Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
Serving The Petaluma California Region

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Concussion Story on Big Screen in Petaluma

Attorneys at our personal injury Law firm take a special interest in a recent film about the impacts of head trauma. Our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys, of course, were already aware of the lifetime trauma caused by brain injuries. We’ve represented many clients as their personal injury lawyer in brain injury cases. However, our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys are gratified that the film “Concussion” is bringing this serious issue to public consciousness.

Making the popular film even more personal, our Petaluma personal injury lawyers believe, is that the pathologist behind the story is part of the Northern California community. Our personal injury attorneys say Dr. Bennet Omalu is currently teaching at UC Davis and pioneered the research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The film is sure to impact youth sports in Petaluma. Personal injury law attorneys know that young and developing brains are vulnerable, and we welcome this cinematic wake-up call for youth sports in Petaluma.

Personal injury attorneys believe one of the most valuable aspects of Dr. Omalu’s work is the finding that even minor concussions can lead to permanent brain injury. His work (with others) was done on the brains of football players who had died, according to Petaluma personal injury attorneys who add that, thus far, evidence can only be acquired from deceased players. This, our personal injury lawyers say, prevents early detection of CTE. The essence of the findings, personal injury attorneys explain, is that repeated concussions of any severity can cause cumulative damage. In fact, our Petaluma personal injury lawyers say studies show that up to 90 percent of concussions do not lead to loss of consciousness in players. But, personal injury attorneys add, even without being ‘knocked out’ repeated concussion can result in memory loss, contribute to Alzheimer’s and even Lou Gherig’s Disease. At least one additional study, our personal injury lawyers report, showed that brain scans of living players retired from football, showed clear damage. Unfortunately, our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys say, more studies and research must be done to prove these links, but initial findings have certainly gotten the attention of professional sports teams and also youth sports in Petaluma.

Personal injury law attorneys say that Dr. Omalu’s efforts to create awareness was very challenging. NFL officials paid little attention and, our personal injury lawyers add, attempted to discredit the work. Our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys say it took high-profile suicides of former players to finally jolt the NFL and sports world. Our Petaluma personal injury attorneys hope that parents will also take the message seriously to protect youngsters engaged in youth sports in Petaluma.

Personal injury attorneys know the pathology of brain injury is complex. However, neuroscientists offer a basic explanation to parents: Any concussion may damage white matter in the brain. This white matter, our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys explain, is what helps to carry information throughout parts of the brain. Repeated jolts, especial at a young age when the brain is still developing, can cause permanent damage the brains of young athletes in Petaluma. Our personal injury lawyers say the experts report that this damage is not reversible. Of course, this explanation is highly simplified but, according to our personal injury attorneys, should put the families of young athletes on alert in Petaluma.

Personal injury law attorneys say that volunteer parent organizations across the U.S. are also monitoring findings about CTE.  One report covered 10 years and documented more than 3 million concussions, our Petaluma personal injury lawyers say. Particularly concerning, our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys add, is that 5 million happened to athletes in middle school. Furthermore, the study found that 33 percent of these injuries took place during practice – an alert for parents in Petaluma. Personal injury attorneys know that figures like these demand action on behalf of sports leagues and concerned parents.

It’s also important to recognize that football is not the only sport in which concussion is an issue, according to our personal injury law attorneys. Head injury is significant in hockey as well as in soccer, and other sports in Petaluma. Personal injury attorneys admit that, however, football is the most-high profile field that’s characterized by repeated blows to the head. Since research already indicates damage is cumulative, our Petaluma personal injury attorneys are very concerned about youth sports. Our Petaluma personal injury lawyers know that most youth football coaches are protective about their athletes and work to prevent head trauma. But, our personal injury lawyers believe that across-the-board changes to youth leagues will help coaches and parents create a safer, active environment.

Many of our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys are also parents. We understand the numerous benefits of youth sports in Petaluma. Our personal injury lawyers trust that youth sports leagues will step up to the challenge of creating greater safety for young athletes in Petaluma. Our personal injury lawyers say that some leagues are making modifications to the rules of football and other contact sports. Yet another positive development, our personal injury lawyers say, is that makers of sports gear are improving helmet design.

Our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys are professionals who have personal contact with people who have suffered serious brain trauma in Petaluma. Personal injury attorneys know the toll that brain injury takes on individuals and families. Most often the impacts last a lifetime, our personal injury lawyers explain. With the impact of the film “Concussion” our personal injury lawyers say there is a new sense of urgency. With the future of at stake for the children of Petaluma, our personal injury attorneys support communitywide action. The “minor” blows to the head during youth football practice in Petaluma, our personal injury lawyers say, must be treated as a major concern.

It’s not often that a Hollywood film can truly inspire change. Our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys are hopeful that the popularity of “Concussion” will, in fact, implement changes to America’s most popular sport and safeguard the future for young athletes in Petaluma. Our injury lawyers recommend this movie to any parent with kids on the football field.

