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Boxer Receives Record $22 Million in Personal Injury Lawsuit

Sports personal injuryThe recent boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather ignited a new interest in the sport, garnering attention from viewers who had never witnessed it before. Americans have long had a love for tough physical competition, though recent research into an association between National Football League athletes and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in players’ brains has even diehard fans questioning just how much strain is worth the entertainment, when long-term brain damage is a risk.

While American professional athletes who participate in skull-crushing sports like football and boxing do so voluntarily, a landmark settlement that occurred last month brings up new questions for athletes and their families. Boxer Magomed Abdusalamov was awarded $22 million last month in a personal injury case against New York State, after he suffered brain damage after a 2013 fight. This is the largest personal injury settlement in the history of New York. The family is currently pursuing a lawsuit against the three ringside physicians, as well.

Injuries due to negligence can happen in any sport, whether it’s a combat sport or non-contact sport. Considering more than 600,000 male high school athletes are injured in the United States a year in contact sports alone, it’s important to be aware of risks all athletes face due to preventable injuries that occur. If you or a loved one is an athlete, here’s how the Abdusalamov case may affect the future of sports.

What Happened

In 2013, Russian boxer Abdusalamov lost in a fight by unanimous decision. Following the completion of the boxer’s post-fight medical assessment, he was not immediately taken to the hospital for treatment, despite his suffering. Instead, he took a cab there himself. He ended up suffering from a blood clot, had to have surgery that night, suffered a coma that lasted several weeks, and was hospitalized for more than 10 months.

Today, Abdusalamov is still in recovery. He is paralyzed on his right side, cannot walk, and has impaired speech. Abdusalamov’s family filed a lawsuit against the New York State Athletic Commission, its staff and its ringside physicians for recklessness, gross negligence and medical malpractice. With proper care, the family alleged, Abdusalamov’s dire condition today may have been avoided with more immediate attention, diagnosis and treatment.

If anything positive came out of the Abdusalamov case for pro athletes, it may be closer attention to safety measures. While many pro leagues have insurance policies to cover accidental injuries, injuries caused by negligence don’t have this protection.

Sports personal injuryWhat the Abdusalamov Case Means for Athletes

Getting punched, often in the head, is common in boxing, and it’s expected. What shouldn’t happen is an athlete being left in the ring for too long, when it’s clear they are likely to lose the fight. Boxing competition creators, promoters and staff are upheld to athletic regulations that dictate what care is proper in order to ensure the utmost in health and safety for the athletes.

In the case of Abdusalamov, negligence was proven to be a factor in the decisions of the physicians and staff who tended to the boxer after the fight. In the professional realm of sports, other examples of negligence may include:

  • Improper number of physicians on duty and lack of access to proper medical care
  • Faulty equipment, including safety helmets
  • Lack of medical attention as soon as it’s needed
  • Incorrect treatment of an athlete in pain

Negligence in sports can also occur in non-pro leagues, including children’s sports leagues. Incidents may include:

  • Misuse of proper safety equipment
  • Improper safety training to prevent injury
  • Improperly maintained sporting grounds
  • Placing athletes in dangerous training conditions, such as practice or competition in extreme heat
  • Extremely dangerous or aggressive behavior by other athletes

As seen by the guilty verdict in the Abdusalamov case, negligence can have detrimental life-long effects. When safety is not prioritized and personal injury is done, negligence may be a costly factor.

Sports personal injuryWhat to Do If You or a Loved One Is Injured During Sports

First, in order to protect your safety as much as you can, you the athlete should be getting regular physical examinations to maintain your health. If you have an injury before you’re injured again while competing, negligence is much harder to prove, since you should have been resting and recovering instead of competing.

If a sports injury does occur, you should immediately get medical treatment. As sadly seen with Abdusalamov, life-threatening injuries may not be immediately apparent, and getting adequate treatment can help. You should also note and document what happened at the scene of the competition. How did the injury occur, how could it have been prevented, and what injuries are you suffering now?

