Articles Posted in Sports Injuries

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Whenever an accident occurs and a personal injury case is filed, there must always be a determination of who was at fault and whether any other parties were also at fault. In the simplest example, in a two-vehicle accident, one person may be 100% at fault and the other 0% at fault. However, these situations are rare. Often, there are multiple parties involved in the accident, and each party has some percentage of fault that can be assigned to them.

SkateboarderIn Florida, the legal doctrine that helps courts figure these situations out is called “comparative negligence.” Under a comparative negligence analysis, anyone injured in an accident can recover compensation from anyone else who was at fault. However, the person’s available damages will be reduced by their own percent at fault. So, for example, if a pedestrian was determined to have suffered $500,000 in damages but was 10% at fault for the accident that caused their injuries, the pedestrian’s total available recovery amount would be $500,000 minus $50,000 (10%), or $450,000.

Comparative negligence is seen as a “plaintiff-friendly” doctrine, since it still allows plaintiffs to recover for their injuries even if they are partially at fault, albeit at a reduced amount. Other jurisdictions across the U.S. employ much harsher rules. For example, consider the case of Bertsch v. Mammoth Community Water District, in which a father was prevented from receiving compensation for the death of his son because his son was engaging in the “dangerous activity” of skateboarding at the time of his fatal accident.

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Professional sports associations have come under fire in recent months for the undisclosed and minimized risks of traumatic brain injury and related conditions that can arise from participation in professional sports. These days, it seems that athletes should know the risks associated with participation in a professional sport, but that was not always the case. Even 10 years ago, the culture of professional sports and the “tough guy” mentality encouraged by the leagues was pervasive and prevented an intelligible discourse on the safety techniques and preventative measures that are just now coming into use.

football-380388_960_720Professional sports associations, like other employers, have a duty to their “employees” – or players – to fully inform them of the risks they face while participating in the league. If a league hides known information about a certain risk, or if it encourages continued participation in the face of known risks, the league may be held responsible for the player’s injuries. Indeed, this is exactly the case in a recent lawsuit brought by over 5,000 former NFL players against the NFL.

New Research Indicates Traumatic Brain Injury May Be Present in 40% of Former Players

According to a recent news report coming out of the Florida Center for Headache and Sports Neurology and the Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee, some 40% of former professional athletes may have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The study looked at 40 former players who played for an average of seven years and had been out of the league for five years.

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