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Brain Injuries From Football in Illinois

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Sorry Son. I Don’t Want To Risk Your Brain For Football.

Football season is here. I love football. I’m a diehard Chicago Bears fan. When I was a kid, I played tackle football. I was in the pee wee league and was proud to be a full back and linebacker for the Skokie Raiders. When I got to high school, I was about five feet tall and didn’t weigh much over a hundred pounds. My dad told me I couldn’t play because he didn’t want me getting hit by kids twice my size. I protested unsuccessfully but now that I’ve become familiar with brain injuries resulting from football, I can honestly say, “Thanks Dad.”

Brain injuries in football have garnered much attention recently. Several former National Football League (NFL) players have filed a lawsuit claiming the league failed to treat concussions and tried to conceal the link between football and brain injuries. Because of what’s happening in the NFL, people, including this proud father of a young boy who wants to play tackle football, are becoming much more aware of head trauma and its consequences.

Brain Injury Basics:

Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries caused by a direct blow to or a shaking of the head resulting in enough force to bang the brain against the skull. When the brain hits the skull, there is a mild to severe injury to the brain. Not surprisingly, football players have the highest incidence of concussion amongst athletes. It is of utmost importance to note that “mild” brain injuries or concussion are brain injuries, nonetheless. “Mild” only refers to someone being very unlikely to die. However, the consequences can be much more severe, with long lasting physical, emotional and cognitive problems.

Contrary to popular belief, loss of consciousness is not the telltale sign of a concussion. In fact, most young athletes who suffer from a concussion will not have been “knocked out.” Approximately 10 percent of concussions lead to a loss of consciousness. People who suffer a head trauma may experience headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, inability to recall events surrounding the injury, mood changes, sleep disturbances, or a combination of these symptoms. These signals may appear immediately, may take a few days to show up or may not show up at all. Medical research shows that chronic brain injury can occur even without actual concussions.

With the attention that the NFL and brain injuries have recently received, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is often referenced. CTE is a progressive degenerative disease found in individuals who have been subjected to multiple concussions and other forms of head injury. Not even the medical experts fully understand what causes CTE to occur. Complicating matters is that we do not have methods of diagnosing CTE in the living. Currently, it can be done only after death.

Children and Brain Injuries from Football

What is happening, exactly, to the brains of our children who play tackle football? When do brain traumas become irreversible? If our children are exposed to hundreds of low-level head hits (sub concussive hits) during a football season, what, if any, damage is caused? No one really knows. That’s the point here – there are still many unknowns.

Though there has been a lot of recent media attention given to NFL players with brain injuries, there has been very little media attention regarding brain injuries in younger football players and children. However, there are bone chilling findings in children’s brains who play football. CTE has been discovered in high school football players who had suffered multiple head traumas.

Why isn’t the media talking about our children? Why don’t parents realize that their children could be increasing their chances of various types of brain damage later in life every time he butts heads with another player? Are parents unknowingly subjecting their children to irreversible brain injuries that only manifest years later with side effects such as memory loss, depression, rage, impulsive behavior and early dementia, to name but a few?

Stories of Brain Injuries in Children

  • Not long ago, a 10-year-old youth football player died as a result of a head injury. He collapsed during a kickoff drill. His coaches said there was no contact at the time, although he was involved in normal contact earlier in practice.
  • An eighth-grade boy collapsed while playing a football game. He was tackled on the field. He got up, walked to sidelines, and then collapsed. Sadly, he died the next day. The autopsy revealed that the boy died from a head trauma.
  • A high school football player ended up in the hospital with a severe brain injury. After watching a tape of the football field, no out of the ordinary events popped out to highlight when the injury could have occurred.
  • Most recently, a college football player died less than a week after he collapsed at football practice between routine drills. The cause – uncontrollable brain swelling.

Children’s brains are more vulnerable to injury than adult brains. So when my son, now nine years old asked me if he could join tackle football next year, I had to say “Sorry Son. Choose a different sport.” As much as he likes football and as much as I would like to be on the sidelines watching him, I don’t want my son to play, not when there is increasing medical evidence of repetitive head trauma causing chronic brain injury and even death. Do I want my son to risk suffering from the long term complications associated with head injuries so he and I can have short term seasonal athletic satisfaction? Heck no!