Keep organized records of all medical documentation. If you believe negligence on behalf of a sports organization, coach or on-site physician was to blame for your injury, contact a personal injury attorney in Birmingham. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering due to an athletic injury.

Birth Injuries: What They Are, and How to Handle One

Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in a family’s life. Bringing a baby into the world is special and should be peaceful and uplifting, but when a birth injury happens because of another party’s negligence, it turns what should be an amazing moment into one that is traumatic.

According to data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, there are more than 1.5 avoidable birth injuries per 1,000 births. Injuries range from broken collarbones and infections, to head trauma and other newborn injuries. Mothers may also be the victim of an injury during the childbirth process, such as experiencing a perineum tear or damage to birth-related organs.

In the case of birth injuries, any risk is significant. When it comes to the health and safety of a mom and a newborn child, the best possible outcome is perfect health and zero injuries. Whether you’re an expectant mom, you’ve just had a baby and someone was injured, or you have a loved one who is pregnant or has had the stress of a birth injury, here is what to be aware of.

Types of Birth Injuries

Types of birth injuries may include some of the most common ones named by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Bone fractures
  • Brain injury
  • Bruising
  • Burst blood vessel in the eye
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Facial nerve damage
  • Jaundice
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Swelling of the scalp

Birth injuries are caused by a wide variety of factors. Some will depend on the professional who is administering the birthing process, some will be caused by timing, and some will be caused by equipment that is used. Some factors that may be present in birth injuries include:

 

  • Delayed birth: Labors that are particularly long, spanning more than 18 hours, may put extensive pressure on a baby’s brain and elevate a newborn’s blood pressure.
  • Incorrect medication: Improper type of medication or improper dosage of medication that is given to a mother may result in harm to her or the baby.
  • Inexperience or faulty procedures: For people who decide to go a more natural route with the birthing process, such as those who opt for an at-home birth with a midwife, they may become victims of birth injuries due to questionable experience or birthing methods. Even the most experienced medical professionals who are assisting in birthing may make a mistake based on a lack of judgment. Inappropriately pulling or twisting a baby during birthing can cause an injury.
  • Oxygen deprivation: Oxygen deprivation that is caused by a factor such as a prolapsed umbilical cord can cause damage to a new human that lasts a lifetime.
  • Poor advice before the birth: A birth injury may start to form before a baby is even born, if a doctor or medical professional is giving an expectant mother incorrect advice or conducting the wrong testing before the birth.

There are other factors that can cause birth injuries, such as defective equipment, contamination, or plain haphazardness. Any negative result to a baby or mother during or after childbirth, which could have been prevented, results in a birth injury.

There have also been cases of severe birth injuries that cause seizures, brain hemorrhaging or comas, or that result in infant fatalities. Additionally, the use of instruments or a C-section delivery may result in obstetric trauma for the mother.

Some birth injuries will be instantly noticeable. If a newborn is discolored, is vomiting, is unresponsive, is bleeding, or is having trouble breathing, these could all be signs that could point to a long-term injury if left untreated. Other indicators of birth injuries may not show up until after mom and baby have left the hospital. For example, a baby who has trouble sucking its thumb or has trouble eating may be experiencing intellectual and developmental delays that are the result of a birth injury.

What to Do in Case of a Birth Injury

The health and safety of the mom and baby are paramount. Any suspicion of something that is not right should be immediately addressed with a doctor so appropriate treatment can be prescribed.

If the mother has undergone a difficult, long delivery, the cause may be medical negligence, which could have been prevented. If you or a loved one suspect this may be the case, it is vital to contact a medical malpractice attorney in Birmingham to learn what help is available to you. Birth injuries can have lifelong, meaningful impacts on entire families and can be extremely costly to deal with. You can protect your rights with professional help. A medical malpractice attorney can work with you to gather the evidence you need for a compelling case, so you can work to obtain the justice and peace you deserve.

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