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Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.

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Lake County Personal Injury Attorney

Head injuries are among the most dangerous types of injuries. The body's most vital organ, the brain, sits encased within the skull and can easily be affected by impact to the head. A brain injury can lead to profound brain damage that can result in cognitive or physical disability, permanent mobility or speech issues, or death.

When a child sustains a head injury, the results can be more severe than those found in an adult victim because a child's brain is still developing and, in the case of very young children, the skull might not be fully fused yet.

In 2014, 70 ILCS 1205/8-24, the Protecting Our Student Athletes Act, was signed into law. This act ushered in new safety requirements for high school coaches and athletic directors in Illinois by requiring them to obtain additional professional education about concussions. It aims to spread awareness of proper safety protocol for high school athletes and prevent head injuries among players in contact sports.

A head injury is a serious issue and must always be handled with urgency and care. If you or your child suffers from any type of injury, your first course of action should always be to seek medical help immediately. Some injuries are not immediately noticeable and others can escalate from minor to life-threatening if left unchecked. Always put your health and safety first by having a doctor examine your injury as soon as possible after an accident.

Types of Head Injuries

There are multiple types of head injuries that a victim can sustain from an accident:

  • Open head injuries are the most dangerous type of head injury. These are the injuries that occur when the skull is punctured or penetrated. When an object enters the skull or causes it to break and press into the brain tissue, issues ranging from intracranial hemorrhaging, swelling as a result of intracranial pressure, and damage to the blood vessels to ischemia, the restriction of blood flow to the rest of the body, can occur.
  • Closed head injuries are the injuries that leave the skull intact, but otherwise put pressure or bruising on the brain. These can be especially dangerous because at first glance, the victim might appear to be perfectly fine. However, the pressure and swelling from the injury can cause irreparable brain damage over time.
  • Concussions, the focus of the new law, occur when the brain is shaken inside the skull. Initial symptoms of a concussion are headaches and loss of consciousness. Long term effects of a concussion include dizziness, memory loss, and problems maintaining balance.

Additional Safety Training for Coaches and Directors

Athletes involved in high-contact sports such as football are especially susceptible to concussions. Under the Protecting Our Student Athletes Act, high school coaches and athletic directors are required to complete a concussion education program every two years. This educational program consists of presentations, reading, and an assessment on which coaches and directors must score at least 80 percent to pass the program and remain certified to coach high school sports.

Additionally, students will have some instruction in basic concussion prevention and care.

This law requires coaches, directors, volunteers, and students in all sports to complete the program, not just those involved with high contact sports.

Seeking Monetary Compensation for Head Injuries

Victims of head injuries and other types of personal injury have the right to file an insurance claim for expenses incurred due to their injuries if they were caused by someone else’s negligence. The money that a victim may be awarded through his or her personal injury claim can be used to cover his or her medical bills, special accommodations for temporary or permanent disabilities, transportation needs due to mobility issues caused by the injury, and pain and suffering costs. This last category covers all unquantifiable needs associated with an injury such as mental issues following the accident, bruising, scarring, and lifestyle changes to accommodate the victim's injury.

When a minor is injured, his or her parent or guardian must file the personal injury claim on the child's behalf. A minor cannot negotiate a legal claim for him or herself.

Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help

If you or your child has suffered from a head injury and you want to pursue monetary compensation for the expenses incurred from the injury, contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 for your free consultation. Our team of Waukegan personal injury attorneys has over 85 years of combined experience serving the Lake County area and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Do not wait to make the call–the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Illinois is two years from the date the injury occurred. Be proactive and make sure you start working on your case as soon as you can.

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