Head injuries sustained by football players have received a significant amount of attention in recent months. However, athletes involved in other sports are also at risk of suffering serious head injuries. For instance, many snowboarders and skiers have suffered concussions or other head or brain injuries when performing tricks or during races.
One snowboarder sustained a career-ending traumatic brain injury when he was training to compete in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. This head injury came just a few weeks after another fall in which he hit his head very hard while performing a trick that he knew well. Since suffering his traumatic brain injury, he has been unable to compete as a snowboarder.
He explains that he understands now that his brain injury may not have been as severe if he had not hit his head in a fall several weeks before his serious accident. While his accident occurred more than three years ago, this snowboarder is still impacted by his brain injury. And, in order to reach where he is today, he has had to go through years of rehabilitation work. His rehab has helped him regain motor skills, vision, and memory.
However, he still does not know how his brain injury will continue to impact him in the long-term. He states, “It’s not a bad enough injury that it takes you out for good, but it is a bad enough injury that it will take you out for good in the long run.” Since little research has been done on the effects of brain injuries or concussions sustained by snowboarders and skiers, it is not known how these injuries will impact athletes in the long-term.
It is possible that more severe effects of brain injuries and concussions will arise decades from now. Researchers and athletes do know that a hard fall or a brain injury can seriously impact one’s abilities in the present.
If a person suffers a serious head or brain injury as a result of another person’s negligence, he or she may be able to seek compensation for expenses incurred as a result of the negligence.
Source: USA Today, “Head injuries a rising danger for snowboarders, skiers,” Rachel George, Feb. 26, 2013