My son’s a tough kid. He’s competitive. Would he feel compelled to play through common symptoms of head injuries such as fatigue, headache and nausea? Would he be forthcoming with me about his symptoms if he did suffer an injury? I’d like to think so but I don’t know.

So what do we do to protect our children’s brains? Here are some thoughts:

  • We need to educate parents and children about the potential long term consequences of playing tackle football;
  • We need to raise parental and coaching awareness of detecting concussions and head injuries;
  • We need to continue efforts to develop better helmets;
  • We need to educate coaches and children about safer blocking and tackling techniques that do not use the head;
  • We need long-term studies of children who play tackle football;
  • We need to develop methods of diagnosing CTE in the living;
  • We need to limit contact during practices to cut back collision time;
  • We need to change the culture of football – one that values the hardest, most vicious hits; and

We need to make sure that any player who suffers a head injury be evaluated by a doctor and receive medical clearance before returning to play.

Of course, brain injuries are not limited to football. Any sport or activity with the potential for repetitive head trauma can place children at risk. However, with more than 4 million children playing tackle football, we should at least do our best to protect their brains.

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Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Navigate Your Injury Case

Willen’s Injury Law Offices’ Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers have varied and extensive experience with personal injury law, from both sides of the aisle, is a true asset for their clients. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys not only have years of litigation and negotiation experience working for victims of accidents or negligence, but they also have Matthew L. Willens’ background as a former insurance company executive. 

Additionally, another accident lawyer at the firm, David Baez, spent the first part of his career as a defense attorney who represented insurance companies. As the firm’s clients sometimes say, “It’s like they know the other side’s playbook!”

