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Leading Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Posted on August 31, 2022

Approximately 2.5 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the U.S. each year. The leading causes of these TBIs are as follows. 

Falls (40.5%)

TBIs are most commonly caused by fall accidents. Older adults beyond the age of 75 and children younger than four are at a particularly high risk of suffering a TBI in a fall. Examples of the types of fall accidents that result in TBIs include slips and falls on slippery surfaces, missing steps or ladder rungs, falls off beds, and more. Fall injuries often occur in the workplace.

Motor Vehicle Accidents (14.3%)

Accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, etc. contribute to a high number of TBIs each year. Car accidents are also the leading cause of TBI-related deaths. Victims often suffer a TBI when their head is thrown against a solid surface, such as a part of the vehicle or the pavement. Although whiplash is typically thought of as a neck injury, if the force of impact from a collision is strong enough, it can result in a TBI. The rapid back-and-forth movement can cause the brain to collide with the inside surface of the skull.

Struck By / Against Object (15.5%)

About 430,000 brain injuries each year are due to a person being unintentionally struck by or against an object. One in five children under 15 years old who suffer a TBI annually are affected by this type of accident. Struck by/against object accidents can happen in everyday life from falling or flying objects but they are very common in the workplace, such as construction sites, factory jobs, and other industries that use heavy machinery. 

Assault (10.7%)

Intentional violence or assault is responsible for 10.7% of TBIs. These injuries can be sustained in physical attacks ranging from robbery to rape, domestic violence to child abuse. Assault is the leading cause of traumatic brain injury in Americans between the ages of 15 to 24. It is also the leading cause of brain injury-related fatalities for children below the age of four.

The other 19% of TBIs are caused for other or unknown reasons. 

Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics 

  • Over 220,000 people were hospitalized for TBIs in 2019, meaning more than 611 TBI-related hospitalizations occurred every day and 176 TBI-related deaths. 
  • More than 60,000 people were killed from TBI injuries in 2019 and more than 64,000 in 2020.
  • Suicide was the leading cause of TBI-related deaths in 2019.
  • Children under 17 years of age accounted for approximately 4.1% of TBI-related deaths in 2018 and 2019. 
  • In 2019, about 15% of high school students reported a concussion caused by sports or recreational activities. 
  • Males are almost two times more likely to be hospitalized due to a TBI and three times more likely to die. 
  • People who are 75 or older are the most at risk of a brain injury-related hospitalization and death. 

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury in a preventable accident caused by another’s negligence, contact a Waco traumatic brain injury attorney today. We can help you hold the wrongful party accountable.