Stricter Hazing Penalties Following Brain Injury Death

It is not something any parent should have to deal with. By now we have all heard about the death of Timothy Piazza, 19, who was killed after several falls last February. He was at a Beta Theta Pi pledge event.

Investigations have found that Piazza had consumed dangerous amounts of alcohol due to hazing rituals. This led to the falls he sustained that caused a collapsed lung, a ruptured spleen, and a traumatic brain injury. Even worse, Piazza was left unconscious for 12 hours before an ambulance was called for him.

A new bill has been passed by the Pennsylvania legislature and is expected to be signed by Governor Wolf. It now classifies certain hazing offenses as a felony. In Piazza’s case, eight Penn State students were charged in his death.

This case highlights just how dangerous traumatic brain injuries can be, regardless of how the injury happens. Often, as was the case in this incident, it is the negligence of others that causes the injury.

If you need a Philadelphia traumatic brain injury attorney, you can count on the Dan Doyle Law Group for help.

What Can Happen

Traumatic brain injuries are major medical emergencies and can range in severity. They are classified as an injury “to the brain from an external mechanical force, possibly leading to permanent or temporary impairment or cognitive, physical, and psychosocial functions.”

More than 5.3 million people live with disabilities caused by TBIs in the United States. They happen in car accidents, firearms incidents, falls, and other violence. Major traumatic brain injuries can result in life-long disabilities that require permanent medical care.

The most mild, and most common, form of traumatic brain injuries are concussions. These injuries should not be taken lightly because, if left untreated, can progress to more severe forms of brain injury.

  • There are between 1.7 and 3 million sports and recreation-related concussions a year, most of them occurring in children and teens.
  • Up to 50 percent of concussions go unreported, which can lead to particularly dangerous consequences.

Most schools and recreational leagues have concussion protocols, meaning that players with suspected head injuries are examined and not allowed to return to play until they are fully healed. If a coach does allow a player with a concussion to return to play and they subsequently take another hard blow to the head, the results can be disastrous.

What You Can Do

If you or a loved one have suffered from a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, we urge you to seek legal assistance. These cases can be difficult to prove, but with the right amount of knowledge and experience on your side, you can be successful. The Dan Doyle Law Group will work with you throughout your entire case. We want to make sure you are fairly compensated for any injuries and damages you incur. When you need a traumatic brain injury attorney in Philadelphia, you can contact us by clicking here or calling 215-987-3730 for a free consultation.