New Jersey Athletes Could Be Affected By Brain Injuries

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Brain injuries have proven to be a problem facing athletes today. Even with stricter regulations and rule changes in some sports, the number of concussions and long term affects on are on the rise. This is a topic of concern for New Jersey players of all ages. Recent lawsuits filed with regard to a deceased NFL player have drawn national attention to the need for more protection from brain injuries.

Junior Seau, who was a linebacker in the NFL, took his own life at the age of 43. His family has claimed he suffered from depression caused by the brain injuries he received from the multiple concussions sustained during his 20 year career. It wasn’t until after his death that it was confirmed he was suffering with CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Not only do the lawsuits ask for monetary payments, they are also asking for the NFL to provide medical treatment for former players. Head trauma has been linked to conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia and an elevated risk of suicide. Ray Easterling, another former NFL player had joined the litigation, but also took his own before the proceedings started.

While the NFL has taken measures to improve player safety, brain injuries will always be a risk in any sport. Families left to care for loved ones with such injuries are frequently left with many hardships to face. They may lose their income while they stay home with their loved one or be faced with hiring a full time nurse or assistant. Compensation for these injuries can help with the financial burdens when evidence documents that they were caused by the negligence of another party. Any New Jersey resident facing this situation may benefit by gaining an understanding of applicable state and federal laws in order to determine what legal steps may be appropriate going forward.

Source: New Jersey Herald, “Seau lawsuits merged with Pa. NFL concussion case,” April 2, 2013

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