In our practice we see a lot of fall injuries, people who have fallen over an object, something is broken, or there has been some kind of defect in where they were walking that has caused them to fall. Often what happens, and I would say particularly with the older population, the person will strike their head in addition to hurting something else when they fall.
It's very common when people fall they will sustain a hip injury and other types of fractures. But the head also gets moved violently and sometimes hits the ground or sometimes it's just the whiplash action of the fall that results in a brain injury. The crashing of the brain against the skull damages the neurons and the connecting tissues of the brain which interrupts the signals for thinking and our actions.
So, when you're evaluating someone after a fall there are orthopedic injuries that are normally the thing that you see first and it's the critical issue. But be mindful that they may be developing brain injury symptoms over the following days and even weeks because they aren't always immediate but they can be just as significant.