As of January 1, 2012, California has a new law in effect dealing with concussions suffered by school district athletics. This new legislation speaks to all sports but the focus is primarily on football. The new law is Education Code, Section 49475. This subjects a school district to new liability for not following the law when it comes to students who are thought to have sustained a concussion and head injury.
If your child has been hurt while participating in school district athletics and you believe the staff has not followed the law, we at Abramson Smith Waldsmith, LLP, can help you protect your rights and options regarding recovering compensation. Contact us today to learn more during a consultation at our San Francisco, California, office.
New California Legislation Regarding Concussions and School Districts
Section 49475(a) provides: If a school district elects to offer an athletic program, the school district shall comply with both of the following:
An athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in an athletic activity shall be immediately removed from the activity for the remainder of the day, and shall not be permitted to return to the activity until he or she is evaluated by a licensed health care provider, trained in the management of concussions, acting within the scope of his or her practice. The athlete shall not be permitted to return to the activity until he or she receives written clearance to return to the activity from that licensed health care provider.
On a yearly basis, a concussion and head injury information sheet shall be signed and returned by the athlete and the athlete's parent or guardian before the athlete's initiating practice or competition.
This law does not require a trainer on the sidelines who knows about concussions. Some other states do.
Moreover, it is widely believed that one in ten football players has had a concussion and that 60 percent lose complete consciousness, but 40 percent return to play after this serious blow. This can sometimes lead to second-impact syndrome. This is a second head trauma while the athlete is trying to recover from an initial concussion. This can lead to sudden brain damage and death.
How We Can Help
Our attorneys have experience handling all types of sports injury cases, including those that happen during school events. We know how to cut through the red tape of school board bureaucracies, and we only settle cases when fair compensation is being offered. We are skilled litigators who have been recognized and are members of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL), the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), and the International Society of Barristers. We are also listed in Best Lawyers in America and in San Francisco Magazine's Super Lawyers issue.
Effective legal representation in cases of catastrophic injury and wrongful death requires not only experience, knowledge and trial skill, but also the ability to respond to permanently changed lives and grieving families. If you or a family member has suffered a serious injury, we urge you to contact our law office today.