In western New York recently, a 16-year-old high school football player died following a Friday night game against an opposing team. According to reports, the player lost consciousness following a helmet-to-helmet hit.

Three other football players around the country have died from similar head injuries since the start of the current fall football season, and 25 football-related fatalities have been recorded since 2003, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research.

Football-related deaths remain low nationally — just one of every 100,000 participants dies as a result of playing the sport and some 4.5 million high school-aged players participate in football. Still, experts believe the risk of brain injury is higher in football than with any other sport. Experts also think that high schools still need to address issues that create risks, including equipment and practice techniques and recommend that long-term studies also be done to assess repeated head-to-head contact typically seen over the course of just one football season.

Traumatic brain injury carries the risk of coma and death. Either occurrence can be devastating for a family, even if a victim eventually recovers from an injury. A person does not need to be involved in a serious car crash in order to sustain brain injury. A minor blow to the head and neck area, even from a football game, can result in brain injury.

If a brain injury results from the negligence of another person, he or she may be held responsible, especially if no actions were taken to remedy a potential danger.

Brain injury victims can file personal injury claims with the assistance of a legal professional who can substantiate the validity of a claim, as well the rights of the victim in seeking compensation. Expert advice can help determine the real value of a claim and the appropriate damages needed to cover the costs of recovery.

Source: Think Progress, “New York high school football player dies after head-to-head hit,” Travis Waldron, Sept. 17, 2013

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