Tag Archives: nascar
“Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has one of the most recognizable names in America,” wrote an attorney at Warren & Kallianos earlier this week. “He is beloved across the country by NASCAR fans for his own talent and his impressive racing pedigree. Something he was not as well known for until recently, though, was head injuries.
“Earlier this year, Earnhardt was involved in two major accidents within a five-week time span. The first crash involved him hitting the wall at Kansas Speedway after a tire blowout. He struck the wall with an estimated 40Gs of force, and even though he was checked out by NASCAR physicians after the accident and continued to race for several weeks, he received a concussion. He chose not to report his symptoms to his pit crew or racing team, though.”
The law firm (www.warren-kallianos.com) went on to note that on October 7 he suffered another concussion, “after which he finally admitted there was something wrong. Earnhardt reported classic concussion symptoms like headaches, brain ‘fogginess,’ fatigue and trouble completing tasks. NASCAR made him sit out for a few weeks to be treated by a renowned neurologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Concussion program.
“One of the main reasons that Earnhardt failed to tell other people about his suspected concussion in the August wreck in Kansas is that he felt relatively healthy afterward. He noticed some confusion and a bit of the ‘fogginess’ typically associated with concussions, but he felt he could still go about his day-to-day life. It took another accident for him to finally admit to feeling ‘off’ enough to seek treatment.”
The personal injury firm used the Earnhardt example as a way to point out that there are millions of car accidents where victims “walk away from an accident with a bad headache and chalk it up to the stress and adrenaline of the collision, choosing not to seek treatment” because they “feel okay, just like Earnhardt did after his first crash earlier this year. That decision can be a very costly one.”
The firm added that “even low-impact crashes can cause traumatic brain injuries that could change your life forever,” and suggest that car accident victims “should always be seen by a medical professional following an accident.”
And then the kicker:
“Once you have gotten medical attention and can focus on your recovery, consider speaking with an experienced North Carolina car accident attorney who can give you more information about your legal rights and options you may have about holding the at-fault driver responsible for your injuries.”
By now, everyone who follows concussions knows that they are not the exclusive domain of football and hockey.
More proof of that was in evidence last week when race car driver Eric McClure returned to NASCAR after sitting out six weeks while dealing with the lingering effects of a concussion.
McClure told the media he considered not returning to racing.
“For me, I’ve always said that this isn’t the most important thing in my life,” he said. “Not because I’m not the most competitive guy. But I’m 33 years old, I have a family, I really enjoy time with them. So naturally, it’s just time in my life, not just because of the accident, that I’m thinking, what’s next?”
The concussion that McClure sustained in the May 5 race at Talladega was the third of his career, which is one of the reasons he sat out for an extended period of time.
“There’s not really a set timetable for those things and that’s been the challenging thing,” he said. “That’s what kept me from coming back was the lingering symptoms. I really felt a couple of weeks ago, after the first two weeks of being away from the track, and having total brain rest, that I was ready. But (my doctor) felt like we needed to wait, and I respect that opinion.”