As debate continues to surround the NFL about the head injuries sustained by professional athletes in the 1970s and ‘80s, new legislation has been introduced to protect younger athletes from similar traumas.
The bill lays out new rules set to improve the standard of safety equipment and to ensure that all developments are informed by the latest science and research. Equally, the bill will also increase potential penalties for false advertising claims designed to sell sports equipment.
The law comes after the latest figures revealed that more than 300,000 concussions were diagnosed in American schools last year, though that figure is subject to reported cases, the actual number may be much higher. Worse still, once a child or an adult has suffered a concussion, they are more susceptible to future concussions. No case of this was more high-profile than the unfortunate and tragic death of Jaquan Waller in 2008. Having suffered a head-impact injury in training, Waller died of a second concussive hit only 48 hours after his first. Only weeks earlier, another student, Matthew Gfeller, had also died after sustaining concussion injuries.
Waller died of ‘Second Impact Syndrome, which, although not always fatal, inevitability results in morbidity. The impact can be devastating. If the person survives, they will be severely disabled for the rest of their life, requiring constant care and attention, and incurring massive financial strain on those looking after them. At Blackwater Law, we look to provide you with justice, and the help and support you’ll need in difficult times. In the aftermath of the injury, the cost, both emotional and financial, can be high. Here at Blackwater Law, we strive to achieve the very best outcome for all the head injury claims we deal with.
With head injuries becoming more and more prevalent in the sport, the necessary introduction of these new rules at a grass-roots level aim to change the way head and brain injuries are viewed and treated from the bottom up. A head injury of any sort, even a mild concussion, should be immediately examined, both for direct and lasting damage. The vulnerability that a concussion leaves on the skull puts the injured party at even greater risk for the future, both from the incremental damage sustained from repeated hits, and the slow-acting, long-lasting effects that even a single blow can have.
As we continue to track the developments in the head and brain injury legislation, you can stay updated by following Blackwater Law on Twitter.
For further information please take a look at our article about head injuries relating to rugby.