Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
If you have school-age children or a student-athlete, you’ve likely heard a lot recently about the dangers of concussions. Put simply, current research shows that the having even one concussion can have long-term effects on the brain.
Concussions are one type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and are caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. When this sudden impact occurs, chemical changes occur in the brain because it bounces around or twists unnaturally in the skull. The violent movement can even stretch and damage brain cells.
If your child suffered any type of brain injury because someone else was careless, you need to review your options by consulting a knowledgeable and compassionate Ohio brain injury lawyer. Call Kisling, Nestico & Redick today at 1-800-HURT-NOW or use our online form to schedule a free, no-risk case evaluation.
Who Gets Concussions?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just football players who are susceptible to concussions. All children and youth are at risk whether they are playing rec-league baseball or intramural basketball. The National Safety Council estimates every three minutes a child in the U.S. is treated for a sports-related concussion. And, girls are actually more at risk than boys.
Ohio Concussion Law
Because concussions can be so dangerous for children and teens, Ohio enacted a law centered on concussion awareness, training and procedures in youth sports organizations. Ohio Revised Code 3707.511 sets out what sports entities must do to educate parents, leagues, coaches and medical providers on the:
- Signs and symptoms of a concussion
- What to do when an athlete gets a concussion
- When an injured athlete may return to play
The Importance of Concussion Education
Prior to the beginning of a sports season, parents and athletes are required to read, sign and return to the league or school a concussion information sheet provided by the Ohio Department of Health. This form must be read and returned prior to the beginning of the season for every sport played. This means having one on file for one sport doesn’t mean you are covered for another one.
Concussion protocol applies to games and practice. If an athlete is suspected of sustaining a concussion, they must be removed from the game or practice by a coach, referee, official or athletic trainer.
Return-to-Play Regulations after a Concussion
Under no circumstances may a player return to a game on the same day they are removed. In order to be cleared for play, a licensed healthcare provider authorized by the organization must assess the player and then provide written approval them to return.
My Child Was Injured on the Field. Can I Sue?
A major component of Ohio’s concussion law regards liability. Under the law, several groups and individuals cannot be held liable for damages in a civil action for carrying out their duties relating to the law.
Unless these groups or individuals acted in a willful or wanton manner, they are protected under the law:
- Youth sports leagues (i.e., city rec leagues, travel leagues and clubs), officials, employees and volunteers
- Public school districts, private schools and charter schools
- School boards, employees and volunteers
But…Not All Claims May be Barred
While the law precludes civil action against protected groups and individuals, it is wise to seek the counsel of an Ohio personal injury lawyer if your child was injured on the playing field. An experienced personal injury lawyer can look at the circumstances surrounding your child’s injury and may conclude that the school or league did indeed act willfully or wantonly. If that is the case, they can help you start the legal process and may be able to secure valuable resources to aid in your child’s recovery.