To many, sports and direct-contact games are a valid reason to spend time with friends and family members while watching the game. On the other hand, for players, partaking in extreme physical contact sports could prove to be a fatal decision if players are not familiar with the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries. Currently, the National Football League (NFL) has been named in a lawsuit in which plaintiffs allege that the league hid the long-term impact of concussions from its players.
NFL Concussion Lawsuit Settlement
Over 4,500 former players in the National Football League (NFL) filed a lawsuit against the NFL with the help of brain injury lawyers to seek compensation for concussions and other related injuries. The NFL agreed to pay $765 million to settle the lawsuit, and brain injury lawyers reported that all retirees would be eligible for a share of the award.
However, the number of former players eligible to receive payments may be small as only those with the most severe brain injuries would be compensated. Additionally, according to a confidential letter that outlined some of the components of the proposed NFL concussion lawsuit settlement, the estates of retirees who passed before 2006 would be excluded.
The details of the NFL concussion lawsuit settlement may disappoint some players who had hoped to receive compensation. After the deal was announced in August 2013, some retired players admitted that they felt the settlement amount was not high enough. Others were angry that their brain injury lawyers would not have the opportunity to learn more about what the NFL knew in particularly in regards to the dangers of concussions. In the settlement, the NFL did not admit to any fault.
The letter also stated that retirees seeking a share of the NFL concussion lawsuit settlement would need to prove that they have Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), dementia, Parkinson’s disease or other severe cognitive impairment. Among those who may receive compensation include the estates of players who passed away in 2006 or later and received a diagnosis of one of the aforementioned conditions or were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative neurological condition that can only be noted through an autopsy.
However, retirees will not have to prove their conditions were caused by football, and any retired players will be eligible for medical monitoring and compensation if conditions develop in the future. While it unclear exactly how many will receive compensation, brain injury lawyers maintain that players would receive payment from the NFL concussion lawsuit settlement based on the number of years played in the NFL, their illness and their age.
According to brain injury lawyers and the NFL concussion lawsuit settlement, players with ALS could receive compensation of up to $5 million, those who were found to have CTE following a CAT scan may receive $4 million, those with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s could receive $3 million and players with other disorders will receive less.
How Do Brain Injuries Occur?
Some sources assert that brain injuries could start as early as high school or college football, and symptoms could not appear until the player becomes involved in professional football. Additionally, injuries may occur more often in the NFL due to the league’s alleged notoriety for overlooking injuries and recovery time as claimed in the lawsuit. Although death is rare while playing contact sports, one of the leading causes of sports-related fatalities are traumatic brain injuries. A jolt or blow to the head disrupts the function of the brain as the object can hit the head suddenly or violently, piercing the skull or enter into the brain tissue.
Symptoms can range from mild or moderate to severe, depending on the damage. Oftentimes, traumatic brain injuries result in alterations in mental consciousness. Severe cases may cause coma or death. Other evidence of brain injuries include:
- Speech and walking abnormalities
- Memory loss
- Loss of fine motor skills
- Changes in mood and temperament
- Diagnosed brain damage
- Constant or recurring headaches
- Sensitivity to light or sound
Injured? Brain Injury Lawyers Can Fight for You
If you, a friend or someone you love has been injured while playing football or other contact sports or suffered a traumatic brain injury in a fall or vehicular crash and are now suffering side effects, brain injury lawyers can work to protect your rights. At Attorney Group, we will provide you with a free consultation to answer your questions and determine if you have a valid claim. Should we feel you are eligible to seek compensation, we will connect you with affiliated brain injury lawyers who will help you file for lost wages, medical expenses, medications, loss of quality of life and pain and suffering.