People across the country are starting to become more aware of the danger of concussions in sports. The focus of this awareness has been on professional sports, such as the NFL players who are now filing lawsuits against the league. Now, though, high school students and their parents are starting to follow in their footsteps and file lawsuits against schools, and the agencies that govern these sports. What is the validity of these lawsuits? Who is responsible when young athletes sustain a concussion?
Current Lawsuit Against USA Water Polo
Water polo sounds like a fun game that is played in backyard pools in the summer months. However, it is also a competitive and dangerous sport filled with many opportunities for players to become injured, particularly from concussions. It is a lesson that was learned the hard way by a water polo goalie and her parents back in 2014.
During a school tournament five years ago, the young girl sustained a concussion. Instead of keeping her on the sidelines and getting her medical attention, her coach sent her back into the game. Later she exhibited symptoms of dizziness, nausea, and headache. Her symptoms were so severe she could not return to school for the rest of the year.
After the incident, her mother filed a lawsuit against USA Water Polo. The lawsuit claims that the organization should have implemented a concussion management policy for young players, similar to the policy they have for the national team.
This case is a sad, yet interesting story. Who is responsible when young players sustain concussions?
Liability for Concussion Injuries
Many coaches, trainers, and even parents believe that concussions are just a part of the game. This type of thinking needs to change, and when coaches or anyone else places a player in danger, those injured can hold them liable for any injuries.
The question of liability begins at the beginning of any sport. If the sport is considered dangerous or has a high risk of concussions, coaches and agencies overseeing the sport should tell players of those risks. Only then can they make an informed decision of whether or not they want to take the chance of playing. When coaches and governing bodies fail to do this, they may have breached their duty of care, for which they can be held liable.
Additionally, coaches, trainers, and others involved in developing and assisting players must have proper training to recognize the signs of concussion. If they cannot do this and they send a player back out to play, they may also be liable. Worse, if a coach does recognize the signs of a concussion but sends a player back out to play after showing symptoms, that could also be seen as negligent by the courts.
What to do When Concussion is Suspected
The Center for Disease and Control Prevention have offered many tips for coaches to follow when they suspect a player has suffered a concussion. They include:
- Removing the injured play from the game
- Ensuring the player receives proper medical treatment to evaluate them for a concussion
- Informing the parents of the player of the possible concussion and providing a fact sheet pertaining to this type of injury
- Only allowing the player to return to play once they have received written approval from a healthcare professional
When coaches, schools, and governing agencies fail to take these measures to keep their players safe, they can be held liable.
Was Your Child Hurt? Contact a Long Island Personal Injury Attorney
If your child suffered a concussion while playing a sport, particularly if they were forced to return to play, it is important you contact a Long Island sports are recreation injury attorneys as soon as possible. These injuries are serious, and no child should have to live with the repercussions of them for the next several years of their life.
As a parent, you trust coaches, trainers, and school officials with your child’s safety. If you believe they were negligent and your child was hurt as a result, call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today at (516) 658-6900. We will hold responsible parties liable for your child’s injury, and help get them the compensation they need for their injuries. We offer free consultations, so call us today or get in touch with us online and we will start reviewing your case.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900