Contact sports carry a high risk of head injuries, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). While football poses the most serious risk, due to helmet-to-helmet or helmet-to-ground contact that occurs on countless plays, repetitive head trauma is also common in soccer, lacrosse, basketball and other sports. At J&Y Law, we fight for the rights of CTE injury victims who have been injured in youth sports leagues, high school sports, and college athletic programs throughout California.
Our dedicated personal injury lawyers have a proven history of helping CTE victims obtain just compensation. Whether your claim involves a youth football league, a public or private school, a negligent coach or other personnel, or other responsible parties, we will leverage our skills and resources to assert your rights. Knowing that the lasting repercussions of repetitive trauma will be life-altering, J&Y Law will fight for every dollar you deserve.
What is a Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE Injury)?
Most brain injuries are caused by a sudden, intense head trauma. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is different, however, because it results from repetitive trauma over time. Therefore, individuals who participate in contact sports, particularly at a young age, are at an elevated risk of CTE.
While neuroscience is still unraveling the effect of repeated head trauma on the brain, it is widely understood that such events cause tau proteins to spread through the brain, which then kills brain cells. Because dead brain cells cannot be regenerated, victims never fully recover from repeated head injuries.
It is worth noting that one or two head blows or even concussions will not cause CTE. Instead, hundreds or perhaps thousands of incidents, many of which may be “sub-concussive,” are thought to be responsible. The disease remains difficult to diagnose and a brain autopsy is the only way to confirm CTE.
CTE was originally labeled as “punch drunk syndrome” in boxers back in the 1920s; the disease was first identified in professional football players in 2005. CTE is not only a risk for professional athletes, however, it also threatens children and young adults who participate in contact sports.
In some cases, certain youth sports leagues may have misled participants and parents about the dangers associated with football and contact sports. This means CTE victims may have a legal basis for civil lawsuits against multiple parties to recover damages.
J&Y Law is dedicated to fighting for the rights of children and other CTE victims who may not be able to speak for themselves. Our brain injury attorneys will take the time to understand your circumstances and explore all options for obtaining the compensation you need and deserve.
The Four Stages of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE Injury)
CTE may be classified in one of four stages based on the amount and spread of tau proteins:
Stage 1 — Tau protein clusters or “hot spots” are visible, which may be small in size and/or number
Stage 2 — More clusters have formed, and tau proteins have begun to move further across the brain
Stage 3 — Individual protein clusters start melding together to form larger hot spots as tau proteins move into the amygdala and the hippocampus
Stage 4 — Tau protein “tangles” have spread throughout the entire brain and may descend into the spinal cord
Initial symptoms often do not present until victims are in their 20s and 30s. These include impulsive action, depression, and aggression. As victims reach their 40s and 50s, they may experience confusion, memory loss, Impaired judgment and dementia-like symptoms. In later stages, victims may become violent, suicidal, depressed and/or delusional.
The severity of CTE ultimately hinges on factors such as the frequency and duration of head contact, the degree of the brain injury, and the victim’s physiology. Given these variables, CTE could be very severe in a younger victim, while older CTE victims may only experience mild symptoms.
Although symptoms can be treated through a combination of surgery and extensive physical therapy, CTE is incurable. This is why it is imperative for victims and their families to have proper legal representation. With J&Y Law by your side, you will have the comfort of knowing that our winning team is fighting for you.
Recoverable Damages for CTE Victims in California
Participating in all types of sports other than football can cause or contribute to CTE, including:
Baseball and softball
Field and ice hockey
Because trauma before the age of 12 poses an increased risk of CTE, many youth sports organizations (e.g. Pop Warner, American Youth Football) may be held liable. Given the fact that risk of CTE increases the longer an individual participates in contact sports, numerous other negligent parties may be involved. It takes a highly skilled personal injury attorney to hold them accountable.
If you played in a youth sports organization or at the high school or college level and believe you are suffering with CTE or other brain injury, the right lawyer can refer you to a doctor who can test for CTE and other brain damage issues. If you have a valid claim, you may be awarded compensation, including economic damages (e.g. medical bills, lost wages) and noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Additionally, punitive damages may be available in cases in which the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious. Because strict deadlines apply in personal injury claims, particularly in cases involving injuries discovered many years after the traumatic events, the best way to protect your rights is to consult J&Y Law.
Contact Our Los Angeles CTE Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one is showing signs or symptoms of CTE, immediately seek medical attention. Once you are receiving proper care, contact J&Y Law. We can help obtain meaningful compensation and you will not pay any attorneys’ fees until we recover for you. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.