A recent New York Times article highlights an area where Oregon and other Pacific Northwest states are leading the nation: laws and policies recognizing the growing seriousness of concussions and other brain injuries in sports.
As the paper notes, “last year Washington and Oregon passed the first concussion-specific laws covering scholastic sports.” As I have previously noted (see this blog entry from November), traumatic brain injuries are increasingly being acknowledged as a problem, particularly in professional football. The Times notes that Florida Governor Charlie Crist is trying to use the fact that the Super Bowl is being played in his state this week to spur his own legislature on to passing brain injuries legislation. The Oregon brain injury laws, however, are among the first in the nation to acknowledge the extent to which this problem also exists in college, high school and even youth sports. The Times notes that traumatic brain injury laws focusing on student-athletes are currently being considered by legislatures in Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, as well as Florida.
The Winter Olympics, due to begin February 12 in Vancouver, Canada, may also bring some of these issues into focus. As a recent Los Angeles Times article recounts, several top American snowboarders have recently been seriously injured, including Kevin Pearce, widely considered a possible gold medalist in half-pipe but hospitalized in Utah since December with a severe brain injury sustained during training.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of an Oregon traumatic brain injury it is important to consult with a Portland personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the incident. Treating Oregon traumatic brain injuries can cost thousands of dollars. If someone else – by either through their actions or through negligence – is responsible for a brain injury the injured party may be entitled to compensation.
New York Times: States taking lead in addressing concussions
Los Angeles Times: Snowboarder Shaun White’s new Olympic reality: It’s no cakewalk