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Client Reviews

Willens Injury Law Offices was highly recommended by a friend. Upon my initial consultation, David was very friendly yet profesional. He was able to get a favorable result, I will definitely recommend him to my family and friends. Thank you!
Lucia R.
19:41 08 Apr 21
When I got into my accident in 2018, I was 18, I was scared and I didn’t know what to do. David worked with me and made sure I was taken care of all the way to the end. He fought for my case and made sure I got the settlement I deserved. Definitely will be recommending the Willens office to my friends and family .Thank you!!!!
Emmalee R.
19:51 23 Nov 20
I 100% back this firm. I was in an accident that caused me some injury that needed medical attention. I reached out to Willens Law Offices to assist since I noticed a large amount of overwhelmingly positive reviews. Believe all the positive ones!!This firm is very professional and helpful from the beginning to end. They look out for their clients, and do their best to achieve 100% client satisfaction. If you consult with them to help, you will not be unhappy at the end.I want to give a huge shoutout to David Baez who assisted my throughout the entire case. I highly recommend him and this firm.Please note, if you utilize them and don't hear back a lot during the case, don't be alarmed. They will reach out to you when the time is right. They are not neglecting you, they are working hard day in and day out to resolve your case.1 Million % recommended!!!!!
Michael R.
18:42 13 Jun 20
It's been over a year since I was involved in my car accident - everyone knows that is a very stressful time for the injured party. I considered going through the whole process on my own but I quickly realized the insurance company was NOT my friend. I reached out to Willens Law Offices, met Matt and the attorney that would be handling my claim, David Baez. David was excellent, I'm big on communication and anytime I texted David; sometimes ad nauseam, he would always respond quickly and professionally. I had a ton of questions, and David answered everyone of them to my satisfaction. I could not have asked for a better attorney to fight for me, I have extremely high expectations and they were exceeded consistently.
Edmond P.
15:33 28 Apr 20
Reliable, efficient, & informative. Personable yet professional, Willens office took care of my every last need & then some!!
Kyle M.
15:35 10 Apr 20
I got into a car accident a couple years back, I didn’t know what to do so I researched on Google then found Willens law office. At the time it was new to me but after they help me out, guided me, let me in the right path and I haven’t been happy here ever since because justice was served! Thank you Willens coming from the Herrera family
Jose H.
18:38 03 Apr 20
I had an accident injuries and based on google reviews I reached out to Willens Law Offices in Chicago. David Baez helped me with my case. He came to meet us and understood our case in detail and he guided me all the steps of the process. I had advices from friends that you are unnecessarily going after the process and nothing will happen. David made everything worthwhile and he gave right advice always which was right for my health and right for the case. He worked very hard on my case for 2 years collecting all the paperwork, talking to physicians and taking care of my case and making it in my favor. I was truly blessed by having David Baez handling my case who was extremely professional, great ethics and felt as my family with him. After the injuries and pain I was afraid to select one but my God made me select the right one. If anyone feel they need accident injuries lawyer then I will only recommend David Baez. Nobody will beat his hard work, professionalisms, ethics and perseverance and yet down to earth and honest. Thank you for everything you have done for me and blessings from my heart for his success.
Mamta S.
14:25 06 Mar 20
David A. Baez at Willens Law office has been fantastic to work with. Very professional, informative and responsive to all questions. Hopefully I don't get into another car accident but if so I will call the Willens Law Offices asap.
steve B.
17:33 10 Dec 19
The initial impressions I had of this place turned out to be false, and I am thankful that I am pursuing the case with Mr. Willens. He is pretty incredible at what he does.
Donald B.
08:05 27 Nov 19
I can only say good things about Mr. Willens. He was fantastic, Aside from his awesome expertise, he is very down to earth and make you feel like family! HE TRULY CARES! Always eager to help and make himself available at every point of time. Thank you Matt again for everything!
Arthur L.
10:27 25 Nov 19
Truly passionate about their clients. Professional and easy to work with.
Peter W.
11:01 22 Nov 19
I came across Willens Law Offices after searching endlessly for a law firm to represent me in my personal injury case. I was well accommodated and he made me feel at ease, you truly feel like he will go the extra mile for you from the moment you hand the case over to him until the very end. I highly recommend this firm to anyone looking for representation!
Edna S.
10:05 20 Nov 19
If I ever find myself needing another law firm I will not hesitate for a second to contact him!
Micheal E.
10:12 18 Nov 19
I was involved in a car accident and was having trouble getting compensated for the amount I felt I should get. I contacted Willens Law Offices through a referral, worked with David Baez and had a very good experience. They helped educate me on the process along with helping me get what I deserved. I would HIGHLY recommend contacting them if you are involved in an accident.
mohsin M.
19:38 15 Nov 19
His staff was always so nice and friendly and responded promptly if I ever had any questions. I'm very thankful to come across them and will highly recommend them!
Rodrick M.
10:04 15 Nov 19
I'm sending a special thanks to Matt for working patiently and closely with me regarding the status of my case till the end. I can't recommend him highly enough.
Randy D.
14:08 13 Nov 19
