For many, sports are more than just a pastime; they are a passion. Yet, alongside the thrill and joy of the game comes an undeniable risk—the possibility of suffering a traumatic brain injury from playing sports. What happens when the unexpected occurs? Can you pursue a personal injury claim? Sometimes, you can file a lawsuit against the responsible party for compensation. However, these claims are complex, which is why you need an experienced Texas lawyer on your side. Contact us today!
Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Concussions and other TBIs are an unfortunate reality athletes of all ages and levels face. Whether you’re a weekend warrior on the basketball court or a professional football player, the potential for injury exists. The risk is especially concerning for younger people, such as teenagers engaged in high school sports. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2019 indicate that 15% of all high school students sustained one or more concussions while playing sports or engaging in recreational activities during the preceding 12 months. Why is this a problem? For each subsequent concussion you sustain, there is a higher risk for additional damage or an extended recovery period.
Before diving into the legal aspects of pursuing a claim, it’s crucial to understand what constitutes a TBI. TBIs range in severity from mild to severe. Concussions, which many might dismiss as just “getting your bell rung,” are a form of TBI. They can result from a sudden jolt, a hit to the head, or any event causing the brain to move violently within the skull.
Sport brain injuries involving repeated concussions or severe hits can lead to chronic issues and long-term damage.
Liability and the Law
You might wonder about the legal repercussions if you or a loved one has suffered a TBI from sports. Who is liable? Can you seek compensation? Here’s what you need to know about claims related to sport brain injuries:
- Negligence. For legal action to be viable, you must prove negligence. Was there a failure to provide proper equipment? Did a coach push an athlete too hard, knowing the risks? If you can prove someone’s negligence contributed to the injury, they might be held liable.
- Waivers and assumed risk. Most sports organizations and recreational facilities require participants to sign a waiver. While these waivers can sometimes limit or negate the organization’s responsibility, they don’t always absolve all liabilities, especially in cases of gross negligence.
- Manufacturer liability. The manufacturer might be responsible if the equipment used during the sport was faulty or not up to safety standards. For example, a football helmet that fails to offer adequate protection could subject the manufacturer to liability.
- Third-party responsibility. Occasionally, another player’s actions could be so reckless that they go beyond the normal scope of the game. In such instances, they might be held legally accountable for causing a head injury from playing sports.
When you contact an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer, we can help you identify all potentially liable parties and explain your rights under the law.
Protecting Yourself and Your Rights
Prevention, of course, is the best approach. But if you find yourself or a family member suffering a TBI from sports, here are some steps to consider:
- Seek medical attention. Always prioritize your or your child’s health. Even if symptoms seem minor, they could escalate or indicate a more severe problem. It’s always best to seek medical treatment immediately following any head injury and follow the doctor’s advice.
- Document everything. From the incident to medical appointments and symptoms, keep meticulous records. This evidence will be necessary during the claims process.
- Get witness contact information. If the incident happened with others present, there is likely at least one witness. Be sure to get their contact information if it’s someone you don’t know. Their statement could be invaluable when pursuing a lawsuit.
- Consult an experienced lawyer. Pursuing a claim for a head injury from playing sports is complex. You need a legal advocate to guide you.
Gathering strong evidence and identifying all liable parties can be challenging. You want an experienced lawyer who understands the legal nuances of a traumatic brain injury from playing sports versus one from a car accident.
Contact a Texas Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
At Hartley Law Firm, we understand this is a frustrating and scary time for your family. Concussions and other TBIs affect more than just the victim. With a decade of experience, we recognize the importance of seeking justice for a head injury from playing sports.
We believe in treating our clients like family. You should concentrate on your healing—or your child’s—rather than argue with an insurance company or corporate lawyers. That’s where we come in. Let us handle all the stressful and complicated legal issues so you can worry about what’s most important—your family’s health. If you or someone you love suffered a sports-related TBI, contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Let us review your case and advise you how best to proceed.