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Shapiro & Appleton

Athletes’ Concussion Injuries: New School Tests

Unlike more obvious traumatic brain injuries, like a fractured skull, there are few outward signs of concussions and they don't usually show up on MRI or CT scans.But a number of school districts are developing a new computer-based test that can identify concussions to help schools decide if it's safe for athletes to carry on playing, the Milford Daily News in Massachusetts (MA) reports.

The most popular program, typically taken online, is called ImPact and costs school systems $1 or $2 per test. ImPact is hired by districts as an adviser and also offers a $50 consultation and testing session for individual patients.

For decades, high school football players shrugged off concussions while a lack of expertise among players, trainers, coaches and parents meant the potential dangers were not always understood.

However, as new data on concussions emerged across Virginia (VA), the General Assembly passed legislation requiring medical clearance for students to return to play.

If you hit your head in a fall, accident or physical assault, you may suffer concussion-like symptoms known as post concussion syndrome, for weeks or months afterward, while traumatic brain injuries can cause memory loss. Mild traumatic brain injuries are less obvious, but a mild traumatic brain injury can cause permanent damage. There is a growing body of evidence that concussion-type injuries, if untreated, can lead to Parkinson-type diseases and dementia.

"The whole mantra is, if in doubt, sit them out," Dr. Joel Brenner, director of sports medicine at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, in Norfolk (VA) , told the Virginian-Pilot.

According to the Brain Injury Resource Center the United States sees an estimated 300,000 sports related traumatic brain injuries, (TBIs), of mild to moderate severity, most of which can be classified as concussions.

In some cases defective equipment or the conditions of a sporting facility can contribute to a player's injury, resulting in litigation.

Our firm has handled a number of interesting cases where parties are at fault. In one case the manufacturer and the seller of a baseball pitching machine had improperly designed their product in such a way as to cause a facial injury to a person using the equipment.

Because of this lack of visibility in many brain injury cases, insurance companies or liable parties will often claim that there is no brain damage at all. This is why an experienced brain damage injury lawyer who knows how to deal with these tactics is essential to win your case.

Our law firm knows how to handle these complex cases. We obtained, in Manassas, VA what was then the largest mild traumatic brain injury verdict in the United States in October 2000:  $ 46 million, with rose to $60 with interest.

See this video on concussions from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri (MO).



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