Several current and former sports players have filed lawsuits against the NHL and NFL for negligent and fraudulent actions regarding the research, handling, and treatment of concussions. The players allege that repeated concussions caused them to have current memory loss, depression, and even degenerative brain disease. The NFL is attempting to have the lawsuits both consolidated and then dismissed, arguing that the players are barred from suing the league under their collective bargaining agreement.
However, under California Workers’ Compensation Law, these athletes are entitled to medical benefits and a disability settlement. The main Medical-Legal issue will be apportionment to determine the percentage of pathology caused by the work exposure.
Brain injuries sustained while playing sports are a very serious problem in the United States. Estimates by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other organizations hypothesize that between 1.5 and 3.8 million people suffer a sports-related traumatic brain injury each year. Research has shown that concussions and other relatively minor injuries can lead to far more serious problems like depression, decreased mental capabilities, loss of memory, degenerative brain disease, sleeplessness, post-concussion syndrome, persistent headaches, second-impact syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and many other devastating injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries can prove to be extremely debilitating for victims, rendering them unable to work, play, and function as they previously could. As a result, individuals who sustain brain injuries due to the fault or negligence of another may be able to pursue legal recourse. It will be interesting to see how the legal community and the NFL resolve this issue.
If you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury, we would be happy to refer you to a medical specialist with experience in evaluation and management in neurorehabilitation to determine the extent of current and future loss of earning capacity.
Medical Legal Experts is a group of Qualified Medical Evaluators (QME), Agreed Medical Evaluators (AME) and Medical-Legal Experts here to give you a fair and ethical examination and disability rating. To schedule an appointment contact us at your convenience. Medical Legal Experts proudly served California and is approved as a continuing education provider for the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) for Qualified Medical Evaluators (QME), the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners, the U.S. Federation of Chiropractic Examiners and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.