After having played 10 years and never missing a game or practice, the New York Jets’ star left tackle is hanging up his cleats, largely due to the fear of brain injury.
D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who as a youngster was told that he could never play contact sports after undergoing open heart surgery at age 9, never even appeared on the team’s injury list during his playing career. The former Freeport High School (Long Island) and University of Virginia standout became a Jet with the fourth overall pick in 2006. Last year, Mr. Ferguson said he felt “betrayed” by the National Football League over its handling of the link between professional football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE); he said that his declining skills and the possibility of a pay cut also loomed large in his decision.
A teammate praised Mr. Ferguson, who went to four Pro Bowls, by saying he was “the most authentic person I know. I love him. His loyalty, how he treats others, goes beyond football.”
Dangerous Brain Injury
Every year, at least 1.7 million Americans suffer a brain injury, and about 80 percent of them are rushed to the emergency room. Once they arrive, their injuries are often either misdiagnosed entirely or their symptoms are thought to be temporary. The brain is very adept at disguising its own injuries, so victims often legitimately say that they “feel fine.”
Brain injuries affect each person in different ways, but scientists have identified several major causes, including:
- Motor Vehicle Crashes: Right after a collision, loose objects inside the vehicle, like cell phones, become high-speed missiles, and safety restraints offer no protection whatsoever.
- Falls: A fall from a height or a slip on an uneven walkway can cause roughly the same amount of brain trauma.
- Explosive Blasts: Brain injuries have been called the “signature wounds” of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; researchers theorize that these noises create shock waves that disrupt brain activity.
Damages in a brain injury case often include compensation for both economic losses, such as lost wages, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Punitive damages may also be available, in some cases.
Brain injuries often cause lifelong suffering and require extensive medical and personal care. For a free consultation with an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney, contact our office. Home and hospital visits are available.