The leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in the United States, are from auto accidents.
A brain injury can occur when a victim’s head strikes an object such as a windshield or when the force of an accident causes the brain to move around violently within the skull, without a direct impact. Damage to the brain can occur at the time of the accident, or it can develop over time as tissues swell and bleed within the head.
Brain injuries are more likely to occur in side-impact car accidents, due to the likelihood of the head striking the window. The number of brain injuries in a front impact crash is far less due to air bags and seat belts.
Defectively designed air bags have caused brain hemorrhages and have severed brain stems, among other injuries. These injuries have killed and paralyzed innocent adults and children in collisions in which no one would have been injured in if the air bag didn't deploy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that since 1990, airbags killed 227 people in low-impact crashes. This includes 76 drivers, 10 adult passengers, 119 children between the ages of 1 and 11, and 22 infants.
Brain damage or traumatic brain injuries can be caused by medical mistakes made by doctors, hospitals, nurses or other medical providers. The majority of traumatic brain injuries are caused during childbirth, either by a delay in performing a necessary c-section, complications with a vaginal birth, or an error causing a traumatic delivery.
It is unfortunate, but true, that a brain injury can occur even with the best possible medical care. In many cases, there is nothing that should have or could have been done to prevent a brain injury.
There are other circumstances, however, in which a brain injury could have been avoided or at least made less severe if appropriate measures had been taken. These mistakes are considered medical malpractice.