Extreme sports place participants at an increased risk of injury. Participants expose themselves to injuries each time they wakeboard, attempt tricks while riding either skateboards or bikes or whenever they engage in other similar extreme activities.
For many, especially youths, helmets are not “cool” and helmets detract from the aura of invincibility. Instead of viewing them as lifesavers, those participating in extreme sports can often consider helmets as an unnecessary accessory which does more to damage one’s image than a safeguard against injury.
Extreme sports are leading to an increased number of injuries and concussions. As scientists begin to learn more about concussions and the lasting, damaging impact of traumatic brain injuries, preventative measures to ensure that both the number of victims and the severity of injuries do not continue to rise.
What is Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic Brain Injury, more commonly known as TBI, is the resulting damage to an individual’s brain from head trauma. TBI is most often caused by a bump, blow, or another head injury, though not every impact to the head or brain will result in TBI. The force of impact will also change the severity of the injury to the brain.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), TBI is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States.1 TBI contributes or causes approximately 30% of all injury-related deaths. Most recent statistics show that TBI was connected to almost 2.5 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and injury-related deaths. This staggering statistic demonstrates just how devastating TBI can be.
Injuries During Extreme Sports can Cause TBI
While common injuries associated with extreme sports include bruising and broken bones, TBI is no laughing matter. When a skateboarder or bike rider falls from their “rides,” they risk impacting whatever surface with any part of their bodies. Whenever a helmetless head strikes a very hard surface such as a concrete or pavement, the brain is susceptible to injury.
Perhaps the most common form of TBI is the concussion. A concussion is dangerous and can lead the victim to suffer disturbed vision, a lack of balance, and it could even result in unconsciousness. While a single concussion may not have immediate and lasting consequences, the accumulation of concussions can result in serious, lasting injuries. For example, a skateboarder who suffers repeated concussions as a result of falling may develop permanent brain damage, a loss of motor skills, or perhaps even death.
Even individuals who wear helmets may still suffer traumatic brain injury. If a helmet is defective, the individual wearing the helmet is at risk of traumatic brain injury. This is especially dangerous in instances whenever the victim is a child as his or her brain is likely still developing and therefore more susceptible to TBI.
While extreme sports athletes are often aware of the risks associated with engaging in their activities, some risks may not be readily apparent. Skateboarders may not be aware of defective parts while wakeboarders may not be prepared to react to the potential negligence from those operating boats. In these cases, the use of a helmet may not guard against the risk of traumatic brain injury.
Victims of TBI can suffer a variety of symptoms and complications as a result of their injuries. Among those are the following:
- Cognitive problems associated with memory, learning, reading, and speaking;
- A reduction or loss of one’s ability to communicate;
- Emotional and behavioral changes;
- Entry into a vegetative state or coma;
These lasting complications can directly impact a victim’s ability to carry out simple day-to-day tasks, to work, or to even maintain a basic standard of living. Moreover, this can directly impact the victim’s family and loved ones as it creates additional complications in having to care for the victim.
Recovering Damages Caused by TBI
Engaging in extreme sports should not always disqualify you from seeking recovery for damages you incur as a result of developing TBI. As stated above, there are different reasons that could lead an extreme sports athlete to bring forth a cause of action to recover damages. Some of the damages which a victim could seek include:
- Medical Expenses;
- Pain and Suffering;
- Punitive Damages;
- Lost Wages;
- Wrongful Death.
Contact the Dolman Law Group to Discuss Your TBI Case Today
Traumatic Brain Injury is a serious condition that can have an irreversible and lasting impact on a victim’s life as well as that of his or her family. An extreme sports athlete is not always at fault for TBI in instances of injury. If you have developed TBI, you may be entitled to recover damages. At the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, we will thoroughly investigate your case to ensure you recuperate those damages to which you are lawfully entitled. Call us today at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765