What Are the Most Common Causes of TBI?

April 10, 2024 | Ed Bernstein
What Are the Most Common Causes of TBI?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be life-threatening and have wide-ranging physical and psychological effects. When a TBI is the result of someone else’s negligence, the victim is not only dealing with physical and emotional hardships but potentially significant financial losses as well.

Over one million people suffer TBIs in the U.S. every year. Traumatic brain injuries have various causes, many of which involve the negligence or wrongdoing of other parties. If someone else causes a TBI, they should also be responsible for covering the costs of the injury.

A brain injury victim’s losses can be extensive and difficult to calculate, so TBI claims are often complicated and contentious. If you are facing a possible injury claim, you should immediately consult a Las Vegas Traumatic brain injury lawyer.


Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

What Are the Most Common Causes of TBI

Traumatic brain injuries are serious health concerns that can have lasting effects on individuals’ quality of life. There are four particularly common causes of TBIs:

1. Unintentional Falls

One of the most frequent causes of TBIs is unintentional falls. This can include falls from heights, such as ladders or stairs, or simple slips on level ground. Adults older than 65 and young children are particularly at risk, but these incidents can happen to anyone. Ensuring safe environments with clear walking paths and proper safety equipment can mitigate some of this risk.

Example: A person trips on an uneven sidewalk, leading to a fall that results in a head impact and potential brain injury.

2. Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor Vehicle Accidents I Causes TBI

Motor vehicle accidents are another leading cause of TBIs across all age groups. Car crashes can cause the head to hit parts of the vehicle or cause whiplash injuries that, despite not involving a direct blow to the head, can still result in a TBI. Wearing seat belts, using proper child safety seats, and driving safely can greatly reduce the risk of TBIs from road accidents.

Example: A car suddenly stops in a collision, and the driver’s head strikes the steering wheel, causing trauma to the brain.

3. Assault

Assaults are a tragic cause of TBIs, where the injury is a result of an intentional act of violence. Being hit in the head during a physical altercation or enduring other forms of abuse can lead to severe brain trauma.

Example: During an altercation in a bar, an individual suffers a blow to the head with a blunt object, which inflicts significant damage to the brain tissue.

4. Struck by Object

Being struck by or against an object is another common cause of head injuries that can lead to TBIs. This can happen in various settings, from workplaces, particularly construction sites, sports activities, and even at home. Safety gear like helmets when biking or playing contact sports can help prevent these types of TBIs.

Example: An individual working on a construction site is struck on the head by falling debris, which can lead to a TBI.

Common Types of Events That Cause TBIs

Common Types of Events That Cause TBIs

A person may suffer a traumatic brain injury in various types of events. In this regard, TBIs can be broken down into three broad categories:

Forceful Blow or Jolt to the Head

This type of injury can occur during various activities where the head suddenly and violently hits an object or when an object strikes the head. Common situations include:

  • Vehicle-related collisions. Car, motorcycle, or bicycle accidents that result in the head being struck or hitting the interior of the vehicle.
  • Falls. Slips and falls where the head contacts the ground are especially common in the elderly and young children.
  • Sports injuries. Injuries sustained during contact sports such as football, boxing, hockey, or soccer.
  • Physical violence. Assaults, domestic violence, or other forms of personal attack that involve a hit to the head.

Projectile or Object Penetrating the Skull

A traumatic brain injury may also be caused by objects that penetrate the skull, entering the brain tissue. Examples include:

  • Gunshot wounds. These can lead to severe brain damage due to the high velocity of projectiles.
  • Shrapnel or debris. Penetrating injuries from explosions or industrial accidents.

Rapid Movement of the Brain within the Skull

Sometimes referred to as blunt trauma, this occurs when the brain is jolted within the skull due to a sudden change in movement. This can cause bruising and tearing of brain tissue and blood vessels. Common scenarios include:

  • Whiplash injuries. Often associated with rear-end vehicle accidents.
  • Shaken baby syndrome. In infants, vigorous shaking can cause the brain to move back and forth within the skull.

Legal recourse can offer compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and other damages resulting from the injury. Below are key legal avenues that may be available to you, depending on how you suffered a TBI:

  • Personal injury claim. A personal injury claim is the most common legal remedy available to individuals who have suffered a TBI. You can be eligible for compensation if another party’s negligence caused your injury – such as a reckless driver or a negligent healthcare provider. To succeed, you must demonstrate that the party responsible owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and, as a result, caused your injury.
  • Product liability claim. If your TBI was caused by a defective or dangerous product – for instance, a faulty helmet or malfunctioning brakes – you can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer or seller. Product liability cases require showing that the product was defective and the defect was the direct cause of your injury.
  • Premises liability claim. A premises liability claim can be filed if your injury occurred on someone else’s property due to unsafe conditions. Owners and occupiers of premises have a legal duty to ensure their property is safe for visitors. Proving their failure in this duty, which led to your TBI, can open the door to your rightful compensation.
  • Workers’ compensation claim. If the TBI happened while you were at work or performing work-related duties, you can be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These claims do not require proof of employer negligence. Workers’ comp can cover medical expenses, a portion of lost income, and pay for temporary or permanent disability. 
  • Arbitration or mediation. Some disputes can be resolved through alternative dispute resolution methods like arbitration or mediation. These paths can be less adversarial, more cost-effective, and quicker than going to trial, providing a suitable option for many TBI survivors.
  • Litigation. Litigation might be necessary when other remedies are insufficient, or negotiations fail. Filing a lawsuit against the liable parties can lead to a court trial, where a judge or jury will determine liability and awards.