Sports and Petaluma Head Injury Threat

At Sette Law in Petaluma, our personal injury attorneys greatly appreciate the gentle climate that permits school-age children to enjoy spots throughout the year. However, along with access to youth sports comes an increase in the potential for head injury which our accident and injury attorneys say is now a national problem.  Over the last few years it’s become clear that concussions and head injuries in young athletes is an issue that demands immediate attention throughout the nation and in Petaluma.

As personal injury attorneys we must fully understand the physiology of traumatic brain injury (TBI) so that we can support and help our clients in their recover. Consequently, we urge parents and coaches to learn about the prevention of head injury as youngsters participate in team sports in Petaluma. Our injury lawyers know that, unlike some injuries, head injuries are not always apparent and observable. If a young soccer player, for example, butts heads with another, there may be no apparent injury. Attorneys explain that the real damage could be internal, inside the skull. Jolting the soft brain tissue can cause bleeding inside the brain case and damage or swelling in neural pathways. Petaluma injury lawyers say that adults may not notice symptoms and players might be determined to ‘get back in the game.’ However, medical experts agree that any potential head injury must be taken seriously, particularly in children. Sette personal injury attorneys further say that repeated head injuries are now known to present a threat. The effect of concussions can be cumulative for young athletes in Petaluma.

Accident lawyers point out that head injuries can be different than some other physical injuries. Broken bones, lacerations and muscle tears can heal. Our injury and accident attorneys have seen accident victims heal and return to their jobs – or at least be able to earn a living. But traumatic brain injury can inflict debilitating effects on a person’s life – physical, emotional and mental changes. Brain research, carefully followed by our Petaluma personal injury attorneys, now reveals the extent to which TBI can alter a victim’s personality and physical abilities. And, our injury lawyers are aware that post-accident therapy is often long and minimally effective. We outline these unpleasant results as a warning to parents throughout Petaluma.

Our personal injury attorneys say that, when it comes to children and teenagers, the adults in their lives can’t be too careful. Sports such as baseball and soccer (and in other environments, hockey), hold abundant potential for players to be victims of head injury. Attorneys cite the Centers for Disease Control data that indicates reported brain concussions doubled between 2002 and 2012. Petaluma personal injury lawyers see this as “writing on the wall.” Measures must be taken to keep young athletes safer – particularly in high school football where 47 percent of concussions occur. Local parents must play a role in prevention because similar data likely applies to your players in Petaluma.

Injury attorneys report that increased awareness of head trauma in sports is inspiring a call for changes to the game itself and to the design of protective equipment. For example, some parents groups want a ban of helmet-to-helmet contact. Our sports accident lawyers point out that this kind of contact happens on the vulnerable top of the head. Helmets, our Petaluma injury lawyers agree, are a key component in youth football safety.

But not just any helmet. A 2012 study showed properly fitted helmets diminished the chances of loss of consciousness from concussion by 82 percent. Our Petaluma personal injury attorneys say that some of the spotlight has been on the popular Air Bladder Helmets that have been linked to an actual increase in brain injury. Our accident and injury lawyers say this may be due to the air bladders leaking and a lack of maintenance.

There is even more evidence that more vigilance is needed from coaches and parents in Petaluma: Our Injury attorneys reference a 2012 article that found players letting the air out of the bladders to make them more comfortable. Consequently, add our accident lawyers, the helmets may be too loose to provide adequate protection. Further, safety advocates say parents should check these helmets on a weekly basis.

Of course, helmets must be carefully sized and fitted. There are several references on the Internet outlining exact steps to make young football players safer in Petaluma. Personal injury attorneys at Sette Law also believe that greater attention should be paid to the dangers of repeated injury to the head. As stated before, mild concussions can have a cumulative effect that adds up to very serious injury. Lawyers emphasize that multiple jolts to the head are not uncommon. Nationally, almost one-third of young players said they experience two or more concussions within a season of play.

National statistics show that the biggest hike in brain injury is happening to kids in their middle school years. Petaluma injury attorneys suspect the same may be true for kids in local schools. With up to five million head injuries reported nationwide within a year, there is good reason for parents to be concerned about their child athletes in Petaluma.

Our injury attorneys deal with accidents on an almost daily basis. Many accidents, our injury lawyers know, are unavoidable. Some, however, can be prevented. Youth sports – and particularly football for kids, is an important arena for prevention of injuries to youngsters in Petaluma. Our accident and injury lawyers recommend that parents become actively involved in managing the safety of their children on the sports field. Coaches and school officials must align with parents to prevent sports-related head injury.

Attorneys at Sette Law have expertise in the arena of TBI and personal injury law. That’s because we have dealt with the devastating aftermath of brain injuries and, when the victim is child, our seasoned injury attorneys understand the pain felt by entire families. We would, in fact, be very pleased if our Petaluma accident attorneys (or any local lawyer) never had to represent another young client who faces a grim and challenging future because of a traumatic brain injury.

Riders Lose Most in Petaluma Motorcycle Accidents

Attorneys at Sette Law understand the attraction of riding motorcycles – our temperate climate combined with natural beauty and ease of commuting in traffic! However, as Petaluma motorcycle accidents lawyers, we are very aware of the inherent dangers of riding bikes for fun and for transportation in Petaluma.

