What are the leading causes of traumatic brain injury?

By Greg Kohn

A traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for about 30% of deaths each year. Those who do survive traumatic brain injuries may live with moderate to severe disabilities for the remainder of their lives. The impacts from traumatic brain injury can extend far beyond the victim, affected family and friends as well.

What is traumatic brain injury?

Traumatic brain injury can occur in a variety of ways, but are classified as any injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Any blow to the head has the potential to cause a traumatic brain injury, and these injuries can range from mild (think concussion) to severe (extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss).

According to the Center for Disease Control, about 2.5 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths were linked with traumatic brain injury in 2010, the most recent data available. Of those 2.5 million victims, over 50,000 people died from traumatic brain injury.

Top Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

Falls.  Falls are by far the most common cause of traumatic brain injury, constituting over 40% of all traumatic brain injuries. Falls account for more than 55% of traumatic brain injuries in children and over 80% of traumatic brain injuries in the elderly. Falls causing traumatic brain injuries can happen anywhere, but are common in construction-related industries, where the risk of falling from great heights is an occupational hazard.

Struck By or Against a Blunt Object.  The next most common cause of traumatic brain injury is being struck by or against an object, such as a wall or flying object. About 15% of traumatic brain injuries happen in this fashion. Again, these types of injuries can occur in construction sites, but are also common in sports accidents.

Motor Vehicle Accidents.  Motor vehicle accents account for over 14% of all traumatic brain injuries among all age groups. Among people aged 5-24 years, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury deaths.

Sports Injuries. While not an over-all leading cause of traumatic brain injury, it is important to note that from 2001 to 2009, the rate of traumatic brain injuries caused by sports accidents increased by 57% among children aged 19 and under.

Signs of Traumatic Brain Injury

The signs of traumatic brain injury can be subtle, so it is important to watch any person with a head injury closely for things like:

  • Persistent Headaches
  • Blurry Vision
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Balance Problems
  • Irritability
  • Sleeping Issues

If the victim exhibits any of these symptoms, get them to a hospital immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

Have You Been Injured?

Traumatic brain injuries can have long-lasting, serious implications for victims and their families. If you or someone you love has experienced a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of someone else, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses. The experienced attorneys at Nagel Rice, LLP have a track record of success in obtaining just compensation for their personal injury clients. Contact us today for a consultation.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.