Did you have to sign a waiver, releasing your son or daughter’s school from liability for injuries during play, whether the dangers were known or unknown, before he or she was allowed to participate in middle school or high school sports? Frank N. Darras, America’s Top Disability Attorney, explains the shortfalls of these ‘legal’ documents, particularly in light of serious head injuries that are happening in football.
During a recent radio show, Gary Poszik of Health, Wealth and Wellness pointed out that as many as 400,000 college or high school student athletes suffer a concussion each year. 400,000 concussions each year. While it may be argued that responsibility for these serious injuries was waived by a parent or athlete before playing, parents and athletes shouldn’t assume that the waiver is the last word on liability.
As Frank Darras explains, waivers are generally effective only if the person signing the document knowingly and intelligently waives their rights. When it comes to concussions, as both scientific and anectdotal evidence proves, what we know about prevention, treatment and return-to-play after a concussion is evolving every day.
The athlete must “[U]nderstand their own condition in order to prevent further injury,” explains Darras. But if the medical professionals on the sidelines aren’t educating our athletes about re-entry and treatment, your student-athlete cannot understand their own condition, they can’t be empowered to prevent further injury in themselves or their teammates. Until doctors, trainers and coaching professionals understand head injuries and concussions, how can parents and students be expected to understand the long-term effects of a serious head injury to the point that injuries from concussions may be waived ahead of time?