Sporting events always comes with risk of injury. Risk of injury, however, is always highest in the sports football, this being a high-impact sport. To many athletes, sports commentators and legal professionals,football and injuries go hand-in-hand. Due to all the tackling, blocking and other physical interactions between players, game recaps would always include casualties and injuries, like contusions, musculoskeletal injuries and concussions.
Most of the injuries sustained by football players are musculoskeletal injuries, without doubt. However, there are two others are more much more serious than these simply because they affect the brain: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and Concussion.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain that can lead to memory loss, dementia and depression. Concussion, meanwhile, is “a change in a player’s mental state due to a traumatic impact. Not all those who suffer concussion lose consciousness; others rather suffer headaches, dizziness, nausea, drowsiness, numbness/tingling, loss of balance, difficulty concentrating, and blurry vision.
The law firm Ali Mokaram, in its website, talks about the head injuries suffered by Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman during the 1993 NFC Championship Game. He received a knee to the head that eventually landed him in the hospital that same evening. In 1994, it was Chicago Bears’ fullback Merrill Hodge who suffered a blow to the head. The injury did not only leave him unable to recognize his close family members, including his wife; it also made him retired from football completely.
The firm also says, “In the opinion of an increasing number of scientists, NFL players are paying the cost of such entertainment with their health and long-term well-being. Once their playing careers have ended, many NFL players find that the physical toll that playing professional football has taken on their bodies makes them unable to live a productive, healthy life. Some of these injuries include physical pain from broken bones and joint injuries, but increasing evidence shows that many professional athletes also have suffered degenerative brain disease from repeated concussions as a result of playing in the league.”
Though the NFL denied for so long any possible link between the sport and brain injuries or CTE, it reversed course in 2014 and settled a lawsuit filed by former NFL players amounting to more than $765 million. These players attribute their neurological problems to their time in the league.
Football is and will remain to be a dangerous and violent game. It involves very strong and heavy players running into each other at full speed. The sad thing is, the more violent it is, the more fans, owners and camera crew get awestruck since they do not fully understand how these violent collisions can result to chronic brain damage and/or irrecoverable body impairment.
Repeated concussions due to this event can lead to:
- Reduced life span
- High medical costs
- Brain damage
- Chronic headaches
- Impaired concentration and memory
- Reduced balance
Those filing NFL concussion lawsuits, may be able to avail of the settlement fund the NFL has approved and reserved for injured players. However, applying for compensation may lead to better results if done through and with the help of a seasoned lawyer, who may be able to help an injured player receive the maximum compensation possible, which is $5 million.