Former Chicago Bears offensive lineman Kurt Becker pushed a House panel on Wednesday to support the legislation focused on raising awareness about head trauma and providing concussion safeguards for student athletes in high school. Becker also shared the recent suicide of his former teammate, Dave Duerson, and noted that repeated head trauma may have contributed to Duerson’s death.
“The end result is that concussions are a very serious matter in contact sports,” Becker told the panel. The Chicago Sun-Times reported the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee ended up unanimously passing the bill, which has now been sent to the full House for a vote.
All school boards would be required to abide by the concussion guidelines of the Illinois School Association under the new head trauma bill, which was sponsored by House Minority Leader Tom Cross. Those guidelines would give in-game referees primary responsibility in removing student athletes from a sports game if he or she has experienced any symptoms of a concussion.
Cross said he also plans to extend the legislation so that it also protects athletes in park district youth sports leagues.
Almost 100,000 people nationwide suffer from critical brain injuries every year that require medical treatment and have a large affect on their ability to carry out everyday activities, according to FindLaw. Those who suffered any head trauma or brain injury from an accident, whether sports-related or not, may be entitled to claim damages for any harm sustained.
To learn about the legal options that you may have in a case involving brain injury, talk to a personal injury lawyer who can inform you of your rights and determine the legal remedies available to you.