During day four of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, Australia’s leading batsman, Steve Smith, was hit in the neck by a bouncer from England’s Jofra Archer at a speed of over 90 mph.
Smith was assisted off the ground by medical staff, looking groggy and disorientated. Many people expected Test Cricket’s first ever concussion substitute to join the game at that point, but Smith returned shortly after, having been given the all clear by Australia’s medical staff.
However, following further concussion tests overnight and admitting to feeling unwell the next day, Smith was withdrawn from the match. Marnus Labuschagne then became Test cricket’s first ever concussion substitute.
A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury which usually occurs as a result of a blow to the head, neck or upper body causing the head and brain to move back and forth rapidly.
Headway (The Brain Injury Association) stresses that following a head injury, concussion can manifest as symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, depression, irritability and memory problems. However, these symptoms can take several hours or even days to appear.
Smith’s injury has reignited a fierce debate about whether or not participants and the organisers of sporting events are taking adequate precautions to prevent concussion. Headway have confirmed that it was dangerous for Smith to return to the pitch following his injury. They maintain that a second blow to the head could have led to devastating consequences.
Following any head injury, concussion can cause blurred vision and slower reaction times, which can be incredibly dangerous in a fast paced game like cricket and can increase the risk of a second impact and what is known as Second-impact syndrome (SIS). This is where the brain swells rapidly following a second blow which occurs minutes, days or even weeks after the initial concussion. SIS is often fatal and those who don’t die are usually severely disabled as a result.
Scientists are reportedly working on a saliva test that could be used at the side of the pitch to detect concussion. However, this research is a long way from being made viable. The question therefore remains; are sports like cricket doing enough in the meantime to protect players from brain injuries?
At Bell Lax, we know that a brain injury can change your life.
With the assistance of the very best experts in their fields, we will do all we can to help you to:
- Regain or maximise your independence and, if possible, return to work
- Re-learn lost skills
- Develop coping mechanisms
- Overcome social issues or enhance self-confidence
- Meet any other goals that you or your family set
We will also, of course, secure fair and just compensation for you which will ensure you are provided for in the future. Where appropriate, this might be a lump sum together with index-linked annual payments for a set period, or for life.
At Bell Lax, you are our priority and a qualified and experienced brain injury lawyer will deal with your claim throughout.
Call Bell Lax today on 0121 355 0011 and ask to speak directly to the Head of our Personal Injury Department, Stuart Andrews if you think we may be able to help you.