Costs of sports concussion injuries worry insurance companies

Participants in professional and amateur sports in Missouri often expose themselves to the risk of concussion injuries. Lawsuits against the National Football League have revealed the long-term brain damage that can result from repeated blows to the head during contact sports. A report from S&P Global Ratings identified a rise in insurance claims for sports-related brain injuries, and insurance companies have taken notice. The report explained that insurance companies have begun writing exclusion clauses into their policies that would limit payouts for brain trauma that results from sports. These clauses could specifically apply to policies written for athletic organizations, schools, helmet manufacturers and sports teams.

The stakes are high for both victims and those who must pay for their care. In 2015, the NFL settled with 20,000 former players for close to $1 billion. These players live with disabilities attributed to the physical demands of their athletic positions. Their brain damage includes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Concussions persist as a problem for NFL athletes. The league recorded 271 concussions in 2015. This figure represented a 32 percent increase from the previous year. Physicians affiliated with the NFL believe greater awareness has led to the higher number of reported concussions.

The effects of brain trauma sometimes do not emerge until years later. A person who experiences traumatic brain injury might require rehabilitative care and support for long-term disabilities. While these types of injuries are commonly associated with contract sports, they are also frequently the result of car accidents. A person who has received a brain injury as the result of the negligence of another motorist may want to have legal assistance in seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses.