All professional athletes are at risk of sustaining sports-related injuries, such as torn ligaments, bone fractures, or shin splints. However, special risks exist for professional football players in the NFL (National Football League), who suffer brain injuries and head injuries at astonishingly high rates.
Studies have shown that NFL players are at high risk for head and brain injuries, which can have debilitating long-term effects that grow progressively worse over time. Unlike injuries to bones and joints, which are often treatable with surgery or medical implants, brain injuries frequently result in incurable, irreversible symptoms, which may include chronic pain, chronic fatigue, cognitive impairments, and mood disorders, among other health problems. In severe cases, head injuries can even lead to wrongful death.
If you or a loved one suffered a head injury in the NFL, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The Ramsay Law Firm, PA can help.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Injured NFL Players
If you, your spouse, or a family member suffered a serious head injury while playing in the NFL, you should review your legal options with an aggressive attorney who has prior experience successfully representing injured NFL players. Martha Ramsay, founder of the Ramsay Law Firm, PA, is that attorney. A proud member of the National Football League Player’s Association (NFLPA) Workers’ Compensation Panel for North Carolina since 1995, Martha Ramsay has over 20 years of legal experience handling complex injury claims on behalf of professional athletes.
Professional football players have legal rights. Martha Ramsay has dedicated her legal career to upholding, protecting, and exercising those rights. To learn more about getting compensated for an NFL head injury or brain injury, contact the Ramsay Law Firm at (877) 576-5500 for a free and confidential consultation today.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in NFL Football
Doctors and researchers have long understood that football, like other contact sports, can produce an array of serious head injuries. However, the true prevalence of brain injuries in the NFL was underestimated until recently. What scientists now know is that virtually every player in the NFL is at risk for developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease induced by repeated blows to the head.
In July 2017, a shocking update to an existing long-term study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that CTE, which can only be diagnosed after the patient has died, was detected in 110 out of 111 deceased NFL football players: more than 99%. When high school football players, college football players, and semiprofessional football players were also examined, the figure dropped from 99% to approximately 87%. These figures indicate that, while all football players are at risk for CTE, the disease is all but certain in NFL players. However, study author Dr. Ann McKee noted that ” Families don’t donate brains of their loved ones unless they’re concerned about the person. So all of the players in this study, on some level, were symptomatic. That leaves you with a very skewed population.” Still, McKee is adamant about one point. “We’re seeing this (CTE) in a very large number that participated in football for many years. So while we don’t know the exact risk and we don’t know the exact number, we know this is a problem in football.”
CTE is caused by repeated head injuries, which explains the prevalence of the disease among NFL players and other professional athletes. Each time an NFL athlete is tackled to the ground, collides with another player, or strikes a hard surface, there is risk of sustaining a head injury. Every fall, concussion, or blow to the skull over the course of a player’s career – no matter how mild the injury seems at the time it occurs – increases the likelihood that CTE will develop.
NFL Compensation for CTE and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
CTE, as well as the head injuries which lead to CTE, can inflict a range of debilitating physical and mental impairments on an NFL football player. Even the lowest level of traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is called mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) or a “concussion,” is capable of resulting in effects that persist for weeks or months, whereas moderate or severe TBI generally results in long-term or permanent physical and cognitive damage.
Due to the enormous complexity of the brain and central nervous system, the effects of CTE and traumatic brain injuries typically prove irreversible. While a laceration can be closed with stitches, or a damaged joint reconstructed with implants, damage to brain tissue is almost impossible to repair effectively, even with the benefit of world-class medical care. Because they are so difficult to treat, and have such profound effects upon the patient and their loved ones, brain injuries are among the most devastating and life-altering injuries any athlete can sustain.
Depending on its severity, size, and location, a traumatic brain injury can lead to a range of physical effects, mental effects, and emotional or behavioral effects. These effects may include:
- Blurred vision
- Chronic pain
- Difficulty balancing
- Difficulty focusing and concentrating
- Difficulty learning and processing new information
- Difficulty reading and/or writing
- Loss of bowel and/or bladder control (incontinence)
- Loss of physical sensation, such as pressure or temperature sensations
- Memory loss
- Persistent vegetative state
- Shortened attention span
- Speech problems
- Vision loss
CTE, which is caused by repeated head injuries and causes the brain to lose physical mass, can have similarly devastating consequences for an NFL player’s health, independence, and functionality. These consequences can persist and continue to worsen for many years after the player has retired. Effects of CTE may include:
- Erratic behavior
- Increased aggression or irritability
- Increased impulsivity
- Memory loss
Due to the permanently disabling nature of most football-related brain injuries, as well as the enormous medical costs associated with ongoing treatment and care, injured NFL players require financial support. Equipped with decades of experience fighting for compensation on behalf of hurt NFL players, athletic injury attorney Martha Ramsay is ready to explore every possible legal avenue for recovering compensation.
Charlotte Injury Attorneys for Professional Football Players
A brain injury can forever alter every aspect of your life, from diet and exercise to leisure activities to the work you perform to your relationships with family and loved ones. If you suffered a head injury while playing for the NFL, you deserve an investigation into the accident that caused your injury. You could be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, diminished earning capacity, and other losses resulting from the NFL injury.
To learn more about your legal rights and options for getting compensated as an injured NFL player, contact the Ramsay Law Firm, PA at (877) 576-5500 for a free and completely confidential consultation. We are here to help professional athletes obtain the compensation, the care, and the closure they need to move forward in life following a serious sports injury.