University of Wisconsin (UW) Health has established a multidisciplinary group that is studying how to prevent, or at least limit, traumatic and life threatening brain injuries. Helmets used by snowboarders and skiers have been one of the main prevention methods the group is studying.
Brain Injuries in Skiing and Snowboarding
In its press release, UW Health announced “600, 000 ski and snowboard injuries are reported every year in the United States.” Twenty percent of those hurt have traumatic brain injuries. Higher risk subgroups such as males, children, and teens under 17 have an even higher rate of traumatic brain injury. In Madison alone, the American Family Children's Hospital treats approximately a dozen patients each year with life threatening brain injuries and another 50 with non-life threatening injuries, such as fractures, organ injuries, and mild traumatic brain injuries. Even worse, almost every year, the hospital has treated a patient who later died from his or her injuries. All of these are due to winter recreational activities.
While Wisconsin requires snowmobilers to take a safety certification course, there is no explicit mandate requiring helmets while skiing, snowmobiling and snowboarding. The renewed effort to look into ways to minimize traumatic brain injury from winter recreational activities comes after a 2012 study, which found that injuries and deaths caused by skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling have not declined despite safety awareness campaigns. Wisconsin was fortunate enough to have a decrease in snowmobiling deaths, but it is due to the nighttime speed restrictions placed on snowmobiling trails in 2006.
Despite safety precautions, accidents can happen. Traumatic or life-threatening brain injuries are a very real and common threat, especially in the winter months. Why are brain injuries so serious? Most importantly, they may forever impact both the life of the injured, as well as his or her family members. An injured party may sustain cognitive impairments that last for the duration of his or her life, which could impact his or her ability to function in the future. Fortunately, an injured party can file a personal injury lawsuit, if the injury was the result of another person or party's negligence in order to recover adequate compensation.
Contact an Experienced Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured by the fault of another, and sustained a traumatic head, neck, or brain injury, please contact one of our Green Bay snowmobile accident attorneys or Appleton snowmobile accident attorneys at [[title]] today. We have offices located in Green Bay, Appleton, and Oshkosh, and we are happy to provide you with an initial consultation to discuss your case.