Concussions And School District Athletics

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Concussions Attorneys For School District Athletics

On Jan. 1, 2012, California instituted a law related to concussions suffered by school district athletes. This legislation speaks to all sports, but the focus is primarily on football. California Education Code, Section 49475 subjects a school district to new liability for failing to remove students from sporting activities who are thought to have suffered a concussion or 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 can help you protect your rights and options regarding recovering compensation. Call us today at to learn more during a free consultation at our San Francisco, California, office.

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 suffering 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 practices or competes.

This law in California does not require a trainer on the sidelines who knows about concussions. Other states do.

Moreover, it is widely believed that one in 10 football players has had a concussion and that 60 percent of those lose consciousness. However, 40 percent return to play after this serious blow. This can sometimes lead to second-impact syndrome (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 occur during school events. We know how to cut through the red tape of school board bureaucracies. We are skilled litigators who work diligently to receive the best results for our clients against school districts. We have been recognized by 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.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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