Injuries are an unfortunate reality when it comes to sports. It’s all too easy to twist an ankle or sprain a knee when playing games such as basketball and football. Sometimes, though, injuries aren’t just “part of the game.” An intentionally violent act by an opposing player outside the scope of ordinary play, or a head trauma that occurs when a school fails to provide proper helmets are but two examples. When these kinds of injuries occur, it’s time to consider legal recourse to address the healthcare costs, pain, and suffering that are inherent in a sports-related injury.
Sports injuries from common to uncommon, and minor to severe
Common sports injuries include ankle sprains, hamstring strains, groin pulls, shin splints, tennis elbow, and a spectrum of knee injuries. Whereas a sprain is a stretch or tear of the tissue that connects the end of one bone to another, a strain is an injury of a muscle and/or tendon. Fortunately, many of these injuries can be minor. This is not the case with injuries such as a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), fractured vertebrae, torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), broken leg or arm, or severe concussions. Concussions, especially, are an increasing problem that have only recently been receiving the attention they deserve.
The importance of understanding the causes and symptoms of concussions
Concussions are an increasingly common, and very serious sports injury. A concussion is caused by trauma to the brain. A direct blow to the head is one source of such trauma. For example, if a batter in baseball hits a line drive that strikes the pitcher in the head, a concussion will most likely result. Also, if, when tackling a wide receiver, a free safety in football makes high-speed helmet-to-helmet contact, a concussion may result. Of course, athletes, especially in football, receive instruction about tackling the body instead of the head, but there is always room for both genuine error and ill intent.
In terms of symptoms, a concussion may trigger physical symptoms such as headaches and nausea. Cognitive impairment, such as diminished concentration or memory, is also possible. The same is true with emotional well-being, as a concussion may lead to sadness and irritability. Even basic day-to-day functions such as sleep, appetite, and energy may be disturbed.
Student-athletes are increasingly at risk of concussions. According to a recent study, Massachusetts-based students suffered over 4,400 concussions or other head injuries as a result of playing sports during the 2012-2013 school year. For students, especially, the cognitive ramifications of a concussion can be serious.
What should I do when I have been injured playing a sport?
Have you been injured while playing sports in the state of Massachusetts? Do you suspect that the injury was the result of ill intent on the part of another player, unreasonably dangerous conditions, or faulty equipment? If so, please contact Sheehan Law Firm. We understand how a sports-related injury can upend one’s life, and we will do our best to help you recover compensation for any physical, cognitive, or emotional trauma that you have suffered.