Personal Injury Law

Where to Find Legal Help for CTE Injuries

CTE injuries have been a hot topic in the news lately. This has a lot to do with efforts from researchers and doctors who are trying to raise awareness of the condition in sports like football and boxing. A movie that was released in 2015, “Concussion” puts this type of injury in the spotlight.

CTE is short for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which occurs when someone suffers from repeated blows to the head. In the boxing world, it is sometimes referred to as “punch drunk syndrome”.

Even if you have contracted CTE from voluntary participation in sporting activities, you may still have a personal injury claim. Find out more about sports injuries with a personal injury lawyer in Tampa.

What is CTE?

CTE can lead to difficulties with cognition (thinking) and displaying or feeling emotions. However, these symptoms may not develop until many years after repeated violent trauma to the head.

Although CTE is more likely to develop if you have suffered more than one concussion, it does not always appear after several concussions. There is no “magic number” of times that you can be hit in the head and avoid developing CTE.

CTE is actually a neurodegenerative disease. That means it causes progressive damage to the nerve cells in the brain. There is no cure or treatment for CTE at this time.

You can actually see the damage that it does to the brain through a brain imaging scan. Unfortunately, at this point, a true diagnosis of CTE cannot be given until after death has occurred. It is similar to Alzheimer’s disease in this way.

What Are the Common Symptoms of CTE?

Although medical professionals cannot confirm you have CTE while you are alive, you may still be able to infer that you have it if you have certain symptoms.

Interesting, many forms of dementia are actually symptoms of CTE, including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease

Problems with thinking, behavior problems, and emotional problems are common. Physical problems are also common as time goes on.

Look for things like…

  • Impulsive behavior
  • Depression or apathy
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Difficulty planning tasks or activities
  • Emotional instability (generally)
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Trouble with smell

One of the first signs is headaches and difficulty concentrating. Then, some other cognitive impairment issues and emotional problems might appear over time. There are generally four stages of CTE, and you can read more about those here.


Who Suffers from CTE?

Athletes are by far the most common type of people who suffer from CTE.

These may include:

  • Football players
  • Boxers
  • UFC fighters
  • Martial arts fighters
  • Soccer players
  • Hockey players
  • Rugby
  • Cheerleaders
  • Wrestlers

Military personnel who have been subjected to blast injuries may also develop CTE.

Also ReadOpen vs. Closed Head Injuries

CTE and the NFL Lawsuit

There was a class action lawsuit involving over 5,000 former NFL football players who later developed CTE. Families of players who died from a condition related to CTE were also involved in the suit.

Their lawsuit alleged that the NFL should have done more to protect them from the repeated head injuries that ultimately led to their condition.

In April 2015, a federal judge approved a settlement that affected many of these players or their families. It allowed up to $5 million per player for their serious medical conditions related to head trauma after their participation with the NFL.

Several players and families opted out of the settlement. That means that they can sue the NFL separately and individually.

Getting Legal Help for a Sports Injury from a Personal Injury Lawyer in Tampa

You might not be aware, but you do have options if you think that you or a loved one is developing CTE. These degenerative brain diseases can be extremely expensive in terms of medical care.

Visit here to learn more about working with a personal injury lawyer in Jacksonville for your sports injury.


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