Sports-related head injuries are on the rise. According to an American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) utilizing data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were an estimated 446,788 sports-related head injuries treated at U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2009 – an increase of nearly 95,000 sports-related injuries from the previous year. Sports-related head injuries are most commonly suffered in the following sports and recreational activities:
- Baseball and Softball
- Water Sports
- Powered Recreational Vehicles
- Skiing, Sledding, Snowboarding, and Snowmobiling
- Horseback Riding
Sport-related Concussions in Adults
The most common type of sport-related injury in adults is a concussion. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs when the head accelerates quickly and then suddenly stops or is rapidly rotated. Concussions result in confusion, blurred vision, memory loss, and nausea. In most cases, a concussion does not result in unconsciousness, but in some severe cases, loss of consciousness may result.
Secondary Impact Syndrome
Adult athletes sometimes think that their body is capable of returning to athletic play before they have had an opportunity to completely recover. Returning to sports activities too quickly can result in serious head injuries that can have significant and lifelong consequences, such as secondary impact syndrome.
Secondary impact syndrome (SIS) is caused when an athlete who is recovering from a head injury, such as a concussion, returns to sports activities play before he or she has fully healed and the athlete suffers another head injury. SIS can result in massive swelling of the brain since the brain has not had time to heal from the initial injury. In some cases, SIS can lead to herniation, which can cause loss of brain flow to the brain and death.
SIS and multiple concussions can cause significant neuropsychological brain damage even to adult athletes. SIS is currently the subject of significant litigation involving the NFL and several former football players would have suffered SIS. In some serious cases, SIS has even been known to result in death.
New data also shows that a large number of professional hockey and football players suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which can cause memory loss, impulsive behavior, move swings, and addiction.
Liability for Sports-related Head Injuries
If you or someone you love has suffered a sports-related head injury, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. The Chicago brain injury attorneys at Ankin Law Offices, LLC have considerable experience representing clients in a variety of personal injury lawsuits that involve sports-related injuries, including football head injuries, hockey head injuries, and head injuries in children. We understand that lawsuits involving brain injuries involve complex legal issues and require a comprehensive factual analysis, and we are prepared to vigorously advocate on your behalf.
If you or a loved one has suffered a sports-related head injury, contact the Chicago head injury law firm of Ankin Law Offices to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible cause of action to obtain compensation for sports-related head injuries.