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Sports Concussions Injury and Rowan’s Law – It’s Tough and Complicated

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Rowan’s law was created to protect young athletes from sports concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Read how this law on sports injuries can affect you. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Sports Concussions Injury and Rowan’s Law – It’s Tough and Complicated


1
Sports Concussions Injury and Rowans Law  Its
Tough and Complicated
2
Why Concussions are Tough to Represent, and
Rowans LawNamed after 17-year-old Rowan
Stringer who lost her life due to a series of
sports concussions, the push behind Rowans Law
is bringing attention to a difficult issue in
schools, sports organizations and the legal
field.The reason this issue is relevant to a
personal injury lawyer is because concussions
are, quite frankly, harder to represent.  Having
said that, Ive (successfully) represented my
share unfortunately there is no lack of these
cases.
3
unfortunately there is no lack of these
cases.This tells me two things 1. we need to be
more aware of head injuries so we see less of
them overall, and 2. we need greater awareness
about what concussions really are  Serious head
injuries.In the summer of 2015, an inquest jury
made 49 recommendations to reduce concussions and
TBIs among young  people. The most poignant ones
included zero tolerance for head hits in sports,
developing ways to track concussions amongst
players and ensuring theres enough time between
games and practices for players to recover. Most
importantly, it included mandatory education for
 coaches and parents.
4
When I apply this thinking to the world of
personal injury law, what does it mean?Its a
tough thing. When my client sues their insurance
company, unless it is obvious i.e. a
quadriplegic, the insurance company automatically
works to minimize the compensation.They try to
poke holes wherever they can Incomplete medical
records, inconclusive medical test results,
inconsistencies in client testimony during
discovery, changes in a clients condition over
time, etc.But if the individuals working for the
insurance company themselves had a better sense
of how serious (and ubiquitous) a concussion can
be, would things change?
5
I think it would.Look, I know what youre
thinking Ive presented the insurance company as
the big bad wolf here, but thats not my
intent.I used to be one of those lawyers and
here is the real motivation The insurance
companys job is to pay clients that have been
injured exactly what they need to recover/move on
with their lives. No more, no less.Fraud
happens. In order to pay a client what they need,
the insurance company must ensure that the client
is being honest and accurate in terms of how the
injury has impacted them, as well as their
recovery plan. If these can be proven with little
doubt, they will settle fairly.But with a
concussion, all bets are off only because they
are so hard to prove and awareness is spotty.
6
Why Head Injuries Are So ComplicatedInsurance
companies look to documents and science to
validate or invalidate a claim.  The trouble
with a head injury, especially a concussion, is
that they dont always show up on CT scans or
MRIs. They can be subtle, but no less
debilitating, especially over time.Also,
concussions are progressive as we saw in Rowans
case. The first one or two may not be so
traumatic but the third or fourth can be fatal.
And just to be specific, we are not talking about
big hits here. In truth, it doesnt take much to
sustain a concussion or a TBI.  The brain is like
jelly inside your head and can easily bruise and
swell if knocked about.
7
I always think of Mohammed Ali or the many NHL
and NFL athletes who currently deal with the
ramifications of multiple head injuries.What Can
You Do If Youre Dealing with a Concussion? Its
best to be thorough.I recommend that my clients
see their doctor regularly and disclose any and
all changes or difficulties theyre
experiencing.
8
On one hand, this is common sense if youve
experienced an injury, you shouldnt need your
lawyer to tell you to see a doctor! But its also
important because you are creating a paper file
that outlines your symptoms and can tell your
story over time.Next, make sure that your family
doctor is directing you to the right
specialists.Many family doctors will send
patients to a neurologist. Patients who are
suffering from depression or anxiety may also be
sent to a psychologist who can take a closer look
and know whether or not to attribute
physiological issues to the physical brain injury.
9
In really tough situations, a patient may see a
neuropsychologist who will perform a battery of
psychometric testing to detect issues.Always
take your doctors advice and attend your
appointments.  Its best for your health and it
will help us to build your case.Next, insurance
companies will also look at the initial ambulance
report. For example, was there a loss of
consciousness?  These details can help convince
the insurance company that the claim is real.
10
What Happens When The Tests Come Back Clean?
This is when insurance companies will ask to
speak to your community to ascertain (based on
multiple third party statements) how much youve
changed.Finally, do not expect a quick
conclusion. When the details, test results and
obvious symptoms are not present, the only other
thing we have in our arsenal is time.
11
Often with concussions and other types of TBIs,
it takes time to really understand the impact the
injury has had on the clients life and ability
to function. You only have one shot to get the
compensation you need so its best to walk slowly
and carefully.If youve suffered a concussion
and have questions about your options, feel free
to reach out.http//derekwilsonlaw.ca/
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