Sports and recreational activities contribute to about 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries in American children and adolescents. (American Association of Neurological Surgeons) Concussions make up an estimated 8.9% of all high school athletic injuries. (AAP Publications) Yet, these injuries, suffered by young children, are completely preventable.
How Do I Know If My Child Has a Concussion?
If your child plays a sport, encourage them to let you know if they ever hit their head. If you are not present at a practice and the incident occurs, they may feel fine at the time and signs of a concussion may appear later. It is best to address the injury as quickly as possible so let them know to tell you if they have any sort of head injury, no matter how minor. To decide if you should seek medical attention, look out for potential concussion symptoms such as:
- Feeling pressure in the head
- Balance problems
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Blurry or double vision
- Memory problems
- Difficulty paying attention
- Feeling lethargic
- Sleeping problems
- Mood changes
- Changes in behavior or personality
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The Impact of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Concussions in high school sports can impact the rest of the victim’s life. A traumatic brain injury may produce motor deficits such as vision problems, loss of motor skills, trouble walking or talking, difficulty thinking and remembering, trouble with social relationships, and paralysis. Other effects may include sleep disorders, appetite changes, chronic pain, or seizures. This severe injury is not to be taken lightly, especially when it occurs in someone so young as a student playing a school sport. Their life will be forever altered.
Who Is Liable If My Child Sustains a Brain Injury Playing Sports?
Liability is determined on a case-by-case basis. If your child was not following rules, they may hold some liability in a lawsuit. However, if your child was following protocol given by the coaching staff and suffered a brain injury, the school may be held liable. Examples of negligence include:
- Failure to warn players of the risks associated with the sport
- Failure to keep up with equipment inspections
- Failure to show players how to use equipment properly
- Allowing a player to return to play without proper evaluation and/or complete healing
- Failure to follow school sport safety guidelines
What to Do If Your Child Suffers a Traumatic Brain Injury Playing Sports
If your child was playing a sport he or she loved and became a victim of a traumatic brain injury, there must be a million thoughts in your head right now, and a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. The top priority is getting your child the medical treatment they need to heal. Once they are safe with a medical professional’s care, you may wish to collect information about how the brain injury occurred, the circumstances that led to the injury, and the environment in which it transpired. Feel free to reach out to teammates, friends watching the game or practice, and the coach who was supervising the children. You may also wish to visit the area yourself, taking photos of the conditions your child was playing in. Next, if you can, try to calculate the medical costs of this injury, the time your child will spend out of school, and how much time you will need to take off from work to take care of your child. There’s no need for a set number, just an estimate will do. Finally, bring this information to an experienced personal injury attorney who accepts concussion lawsuits. They will be able to guide you through the process of seeking compensation.
If your child has suffered from a concussion or other head injury while playing a school sport, The People’s Lawyer can help. What happened to your child was not his or her fault, and your family should not have to suffer the consequences if the injury occurred as the result of the negligent actions of others. Brindisi, Murad and Brindisi Pearlman will provide you with a free consultation to determine a potential lawsuit. Let us help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve. Contact our office today.
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