As we’ve noted in previous posts, California courts have seen their fair share of litigation surrounding defective helmet claims and sports injuries. In short, it’s not only professional athletes who need to worry about traumatic brain injuries on the field and multiple concussions that can lead to the very dangerous disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Indeed, California Assembly Bill 1451, passed last April, amended California’s Education Code to require high school coaches to undergo training to properly recognize and respond to concussions in high school sports.
It looks like the San Diego area is taking high school concussions seriously, according to a recent article in U-T San Diego. A new Sports Injury Assessment Clinic has opened, and it “offers free medical care to athletes from youth through high school, from cheerleaders, to gymnasts, cross country runners, baseball, soccer and especially football players.” Do you have a child who suffered an injury while playing high school sports? Are you concerned that your high school athlete has suffered multiple concussions on the field? It’s never too soon to contact an experienced California brain injury attorney. The dedicated lawyers at the Walton Law Firm can answer your questions today.
Background to the Free Injury Assessment Clinic
The San Diego Sports Injury Assessment Clinic is located at the Oasis Sports Medicine Group, which is on Kearny Villa Road. On many Saturdays, the clinic “is jammed with as many as 25 athletes,” according to U-T San Diego. Dr. D. Daniel Rotenberg, one of the sports medicine doctors who works at the clinic, explained why he’s dedicating his time to treating high school athletes: “We care about high school athletics, [and] we believe athletics is a big part of the educational process.” According to Rotenberg, he and the other medical professionals at the clinic “want to get injured athletes back on the field as quickly and as safely as possible.”
Rotenberg explained that some student athletes might see a primary care physician who will recommend taking a break from playing. Rotenberg explained, however, that many of these kids can actually be treated and return to safely playing sports.
While primary care physicians might keep some high school athletes off the field, the larger concern here is young players who don’t seek medical treatment after they’ve been injured. According to Jeanine Chan, the director of the San Diego Sports Medicine Foundation, many student athletes delay or avoid seeing a doctor for reasons that include family finances. In a lot of cases that involve insurance companies, Chan explained, it can “take three weeks to see a primary care physician” depending on the insurer. At the clinic, injured athletes can be seen almost immediately.
The Clinic is open every Saturday starting at 9:00a.m., and it stays open long enough to see every patients who have arrived for assessment or treatment.
Services Provided by the Clinic
The Clinic offers free assessments, as we mentioned, but it also provides other services free of charge. Chan told U-T San Diego that she “can’t stress enough that this is a free clinic.” Families shouldn’t be afraid of the cost of assessment and treatment, because the clinic’s doctors and trainers “volunteer their services.” As such, “x-rays are free,” and “follow-up services are all provided free.” Even in cases where a student athlete requires surgery, “they can apply to the foundation board, and if approved, the costs will be covered.”
In fact, the foundation provided 10 free surgeries last year. On a regular Saturday, the clinic provides free x-rays, examinations, and referrals for MRIs if need be.
It’s great that these services can be provided free of charge to San Diego high school athletes. Yet it’s important to remember that some injuries might have occurred because of the school’s negligence. If your child has suffered a traumatic brain injury or a concussion while playing high school sports, it’s not only important to see a medical doctor—it’s also essential to contact an experienced brain injury lawyer. You may be eligible for compensation.
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