Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. These injuries typically arise from a bump, blow, jolt, or penetration to a person’s head or skull. A TBI is a preventable injury, yet studies indicate that over 10 years, there has been a 40% increase in TBI emergency department visits in California. Further, data suggest that falls are one of the leading causes of TBI in California. 

If you suffered a slip and fall head injury, a brain injury after a car accident, or any incident-related head injury, you should consult an experienced attorney. Understanding the cause and symptoms of TBI after an accident is crucial to securing maximum compensation from the at-fault party. 

tbi causes and effects

TBI Causes and Effects 

TBIs typically result after a person experiences a violent impact on the head or body or after something penetrates the skull. There are four primary ways that TBI can occur, including the following:

  • Direct impact refers to injuries that happen when the head strikes something, such as a windshield or ground, or when an object hits a person’s head, like flying debris or a fist;
  • Sudden acceleration or deceleration occurs when the brain experiences a sudden and violent motion, such as during a whiplash injury; 
  • A penetrating injury is caused by fast-moving or high-velocity projectiles, such as shrapnel, bone fragments, or other objects being driven into the brain; and
  • A blast injury stems from a pressure wave or an explosion’s impact on the brain. 

These injuries can result in the following:

  • Diffuse axonal injury,
  • Focal contusions, and
  • Brain bleeding. 

Medical professionals typically quantify the severity of TBIs by using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). The GCS rating is used to classify TBI as mild, moderate, or severe. 

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury 

Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that, in 2020, there were over 64,000 TBI-related deaths in the country. TBI most often stems from the following accidents.


Unintentional falls account for nearly 30% of all TBI-related deaths in the nation. 

Slip and fall injuries threaten the health of people of all ages; however, young children and older adults are more likely to suffer a brain injury after a fall. Research and data suggest that falls are the leading cause of TBI for children from birth to age four and adults 65 years old and older. 

Young children are prone to falls, especially when encountering dangerous or hazardous conditions, such as broken curbs, uneven steps, and slippery surfaces. Similarly, infants younger than one year are at a higher risk of experiencing a brain injury if their caregiver slips and falls while carrying the infant. 

Further, certain unsafe conditions make adults 65 and older more likely to experience a head injury after a fall. Older adults, especially those with vision problems, are more likely to experience serious injuries if they encounter a hazardous condition. For instance, older adults are at risk for severe injuries if they slip and fall on broken steps, uneven surfaces, or while walking in cluttered aisles. 

Motor Vehicle Crashes

The CDC’s TBI Surveillance Report describes the national numbers and rates of brain injury-related deaths. According to the report, motor vehicle crashes are the most common cause of TBI-related deaths among children 0-17. Car crashes account for about 17% of all TBI-related deaths. 

In addition, the other leading causes of TBI include firearm-related incidents and assaults. 

Symptoms of TBI 

TBIs often result in lifelong medical, cognitive, psychological, and behavioral changes. Some common symptoms of TBI may include the following.

Physical Symptoms

  • Headache,
  • Nausea,
  • Dizziness,
  • Convulsions, 
  • Inability to awaken from sleep, 
  • Loss of coordination,
  • Sensory Symptoms,
  • Blurred vision,
  • Ringing in the ears, and
  • Bad taste in the mouth. 

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness, 
  • Mood changes,
  • Confused or dazed state,
  • Profound confusion, and
  • Slurred speech.

Research indicates that in many cases, symptoms of brain injury occur after the primary injury, not at the moment of the accident. Often the brain experiences a series of biological reactions that can continue for hours to weeks after the initial impact—and these continuing reactions can substantially increase the adverse effects of a TBI. 

A severe TBI’s long-term physical, cognitive, and emotional consequences can impact all aspects of a person’s life, such as their ability to return to school, work, and sustain a meaningful relationship with loved ones. 

Recovering Compensation for TBI-Related Damages 

Victims living with moderate to severe brain injuries can experience total lifetime medical and rehabilitation costs of up to four million dollars. These injuries often require the following:

  • Hospitalization,
  • Surgery,
  • In-patient rehabilitation, 
  • Outpatient occupational and physical therapy, and
  • Medications.

As a result, California law permits TBI claimants to recover economic and noneconomic damages for their losses if a negligent party was responsible for the injury. These damages might include compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Property damage,
  • Loss of income,
  • Emotional distress, and 
  • Pain and suffering.

These cases can be exceedingly complex to assess and prove, so if you are a TBI victim, it is important that you consult with an experienced California personal injury attorney

Learn More About TBI Causes and Effects by Speaking with a California Injury Lawyer 

If you or a family member recently experienced a severe brain injury following a motor vehicle accident, you may be able to recover meaningful compensation. Such assistance will help ensure that you are not left on the hook for your accident-related expenses. 

But it’s understandable that the thought of filing a claim or lawsuit after a brain injury can feel overwhelming. That’s where we come in. At GJEL Accident Attorneys, our brain injury attorneys provide accident victims with compassionate yet aggressive representation. We work to get you the compensation you need, deserve, and are entitled to. Our attorneys have recovered compensation in more than 99% of the cases we’ve handled, putting more than $950 million into our clients’ pockets. 

To schedule a free consultation with a California brain injury accident attorney, give us a call at 1-866-290-1656. You can also reach one of our personal injury attorneys by filling out our secure online contact form. Calling is free, and there is no obligation to proceed with your case. However, if you decide to allow GJEL Accident Attorneys to handle your brain injury lawsuit, we will not bill you for anything unless and until we win your case. 

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