We have seen a growth in understanding of traumatic brain injuries, particularly concussions, over the last few years. It has been because of some high-profile NFL athlete disabilities and deaths that have led the CDC to issue new guidelines for treating student athletes with head injuries.
California schools have changed how they approach and care for student-athletes after hard blows to the head. Doctors who helped write the new guidelines say this is long overdue and that children have been overlooked in concussion research.
When we let our children play sports, we know there are risks involved. We just do not expect those risks to leave them permanently disabled, or worse, kill them.
Do you know what to do if your child suffers a head injury that is not treated properly by school staff?
What Are Traumatic Brain Injuries?
TBIs range in severity and are an injury “to the brain from an external mechanical force, possibly leading to permanent or temporary impairment or cognitive, physical, and psychosocial functions.”
When there is a hard blow to the head, a TBI should be suspected. The most common form of traumatic brain injury is a concussion. Thankfully, we are now taking these seriously.
An estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related concussions happen in the United States each year, most of those related to sports incidents, particularly with kids. Coaches and team staff must take more caution when they suspect a concussion because the effects of successive hits to the head can be devastating. Proper protocol must be followed concerning the medical care an athlete receives and when they are allowed to return to play.
If a coach allows a child to return to the field after a suspected hard hit to the head, they should be held liable if there is any further damage.
Concussions are the most mild form of a TBI. More than 5.3 million people live with disabilities caused by TBIs. They happen in various ways: violence, vehicle accidents, falls, job-related incidents, etc.
For these kinds of injuries, medical expenses can add up quickly and insurance may not cover all of the costs.
What if long-term rehabilitation or permanent care is needed after a TBI?
What You Can Do
If you or someone you love has suffered from a head injury due to the negligence of someone else, you should seek legal assistance. We know how hard these injuries can be to deal with, from the person who suffers the injury to their family members. If there is long-term disability, the emotional toll can be overwhelming.