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Youth Football Causes Risk of Long-Term Brain Injuries

Posted on in Personal Injury

Youth Football Causes Risk of Long-Term Brain InjuriesIllinois lawmakers have proposed legislation that would ban tackle football for children younger than 12. While youth football has always included inherent risks for its participants, the motivation for the proposed law is the increased attention given to the traumatic brain injuries that can develop after repeated head collisions. By the time that they are in their 20s, some former youth football participants have already been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease. The most tragic cases have resulted in these young men committing suicide or dying due to reckless behavior. Unfortunately, those who suffer from football-related injuries such as CTE do not always receive personal injury compensation. Illinois’ courts have a high standard for holding people or sports organizations liable for football injuries.

Assumed Risk

Illinois courts apply a contact sports exception to personal injury cases involving football injuries. Players, coaches, and organizations are not liable for ordinary negligence that leads to injuries. There is an inherent risk of injury that comes with playing tackle football, and players who voluntarily participate are assumed to have accepted the risk. Often, parents are required to sign a liability waiver before allowing their children to play. However, a party may be liable for a contact sports injury if he or she shows reckless negligence or willful misconduct. Examples may include:

  • A player trying to injure another player through actions that are not natural to the game;
  • A coach instructing players to try to injure another player through willful misconduct; or
  • A coach or organization knowingly providing faulty and unsafe equipment.

CTE Lawsuits

Brain damage develops through repeated head collisions, not because of a single incident. Thus, plaintiffs are more likely to file a personal injury lawsuit for brain damage against youth football organizations because the participation in the sport caused the damage. Since the awareness of football head injuries has risen, youth football organizations have tried to make the game safer and educate players about the danger. However, past youth football participants and their families have sued organizations for not warning them that the sport heightens the risk of developing conditions such as CTE at an early age. Some of these lawsuits are ongoing, while others have resulted in settlements.

Sports Injuries

You may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one is suffering from neurological damage related to participation in contact sports. A McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can tell you the chances of your personal injury case succeeding and what level of compensation you may be able to receive. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.



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