Throughout the process of the case, he did an exceptional job. The entire process was extremely smooth and the staff kept me up to date on the status of my case. I give him 5 stars as he is the best legal attorney there is in the greater Illinois area. He truly deserve it.
Regina B.
15:40 11 Nov 19
I just want to thank Mr. Willens for being extremely reliable and diligent. He was able to adequately answer all my questions and concerns. He settled my case rather quickly. I will definitely recommend him to friends and family.
Bernadette F.
15:43 08 Nov 19
I was involved in a bad accident with multiple cars and I was in a terrible shape. Matt Willens handled my case exceptionally. Everyone that helped was also great! he was detailed and clear in all our communication and he always made sure I was aware of everything that was going on throughout my whole case. Really helped me get through a rough time. I am 100% satisfied with the outcome of my case. If you need a good lawyer on your side, look no further!
Laura W.
14:49 06 Nov 19
Willens Law Office handled my accident and they were incredible! Matt drove all the way to see me and I could see he really cared. He handled my injury case from start to finish and I’m now rebuilding the part of my life that I lost. Thanks for your help.
Todd Z.
05:55 11 Oct 19
I was involved in an accident back in last year and was searching for an attorney who looked like I can trust. I found Matt Willens and I am thankful. I called him up just to get a feel for him as a person and I could tell right away that he truly cared, not only about me but my family too. To say that he fought for us would be an understatement. He was ready to go to trial! Luckily we settled and it was for more money than I imagined, especially after my initial talk with the insurance company. Thanks Matt!
Paula D.
13:14 10 Oct 19
Matt Willens went above and beyond for my case. I felt as though he cared more about me and my situation than he did himself and the time that he was required to spend on my case. I highly recommend using him.
Marci P.
13:24 03 Sep 19
It was great to work with this firm. They handled every piece of paperwork. David Baez handled my case. He kept me informed through the whole process and treated me like family. I highly recommend David and the entire firm.
John C.
14:42 16 Aug 19
Willens Law is a firm I trust in because they specialize in personal injury matters. I have had a wonderful experience with Matt WIllens personally and I can say he is pleasant to work with and communicates thoroughly with his clients. I would recommend Willens Law.
Grant V.
05:28 19 Jul 19
I’m rarely compelled to leave a review for anyone but I felt I needed to show my gratitude.From the first time I spoke with Matt Willens on the phone I actually felt like he was there for me, looking after my best interests and not his own. That’s rare in my experience.Matt is an absolute pro and I wouldn’t think to call or recommend anyone else if I or a loved one were injured in the future. Thanks Matt!
Kyle W.
04:16 19 Jul 19
When I first contacted Willens law office, I just wanted to make sure everyone was paid after I was rear ended and I wasn’t the one doing it. My correspondence was primarily with David, he was always patient when I was slow to get him information and ended up calling me with great news after almost a year of back and forth with the at-fault insurance company.I can’t thank David and the Willens law office enough.
Amanda H
18:36 14 Jun 19
Willens Law Office is GREAT! David handled my case. He made me feel like family. He explained everything in detail every step of the way. He fought to get the results that would best benefit me. David is a great attorney. Thanks David and the Willens Law Office family.
Michael S.
17:53 31 May 19
Willens Law came highly recommended after I was badly injured when hit by an out of control car. I in turn most highly recommend Willens Law based on my great experience over the past year and a half.I am very pleased with both the outcome of my case as well as the experience working with Matt Willens and David Baez throughout the process.I had no specific expectation regarding a case outcome, seeking only ‘the best outcome possible.’ I certainly believe my case outcome was a great outcome. And I strongly believe that outcome was a direct result of fantastic work done by Matt and David.From beginning to end Matt and David were great to work with. They did a great job setting expectations; explaining what was to happen, including the why and the how; guiding me through the steps I needed to take; and answering both my “need to know” and “just curious” questions. They were always extremely prompt and clear in their guidance and responses to me.A silver lining in a tough situation was working with Matt and David, both of whom I came to respect professionally and like personally. I do most highly recommend Willens Law to others who may need such services.
Keith
18:55 22 May 19
Willens Law Offices is simply the best!!! David handle my case , and was nothing but professional! He is the best at what he do!!!!!Every step of the way, I was informed of my case!!!Thanks again!!
cassandra J.
17:55 26 Mar 19
Great team, did me right, pleasurable experience.
Robert P.
03:34 21 Feb 19
David Baez was prompt and professional in answering all of my questions.
Richard D.
00:19 07 Feb 19
David Baez was very professional, helpful and always kept me informed about my case. David responded quickly to any questions I may of had. I highly recommend Willens Law Offices for any personal injury case. Thanks again David for all the great work you did.
JCSM 1.
21:39 06 Nov 18
After being in an Uber accident about a year ago, I reached out to Willens Law to assist me through the settlement process. I had the pleasure of working with David Baez. From the start he was very personable and professional. He was always willing to educate me on the process and made sure I understood each step before going forward. Even after receiving my settlement, David has been willing to assist with any questions related to my case. I would highly recommend Willens Law.
Madelyn D.
02:47 05 Oct 18
