Giffin Koerth is excited to announce that Dr. Chad Gooyers and Dr. Robert Parkinson have been published in the latest issue of The Lawyers Weekly.
Their article, entitled “Latest Helmet Research Good for the Brain”, provides a brief synthesis of the recent dialogue on the relationship between concussion and the protective capacity of helmets in both sports and recreational activities.
With regular media coverage of the potential dangers of concussion and repetitive head impacts, we have seen an increased interest in the protective capacity of helmets as they relate to civil litigation matters. While there is a general consensus that helmets can prevent head injuries, debates as to whether helmets can reduce the incidence of concussions (mild traumatic brain injuries), specifically, are long-standing. However, an understanding of helmet design principles paired with a discussion on the mechanics of head impact provides answers to questions regarding whether a helmet could, or should, have prevented personal injury, based on their design and function.
Helmets are designed to decrease the mechanical energy transferred to the head during impact, which lowers the resultant peak accelerations experienced by the brain. Biomechanical research studies have shown that helmets are highly effective in preventing severe head injuries, such as skull fracture. However, modern day helmets and current certification standards are not designed to guard against concussion. With an increasing awareness of the risks of concussion, it is expected that standards will evolve to eventually include more refined thresholds for safety.