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Footballers’ serious injury claims – without the playacting

Anyone who watched and winced during the recent World Cup, when players were knocked out by clashing heads, know that not all serious injury claims by footballers are exaggerated just to get the other player booked, or to waste time. In any case, such injuries in professional sport don’t often result in serious injury claims, but if medical advice about the dangers of heading a football are followed, they could be more likely in future at amateur level.

Birmingham University neuro-scientist, Dr Michael Grey, says football clubs and coaches should ban youngsters from heading the ball because of the risk of brain damage. The neck muscles in boys aren’t strong enough to take the shock of a header, he says, so the resultant impact of the brain against the skull could cause damage. Some doctors have called for boys under 14 to be banned from heading a football.

This follows new guidelines by the English FA on head injuries and concussion. From now on, any player who loses consciousness has to be removed from the pitch and not let back on. If there is no loss of consciousness, the decision to let the player carry on must be taken by the team doctor. As usual, these matters are easier to regulate at professional level than at boys’ clubs or by amateurs up and down the country.

Injuries are part and parcel of sport and anyone who plays football – at whatever level – accepts there’s a risk of being hurt. Clubs have a responsibility to heed warnings from the experts, however, and could leave themselves open to serious injury compensation claims if they ignore medical advice. Dr Grey acknowledged this is a ‘difficult issue’, but said coaches and parents needed to be educated about head injuries and secondary concussion and that guidelines should be followed.

Players want to play, not make serious injury compensation claims against their club or another player, but sometimes this is fully justified, even if it is invariably a last resort. Following treatment and a proper diagnosis of your injury, the next step is to speak to legal experts about making a serious injury claim. PHC law have a 98% success rate at getting a fair deal on behalf of clients and over 100 years’ combined experience at dealing with all sorts of cases. They make it their business to keep up to date with changes to the law and the latest guidelines.