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NFL Joins Military in Collecting Brain Injury Data

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The video above is from a memorial held at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on May 11, 2012, for former NFL star Junior Seau. His May 2 death was ruled a suicide, and authorities said he shot himself in the chest with a .357-caliber Magnum revolver. While police said Seau did not leave any type of suicide note, his death was remarkably similar to the 2011 suicide of former NFL player Dave Duerson. In both a text to his ex-wife and a hand-written note, Duerson asked that his brain be given to the NFL’s brain bank.

On July 12, 2012, U-T San Diego reported that Seau’s 23-year-old son, Tyler, and the trustee of his estate, Bette Hoffman, signed the release authorizing the San Diego County Medical Examiner to transfer the former player’s brain to the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland. Tyler told U-T that he his sister and two brothers joined him in making the decision. The results of the study are expected to take several months.

If there is any other group of individuals that has been as connected to the risks of traumatic brain injury (TBI) as football players, it would be the members of the United States armed forces. That helps explain why the military’s independent newspaper Stars and Stripes reported on July 12, 2012, that the NFL is planning to use high-tech sensors similar to the one the Army has been using since 2007 to monitor head injuries and gather data on the causes of concussions.

While the experiences of NFL players and military veterans has helped raise awareness of the effects of TBIs, it is important for people to understand that these catastrophic injuries are not limited to just these two professions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.7 million Americans a year sustain a TBI, with falls accounting for more than one-third of these injuries. Auto accidents are the second leading cause of TBI (17.3 percent), but result in the largest percentage of TBI-related deaths.

As Seau’s case also demonstrated, TBIs can cause severe depression and substance abuse. Furthermore, the CDC says that the estimated lifetime cost of a TBI ranges between $500,000 and $3 million, depending on the severity of the injury. If you or a loved one has sustained a TBI as a result of another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the injury. There is information about catastrophic injuries available on our website, but we encourage you to contact our firm by telephone at (800) 235-7060 to see how our Orlando personal injury lawyers might be able to help.

Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A. – Orlando personal injury attorneys