Cheerleader Sues After Being Forced to Perform After Numerous Concussions
Head injuries can affect victims for the rest of their lives. If you have suffered a serious head injury, you might be struggling with a wide range of issues, including cognitive decline, motor control issues, mental health problems, memory loss, and many others. Faced with these problems, you might find it difficult to work and earn a living. You might also face considerable medical expenses to treat your ongoing problems. With no income and medical bills piling up, you might be desperate for additional funds to cover your damages.
The good news is that head injury victims can often file personal injury lawsuits to recover everything they need to heal and move on as best as possible. Many victims have done this in the past with success, receiving settlements that cover their medical bills, missed wages, and other damages. You can do the same by filing a personal injury lawsuit with help from a qualified lawyer in California. But under what circumstances can you sue for a head injury? How can a lawyer help you? What does a head injury lawsuit actually look like, and what are some past examples of these lawsuits?
Cheerleader Wins $700,000 Settlement After Suffering Three Concussions
On January 23, 2023, it was reported that a cheerleader from Berkeley suffered three separate concussions while training and performing. As a result, she decided to sue the university and won a settlement of almost $700,000. The injuries occurred over a five-month period during the 2017-2018 school year, and they involved complicated acrobatic stunts. The cheerleader stated that while divers and gymnasts were carefully monitored by coaches during their training sessions, no such attention was provided to cheerleaders – despite the fact that they were engaged in acrobatic stunts that were just as dangerous.
One incident involved the cheerleader being kicked in the head. She later suffered severe headaches, nausea, and dizziness but was instructed to avoid seeing a doctor. Her coach said it was the best choice to avoid medical treatment because she was needed at the upcoming football game. In addition, the cheerleader stated that after her injuries, she was pressured into returning to team practices despite suffering from the continued after-effects of her concussion. She was also pressured into performing at games. Eventually, the consequences of her continued concussions caused her to leave the team. The victim is still reportedly suffering from a number of serious consequences – including a headache that is apparently permanent.
Ignoring her coach’s questionable advice, the cheerleader went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a concussion. This diagnosis was backed up by the university’s concussion specialist, but he later changed his mind after a phone call with the coach and supported the latter’s advice to attend the football game. A few months later, the cheerleader was kicked in the head a second time. Despite suffering a second concussion, she was instructed to walk unsupervised over a mile to the UC health services office.
The medical staff at the health services office instructed her to rest for several months. For a third time, she was cleared to return to cheerleading duty – a direct violation of the school’s standard concussion protocol. The very next day, she was struck in the head for a third time after attempting an aerial stunt at a basketball game. Facing serious health issues by this point, the victim decided to quit.
After providing the cheerleader with her settlement, UC Berkeley also agreed to change its policies regarding cheerleader training sessions. From now on, cheerleaders will be monitored with the same care and attention as other acrobatic athletes. In addition, they will be treated for injuries with the same urgency. Both cheerleaders and their coaches will undergo safety training while all possible injuries will be promptly reported. These improvements come far too late to help the injured cheerleaders who filed the lawsuit, however. In addition, UC Berkeley continues to deny any wrongdoing despite handing over a $695,000 settlement.
College Head Injury Lawsuits Are Becoming More Common
It is not just cheerleaders who are suing colleges in California. Many other athletes have filed similar lawsuits against schools for allowing head injuries to occur or failing to address them properly. The most obvious examples are former football players, who often suffer serious TBIs (traumatic brain injuries) during their short careers. In fact, the NCAA is now facing a number of brain injury lawsuits, and the results of these landmark trials will set important precedents going forward.
The truth is that virtually anyone can suffer a head injury while playing sports at university. Even if you don’t play a “full-contact” sport like football or hockey, you can still suffer serious issues after repeated head injuries. For example, heading the ball in soccer has been linked to serious, long-term brain issues. Once universities become aware of the long-term consequences of head injuries, they must take decisive action to prevent them as best as possible. Anything less is a clear sign of negligence, and victims can sue for this misconduct.
The cheerleader’s story highlights the fact that universities are often incredibly competitive, placing the school’s athletic success over the individual safety of students. Part of the problem is the underlying culture that makes winning more important than protecting vulnerable young people.
Where Can I Find a California Head Injury Lawyer?
If you have been searching the California area for an experienced head injury lawyer, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured victims – including those who have suffered head injuries. Whether your head injury is minor or severe, you deserve the right to take legal action against negligent parties. If someone else caused your accident, you should not have to pay for your medical expenses, missed wages, and other damages out of your own pocket. Book a consultation with us today, and we can determine the best course of legal action based on your specific circumstances.