Traumatic brain injuries in New Zealand: National Insurance (Accident Compensation Corporation) claims from 2012 to 2016 Academic Article uri icon


  • AIM:To provide epidemiological data and related costs to the national health insurance scheme for traumatic brain injury (TBI) in New Zealand. METHOD:A retrospective analytical review utilising detailed descriptive minor and moderate-to-severe epidemiological TBI data obtained from the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) for 2012-2016. Injuries were analysed by three levels of increasing severity: moderate, moderate-to-serious (MSC) and severe claims categories. RESULTS:Over the January 2012 to December 2016 period there were 97,955 claims for TBI costing ACC $1,450,643,667 [equivalent to £$743,417,120]. Falls accounted for nearly half (41.7%, 8262), and over a quarter (39.9%; $67,626,000 [£34,662,176]) of the moderate claims for TBI. Motor vehicle accidents recorded the highest percentage (36.5%), total costs ($610,978,229 [£313,170,000]) and highest mean cost per-moderate claim per-year ($47,372 ± $2401 [£24,282 ± £1231]) for MSC TBI claims. This was similar for severe claims where motor vehicles accidents accounted for 56% of the total serious claims, 65.1% of the costs with a mean cost per-serious claim of $64,913 ± 4331 [£32,759 ± £2186] per-year. CONCLUSION:There were 97,955 TBI injury claims lodged over the duration of the study with 36% (n = 35,304) classified as MSC. The incidence of total TBI in New Zealand was 432 per 100,000 population, and 155 per 100,000 for MSC TBI claims. Despite the growing number of studies reporting on the effects of sports-related TBI, there is a paucity of studies reporting on the longitudinal effects of TBI in falls, assaults and motor vehicle accidents. Further research is warranted into the assessment and management of intimate partner violence and child abuse victims for TBI's.


  • King, Doug
  • Hume, Patria A
  • Hardaker, Natalie
  • Pearce, Alan
  • Cummins, Cloe
  • Clark, Trevor

publication date

  • 2019