Concussion Sports Injuries Can Lead to Debilitating Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. Each day, approximately 138 people across the country die from injuries that include traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries are caused by bumps, blows, or other forces to the head which disrupt the normal function of the brain. Most TBIs are mild and called concussions.
Sports are a leading cause of concussion injuries. Sports and recreation result in close to 250,000 concussion injuries in children ages 19 and younger. Many more adult athletes, both professional and amateur, experience concussions annually. At times, athletes who sustain concussions develop Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, known as CTE. This debilitating condition can have a severe effect on the health and quality of life of an athlete or former sports player.
What is a CTE?
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a progressive degenerative disease which affects people who have suffered repeated concussions. Athletes who engage in contact sports, as well as military members and others, are most likely to suffer from this disease. CTE will develop over the years, sometimes taking decades to manifest, and will cause the brain to gradually deteriorate. In fact, the brain itself loses mass and will actually atrophy in certain areas. Other parts of the brain will become enlarged.
Some symptoms of CTE include memory loss, behavior disturbances, such as aggression and depression, impaired judgment, difficulty controlling impulses, erratic behavior, balance problems, and the onset of dementia. At times, CTEs are mistaken for normal aging. CTE sufferers can be diagnosed incorrectly with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.
In recent years, CTEs have become more commonly recognized due to the diagnosis of several major NFL players.
Liability for CTEs
Much of the research and literature surrounding CTEs is still in progress. This is a fairly new diagnosis that can be difficult to diagnose. Traditional diagnostic methods involved a post mortem examination of the brain, leaving living CTE sufferers without a remedy. However, newer diagnostic tests allow doctors to screen for CTEs on live patients.
Young sports players who have suffered a CTE can potentially be eligible to seek compensation from the sports organization that allowed them to suffer repeated concussions. Private schools and universities have a duty to ensure the safety of their players, which includes pulling them from the field or other sports arena if they have sustained a head injury. Allowing a player to continue to play, which leaves them vulnerable to sustaining another head injury, can be considered negligence and can result in liability on the part of the sports organizer. Anyone who has experienced a concussion, CTE, or other traumatic brain injury while playing sports should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible.An attorney can examine the facts and circumstances of what happened as well as take the necessary steps to protect your rights.
Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Put Our Over 35 Years of Experience to Work on Your Case!
CTEs and other traumatic brain injuries can deeply impact a sports player or automobile accident victim. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury while playing extracurricular sports for a private school or university, or have been injured in a car accident, contact the Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. Our firm helps accident victims across Georgia and in the Southeast. We have over 35 years of experience assisting injured accident victims. The sooner you act after the accident, the greater your chances of obtaining a full recovery. As such, it is important that you seek the assistance of a licensed lawyer as soon as possible. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.