A coup-contrecoup brain injury is one where damage happens to both the spot of the trauma and the opposite side of the brain. The words coup-contrecoup are French for “blow” and “counterblow.” The coup part is the initial impact site. The contrecoup is the injury that happens on the opposite side of the brain.

coup-contrecoup brain injury

This type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when someone experiences a hit to the head that is hard enough to cause the brain to hit the first area of impact, then slam against the skull in the opposite direction as well. These injuries can occur alone or together, depending on the intensity of the impact. Sports accidents, car crashes, slips and falls, and other types of personal injuries may result in coup-contrecoup brain injuries. 

The lawyers of GJEL Accident Attorneys fight for personal injury victims throughout California. Our team understands how serious brain injuries can be, and we have seen firsthand the sometimes devastating impacts they can have on someone’s quality of life. We are here to help injury victims and their families understand their legal rights and pursue the compensation they need to move forward. 

What Is a Coup vs. Contrecoup Injury?

A coup injury occurs on the side of the head where the person experiences the initial impact. The medical field typically sees coup injuries when the head impacts a moving object, but they can happen when the head strikes a stationary object as well. For example, if your head hit your steering wheel during a car crash, the coup injury would be the injury that occurs where the victim’s head impacts the steering wheel.

A contrecoup brain injury is one where the brain trauma occurs someplace other than the site of the initial impact—usually on the opposite side of the brain. In our example above, the contrecoup injury would happen if the brain struck the steering wheel so hard that it bounced back and impacted the opposite side of the skull. 

What Is a Coup-Contrecoup Injury?

The coup-contrecoup injury is where someone suffers brain injuries on both the same and opposite sides of where the impact occurred. In other words, you can have just a coup injury, you can have just a contrecoup injury—or you can have both injuries. When there is an injury to both the original site of impact and the secondary site, this is called a coup-contrecoup injury.

What Are the Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury Symptoms?

Because coup-contrecoup injuries involve the brain, the symptoms can be widespread. Additionally, the prevalence and duration of the symptoms depend on what area of the brain is impacted and the severity of the injury. Signs of coup-contrecoup brain injuries can include the following:

  • Headaches, 
  • Seizures, 
  • Personality changes, 
  • Sleep disturbances, 
  • Fatigue, 
  • Nausea, 
  • Speech problems, 
  • Memory difficulties, and
  • Inability to concentrate. 

In more severe cases, the injured party may experience loss of consciousness, bleeding from the eyes, nose, or ears, or other stark symptoms. People who think they have a brain injury should immediately seek medical attention as there may be swelling, which can further damage the brain if not treated immediately. 

What Compensation Can I Receive for a Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury?

If someone else caused your coup-contrecoup brain injury, you might be entitled to compensation for your injury-related losses. Under California law, you may be eligible for damages for losses that directly or indirectly stem from the accident that caused your injuries. These include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

An attorney can help you prepare and present a reasoned argument to increase your chances of receiving compensation. They can research the applicable law, locate key evidence, and negotiate with the at-fault parties to help reach a favorable settlement. Further, they can represent you in court and present arguments in your favor in the unlikely event that settlement talks fail and you must bring your case to a judge or jury at trial. 

Medical Expenses

Brain injuries can result in extensive medical expenses, ranging from surgeries to medication to rehabilitation and everything in between. Further, everyone’s recovery timeline is different depending on their ability to participate in treatment, the severity of the injury, and the impact of the damage on their functioning. It can take anywhere from hours to days to months or longer to recover from a brain injury. 

California enables injury victims to pursue compensation for the medical expenses they incurred because of the accident that caused their brain injury. Further, injury victims may receive compensation for future medical expenses if they can prove they will incur those as well. 

Lost Wages

Many people who suffer brain injuries must take time off to attend medical appointments and rest—thereby giving their brain time to heal. While recovering from the injury, they may not be able to work, thus limiting their ability to earn money to pay their ever-increasing medical costs. In some cases, the injured victim may never be able to make as much money as they did before the accident. California law may empower injury victims to request a financial award to compensate them for the lost wages and lost earning potential they experience because of the accident or injury. 

Pain and Suffering

Injury victims may be able to recover compensation for the pain and suffering they experience because of the brain injury. For example, suppose you are a concert pianist or artist and live for your art. Further, suppose that after your brain injury, you can no longer play the piano or paint. This loss can be emotionally devastating and permanently cause you mental anguish. In such a case, you might be entitled to damages for the loss of what you most enjoy doing in life. This type of noneconomic damage award helps to address the entire picture when someone suffers a coup-contrecoup brain injury. 

GJEL Accident Attorneys: We Can Help You Pursue Compensation

Suffering a brain injury can immensely impact your life, forcing you to undergo invasive surgeries or engage in weeks, months, or sometimes years of rehabilitative therapy. In some cases, victims may never regain what they lost because of the other party’s actions. 

GJEL Accident Attorneys hold at-fault parties responsible for the harm they cause injury victims. We understand what is at stake in these cases and tirelessly fight to help make victims whole again after the accident. Our firm has had an over 99% success rate since 1972 and is rated among the top law firms in the nation. 

If you suffered a coup-contrecoup brain injury, contact our team today for legal help.

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