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California Law aims at preventing brain injuries in school sports

A new law recently enacted in California has as its goal the reduction of serious brain injuries in high school sports. The law requires all high school coaches to go through concussion awareness training every two years. Brain injury rates are the highest in football for boys and in lacrosse for girls, though they can happen in almost any sport as well. Ice hockey, soccer and lacrosse are also sports that have a high incidence of traumatic brain injuries. According to a study done by Purdue University, 67,000 high school football players out of a total of one million are diagnosed with a concussion, and a high likelihood of a similar number of undiagnosed concussions. Brain injuries are especially prone to occur at practices, where there is no medical staff present.

Young people are especially susceptible to brain injuries due to the fact that their bodies are still growing and their brains are still maturing. Sustaining a traumatic brain injury at that age may have negative health consequences for them later in life. The law in this case is aimed at protecting children from potentially harmful brain injuries and ensuring their safety and well-being.

Brain injuries are frequently traumatic for the victims. In many cases, they are not injuries that will heal after one or two corrective surgeries, but often create lifetime handicaps for the victim. If the injury is severe enough, the victim may require constant medical care around the clock. Victims confined to a wheelchair may be forced to modify their home to add ramps and other adjustments to help them get around. In addition, there are the financial costs of the disability to consider. A traumatic brain injury is no light matter for those involved.

Fortunately, the victims of traumatic brain injuries and their families are entitled to just compensation. They are entitled to financial support for medical bills, lost wages, ongoing medical care and other costs. They may also obtain a personal injury judgment against the responsible party for negligence, if warranted. The victims and their families have the option to obtain a just and fair settlement for the harm inflicted.

Source: The Standard-Examiner, "New law targets brain injuries in high school sports," Joy Hepp, Dec. 3, 2012

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