In January 2017, the National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation class action settlement became final. The Plaintiffs claimed that retired NFL players had experienced head trauma during their careers, that the NFL was aware of the risks of repetitive head trauma yet failed to warn players about the risks and that the NFL conspired to ignore and conceal evidence about the risks. The case rose to the supreme court, which upheld the settlement in December 2016.
Settlement Class Members will receive the following benefits from the litigation:
- Baseline Assessment Program – provides baseline neuropsychological and neurological examinations and additional medical testing and counseling
- Monetary awards for diagnoses of Death with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and other brain and neurological illnesses
- Education Programs promoting safety and injury prevention for youth and other football players
Concussions and head injuries are a risk in many sports, not just football. Fortunately the quality sports programs are taking this issue seriously and improving the protections for athletes. As new technologies become available and the education increases, programs will continue to make sports safer.
There are many ways to help reduce the risk of a concussion or serious brain injury, including:
- Starting with our youngest children, ensure that children travel in a proper car seat / booster seat that is properly installed. Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death in minor children; yet having kids properly restrained reduces serious and fatal accidents by 50%.
- Utilize gates at the top of stairs to prevent infants and toddlers from falling.
- Frequent safe playgrounds that have considered safety. Playgrounds with soft-fill instead of hard dirt, surfaces that remain cool in the summer, surfaces that are age-appropriate should be considered.
- Insist that children wear helmets that are the right helmet for the activity they are engaged in. While there is no “concussion-proof” helmet, they will help reduce the risk of serious brain injury or skull fractures. Riding bikes, skateboards and scooters are all activities that should necessitate a helmet.
Sports and physical activity are vital to a healthy life in youth and adults. Physical activity helps provide a variety of health benefits. In fact, an Aspen Institute study of existing data and research found that physical activity is associated with reduced risk of 13 different types of cancer. Adolescents who play sports are eight times as likely to be physically active at age 24 compared to those who do not play sports, and high school athletes are more likely than non-athletes to attend college.
All of us can also insist on a creating a safe sports culture to help ensure that our young athletes grow up respecting the importance of safety. A safe sports culture includes:
- Reinforcing the importance of safety from day one and being consistent in focusing on safety with athletes and parents;
- Developing a concussion prevention plan with clear steps and expectations;
- Setting the expectation that athletes will support each other if sitting out of a game is required;
- Getting written instructions from doctors on an athlete’s ability to return to play;
- Calling out unsafe actions or play;
Played safely, sports bring communities together and develop the drive, determination and focus on teamwork that is necessary to be successful throughout life.
Know what to look for in a safe sports program. Understand what you can do at home to keep kids safe and prevent serious brain injuries. If you have experienced trauma through sports or negligent behavior or conditions, please call my office for a consultation.
Bakersfield doesn’t get a lot of rain, which makes car accidents more likely to happen when the streets get wet. You may need a car accident lawyer to help you receive payments that cover your injury and time lost at work, no matter how an accident happens.
Car Accident Lawyer Tips
We recommend taking steps to avoid causing an accident before wet weather happens. Pay attention to the following:
- Tires – Low tread or balding tires make traction difficult on slippery roads. Spend the time to have a professional check your tires for tread and also for inflation. Over- or under-inflated tires are also dangerous.
- Brakes – Brake pads require regular changes to remain effective. Also, if you’re driving on wet roads, don’t ‘hit the brakes’ hard. Tap the brakes to stop and avoid a skid.
- Headlights – Over time, headlights lose effectiveness due to a cloudy film on the headlight protector. See if you need to clean your headlights for brightest effect in the dark or on a cloudy, gray
- Windshield wipers – We tend to forget about windshield wipers until we need them. Your wipers must do a good job of removing water consistently without streaks. Not being able to see well may cause an accident.
When it does rain, be ready. It takes longer to stop on a wet road, and drivers in Bakersfield don’t always understand those conditions.
Five ways to avoid an accident on wet streets:
- Leave plenty of time to get where you’re going – The last thing you want is to be in a rush when driving in bad weather. You need more time in case of delays due to accidents and/or you need to slow down in water that pools in the road. Driving faster also increases chances of losing control of the car.
- Pay attention – It’s never a good idea to drive with distractions. But in wet weather, a text, phone call, eating, drinking, or other activities can be deadly.
- Avoid lanes with deep water – Side lanes may fill up with water that causes the car to hydroplane. While this may seem unlikely in Bakersfield, it is common in other markets where you may drive. Make an effort to drive in the driest lane possible.
- Keep a wider distance – Wet conditions create longer stop times, even with good tires and brakes. You need 2-3 times more distance to stop, so don’t tailgate.
- Keep control – If your car does skid on wet or icy roads, steer in the direction that the car is sliding. Slamming on the brakes makes a skid worse. However, with anti-lock brakes, a steady pressure is good. If the car starts to hydroplane (loses traction with the road), then gently ease off of the accelerator and steer straight ahead until the car is under control.
If you’re in a car accident because someone runs into you and you’re injured, talk with a car accident lawyer to understand how your bills and losses will be paid. We have experience working with victims of all types of car accidents.
The Law Offices of Kyle Jones recently reached a settlement of a 7 figure medical malpractice suit for their client. It’s ALWAYS important for you to have a patient advocate by your side and stay on top of your medical treatments.