Debilitating Injuries in Football & Proving Negligence

Debilitating Injuries in Football & Negligence

Fall is quickly approaching in Chester County and, of course, all of PA. Nothing screams “Fall” more than football, and PA is rife with football fanatics as it is part of the state culture.  

All types of football practices began in the summer, and all manner of football leagues exist, from Knee-High football for younger players all the way to high school, college, and, of course, professional football. 

There have long been documented serious injuries associated with football. From immediate injuries to those that only appear after years of play. But these do exist, and it is one of the more dangerous sports compared to basketball and other sports. 

The reasons for the dangers are clear. Football is not only a contact sport but one that entails tackling other players and using force to bring other players down to the ground. Size matters, and power plays with force are the norm. 

It is important in the Chester County, PA, area to have a free evaluation by a knowledgeable injury attorney such as Chris Hoey of Paoli, PA, if a football injury occurs. Symptoms do not always show up immediately, and a quick response is needed. 

Although statistics on the number of injuries and types of injuries vary from year to year, the NFL (National Football League) does keep a running tally of these with yearly updates. Both pre-season, off-season, and actual playing season injuries are tracked to try and improve safety. 

Most documented injuries occur in the ankle, spine, face, and, of course, the brain. Although helmets are used, these do not prevent all concussions or TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injuries). There also are what can only be called “build-up” brain injuries, where repeated blows to the head result in consequences later in life. 

According to, TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injury) or CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalothapy) were found in a whopping 87 percent of NFL players. CTE was most common as top players remained on the field for years. 

These conditions/injuries can also occur in youngsters and high school and college sports, and parents and players should always have the name of a TBI and serious injury attorney like Christian J. Hoey on hand both during pre-season and actual playing season. 

Impacts of Debilitating Football Injuries

Of course, all injuries should be taken seriously. But others, such as neck, spine, and brain injuries, can have a serious impact on an athlete’s life, no matter what the age. A debilitating injury can also have an impact on an entire family. The most serious ones listed below have the most impact, both present and future. 

·     Spinal injuries

The overall impact of these injuries depends on the section of the spine which is injured. On a field, however, it is difficult to tell how serious this type of injury is, and a player is immediately back-boarded and taken to the nearest emergency room for evaluation. 

Since these types of injuries can result in paralysis, an ambulance is usually present during games, and a Duty of Care does exist for both the stadiums and the coaches and other personnel present. If a player cannot get up, even if only because of an ankle injury, it should not be assumed that a spinal injury is not present as well. 

·     Traumatic brain injuries

As explained prior, TBIs can be both immediate and long-term. Concussions are not always serious, according to the Mayo Clinic, but should be treated as such until proven otherwise. Most players that suffer one are hospitalized for at least a brief period to determine the extent of the damage. 

Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and even lethargy. Some serious concussions can lead to bleeding from the nose or mouth. These are Traumatic Brain Injuries, and action needs to be swift and sure when a player has a suspected head injury. 

Several concussions or head injuries can lead to CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalothapy), and this condition is incurable and can resemble Alzheimer’s with mood swings, memory loss, and other devastating lifelong consequences. As a side note, the sport of boxing can also reveal this condition years after repeated injuries.

Summary– Debilitating Injuries in Football—Proving Negligence

Participating in football is not mandatory, and most players on all levels are asked to sign documentation absolving the entities supporting the sport from liability. This makes these types of negligence cases and lack of duty of care difficult to prove for a plaintiff’s attorney. 

This is why it is absolutely imperative, if living in the Chester County area and other surrounding areas, to contact HoeyLegal whenever an injury in football or other sports occurs. Medical records reviews must be complete, and witnesses must be interviewed. Time cannot be lost in these types of cases, as the consequences can be life-disrupting. 

Christian J. Hoey provides a free evaluation and can be reached via phone at 1-888-GO-HOEY1 or 610-647-5151. With decades of experience, Mr. Hoey and his team are dedicated to the health of all football and other sports players. Team Hoey is a “Go Team” experience for the representation of injured players. 

Distracted Driving

Pennsylvania defines distracted driving as “an activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Drivers have to focus on driving, so they can react to the information on the road, such as road conditions, hazards and other drivers. Distracted drivers do not react appropriately and thus put others at risk for severe injury or death. Examples of distractions, besides using cell phones and texting, include drinking, eating, adjusting the radio, adjusting climate controls, adjusting seats, combing hair, putting on make-up, daydreaming, reaching for dropped items, engaging in heavy conversations, and focusing on events outside of the car.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence typically refers to alcohol use, but drug use can also impair drivers and cause severe car accidents.  In either situation, enjoying cocktails at happy hour, celebrating with drugs or alcohol, drinking too much wine for dinner and unwinding after a long week at work results in too many motorists driving under the influence.  Controlled substances impact each person differently, making it common for someone to misjudge his or her level of impairment.  These poor judgments can lead to severe and sometimes fatal car accidents.

Driver Fatigue

Driving without enough sleep is commonplace for many in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the nation. Truck drivers, shift workers, and those with sleep disorders are most vulnerable to causing an accident because they are drowsy or fatigued. Not having enough rest slows down reaction time and impairs the senses. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) claims that eighteen (18) hours without sleep impairs a driver to the same extent as someone who has a 0.08 blood or breath alcohol concentration after consuming alcohol.


The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that one-third of all car accidents involve speeding. Drivers who rush, run late, or simply lack patience may choose to speed when they get behind the wheel. Speeding makes it more likely that a driver will lose control of his or her vehicle and makes it more difficult to react to road hazards and other vehicles. Speeding also increases the impact of a car accident and makes it far less likely that a negligent driver may maintain control of his vehicle sufficient to prevent a collision. High speed car accidents make it far more likely that those involved will suffer severe injuries or death.


At HoeyLegal, we know from our litigation experience that tractor-trailer drivers often operate at least one cellular phone which is in use at, during, or immediately prior to a tractor-trailer accident. Additionally, most tractor-trailers are equipped with data recorders which capture, in real-time, important vehicle operation events including speed, hard braking and other evasive maneuvers taken by the operator and the tractor-trailer.  It is imperative that this evidence be obtained before it is destroyed.  At HoeyLegal, our trial attorneys will obtain any necessary court order to preserve this evidence for trial.


Oftentimes, there are several defendants responsible for the tractor-trailer accident. In most cases, at least two defendants are responsible for the ownership and operation of the tractor-trailer.  There may be additional defendants responsible for the hiring and retention of the tractor-trailer driver.  At HoeyLegal, our investigators will promptly identify the responsible defendants and immediately request the preservation of all evidence related to the hiring and retention of the driver, inspection of the vehicles and the supervision and drug/alcohol testing of the vehicle operator.


Our accident investigators include mechanics who will immediately respond to the accident site and the location where the truck has been impounded in order to photograph the truck and conduct necessary mechanical inspections of the vehicle. In the event that a court order is necessary to examine and inspect the trucks, HoeyLegal Attorneys will promptly file the necessary motions to enable the HoeyLegal mechanics and inspectors to conduct a prompt evaluation of the mechanical function of the at-fault tractor-trailer


Our expert accident investigators include former Pennsylvania State Police accident investigators and nationally recognized engineers who will carefully photograph the accident scene and conduct all necessary measurements of skid marks, yaw marks, displacement of debris and thoroughly examine the accident site to preserve all evidence for the time of trial.


Our investigators will promptly interview and record all witnesses that observed the accident and collect all biographical information from the witnesses so they will available to testify on your behalf at trial.

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