The subject of professional football players suffering head injuries, particularly concussions, and long-term healthcare issues, as a result, is increasingly gaining more attention in the public eye and becoming a matter of deep concern. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or any other injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. This violent shaking of the brain may cause confusion, memory loss, blurred vision, or unconsciousness; long-term, the effects of a concussion can be much more severe.
The National Football League (NFL) has recently endured a great deal of scrutiny in regards to the serious enduring effects of brain injuries.
The National Football League (NFL) has recently endured a great deal of scrutiny in regards to the serious enduring effects of brain injuries. A June 2012 legal complaint against the organization alleges that the NFL turned a blind eye to the health risks and dangers of repetitive blows to the head which produce concussions and failed to warn the league's players of this well-recognized health problem, while also failing to impose appropriate safety regulations to protect its players from the critical long-term effects of a brain injury.
Brain Injury-Related Lawsuits against the NFL
Thousands of former football players for the NFL who have been affected by concussions and brain injuries have filed lawsuits against the organization, which have been consolidated into one master complaint as of June 2012. The lawsuits allege that the NFL hid information that linked football-related head trauma to permanent brain injuries, debilitating long-term health issues, and illnesses. The longer-term health issues include irreparable memory loss and brain damage, and among the illnesses cited in the lawsuits were Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
The complaint charges that the NFL was aware of the health risks associated with repeated blows to the head causing concussive results, and also the fact that certain NFL players were at substantial risk for developing long-term brain damage and cognitive decline as a result. Attorneys for the players filing the lawsuits assert that the aim of the lawsuit is to ensure that the NFL fulfills its obligations and provides a safer sport and proper care for retirees.
Studies on NFL Players and Brain Injuries
A number of studies specifically examining the effects of concussions on NFL players have been conducted, arriving at very interesting conclusions in regards to the longer term effects of repeated concussions. The following are two noteworthy studies:
- A study conducted in 2007 by the University of North Carolina's Center for the Study of Retired Athletes found that out of 595 retired NFL athletes who recalled sustaining three or more concussions, 20.2 percent said they had experienced depression. This is three times the rate of players who have not sustained any concussions at all.
- A 2009 study conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research and commissioned by the NFL revealed that Alzheimer's disease and similar memory-related diseases seem to have been diagnosed significantly more in former NFL players than in the national population. In particular, this includes a rate that is 19 times more normal than the rate for men ages 30 to 49.
Also, a survey conducted in 2000 revealed that out of the 1,090 former NFL players surveyed, more than 60 percent had suffered at least one concussion and 26 percent had three or more during the course of their career. Of the players who had one or more concussions, problems with concentration, memory, headaches, speech impediments, and other neurological problems were reported more than those who had not had a concussion at all.
Experienced Nebraska NFL Brain Injury Lawyers on Your Side
At the law firm of Cullan & Cullan, our Nebraska personal injury attorneys are also physicians, which gives us an excellent advantage when defending your case and allows us to fully understand the seriousness of a brain injury and the devastating long-term effects you may be experiencing. We are committed to providing brain injury victims with exceptional legal counsel and obtaining the compensation that a victim deserves in order to recover and live their best lives. For more information on how we can assist you in your case, please call (402) 552-8362.
- Will Smith Movie Puts NFL Brain Injuries in the Nebraska News Again
- Sports-related Head Injury - American Association of Neurological Surgeons
- Sports-Related Concussion - Merck Manual
- Sports Injury Statistics
- Dorsett, Others Show Signs of CTE
- Scientists Dissected the Brains of 79 NFL Players. What They Found Is Disturbing.