What Do a Car Crash and a Football Game Have in Common?

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Glad the Cowboys and Frogs won this weekend, but it’s always a heart-wrenching moment when an NFL or college player gets carried off the field after being sacked. Tony Romo is still out after breaking a bone in his back again. Injuries on the field are, of course, inevitable.

But what’s just as awful to watch are the guys who don’t get taken out of play despite taking repeated or heavy blows to their heads.

Sure, the player may feel just a little dazed. More likely, the adrenaline and the love of the game (not to mention the existing or potential multi-million dollar contract) drive him to continue on.

The player may feel some of the short-term symptoms of a concussion — headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion — that may not be enough for doctors to pull a star player out of the game, although they should if his brain is at risk. The real danger, however, comes later.

Concussions can cause long-term injuries to the brain that affect cognition, judgment, emotion, memory and physical health. One concussion is serious. Multiple or untreated concussions can result in permanent disabilities or death.

NFL Players Aren’t the Only Ones at Risk

As an auto accident attorney for the past 36 years, I have often seen the same situation in motor vehicle crashes. The victim hits her head during the crash but at first may feels OK. He or she may not even know she suffered a head injury and may only realize she has a traumatic brain injury (TBI) days or weeks later. The problem is if he failed to get the right care in the interim.

This is frustrating for me because I know that a simple MRI, CT scan or PET scan can accurately detect TBI. You can then get the treatment you needs right away.

But even more crucial, you can protect your head from a second concussion.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.5 million serious head injuries that result in ER care, hospitalization or death occur each year, and TBI contributes to the fatality of approximately 50,000 people.

About 15 percent of these head injuries were caused by car wrecks.

Unlike a professional athlete, you don’t have a helmet to protect your head during a wreck. Your head is, therefore, vulnerable even in a so-called “minor” fender-bender.

Getting medical care to treat a head injury is absolutely crucial. Also crucial is avoiding another head injury while recovering from the first. Multiple or untreated TBI can result in irreparable neurological damage.

This is the controversy surrounding the NFL. Players are put in the game despite having an unhealed concussion. The second or third concussion can lead to mild cognitive impairments (MCI), chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) or post-concussion syndrome (PCS). You’ve no doubt heard about the one billion dollar settlement of the class action lawsuit brought on behalf of 20,000 former players.

Long-Term Damages Deserve Compensation

I suggest that you seek medical care if you suspect you hit your head during a car crash, even if you don’t feel symptoms. You not only protect your health, but also you protect your rights to compensation.

Your immediate TBI diagnosis and follow up tests build an important record of your injuries that Berenson Injury Law can use to recover damages for you.

If you have questions about your case, schedule a free claims evaluation. If you have been injured, I am here to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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