Every TBI survivor’s case is unique, so discussing your situation with a lawyer may be appropriate. A brain injury lawyer can explain your legal rights and explore the legal remedies available.

Who Can Pursue a Claim for Compensation After TBI?

Traumatic brain injury can have profound effects on the lives of individuals and their families. Understanding who is eligible to pursue compensation can be essential for accessing funds needed for treatment, rehabilitation, and coping with the loss of income or a loved one. In TBI cases, eligibility for compensation extends to:

  • TBI survivors. You may be eligible to file a compensation claim if you have suffered a TBI due to someone else’s negligence or a deliberate act. The claim can cover medical bills, ongoing treatment costs, lost income, and pain and suffering, among other damages and losses. To pursue compensation, you must establish that another party’s actions or inaction directly led to your injury.
  • Family members of those who died due to TBI. The trauma of losing a family member to TBI is not only emotional but often carries a significant financial burden. Spouses, dependents, or next of kin may have the right to seek compensation in the event of a fatality caused by TBI. Specific eligibility might vary based on jurisdiction, but generally, immediate family members – such as spouses, children, or parents if the victim is unmarried – are recognized as eligible claimants.

In both cases, consult a lawyer who handles personal injury or wrongful death cases involving TBI. They can guide you through the complexities of claiming compensation as an injured victim or a family member of a deceased loved one.

How Much Compensation Can You Receive in a TBI Case?

TBI Insurance Claim

Suffering a traumatic brain injury can be life-altering, leading to medical complexities, significant lifestyle adjustments, and sometimes even long-term care requirements. Every TBI case is unique, so the amount of money TBI survivors can receive depends on many factors.

The following are some factors that can affect the worth of your TBI case:

  • Severity and type of TBI. The type and severity of TBI you have sustained is the first major factor that influences your potential compensation. For instance, a mild concussion may lead to short-term symptoms, while severe brain trauma can result in permanent cognitive or physical impairments. 
  • Medical expenses. The direct medical costs associated with a brain injury often make up a substantial part of a TBI claim. This includes emergency treatment, hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, medications, and ongoing therapy or care.
  • Lost income and future earning capacity. If your brain injury prevents you from working, you can demand compensation for lost income in your TBI case. This also extends to diminished future earning potential due to TBI-related disabilities or cognitive impairments.
  • Pain and suffering. Quantifying the physical pain and emotional distress associated with a TBI is challenging, as these are non-economic damages. Nonetheless, the impact of your injury on your daily life, relationships, and psychological well-being should not be overlooked when determining how much your TBI case is worth.
  • Life care plan. In severe cases, a TBI may require lifelong care. A life care plan outlines the estimated costs for these long-term needs, including in-home nursing, therapy, equipment, and modifications to living spaces for accessibility.
  • Legal representation. The quality and experience of your lawyer can significantly affect the outcome of your claim for compensation. Skilled lawyers can advocate for maximum compensation and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.

When pursuing compensation for a TBI – or any other type of injury, for that matter – it is vital to stay compliant with the statute of limitations, which gives injured victims a certain amount of time to bring a case after the date of injury. The statute of limitations varies by state. For example, Nevada has a two-year statute of limitations for injury claims.

Do You Need a Lawyer After Suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Determining whether you need a TBI lawyer can be a daunting task in itself. However, certain signs indicate that legal representation is needed:

  • The complexity of the case. Legal guidance is essential if your injury is severe or the claim seems complicated (involving multiple parties, disputes regarding fault, etc.).
  • The insurance company is being unreasonable or uncooperative. When there’s resistance from insurance companies to honoring your claim, a brain injury attorney can help protect your rights.
  • Long-term or permanent damage. TBI often leads to long-term effects. In these cases, ensuring your future is financially secured may require legal action.

Often, TBI survivors or their families are not aware of their rights or the complexities of insurance and legal systems, which is why a lawyer well-versed in TBI cases can offer the necessary support. Partnering with a brain injury attorney has several advantages for TBI survivors:

  • Experience with TBI cases. Lawyers handling TBI claims are familiar with the nuances of such medical conditions and can accurately assess the long-term effects.
  • Negotiation skills. Legal representatives can negotiate higher settlements than victims might achieve on their own.
  • Peace of mind. With an attorney managing the legal process, survivors can focus on their recovery and health. 

By representing victims in court or through settlement negotiations, a lawyer can help TBI survivors secure a better future by obtaining fair and full compensation. Discuss your case with a personal injury attorney during a free case evaluation to know whether or not you need legal representation in your TBI case.


Ed Bernstein

Edward M. Bernstein, Esq. is the owner and founding partner of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates, and one of the most recognizable figures in Nevada. Ed is one of state’s premier personal injury attorneys and has hosted The Ed Bernstein Show for over 31 years. He has served the Las Vegas community for decades with dozens of community appointments and terms of service. In the year 2000, he was Nevada’s Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.

Ed received his B.A. from Long Island University in 1971 and his J.D. from Widener University in 1975. Since then, Ed’s professional accolades include numerous publications, honors and awards, court appointments, and has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.