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

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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.