In the past year, the doctors and scientists who study traumatic brain injuries have been garnering a significant amount of attention due to their findings related to brain injuries in athletes. One such injury is chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This injury became the focus of the media because of the realization that many professional athletes have been diagnosed, after their deaths, with suffering from this brain injury. However, as time passes, research has shown that CTE is actually much more common than most people realize, and even high school and college athletes have been diagnosed with brain injuries that may be linked to CTE.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a chronic degenerative disease that is often a result of repeated concussions and head trauma. This disease often leads to severe brain damage that can cause serious mental health and physical issues for those individuals suffering from it. Often, this disease affects professional athletes, specifically football players and other players of high-impact sports. This is because in these sports, athletes face repeated falls and head trauma, and in many cases these injuries are not adequately treated in the immediate aftermath.
A CTE diagnosis can cause people to exhibit signs of mental illness, such as erratic behavior, anger, depression, and suicidal tendencies. Unfortunately, up until very recently, CTE was only able to be diagnosed after the individual was deceased. However, there is some research that indicates that CTE may now be able to be detected prior to death. It has been noted that many players who were found to be suffering from CTE engaged in very dangerous and uncharacteristic behavior prior to their deaths.
Legal Implications Following Brain Injury-Related Deaths Due to Participation in Sports
There have been several class-action lawsuits against the NFL and other leagues by families of players who were posthumously diagnosed with CTE. The families claimed that the league was negligent in diagnosis and treatment after these players began exhibiting symptoms of brain injuries. Recently, some of these class actions have resulted in hefty payments to the families.
In addition to the larger class-action lawsuits, other families have commenced lawsuits against various agencies that have engaged in behavior similar to the NFL. These families have alleged that the sports leagues did not adequately treat their family member’s injuries and that this negligence ultimately led to their demise.
According to a recent New York Times article, another former NFL quarterback was found to be suffering from CTE. Evidently, Boston University researchers have found CTE in 90 out of 94 of the former NFL players whom they have studied. This particular player’s name has been added to the class-action lawsuit brought by the former players discussed above. The class-action lawsuit in this case is currently under appeal, and since the player was diagnosed after the cut-off date, his family unfortunately may not be eligible for compensation under that class.
Have You or a Loved One Suffered a Brain Injury Because of your Participation in a Sports League?
The physical and mental implications of brain injuries following participation in a sports league can be devastating. As was discussed above, the severity of these brain injuries is just recently becoming more well-known. If you or a loved one has been injured in a sports league and was not given proper medical treatment, it is important that you contact a dedicated attorney at the Law Offices of Cohn & Smith. A South Florida injury attorney at the Law Offices of Cohn & Smith can assist you in determining what your rights and remedies may be. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries your loved one sustained. Contact an attorney at 954-431-8100 today to set up your free consultation.
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