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Remembering Rob Kelly: CTE as a Long-Term Disability

CTE Long Term Disability Lawyer

We Help Disability Claimants Suffering From Traumatic Brain Injuries

As the school year approaches, children are preparing for fall sports. For years, football was a staple of late summer fun. Whether it was varsity training camp or flag football, many kids have played football since elementary school.

Rob Kelly was one such kid. This former NFL safety retired from injuries at age 28, but he’d played tackle football for more than two decades at the time. Despite suffering from numerous concussions during his career, he was never officially diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), while playing in the NFL.

Kelly’s wife reported violent changes in his mood and behavior to the point where he would neither speak nor drive. However, these symptoms arose years after he stopped playing. He lost weight, couldn’t sleep, and began to suffer from severe neuropsychological dysfunction that doctors eventually linked to his career as a safety.

Unfortunately, Kelly wasn’t alone. A study in 2017 revealed that out of 111 former NFL players examined, 110 of them suffered from CTE resulting from repeated blows to the head.

While Rob Kelly and the plight of NFL families suffering from CTE symptoms has brought light to the condition, football players aren’t the only ones suffering from the effects of repeated brain trauma. Athletes from many sports, as well as military veterans, are suffering from brain degeneration, something that causes total, permanent disabilities.

If you or your loved one suffers from a degenerative brain disorder, even years after sustaining the head trauma, call the experienced long-term individual disability insurance lawyers and ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw today. We understand you may have sustained a traumatic brain injury long before your symptoms manifested, and we can aid your treating doctors in presenting the most persuasive and compelling information to your long-term disability insurer.

To schedule a free disability claim consultation and free policy analysis, call an award-winning group ERISA lawyer or seasoned long-term individual disability insurance attorney at DarrasLaw today at (800) 458-4577or contact us online.

Traumatic Brain Injuries and Concussions

If you ever sustained a concussion, you suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). A traumatic brain injury is the term used to describe a violent injury to the head or brain that results in damage to your brain cells. Temporary, permanent, or even fatal damage can accrue, depending on its severity.

Typically, traumatic brain injuries cause three types of symptoms: mental, physical, and sensory. If you’ve suffered a severe blow to the head, you likely experienced some of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness or disorientation
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Speech impediments
  • Sleep disorders
  • Loss of balance
  • Nausea
  • Tinnitus
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Mood swings
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Memory and concentration problems

Always visit a physician for testing immediately after losing consciousness due to a head injury. Even “mild” brain injuries can result in severe disabling symptoms.

Common Causes of Cognitive Dysfunction

The following events are most commonly associated with head and brain injuries:

  • Car accidents – Traumatic brain injuries caused by car accidents are often fatal. Your head will snap back and forth after a forceful car collision, causing your brain to crash against your inner skull. This can cause tearing and bruising of the brain tissue, resulting in a coma or serious impediments to mental functions.
  • Combat injuries – You don’t have to get thrown by a blast to suffer a brain injury in combat. Military-grade explosions cause traumatic brain injuries through the intense pressure waves that they send through the brain.
  • Sports injuriesFootball, boxing, soccer, and hockey all carry extreme concussion risks. However, any type of high-impact sport can also result in a serious traumatic brain injury.
  • Violence – Gunshot wounds, assaults, and violent blows to the head during fights or domestic violence incidents also result in serious traumatic brain injuries.
  • Falls – Falls, including in the bathroom, down stairs, out of bed, or off a ladder, are the most common cause of home-related traumatic brain injuries.


The nature and severity of your brain injury depends on your physical condition and the seriousness of the impact. However, previous traumatic brain injuries, such as the repeated concussions suffered by many NFL players, can result in even greater damage.


CTE and Disability

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, once referred to as punch drunk syndrome or pugilistic dementia, is a type of traumatic brain injury that develops after multiple brain injuries. This degenerative brain disease causes certain proteins to build up in the brain, which spread and kill brain cells over time.


CTE symptoms don’t generally develop until years after the initial injuries, and doctors can only positively diagnose the disease during an autopsy. Accordingly, getting a clinical diagnosis of CTE may prove difficult, which can impair your ability to claim needed long-term individual or group disability benefits.

If you exhibit the risk factors associated with CTE, however, and begin experiencing the following symptoms, one of the nationally acclaimed individual disability attorneys or top-rated group ERISA lawyers at DarrasLaw may help you fight for your legal right to individual or group long-term disability insurance benefits:

  • Mood changes—depression, irritability, and anxiety are all associated with CTE
  • Memory problems that worsen with time
  • Migraines

With CTE in the limelight, more doctors know how to diagnose the condition. If you’re a combat veteran or former athlete experiencing strange cognitive degeneration—even years after your last head injury—contact a doctor today. Then call DarrasLaw to learn how to best prepare your claim application for your individual or group long-term disability insurance benefits.

Call DarrasLaw’s Award-Winning Long-Term Individual Disability Attorneys or Stellar Group ERISA Lawyers for Help with CTE

Because CTE is a late-onset, degenerative disorder, many individual and group long-term disability insurance companies will hesitate to grant you your individual or group disability benefits.

However, CTE is real disorder, one that develops with time and often results in total, permanent disabilities. America’s top-rated long-term individual disability and group ERISA law firm, DarrasLaw, knows how your individual or group long-term disability insurer will try to wrongfully deny you benefits for CTE. America’s top-rated disability lawyer, Frank N. Darras, and his firms have recovered nearly $1 billion in wrongfully delayed, denied, and terminated insurance benefits.

To schedule a free disability policy analysis and free claim consultation, call us today at (800) 458-4577 or contact us online.

DarrasLaw is Americas' most honored and decorated disability litigation firm in the country. Mr. Darras has seen more, evaluated more, litigated more, and resolved more individual and group long term disability and long-term care cases than any other lawyer in the United States.

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