The prevalence of concussions among professional football players has gained widespread attention in the past few weeks. In light of the recent suicide deaths of Junior Seau, Dave Duerson, and Ray Easterling, more than 60 former NFL players have filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles, California, claiming that the league did not properly protect its players from concussions. The lead plaintiff is Art Monk, who was a wide receiver for the Washington Redskins from 1980 to 1993. Now, more than 1,000 former NFL players are suing the league across the country, alleging that not enough was done by the NFL to inform its players about the dangers of concussions in the past and that nothing is being done to take care of the current players today.
A Traumatic Head Injury can Cause Significant Changes in Personality
As reported in the Post & Courier, significant changes in personality of an individual can be the sign of a concussion. For example, former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling battled a 20-year fight with insomnia, depression, and progressing dementia before dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. However, personality changes after concussions can be difficult to recognize. A young athlete might become more emotionally labile or seem to have more of a “short fuse” than prior to the injury. The problem is these changes are hard to diagnose following a concussion; people usually are not looking for these types of emotional changes either immediately following the injury or later down the road.
It’s Difficult to Recognize these Issues in Someone who has Suffered a Traumatic Head Injury
The most recent death of Junior Seau illustrates how difficult it is to recognize these issues in someone who has suffered a concussion or other traumatic head injury. According to Sports Illustrated, “[b]y all accounts, Junior Seau never acknowledged his personal pain—whether it was the black veil of depression or the misery of not having a life he wanted to live—to anyone.” His friends and family stated that he never showed any outward signs of depression or emotional pain. However, an incident in October 2010 where Junior drove his SUV off a 30-foot bluff near his home after being arrested on a domestic violence charge, which was later dropped, may have been a signal that something was wrong.
You don’t have to be a professional athlete to suffer a concussion or other traumatic head injury. Numerous motor vehicle accidents and work-related accidents result in concussions of some degree, many that go untreated, that can later lead to personality changes and other possible mental issues. If you have suffered a concussion, it is imperative that you seek treatment immediately. For more information on concussions and traumatic brain injury, or for help and support, please contact the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina at http://www.biausa.org/SC/index.htm.
In many circumstances, legal help is also necessary in order to fully recover from a concussion or other traumatic head injury. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, and you would like to have a free consultation with the Joye Law Firm, please call us at (888)324-3100 or fill out the claim form on this website. For more details about previous results obtained on behalf of injured persons by our law firm, please visit www.joyelawfirm.com and click on “our results.”