Our personal injury attorneys collect data compiled by state and national entities that found a 175% increase in fatalities between 1998 and 2008. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out that motorcycle riders have a 26% increased chance of death per miles traveled than those riding in cars. Petaluma motorcycle accident lawyers are also aware that there is a perception that the motorcyclist is usually at fault in motorcycle accidents. As with many assumptions, our Petaluma injury attorneys know this perception is unfair and often erroneous. But, based on statistics, it’s clear that motorcyclists must exercise extreme caution when riding on the streets and freeways of Petaluma.

Our motorcycle accident lawyers know that even minor lapses of attention put riders in danger. There is small margin for error when the rider is so vulnerable. And, according to our motorcycle accident attorneys, the OTS (California Office of Traffic safety) has pinpointed the riskiest behavior of riders. Speeding tops the list of causes in accidents along with a motorcyclist making improper turns or driving under the influence. Naturally, the same behaviors lead to car accidents as well in Petaluma. But, motorcycle accident lawyers remind riders that they are at far greater risk of death than are occupants of cars. The NHTSA has numbers to back up this statement for riders in Petaluma. Motorcycle accidents in 2006 resulted in 72.34% deaths out of 100,000 accidents nationwide. Compare that to 13.10% fatalities in car crashes over the same period.  In 2012, the NHTSA reported that motorcycle riders were 26 times more apt to die in a crash than were the occupants of a car, per vehicle miles traveled.

Education is Key to Safety in Petaluma

Our motorcycle accident lawyers find statistics like the aforementioned, shocking. However, we know that simple changes to riding habits can save lives in Petaluma. Motorcycle accidents can be avoided through education and enhanced safety practices. The California Highway Patrol sponsors a very effective program that teaches riding skills to lower the danger of Petaluma motorcycle accidents. Attorneys at Sette Law explain that the California Motorcyclist Safety Program also results in a certificate that waives the requirement for riders to pass a driving exam at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Petaluma.

Personal injury attorneys at Sette feel it’s particularly important for older motorcyclists to practice consistent safety habits. The NHTSA reports that 56% of fatalities in the U.S. were suffered by riders over the age of 40. The stats likely apply to as well to riders in Petaluma. Motorcycle accident lawyers point out that this age group also experienced more severe injuries. Brown University searched for the factors behind older riders facing higher threat of injury and death nationwide and in Petaluma motorcycle accidents. Our lawyers believe the Brown findings should be taken seriously by motorcyclists over the age of forty who favor large motorcycles (think Harleys). Big machines like these are harder to control and prone to roll-over in a motorcycle accident.

But personal injury lawyers say that young riders have their own set of challenges. Inexperienced riders often favor the light, fast and powerful motorcycles in Petaluma. Motorcycle accidents, attorneys say, are more severe at high speeds that can be quickly reached on sports-model bikes. The data supports this statement and applies to Petaluma motorcycle accidents. Our lawyers say that risk of a crash is four times greater on a sports bike than it is on conventional motorcycles in Petaluma.

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers support Safety Measures in Petaluma

Motorcycle riders can enhance their safety by adhering to proven safe-riding practices. Our Petaluma injury attorneys believe these safety tips are highly effective and easy for riders to adopt in Petaluma.

Motorcycle accident lawyers say first, always be aware that one of the most common motorcycle accidents is caused by cars making unplanned turns in front of motorcycle riders in Petaluma. Motorcycle accident lawyers say this reality should be ever-present in the minds of motorcyclists. The same is true of cars changing lanes on roadways in Petaluma. Injury attorneys explain that most automobile drivers are looking at other cars, not anticipating the smaller bikes as part of the traffic flow. A survival skill for motorcyclists is awareness – awareness of blind spots for motorists. According to Petaluma motorcycle accident lawyers, riders should get out of blind spots as soon as feasible. When a rider can see the eyes of a motorist in the car’s mirror, the motorist can also see the rider.

As elsewhere across the U.S., wearing a quality motorcycle helmet can protect the rider from brain injury in a motorcycle accident. Our lawyers know that a rider without a helmet has a 40% greater risk of dying from a brain injury in a Petaluma motorcycle accident. Our lawyers, of course, are aware that California law requires helmets – but the quality of the protective helmet can vary. Nationwide, it’s estimated that riders wearing proper helmets have 37% less chance of dying in a motorcycle accident in Petaluma. And, the temptation to ride sans helmet outside of the Golden State should be resisted – helmets save lives whether in Reno, Nevada or Petaluma.

Motorcycle accident lawyers support safety through education and good riding practices. But when Petaluma motorcycle accidents happen, lawyers at Sette Law help injured riders get compensation for injuries they’ve suffered due to no fault of their own. Consequently, it’s important to establish the details of any Petaluma motorcycle accident. Our attorneys tap police reports, witnesses and recall of the individual involved in a motorcycle accident. Our lawyers determine liability and then support the victim through a legal process that is often complex and requires legal expertise.