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Lawsuit alleges football team hid risks of brain injury

With advances in medical science, people in Virginia and across the nation are now coming to understand much more about certain injuries that may seem relatively minor at the time but that can have dramatic lasting consequences and even create permanent disability. This has been the case with concussions, which have been the subject of frequent debate lately with regard to football. When a brain injury occurs, the symptoms can be quite severe and the effects can render someone disabled in many respects. For this reason, some Virginia residents suffering a brain injury as the result of an act by someone else or medical malpractice may choose to file a lawsuit to cover some of the expenses associated with the injury.

According to a recent lawsuit filed by professional football players, the Kansas City Chiefs football team not only ignored the decades-long research linking repeated head trauma to brain damage but also increased risks by making the players play on the very hard AstroTurf surface and giving them medications like ammonia inhalants, Toradol and caffeine cocktails to get them back on the playing field more quickly. Over the past several years, many former NFL players and other athletes were diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy after their deaths, which is said to have resulted from repeated concussions.

The brain is an especially vital, but also especially vulnerable, organ. Damage to the brain is often difficult to undo and symptoms can affect a person's ability to interact with others or conduct their lives normally. Common symptoms and resulting problems include personality changes, seizures, emotional issues, loss in cognitive abilities, memory loss, coma and even death. In the case of football, some high-profile players who committed suicide were discovered to have serious brain injuries after their deaths.

Virginia residents rely on their doctors to warn them about the risks associated with brain injuries and respond appropriately to conditions that could have lasting effects on their brains. However, in many cases a doctor may overlook a brain injury because he or she is focused on other, more visible injuries. This could result in serious problems or permanent disability that could have been prevented. The negligence of another could cause some to suffer serious medical injuries. A cause of action could be available in the form of a personal injury suit. This could help cover current and future medical expenses relate to the head injury.

After a brain injury is suffered, Virginia residents should seek to understand what options they might have for obtaining compensation. This could offset current and future costs related to their injury while also protecting their rights and interests in the situation.

Source: NBC29, "9 former Chiefs players join brain injury lawsuit," Bill Draper, Dec. 23, 2013

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