In April, legislators are considering The Youth Athletes bill, which would require child athletes to be cleared by a doctor before playing again in cases of head injury where a concussion was suspected. Advocates of the bill note that the legislation would address the common problem of missed symptoms; in many cases, brain injuries are not taken seriously because symptoms are not evident or take time to manifest.
Florida brain injury patients include patients in every age group. Florida car accidents cause many head injuries for adults and children often sustain head injuries in accidents such as sporting accidents or playground accidents. Every time the head is subject to a collision with a hard object or is hit by a hard object, an injury can occur. Wounds which penetrate the skull are easy to see and diagnose, but injuries inside the skull are harder to see. A patient may have no external marks after a hit to the head but may suffer severe and even life-threatening injuries.
The brain is subject to injuries precisely because it is so well defended. The brain – a soft grey mass – is suspended inside the skull. When an object hits the head or when the head crashes against a hard object, the brain inside the skull is shaken violently and may come into contact with the hard surface of the skull. This can cause bruising, swelling, and other injuries to the brain. In some cases, patients are not even aware that damage has been caused and may feel fine. They may resume normal activities and not seek treatment, even though delay of treatment can be fatal.
Actress Natasha Richardson died in 2009 after falling on a ski vacation and suffering brain damage. She felt fine immediately after her fall and did not seek treatment. By the time she felt unwell and it became apparent that something was wrong, medical professionals were no longer able to save her.
The proposed legislation aims to prevent a similar tragedy from taking place in a children’s sport or game. By ensuring that all children are examined after a potential brain injury, the legislation could help prevent serious Florida brain injuries from being overlooked. The legislation could also help ensure that children suffering from a brain injury would get prompt attention, which can help ensure a better outcome for the patient.
The proposed legislation comes at a time when many in the sports world are re-examining attitudes about brain injuries. For example, Florida has two professional hockey teams – the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The NHL is currently engaged in many debates about how to keep players safe from brain injuries after a number of serious head injuries have taken place in the sport in recent years.
If you or your child have suffered a brain injury in Florida, contact the Flaxman Law Group for prompt and professional advice. The Flaxman Law Group has worked with thousands of personal injury victims in Miami, Homestead, Hollywood, and throughout Southern Florida, offering representation as well as legal advice as needed. In a free initial consultation, we can discuss your case and ensure that you understand all your options before you make a decision.