Anyone who has played a high-impact sport, such as football, understands that there is a risk of injury. However, the types of injuries most players would expect to encounter on the field are sprains, strains, or maybe a broken bone. However, according to research that has been conducted over the last several years, there is a high correlation between participation in high-impact sports and the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Victims of this condition in New Mexico may be able to bring a New Mexico brain injury case against someone whose negligence led to the condition.
CTE is a brain disorder that is characterized by severe cognitive disorders, including depression, anxiety, memory loss, impulsive behavior, and substance abuse, and it has been linked to an increased risk of suicide. The disease is believed to be caused by repetitive blows to the head and has recently been linked to participation in contact sports throughout all levels, including high school and college. However, the presence of CTE in former football players is the greatest, with one recent report concluding that CTE was found in 110 of 111 players surveyed.
Currently, CTE can only be diagnosed through a post-mortem autopsy, which makes it difficult to determine if a current or former player is suffering from CTE or from other mental health issues that may have another cause. Researchers have estimated that there will be a way to diagnose CTE in living patients within a decade.
CTE in the NFL
According to a recent news report, former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is believed to have suffered from a severe case of CTE prior to his death back in April of this year. Hernandez, who was found dead in his jail cell while serving a life sentence for murder, was believed to have committed suicide.
The report notes that a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Hernandez’s four-year-old daughter against the NFL, as well as the New England Patriots franchise. The lawsuit claims that the NFL knew about the risks of participation in the league but covered up and misrepresented the risks to players in an attempt to keep them playing.
The recently filed lawsuit makes similar claims to a lawsuit that was filed several years ago that claimed the NFL failed to take appropriate action to protect players against the repetitive head trauma that is known to cause CTE. A federal judge approved a settlement between the parties in that lawsuit, whereby the NFL will set aside $1 billion to compensate the families of former players who suffered from CTE before their death.
Have You Been Injured While Playing Sports?
If you or a loved one played a high-contact sport and are suffering from CTE-like symptoms, or if you have suffered any other kind of brain injury, you should meet with a dedicated New Mexico brain injury attorney. Professional and semi-professional sports leagues, as well as high schools and colleges, all have a duty to ensure that players are kept safe on the field. When risks are not properly disclosed, this duty is violated, and injured players may be entitled to compensation. To learn more, and to discuss your case with a dedicated New Mexico personal injury attorney, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.
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