Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury is a disruption of normal brain function by a jolt, bump, or blow to the head. Theoretically, any accident that applies this kind of force or impact has the potential to cause a TBI. The cause of a traumatic brain injury is not always easy to identify. This is especially true in a complicated accident. About 15% of all accidents have a cause that is either unknown or un-categorizable.

However, scientists have conducted research and found that brain injuries tend to occur more often in certain kinds of accidents than others.


Nearly half of all brain injuries, 47%, result from a fall. TBIs from falls are most likely to affect the elderly, as well as the very young. Both demographics are at greater risk of falling. Elderly people may have underlying health issues, such as osteoporosis, that can exacerbate an injury from a fall. Children may be more vulnerable because their brains are still developing, as are their bones.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Depending on which study you give credence to, motor vehicle accidents are either the second most common cause of traumatic brain injury or the third by a very narrow margin. There are many hard surfaces in a car or truck against which you could easily hit your head. These include the back of your seat, the steering wheel or the windshield. If you wear a seatbelt, that may afford you some protection and potentially reduce your chances of hitting your head. However, your chance for TBIs, including skull fracture and/or concussion, increases if you are involved in a rollover crash.

Struck With an Object

Sometimes an object may be in motion, whether mechanical or manual. An object in motion that strikes your head with enough force may cause a TBI. Examples of this type of accident include the following:

  • Someone throws a softball at your head
  • Someone carries a ladder without watching to see if the way is clear
  • Someone loses control of a remote-controlled drone and it hits you
  • Someone drops something on you from above

However, being struck by an object doesn’t necessarily require an action by someone else. You could get hit by an unusually large hailstone during a thunderstorm or a large fruit falling from a tree.

Other Causes

Other causes of TBI that are not necessarily accidental in nature include exposure to military combat and physical assault by another individual.

Not all blows to the head result in TBI, and not all traumatic brain injuries are serious. However, if you have sustained a TBI in an accident, it may be possible for you to recover compensation. Find out more by contacting a law office and arranging a consultation with a personal injury lawyer.