You are pedaling down the home stretch, neck and neck with another cyclist who has been drafting off your left shoulder for the past five miles. Just as you are leaning into the final curve, summoning your finishing kick, she gets too close, and her pedal catches your back wheel. In an instant, it is all over. You go down hard, and you hear your helmet crunch as it impacts. The next thing you know, you are in the emergency room. If you have been injured in a sports accident, you should seek the advice of a sports-related head injuries attorney.
What Is a Sports-Related Injury?
People who play sports can reasonably expect to get scrapes and sprains from time to time. They are all part of the game. However, when a sports related injury affects your brain, the game has the potential to become deadly. A blow to the head or the penetration of your skull by a projectile typically causes traumatic brain injury. TBI affects your brain function, either temporarily or in the long-term.
TBIs Are a Growing Problem
Over the past decade, the number of Americans under the age of 19 seeking medical care for sports-related head injuries rose 57 percent, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control. More than half of these TBIs in children 14 and younger resulted from falls. Nearly one-quarter of TBIs diagnosed in children 15 and younger resulted from blunt trauma — blows to the head.
The Most Dangerous Sports
Across all age groups, the sports contributing to the greatest number of head injuries, according to The American Association of Neurological Surgeons, are:
- Horseback riding
When You Should Seek Damages
If you have experienced a sports-related head injury during the normal course of play, you are typically responsible for paying your medical bills and other damages. You knew the risks and accepted them. However, if someone else caused your incident through direct action or negligence, you should seek the help of a personal injury lawyer. Any of the following factors leading to sports-related head injuries could be cause for a damage claim:
- Lack of adequate safety training
- Old or defective equipment
- Unsafe sports facility
- Personal attack with intent to harm
Determining Liability for Sports-Related Head Injuries
The test for liability is whether someone failed to act responsibly in protecting you from harm. For example, the helmet the cyclist wore during the incident described above was defective, failing to protect her head from injury. Therefore, the manufacturer may be liable for her subsequent TBI. Additionally, the other cyclist who caused the fall by riding too close may also be liable. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you identify actionable liability in your circumstances.
Rizio Liberty Lipinsky Can Help
Determining your damages in a head injury case can be complicated due to the unpredictable nature of TBIs. The severity of your concussion, your age, your income and your prognosis are all critical factors in predicting your long-term costs. The experienced sports-related head injuries attorneys at Rizio Liberty Lipinsky can help. They understand the challenges you face after a TBI, both on a daily basis and in the future. Get in touch today by calling 888-292-8888 or completing the contact form to arrange a free consultation.