Earlier this month, the National Football League adopted a new rule that allows a medical professional on the sidelines to pause the game and determine if a player should be assessed for a concussion. The new rule was announced amidst settlement negotiations between the NFL and a class of about 5,000 players who claim that the League failed to take adequate precautions to prevent brain injuries, including concussions.
According to a recent article by ESPN, many in the sports world are applauding the measure, explaining that it will almost certainly prevent at least some of the head injuries that occur in the league.
How the New NFL Rule Works
According to the ESPN report, the new rule will work as follows:
- An official in a booth on the sideline keeps an eye on players during the game, pausing the game if he believes that the player may have sustained a concussion.
- The game’s clock will then stop and remain frozen during the pendency of the examination.
- The injured player’s team will be given an opportunity to substitute in another player, and the opposing team will then be allowed to substitute a match-up, if necessary.
- At no point will coaches be allowed onto the field, and there will be no headset communication permitted. Also, no players will be allowed to the sideline unless they are being substituted out.
- The player in question will then undergo an evaluation and, depending on the result, may or may not return to play for the rest of the game.
New Rules after Prolonged Litigation
As mentioned above, the newly announced rule was enacted only after over a year of litigation between the NFL and a class of former players who claimed that the league failed to adequately protect against head injuries. Some estimates of the NFL’s total liability reach into the billions of dollars. It remains to be seen what other rules the League may create to ensure the safety of players in hopes of creating a safer environment for players and also to avoid similar lawsuits in the future.
The case against the NFL claims that the League had information that repeated head injuries could cause life-time neurological problems but failed to disclose this information to the players and also failed to create a meaningful evaluation process for injured players. Instead, players were pressured back onto the field, potentially increasing their risk of traumatic brain injury.
Do You Have a Loved One Injured in the NFL?
If you or a loved one has played in the NFL and suffer from depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, nerve damage, a traumatic brain injury, or any other nerve or brain injury, you may be entitled to monetary damages. However, given the changing landscape of the NFL’s rules and regulations, as well as the status of the progressing case against the League, you should speak to a dedicated personal injury attorney before proceeding. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a consultation with an attorney to discuss your case today.
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Maryland Appellate Court Denies Hospital’s Appeal in Glen Burnie Birth Injury Case, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, March 24, 2015
One Dead, Dozens Injured in DC Metro Smoke Incident, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, January 16, 2015