Posted On: October 21, 2010

Baltimore Ravens Helmet Hit Sheds Light on Danger of Sports Head Injuries

Maryland sports fans who follow the Baltimore Ravens know what to expect when they witness the spectacle that is professional football. It's rough, it's fast, and it's exciting. But now safety advocates and the NFL are growing increasingly concerned about head injuries that can result when men the size of refrigerators hit each other head first.

A New England Patriots safety was fined $50,000 for a helmet-to-helmet collision on a Baltimore Ravens tight end during this past weekend's match-up. This was not an isolated case: two other teams also received hefty fines for players who used their heads as battering rams in helmet-to-helmet hits on other players.

The NFL regards such hits as "dangerous and flagrant," while some defensive players contend that's just how the game is played. As the NFL promises to impose stricter sanctions to avoid helmet-hit head injuries, some players who say they'll be hamstrung by such restrictions threaten to quit.

Common Causes of Head and Spine Injuries

Baltimore County, Maryland brain and spine injury lawyers are aware of how lives can be devastated or cut short when a head injury occurs -- on or off the sports field. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines head injury as "...any trauma that leads to injury of the scalp, skull, or brain. The injuries can range from a minor bump on the skull to serious brain injury." A concussion occurs when the brain is shaken.

The topic of sports concussions brings to light one way that head injuries can occur, though injury to the brain and spine can happen in many ways: as a result of construction accidents, pedestrian traffic accidents, and car and truck accidents.

Related Maryland Injury Attorney Blog Article on Brain Injury:

Maryland Brain Injury Association: March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

News Sources:

Brandon Meriweather Apologizes For Helmet-To-Helmet Hit
The Baltimore Sun Oct. 20, 2010

NFL fines but doesn't suspend 3 players for dangerous hits, wants to give fair warning
Associated Press in The Baltimore Sun Oct. 19, 2010

James Harrison threatens to retire because of dirty hit sanction
Yahoo! Sports Oct. 20, 2010

Related Web Resources:

About.com: What Is a Sports Concussion?

MedLine Plus: How Head Injuries Can Occur

Posted On: October 15, 2010

Maryland Car Accidents with Livestock and Other Animals in the Road

Maryland drivers encounter a lot of hazards out there on our highways and roads -- drunk drivers, distracted drivers texting and chatting on cell phones, road construction and detours, traffic congestion, bad weather -- the list goes on.

One Maryland driving obstacle we hear less about that causes serious car accidents is the problem of livestock and other animals in the roadways. This includes farming livestock such as cattle, sheep, and bison; game animals such as elk and deer that are raised on private property for hunting; and even large exotic animals that are kept legally or illegally by private individuals as "pets."

Let's consider the problem of Maryland auto accidents involving livestock.

A recent article in The New York Times shed light on the problem of car accidents and livestock animals in Arizona (see link below). That state is rethinking its open range laws as suburban sprawl extends into what was once pasture land where farm animals roamed freely. Now motorists are coming into contact with cows and bulls on their property and in the roads and streets -- sometimes with tragic results. "People have been killed in collisions with large cows," said AZ state rep Daniel Patterson, who wants to do away with the "antiquated" open range law.

Maryland has no such open range laws in rural areas that allow livestock to roam freely into the roads. Generally speaking, animal owners are held to the same standards of negligence as any citizen and must use reasonable care in handling their animals. In certain cases, strict liability also applies in Maryland.

If you are involved in a car accident with livestock in Maryland, it's best to consult an experienced Maryland livestock and car accident lawyer -- who knows the laws related to animal and property owner liability and negligence.

Arizona Rethinking Open Range Laws
The New York Times Oct. 12, 2010