Many people across the United States enjoy the excitement that football and other contact sports bring. Though it is common knowledge that professional football is a dangerous game, playing the game shouldn’t have to increase a player’s risk for dementia, depression, and suicide.
The NFL researched the effects of repeated concussions, but found no evidence to suggest the correlation between playing football and developing brain disorders. But new medical evidence gathered over the years suggest that former NFL players at risk of sustaining serious health conditions linked to multiple concussions and repeated impact during play. Still, NFL players were encouraged to play despite their suffering traumatic brain injuries.
About the NFL Concussion Settlement
In April 2015, Federal District Court Judge Anita Brody approved a settlement fund that awarded nearly $1 billion dollars or up to $5 million each to former NFL players experiencing qualifying head injuries. The process for submitting claims opened on March 23, 2017, while those affected were given until August 7, 2017 to file.
The settlement fund entitled qualified retired NFL players to obtain compensation based on their age, total playing time, and the neurological problems associated with concussions. The NFL concussion settlement fund applied to players who retired before July 7, 2014, as well as to family members who lost their loved ones on or before July 7, 2014.
The settlement was a result of a class action suit brought by over 5,000 former NFL players, essentially accusing the NFL of breaching its duty of care to protect their players and intentionally hiding information about concussion risks that they faced every game.
Call The Fitch Law Firm as soon as possible at (614) 545-3930 so we can evaluate your case and file your NFL concussion lawsuit compensation claim.
What is a Concussion?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury resulting from a jolt or blow to the head or body, causing the head to move back and forth rapidly. Such abrupt movement can cause the brain to move around the skull, generating chemical changes in the brain and at times stretching and harming the brain cells.
While some individuals experience obvious symptoms of a concussion, others do not. Symptoms and signs often show up soon after the sustained injury, though some symptoms last anywhere from several hours to days and even weeks.
Common symptoms of a concussion include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory loss
- Mood change
- Vision change
- Hearing change
A concussion is not usually life-threatening, and so medical professionals typically describe it as a mild brain injury. In some instances, however, a concussion can cause more severe problems. A severe concussion or repeated concussions may lead to lifelong problems with learning, speaking, or movement.
Concussions and the NFL
Statistics show that in 2014, a total of 206 concussions were diagnosed in both practices and games in the pre-season and regular season. In 2015, the number of diagnosed shot up to 275, while a total of 244 concussions were diagnosed in both pre-season and regular season practices and games in 2016. More often than not, helmet-to-helmet contact in games are the most common source of head injuries.
Concussions are among the least serious type of traumatic brain injury, yet its long-term effects can be detrimental. Recent studies reveal that retired NFL players have a significantly higher risk of suffering neurological disorders such as dementia, depression, and Alzheimer’s. The results of the study showed that memory loss stemming from dementia may have been associated with the repeated concussions encountered by football players during their games. It was also found that when compared to non-athletes from the same age bracket, former football players were clearly impaired.
Apart from the abovementioned conditions, players who suffer from repeated concussions are also at risk of developing a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. Experts link this neurodegenerative disease to recurring head trauma, and eventually this results in the gradual deteriorating of the brain. Scientists, however, can only conclusively diagnose CTE after death.
The Department of Veteran Affairs studied brains of more than 90 deceased NFL players, and found signs of CTE in all but four cases. After taking into consideration collegiate and semi-professional players, CTE was discovered in nearly 80 percent of all brains studied. Though not a representative sample, it is most certainly a concerning figure.
Contact The Fitch Law Firm
Are you a former professional football player suffering from conditions such as brain injury, Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s, or dementia? Did you lose a loved one due to NFL injuries leading to chronic neurological disorders? If so, you not only deserve monetary compensation, but justice as well.
Call The Fitch Law Firm at (614) 545-3930 to discuss your case with a legal professional.