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PA|NJ Sports Injury and Accident Update: Concussions and Negligence Claims

Concussions in Sports Accidents-What Kinds of Claims Can Be Made under Pennsylvania or New Jersey Law?

Child and teen athletes and professional athletes alike, are at risk for concussions, especially in sports like football and soccer.  However, they can also occur in non-contact sports, like baseball or basketball.
Even minor head concussions can cause serious brain injury. Loss of consciousness is not necessary to sustain a serious head injury.  If more than one concussion is sustained in a short period of time, hours, days or even weeks, the result could be serious. Although rare, second impact syndrome can cause death or severe brain injury with lasting cognitive deficits.
What Should Parents Do if Their Child Sustained a Serious Concussion with Lasting Cognitive Issues?
In situations where a child sustains a concussion with deficits or if a child dies as a result of a concussion, the parents may be able to obtain compensation under Pennsylvania or New Jersey law.
Schools, sports organizations, etc. which oversee children who engage in contact sports have a duty under the law, to take reasonable steps to protect players against the risks associated with concussions.  This is especially true, given the fact that concussion diagnosis and treatment have come a long way in the past several years.
Gone are the days when a coach can look at a player who suffered a concussion and tell them that they “just got their bell rung” and send them back into the game.  Proper concussion diagnosis protocol demands otherwise. Therefore it is incumbent upon schools, coaches, and sports organizations to take reasonable steps to protect their players from head injury.

Common types of claims which may be made in a New Jersey or Pennsylvania sports accident case involving serious brain injury or death at school or in an adult sports league include:

  • failing to remove a player from play
  • failing to properly observe a player for head injuries
  • failing to obtain proper medical treatment for a player
  • failing to record crucial information for medical staff such as the nature of the hit, loss of consciousness, the player’s symptoms, since the player might not be able to accurately relay the symptoms
  • failing to inform parents of the concussion and give them proper information about concussion care/treatment
  • allowing the player to return to play before being cleared
  • failing to have a system in place to record whether a player has previously had a concussion
  • failing to have a concussion diagnosis and treatment protocol
  • failing to train staff and employees about the above
  • failing to supervise staff and employees
  • failing to supervise players

For more information about Pennsylvania and New Jersey sports accident law, access our legal article about liability of other players in PA|NJ sports accidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a sports accident in the Pennsylvania or New Jersey area, call our sports injury and accident lawyers.  Firm partner, Dan O'Brien, is a lifelong athlete and youth sports coach who has represented countless athletes and players in sports and recreation cases.  We always offer free, no obligation consultations. 877.944.8396

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