases are specialized and it takes a skilled team in order to help prove that the injuries were not the fault of the player and they could have been avoided if proper care had been used.
For example, when an injury in a sport is caused due to equipment that was designed poorly or has a defect, the manufacturer of the product may be at fault. Product liability needs the direction of a strong attorney to help you prove that your or your loved one’s accident could have been avoided.
The dedicated attorneys at the Hernandez Law Group are ready to fight for you and your family, helping you claim the compensation you deserve. Our team can gather photo evidence, expert witness testimony, and medical records to show that the concussion should have been preventable. With a no-win, no-fee policy, our team takes the risk of seeking a lawsuit for you, allowing you to focus on the recovery of you and your family. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule a free no-obligation consultation.