Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., Attorneys at Law

NCAA settles head injury lawsuit; to fund research program

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Many Virginia residents are big fans of college football. Often, college players are as popular as professional football players. However, football is also inherently dangerous for the players. Head injuries sustained during a football game are common. Sadly, many of those injuries result in brain injury, which can lead to long-term problems.

Recently, the National Collegiate Athletic Association agreed to pay $70 million for treatment of players who believe that they sustained a brain injury while playing college football. Additionally, the NCAA also promised a sum of $5 million to fund a research program that would research concussions suffered by players on the field.

The agreement was made to settle a class-action lawsuit led by a former player from the Eastern Illinois Panthers who suffered a head injury while on the field. According to reports, he suffered an injury earlier in the same game and was put back on the field by his coach within a few minutes of falling onto the sidelines.

Among the new regulations were introduced as part of the settlement deal is one that provides that

all players' health will be tested. Also under the terms of the deal, all contact sports in college will be required to have trained medical staff specializing in concussions. Athletes will be provided training related to concussions and players will not return to the field on the same day after suffering an injury.

The world of college athletics has its own special considerations, but many Virginians can identify with the struggles of athletes to overcome brain injury.

Because brain injuries don't heal the same way other types of injuries do, traumatic brain injuries can affect the injured for the rest of their lives, causing cognitive difficulties, dizziness and other problems. This, in turn, can lead to a diminished capacity to work, significantly reducing the person's income potential. Medical and rehabilitative treatment can help, but this can be very expensive.

When a brain injury is the result of someone else's negligence, the injured may be able to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Virginia attorneys with experience in brain injury cases can help the injured or their families to understand how the process works and how the law may apply to the facts of their case.

Source: CNN.com, "NCAA reaches head injury settlement," Sara Ganim, July 29, 2014

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