Sports Related Brain Injury Attorney in Washington DC

Concussions, a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), have increased sharply among athletes over the last several years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a 60 percent increase in emergency room visits for sports- and recreation-related TBIs, including concussions, among children and adolescents in the last decade.

Some 173,000 children up to age 19 across the U.S. suffer sports- and recreation-related TBIs each year, the CDC says. That includes many young TBI victims in the Washington DC metro area.

If a child on a playground, a student-athlete or an adult participating in a civic or club league or other supervised sports or recreation activities suffers a TBI, it is important to know whether the injury was caused by someone’s negligence.

A severe TBI is a serious injury with long-lasting and expensive consequences. The Abelson Law Firm in Washington DC is committed to seeking justice for people who were injured in accidents that were caused by others’ negligence.

Contact us online or by phone now to find out how we can help you and your family.

How Common Are Sports-Related TBIs?

The CDC found that American children suffered more than 173,000 TBIs each year between 2001 and 2009, with dozens each in 30 specific sports ranging from “combative sports” such as boxing and marital arts, to football, soccer, gymnastics, track and field, bowling and exercising.

The CDC says 70.5 percent of emergency room visits for sports- and recreation-related TBI were among people age 10 to 19. A national survey of sports- and recreation-related injuries among all ages found that 31 percent occurred at a sports facility and 20 percent happened at a school.

Among males in the 10-to-19 age group, sports- and recreation-related TBIs occurred most often while playing football or bicycling. Among females 10 to 19, TBIs most often occurred while playing soccer or basketball or while bicycling, the CDC says.

Legal Responsibility for Sports-Related Concussions

Running and playing in a schoolyard or on a playground; participating in school, church or youth league sports; and staying active through recreational pursuits as an adult are all part of a healthy lifestyle.

Bumps and bruises are part of the game. But teachers, coaches, trainers and others who are in charge of organized sports and recreation have a responsibility to guard against serious injuries, such as TBI.

Teachers, coaches and other professional or volunteer sports and recreation instructors who supervise children are legally said to act “in the place of a parent.” They must ensure that players in their charge are properly equipped, instructed or trained, and are matched with opponents and teammates of similar size, weight and ability.

Neglecting this responsibility leaves a coach and/or the sponsoring agency (school, church, municipality, YMCA, etc.) potentially liable for injuries a player sustains. The player, or the family of a child or someone who suffers a debilitating TBI, may seek compensation for the costs and losses associated with the injury.

Growing Concern About Sports-Related TBI

Several states and Washington DC recently adopted regulations to guard against the damage caused by TBIs among young athletes. The District of Columbia’s Athletic Concussion Protection Act of 2011 and laws in Virginia and Maryland require school boards to develop policies related to concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries, among student athletes.

D.C.’s law goes a step further to address students’ participation in other school-sponsored events or activities.

The laws vary, but in general require that students who have sustained or are suspected to have sustained concussions be removed from activity immediately and not allowed to return until an authorized physician provides written and signed permission for them to return to physical activity.

Concussion-prevention laws also require coaches, athletic trainers, physical education teachers, nurses and others to complete approved courses and regularly review policies about concussions and concussion management.

Contact a D.C. Sports and Recreation Injury Attorney

If a student athlete or any other player has suffered a concussion or a more serious traumatic brain injury during organized sports or recreation activities, it is important to investigate the accident to determine why it happened.

The costs associated with TBI can amount to millions of dollars. The victim and their family deserve assistance if a coach or other supervisor’s negligence led to the injury.

Contact the Abelson Law Firm in Washington DC today by phone or by filling out our online contact form for a free review of your sports-related TBI claim.


  • CDC – Concussion in Sports and Play: Get the Facts
  • Brain Injury Association of Washington DC – District of Columbia’s Athletic Concussion Act — The Most Comprehensive Law of its Kind

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