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Bernard Hicks blames university, former coach for brain damage

Most people who have been paying attention to the news in New Jersey are already familiar with the increased focus and concern for the safety of professional athletes. The most worrisome sports-related injury tends to be brain damage, and athletes who participate in contact sports must rely on supervising medical professionals to keep them safe. Sadly, former college football player Bernard Hicks suffered serious and permanent brain damage during his time spent on the field, and he is now suing his former university for medical malpractice.

As a defensive back on the Golden Bears team, Hicks said he suffered numerous concussions between 2004 and 2008. However, instead of receiving necessary medical and follow up treatment, Hicks was allegedly sent back out to play long before he was ever ready. Unaware of the long-term and often permanent impact that repeated concussions can have, he returned to the field each time.

In a medical malpractice law suit filed against the University of California, Berkeley, Hicks outlined the extensive damage from which he now suffers. His vision has been severely affected and is often blurred or produces double images, while he has also battled with memory loss and dizziness. Depression -- which can be a common symptom for brain injuries -- has become a tragically normal aspect of his life.

The university and the athletics department released a statement that they provide care that is in line with the most recent clinical guidelines, although it is not clear if the university actually denies Hicks' claim. Brain damage is a truly life-changing injury, and many victims find that life is forever changed. Many New Jersey victims are able to receive just and necessary compensation related to their injury when a negligent party is found to be liable through the successful litigation of a medical malpractice claim.

Source: Yahoo! Sports, "Former Cal safety Bernard Hicks sues school for medical malpractice", Graham Watson, Aug. 13, 2015

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Alan D. Bell
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