Top Causes of Spinal Cord and Brain Injury

On behalf of Gordon Law Offices, Ltd.   |  Nov 10, 2021   |  Personal Injury
A woman with headache is seeing a doctor, brain injury

Spinal cord and brain injuries often occur due to accidents, activities, and risky behaviors. Approximately 17,900 people suffer SCIs, and 2.8 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries each year in Illinois and across the U.S. Such injuries may cause serious symptoms, which may drastically impact people’s quality of life.

Common Factors in Spinal Cord and Brain Injuries

Falls and auto collisions frequently contribute to the occurrence of SCIs and TBIs, as do violence and sports. Spinal cord injuries may result in partial or total paralysis, while traumatic brain injuries may cause physical, emotional, or cognitive effects.


Unintentional falls from heights commonly cause spinal cord and brain injuries, and they are the leading cause of back or neck trauma among people aged 65-years or older. The severity of people’s injuries often depends on the heights from which they fall. For example, tripping and falling to the ground may cause minor harm, while tripping and falling down the stairs may result in more serious injuries.

Taking precautions may help people avoid SCIs and TBIs from falls. To this end, people should use assistive devices when needed and use care when walking on wet or slick surfaces.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Especially for drivers and front-seat passengers, car wrecks often cause spinal cord and brain injuries. According to the Mayo Clinic, almost half of all new SCIs occurring each year result from auto and motorcycle crashes.

To help reduce their chances of collisions and the possible resulting injuries, drivers should avoid distractions and alcohol when behind the wheel.


Assaults and violence, including direct impacts and gunshot wounds, commonly cause SCIs and TBIs. Using fists, feet, or weapons may cause blows or other trauma with enough force to seriously injure the spinal cord or brain.

Almost anything may happen when tensions boil over. Avoiding potentially violent situations may help people keep themselves safe from SCIs and TBIs.

Sports Activities

Spinal cord and brain injuries also commonly result from sports and recreational activities. When participating in high-impact sports such as football, soccer, and martial arts, adults and children may collide or otherwise suffer serious injuries.

Wearing protective gear and knowing how to brace themselves or safely fall may help players avoid spinal cord or brain injuries. Coaches should focus on teaching players proper techniques aimed at reducing back, neck, and head injuries.