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Use of Expert Witnesses in Football Head Injury Claims

There are several types of expert witnesses that may assist with a traumatic brain or head injury with a professional football player in either major leagues or minor leagues. These professionals usually must explain the injury, the reason the injury occurred or why the defendant is liable for damages such as with product defects or a lack of protection.

The Traumatic Brain Injury

Football head injury claims usually start with the TBI because these are some of the more severe injuries the body could sustain after trauma happens with the head or neck. The brain becomes damaged through force, blunt force or severe and serious movements that slam the brain into the different areas of the skull. This happens often when the football player suffers actions of other professional players when tackling him or her and when pushed or pulled in a different direction than initially moving. These injuries are difficult to explain, and medical experts are often necessary to discuss these matters.

The Symptoms and the Damage

In normal situations, when the professional player suffers a TBI, he or she will exhibit certain symptoms that may include dizziness, slurred speech, memory loss and a lack of cognitive
and motor skills. If the medical or emergency healthcare services do not catch the injury quickly, it could lead to further damage that may appear as a simple concussion. However, the brain could swell, and the internal sections of the head may suffer bleeding that requires help. The experts in the medical and neurological fields are able to observe the symptoms and connect them with the TBI of moderate to severe damage.

Mild Injuries and the Expert

Some of the testing that the expert will perform when a football player experiences a head injury is to determine the level of damage caused to the head and brain. If these injuries are mild or minor, it could lead to fewer problems for the player. However, this may still require a claim depending on the circumstances and if the injuries are the result of defective or faulty materials or products that the player uses for each game such as the helmet. The expert will need to back up the claim with medical evidence. This is less difficult when the professional has a medical background.

The More Severe Case

If the expert’s testing results reveal that the head injury is severe or the most serious, it could lead to symptoms that reveal this level of harm later. Usually, the damage shows certain symptoms early on that may look like a concussion that could include signs of dizziness, nausea and even instances of the player looking stunned. With TBI, the player could later show symptoms of amnesia from the injury and even loss of cognitive and motor skills. At this level of harm sustained, the expert may need to impress the importance that the claim requires a remedy to the situation.

Testimony and the Evidence

With testing performed to determine if a traumatic head or brain injury is from defective products or materials, the expert witness can provide testimony that will help explain or discuss the problems the player experiences with the item. This may also connect the issue to the responsible party and help the courtroom understand the injury and the cause. With the symptoms made clear as a byproduct of the helmet or other supportive gear, the professional may move on to explain the compensation necessary for the injuries. Some players are unable to continue with a string of games for a short or long time while in recovery for head and brain injuries.

Testimony given by an expert witness will stem from the evidence and facts of the case. It should remain free from bias and not lean towards the player because the expert has a contract for employment with the lawyer. However, with extensive head and brain injuries, the expert may provide a clear indication that the results from testing prove that the responsible party is the defendant through negligence, defects or inaccurate protections put in place for the player’s head.

Football Injury Expert Witnesses

The expert hired for the football injuries may have a background in medical fields, but he or she may also help the courtroom understand the owed damages to the player through the injuries and need for recovery. This may also impact the professional football players career and length of time remaining to play the game in the future without further consequences.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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