I reached out to Willens Law Offices following a car accident that my girlfriend and I were involved in, and we met with David Baez for an in-person consultation shortly after. David was very personable and knowledgeable, and gave us confidence and peace of mind in a situation where we felt initially felt completely overwhelmed. There were times when we felt the communication could have been more proactive, but David was always responsive when we felt the need to check-in, even if there were no significant updates on our case. The process took a little longer than anticipated, but David was honest, thorough, and professional throughout.Overall, great experience and I'd recommend to anyone in need. Thank you David!
Geoff B.
20:44 17 Sep 18
After I was injured, and after researching Chicago's best law firms, I found Willens Law and read their reviews. After meeting Matt, I retained their services, along with the special efforts of his Partner, David Baez.They handled my case in a professional, efficient manner, while keeping me regularly informed. We worked incredibly well together, and won a very nice settlement. You would be foolish not to consider Willens Law for your Counsel, as I did. I highly recommend them!Ed Dybas
Ed D.
21:26 07 Sep 18
We had a very positive experience and felt their representation was very effective.
Kent M.
22:43 29 Aug 18
Working with Willens Law was a pleasure. They were responsive and extremely pleasant whenever I had questions or concerns. In my case, I personally took a little longer than I should have to start the process on my end, but David was able to pickup on my delay and process my personal injury case in a timely manner. I would highly recommend Willens Law and David when looking for an attorney to represent you in a case.
Maggie O.
14:07 23 Jul 18
I had a tremendous experience with this law firm, and I would highly recommend them. I had a bicycle injury caused by a negligent Uber car, and when I was first doing research and calling law firms all over the Chicago area to find representation, Matt Willens himself returned my call personally within ten minutes. I found that to be a huge integrity move as every other firm I contacted had a lower level employee call me back. Nothing wrong with that per se, but to have the lawyer whose name is on the door personally return my call meant a hell of a lot to me and was ultimately why I decided to meet with them first.I made an appointment and met Mr. Willens and the fantastic young attorney David Baez in their offices and they were wonderful to deal with. They are down-to-earth, funny, intelligent, tenacious, capable, experienced lawyers who explained the entire process to me in a way I could understand and made me feel comfortable and confident, and we were off and running with my case.I work in a law firm and I know exactly how slowly the wheels of justice turn, and my case was settled in about half the time that these things normally take! Amazing results. Mr. Baez and his team were incredible throughout and kept me informed every step of the way, and negotiated a higher settlement number and a lower fee for the insurance company in the eleventh hour which meant more money in my pocket!! I wholeheartedly recommend this law firm for your personal injury case. They are highly skilled and I couldn't be happier. This organization is fantastic and they will produce results for you.
saxmantommy
15:01 05 Jun 18
Matt has been there for us every step of the way. He, personally, has taken the time to answer all of our questions. We never feel like we are bothering him or pestering him. We have only experienced patience and professionalism from both Matt and his team.
Maribeth C.
15:45 03 May 18
David was very good at keeping me up to date with what was going on and helping with every step throughout the entire process. I could not have asked for better representation.
Jennifer B.
21:14 24 Apr 18
David Baez was an excellent representation of the Willens Law Office. He achieved my desired result along with keeping me updated during the entire process. Very fortunate to have him by my side - thank you David.
keith B.
19:29 20 Apr 18
Matt is an impressive attorney and person! Took on State Farm and won for me. Highly recommend Matt for PI cases.
Danielle B.
22:47 10 Apr 18
This Law firm has been very prompt and kind in dealing with my case. I would recommend this law firm to anyone who needs injury lawyers.
F Z.
22:45 10 Apr 18
I used Willens Law for a personal injury claim. Matt was knowledgeable and professional. He also responded quickly which I really appreciated. I would definitely recommend.
Robyn R.
21:44 29 Mar 18
After a bad auto accident, and months of rehab, Matt Willens and his staff worked with me as though they were part of my family. They were professional, courteous and looking out for my best interest during the entire legal process. I would highly recommend Willens Law Offices for any personal injury.
dan B.
19:27 25 Mar 18

What Types of Cases Can Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?

Injured in an Accident? Give Us a Call Today: (312)-957-4166

Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Attorney to Handle My Case?

You are not legally required to have a personal injury attorney to handle your injury claim. You could file all the necessary paperwork yourself and represent yourself in court. However, your chances of winning your case and getting the compensation you deserve are much higher if you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Why You Shouldn't Settle Directly With An Insurance Company

Insurance providers will try to get you to settle quickly. In the midst of your crisis, they might offer you what seems like a large dollar amount. The problem is they rarely make an offer of settlement for the true full cost of your damages. Don’t be misled, hospital bills aren’t the only things for which you will need compensation. You also need to keep in mind the suffering and pain associated with your traumatic event. 

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Illinois Personal Injury FAQs

The Chicago personal injury lawyers of Willens Injury Law Offices respond to frequently asked questions related to personal injury, car accidents, medical malpractice, and workers’

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