NCAA Settlement to Improve Head-Injury Policies

The New York Times reports that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has reached a tentative settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought by former college players seeking reforms to college head-injury policies.

The proposed settlement would establish a $70 million fund to pay for neurological screening of former college athletes. Former athletes will need to complete a questionnaire and qualify before they get the free exam.

Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries can cause brain damage such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

There are about four million former college athletes, of whom about 1.4 million played contact sports.

According to information uncovered during the lawsuit, there were more than 30,000 concussions in college sports from 2004 to 2009.

College athletes would continue to have the right to sue their universities, or the NCAA, for personal injuries they suffered as players.The settlement does not provide direct compensation for players.

A similar settlement has been proposed for former National Football League (NFL) players.The proposed NFL settlement seeks to create a fund worth several hundred million dollars to help former pro football players get treatment for brain injuries.About 20,000 former NFL players would be affected by the settlement.

The NCAA settlement also includes an agreement by the NCAA to introduce guidelines to prevent athletes who suffered concussions from returning to a game or practice the same day.The NCAA members would be required to have trained medical personnel at all contact sporting events, including football games and wrestling matches.

Athletes will be given a preseason baseline test for brain status and universities will be required to increase concussion tracking.

The NCAA did not previously have a policy on concussions.

The settlement, if approved, will also include $5 million for concussion research.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a sports or recreational activity, or has suffered any kind of brain damage in an accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the New Jersey Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C. for help.

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