In recent years, the high rate of concussions suffered by football players in the National Football League (NFL) has begun to receive more attention and has presented questions not just regarding the safety of the game, but also the culpability of the NFL, and legal liability related to the brain injuries that are suffered by professional football players. Additionally, increased awareness of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has led to the realization that the injuries suffered by career football players might have serious and permanent life altering impacts.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is an injury to the brain caused by a serious hit to the head, or by a blow to the body that causes the brain to bang back and forth within the skull. Most concussions do not prove life-threatening, but they can have a serious impact on individuals.
What is CTE?
CTE is a disease of the brain. It is degenerative and can lead to many serious conditions and symptoms. Memory loss, confusion, depression, paranoia, suicidal behavior, problems controlling impulses, aggression, and even dementia are associated with CTE. The disease is most often found in veterans of the military and athletes who have suffered repeated head trauma and brain injuries. The symptoms can take months or decades to appear. Much like Alzheimer’s disease, a true diagnosis is currently only possible through an analysis of brain tissue after the death of the inflicted individual.
How common are concussions and CTE in the NFL?
It is probably not surprising given the level of physical contact involved in the NFL that concussions are a frequent occurrence for players. In 2015, 271 concussions were reported in the NFL throughout the preseason and regular season, including games and practices. This was an increase in concussions as compared to other recent previous seasons. Even more disturbingly, In an interview with Time, Bennet Omalu, the neuropathologist who first brought attention to the presence of CTE in former NFL center and Hall of Fame member Mike Webster’s brain, stated that he estimates that around 90% of former NFL players develop CTE later in life.
Can NFL players or former NFL players hold the NFL accountable for the damage they suffered?
A class action lawsuit filed by former NFL players against the NFL has resulted in a settlement of nearly one billion dollars. The suit covers over 20,000 former NFL players, and players who suffered from certain CTE related impairments could receive settlements amounting to as much as $5 million.
If I am a former NFL player suffering from CTE, can I recover as a result of the settlement?
Former NFL players, as well as the family members of former players who are now deceased may file claims in order to collect compensation from the settlement.
If I qualify to recover from the settlement, do I need an attorney to file a claim?
You are not required to have an attorney in order to file for compensation from the NFL settlement. However, if you do hire an attorney, your chances of your claim being accepted, and of receiving as much compensation as you deserve will likely be increased.
What if I want to pursue my own claim against the NFL?
If you have suffered as a result of CTE or concussions in the NFL, speak with an attorney to discuss your condition and your experiences, and what the best legal course of action is for you.
Contact Stern Law, PLLC for A Free Consultation
At Stern Law, PLLC, we have compassionate and caring attorneys ready to work with you in orderto find the best strategy for seeking compensation for your sport related injuries. Contact Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529 for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.