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J Athl Train. 2017 Mar;52(3):186-194. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-52.1.03.

Legal Aspects of Concussion: The Ever-Evolving Standard of Care.

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Montgomery, McCracken, Walker, & Rhoads, LLP, Philadelphia, PA.
Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius, LLP, Philadelphia, PA.


Today, when an athlete is catastrophically injured while playing a sport, litigation often follows. The likelihood of litigation is even greater in the event of a head injury, especially when the athlete can allege that a prior concussion somehow contributed to the current injury. Whether the potential defendants in these lawsuits, such as schools, coaches, athletic trainers, and other health care professionals, actually face legal liability depends on whether they are deemed to have conformed to the standard of care. The standard of care is a legal term, defined as acting as a reasonable professional in that position or industry would have under the circumstances based on then-existing knowledge. In this article, we examine the standard of care with regard to concussion management and treatment in the context of some of the most notable lawsuits in recent years.

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