While the risks of concussions may seem like a no-brainer to the general public for most contact sports like Football and Hockey, would most be surprised to find that soccer players (playing in a helmet-less game) share an equal risk for concussions? Recently a New York Times article has brought to light a group of soccer parents who believe that laws should be revised to protect players from serious head trauma. The number of head-related injuries in the sport is increasing (with approximately 50,000 concussions in high schoolers in 2010 alone) and has prompted their class-action lawsuit against the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) for the ways it has handled concussions.
Caused by destructive contact to the head, concussions are a form of mild traumatic brain injury—according to the CDC. These injuries can alter the way the brain functions in a negative manner, especially when an athlete suffers multiple concussions over their career in the sport.
And what links the athletic concussions and legal liability for them?
Laws that require persons involved in leading youth sports to adhere to specific steps to ensure a safer experience for everyone involved. Many states have followed suit since Washington passed its Zackary Lystedt Law in 2009—and only 3 states (Mississippi, South Carolina, and West Virgina) have not adopted these laws themselves.
Most of these laws, referred to as “Return to Play Laws,” include the following:
– Coaches, parents, and athletes must be educated about youth concussions and sports.
– Education typically takes the form of training or information sheets about preventing, identifying, and treating concussions.
– Removing concussed athletes from play.
– Concussed athletes must receive permission from a health care professional in order to return to play, and can only return if 24 hours have passed since the athlete suffered their traumatic brain injury.
The parents involved with the FIFA lawsuit seek for their youth programs to add emphasis on time limitations for head-balling, league substitutions for players undergoing head injuries, and medical testing provided for student athletes who have sustained concussions during soccer plays.
If you or someone you know whose lives have been affected by concussions or traumatic brain injury, call St. Louis personal injury lawyers Kullmann, Klein & Dioneda to discuss your legal rights. We can also be reached using our convenient online form.