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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Is a Contrecoup Injury? | Causes, Symptoms, and Legal Remedy!

A traumatic brain injury is one of the most serious types of injuries after an accident, as it can affect the victim's motor and cognitive functions. In cases involving a contrecoup injury, the patient may also experience secondary complications, which may be life-threatening. It's crucial for the affected parties to reach out to experienced personal injury attorneys to hold the negligent parties responsible.


The Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have decades of combined experience fighting for the rights of injured victims and aggressively pursuing the compensation they deserve. They can help the affected parties in Nashville, Tennessee, by assessing their cases and guiding them on their legal options! They can also explain the catastrophic injury legal definition.


What Is a Contrecoup Injury?

What Is a Contrecoup Injury?


When doctors evaluate patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries, they first have to determine the nature of the injury before assessing its severity. It could be a coup, contrecoup, or coup-contrecoup injury.


A coup injury refers to contusions that occur below the point of impact, transferring the force directly onto the brain tissue. A driver's head colliding with the steering wheel, for example, can lead to a coup injury on the front of the brain. A personal injury lawyer in Nashville TN can help with concerns such as this.


While a coup injury occurs below the point of impact, a contrecoup injury occurs directly on the opposite side of the skull. The force can cause the brain to move inside the skull, causing it to hit the other side, resulting in damage to the brain tissues.


A collision that results in head injuries, for example, may cause the brain to hit the back side of the skull, leading to a contrecoup injury.


On the other hand, a coup-contrecoup injury refers to a traumatic brain injury that occurs below the point of impact and directly opposite the location of the trauma. This can happen when the head experiences violent jerks, especially during a car accident, slip and fall, or a sports injury.


What Are the Differences Between a Coup and a Contrecoup Injury?


Since coup injuries are evident from the site of impact, they're much easier to locate. Doctors look for bruising, cuts, and lacerations to determine whether it's a coup injury. These are often mild to severe in nature and may include brain bruising, swelling, and hemorrhage.


While coup injuries are relatively easier to detect, that is not the case with a contrecoup injury. Contrecoup injuries refer to a head injury that occurs on the opposite side of the trauma. Since the location of the impact is different than the point of impact, these types of injuries are much more difficult to diagnose.


Misdiagnosis is pretty common with a contrecoup and coup-contrecoup brain injury. Due to this, doctors may overlook these types of injuries, which could lead to a lack of treatment, increasing the risk of serious and life-threatening complications.


Common Causes of Contrecoup and Coup-contrecoup Brain Injuries


A contrecoup or a coup-contrecoup injury is a severe blunt-force trauma that happens when the skull comes into contact with a heavy object. These types of injuries can occur for many reasons, some of which include the following:


  • Car accidents: A severe car accident can cause the head to hit a steering wheel or dashboard, which can cause the brain to move violently from the force. This may result in a contrecoup and coup contrecoup injuries.

  • Slip and falls: When a person slips and falls, they may bang their head on a heavy object, causing the brain to bounce from the force of the trauma, resulting in injuries on the point of impact and opposite it.

  • Sports activities: High-speed head collisions during a football game can cause the brain to shake violently, hitting both sides of the skull. This impact may result in a contrecoup or coup-contrecoup injury.


Symptoms of Contrecoup and Coup-contrecoup Brain Injuries


While a victim suffering from contrecoup or coup-contrecoup brain injuries may start to experience symptoms right after their traumatic accident, some injury signs may take days or even weeks to manifest. The affected party must keep track of their health and record any changes so that they can discuss it with their medical provider.


The following are some of the symptoms of a contrecoup and a coup-contrecoup brain injury:


  • Intense headaches

  • Dizziness

  • Loss of memory and consciousness

  • Sensitivity to light and sound

  • Vision and hearing problems

  • Difficulty in understanding others

  • Impaired concentration

  • Difficulty in swallowing


A traumatic brain injury can be serious, even if it's a minor concussion. Due to delayed symptoms and secondary complications, brain injuries can manifest over a period of time. 


It's important for the victim to seek immediate medical attention after the accident so that they can avoid the risk of permanent brain damage.


Can Injured Victims Pursue Compensation for Their Severe Traumatic Brain Injury?

Can Injured Victims Pursue Compensation for Their Severe Traumatic Brain Injury?


Coup and coup-contrecoup injuries can be devastating. It can completely flip the victim's life around, adversely impacting their physical, mental, and financial situation. 


In most cases, the affected party experiences a reduced quality of life since they may never be able to recover completely.


Whether it is a coup or coup-contrecoup injury, the personal injury law allows injured victims to obtain compensation for the damages caused due to another's negligence. 


After the accident, affected parties must file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the negligent party's insurance company to hold them responsible for their reckless actions.


What Are the Types of Damages Victims Can Recover Following Their Coup and Contrecoup Injuries?


Unlike a diffuse axonal injury, a contrecoup injury is a severe head trauma that can result in memory, sensation, coordination, and communication problems. The injured victim must bring a civil action against the negligent party to recover compensation for the damages incurred.


There are two main types of damages that the affected parties can recover following their coup or contrecoup injury, and these are as follows:


Economic Damages

The impact of a contrecoup injury can inflict severe damage, adversely affecting the victim's quality of life. 


Depending on the extent of the injuries sustained, the affected party may be able to recover the following economic damages:


Medical Bills

A severe injury can lead to extensive surgeries, medical care, nursing, medication, and other treatments. These can add up to a significant amount.


By pursuing a personal injury claim or lawsuit, the injured victim may be able to recover all of the out-of-pocket expenses related to their healthcare.


Lost Wages

These are out-of-pocket expenses that occur due to missed work. Most victims who suffer from contrecoup injuries need time to rest and recuperate, which can put them off their jobs.


In cases involving permanent brain damage, the affected party may never be able to return to employment. Fortunately, personal injury law allows them to recover compensation for the lost wages and loss of earning potential incurred.


Property Damage

While these are not common after coup-contrecoup injuries occur, injured victims may be able to obtain property damages under the personal injury law.


Non-economic Damages

When a contrecoup injury occurs, it can lead to pain and suffering, negatively affecting the victim's mental health. Under personal injury law, the affected party may be able to pursue the following non-economic damages:


  • Reduced quality of life;

  • Pain and suffering;

  • Mental anguish; and

  • Emotional trauma.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Will Go to War for the Nashville Brain Injury Victims!


Those who have suffered contrecoup brain injuries due to someone else's negligence in Nashville, Tennessee, should call to schedule a free consultation with the Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. 


The legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help assess the facts surrounding the case, build a strong claim or lawsuit, and protect the victim's rights by aggressively pursuing the compensation they deserve!

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