Request Free Consultation
Birmingham personal injury attorneys at Drake Injury Lawyers

Most Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted on August 31, 2023

Traumatic brain injuries or TBIs are a leading cause of disability and death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2021, brain injuries accounted for approximately 69,473 deaths. Even people who survive their brain injuries are often left with life-changing symptoms and effects. Identifying the leading causes of TBIs can help prevent these serious injuries seen by our experienced team of Birmingham personal injury lawyers.


Traumatic brain injuries are caused by external impacts or sources of trauma, such as a bump or blow to the head. Statistically, the most common cause of TBIs is falling. Falls accounted for almost 30 percent of all brain-injury related deaths in the U.S. in 2019. The population with the highest number of fatal fall-related TBIs were older adults aged 75 and above. Their rate was more than five times higher than that of people ages 65 to 74.

Slip, trip and fall accidents that result in traumatic brain injuries often occur due to unsafe premises. Examples include wet or slippery floors, uneven floor surfaces, loose carpets and rugs, and uneven curbs. If a property owner in Alabama reasonably should have done more to prevent a victim’s fall, such as better property maintenance, he or she could be held responsible for a TBI through a premises liability lawsuit.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Unintentional motor vehicle crashes were the second-leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in 2019. They accounted for approximately 17 percent of all TBI-related deaths. These deaths were most common among individuals who were 15 to 34 years old. Car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian accidents can cause brain injuries if a victim strikes his or her head on any object in the collision. Penetrating brain injuries can also occur in automobile accidents.

A car accident could cause a brain injury that is not due to an impact to the head, as well. Brain injuries caused by rotational forces are known as diffuse-axonal injuries. They occur when the brain’s connecting nerve fibers are torn due to the brain shifting or rotating inside of the skull. This can happen in a motor vehicle accident where the car spins or flips, causing the brain to quickly shift and damage the nerve fibers or connective tissues.

Struck-By Objects

Another common cause of traumatic brain injuries is being struck by objects or equipment. This includes recreation-related events, such as impacts that occur in sports. These events may happen due to player-on-player collisions, flying balls or pucks, or diving accidents in shallow swimming pools. Outside of recreational activities, a victim could be struck by an object at work, in a construction zone or an explosion.


Finally, traumatic brain injuries can be caused by assaults, abuse and acts of violence. This includes self-harm behaviors, such as suicide. A violent attack could result in head and brain injuries caused by gunshots, knife wounds or blows to the head. These injuries can fracture, puncture or shatter the skull in addition to causing brain injuries, classifying it as an open head injury. In this type of brain injury case, the victim may be able to hold a property owner responsible for negligent security as well as an individual assailant. These cases may also involve nursing home abuse against an elderly victim.

To learn more about your potential legal options after being diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury in Alabama, consult with a Birmingham brain injury lawyer at Drake Injury Lawyers. We will review your case at no cost or obligation to help you understand your rights.