Football season kicked off nationwide this month, but the focus hasn't solely been between the lines. Off-the-field controversies -- from political protests to paying college players -- have garnered just as much attention as teams' on-field clashes. And one issue that's been in football fans' and players' minds recently have been concussions, and the role leagues, athletic associations, and even doctors play in handling head injuries.
But those aren't even the only injuries football players and fans need to worry about. Here are five football-related injuries and what you need to know, legally.
While some people have looked to new technology to solve football's concussion problem, others have blamed old tech on past injuries. But juries have rarely found that the football helmet manufacturers can be held liable for concussions and other head injuries sustained in a violent sport.
While much of the recent focus has been, justifiably, focused on repeated hits to the head, abdominal injuries can be just as dangerous. Two high school football players passed away after taking hits to the chest or abdomen, one from a ruptured liver and another from a massive internal hemorrhage.
Any athletic competition carries a risk of injury. But what about practice? Yes, coaches need to prepare players for games, but when does training go too far? Probably when a high school coach uses a freshman as a tackling dummy and instructs players to break his legs.
Football coaches can also find themselves in legal hot water for off-field incidents, like hazing rituals wherein players allow teammates to hit them "as hard as they could" without attempting to defend themselves. When a coach oversees such activity, and state laws prohibit hazing, they're probably getting sued.
It's not just football players that need to be worried about injuries, but fans as well. Navigating the stadiums, dealing with the weather, and interacting with rival fans can all prove to be dangerous.
If you've been injured playing or watching a football game, you might want to talk to an injury attorney about your legal options.