Professional football players afflicted with a brain injury or concussion have been in the spotlight lately. However, statistics show that high school football players have faced more fatal injuries. Preventable injuries like many of those associated with high school football may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research reported that 42 football players at all playing levels died from direct or indirect causes between 2015 and 2017. Thirty of these 42 deaths involved high school athletes. Direct deaths are caused directly from injuries suffered during play. Heat stroke and cardiac events are examples of indirect causes.
In 2017, the most recent year with available statistics, two high school players died from direct causes while there were seven other fatalities attributed to indirect causes. Two other college players were killed by direct injuries and two from indirect injuries. One year earlier, high school students comprised two of three direct fatalities and five of nine indirect deaths. Experts hold several causes responsible for these alarming figures. Inexcusably, many of these can be prevented.
Inadequate equipment, brain development, and the unavailability of qualified trainers are cited as the major causes. These deficiencies are further compounded by inadequate medical care and returning players to the game when it is imprudent.
Earlier this month, a high school football player died from injuries suffered while playing in Mississippi. There was no certified athletic trainer at the game. After being hit, he vomited on the sidelines. But, he returned to play and collapsed. The player later died at the hospital.
Experts have made several recommendations in an attempt to address this issue. For example, they recommend that every school should use a certified athletic trainer. Staff should also be trained to use an automatic electronic defibrillator that should always be accessible.
Coaches and other athletic personnel know about safety precautions for practicing and playing in hot weather. This includes the fact that players must receive immediate medical care and be prevented from returning to play if they exhibit the signs of head trauma such as a change in behavior, thinking, or physical function.
Families who are forced to deal with the sudden, unexpected, and preventable death of a family member have a lot with which to cope. Financial damages shouldn’t be amongst them. An attorney can help families who suffer the loss of a loved one in a preventable accident. These legal professionals can obtain evidence and develop strong legal arguments in hopes of imposing liability upon those who have acted negligent. Then, hopefully, a surviving family can recover compensation and obtain a sense of justice.