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What are Coup and Contrecoup Brain Injuries?

All head traumas can be life-threatening. The brain is made up of tiny neurons that send information to the rest of the body. Any type of head injury, no matter how mild, can disrupt this intricate communication system and result in long-term brain damage. Three of the many possible types of traumatic brain injuries are coup, contrecoup, or coup-contrecoup head injuries.

Coup damage occurs when the brain contusions are directly beneath the area of trauma. A contrecoup injury occurs when the damage is exactly opposite the location of the trauma. Finally, a coup-contrecoup head injury occurs when there are contusions both just below and directly opposite the source of trauma.

The actual impact on the steering wheel during a car accident could result in this type of injury, which may reduce your quality of life and leave you with huge medical expenses. Our TBI attorneys will explain the differences between each type of head trauma and answer some frequently asked questions about the value and effects of each.

What is the Difference Between a Coup, Contrecoup, and Coup-Countrecoup Focal Brain Injury?

The location of the brain trauma differs between the three head injuries. However, once impact has been made, these closed-head injuries tend to have similar symptoms, such as forgetfulness, sensory loss, migraines, or motor function loss. It is very common for the following traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) to be found in motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, or motorcycle accidents:

Coup TBI

This injury in patients is seen when a direct impact with an object like the steering wheel or sun visor makes contact. Commonly found in head-on collisions, the bruising would generally occur below the impact point at the front of the skull.

Contrecoup Brain Damage

This blunt impact injury originates opposite to blunt force trauma. It is frequently found in rear-end collisions in which a driver’s head naturally goes back into the headrest towards the point of impact. The brain is injured by striking the frontal lobe or the temporal lobe.

Coup Contrecoup Head Injury

This blunt head trauma occurs generally in high-speed collisions and is considered the most dangerous because more than one area of your brain is injured. 

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What Types of Accidents Cause Coup, Contrecoup, or Coup-Contrecoup Injuries?

Now that you have an understanding of the basis of what a coup, contrecoup, and coup-contrecoup TBI is, knowing what causes it can be beneficial if you are exploring legal options after an accident. Most accident lawyers and medical professionals would agree that the leading cause of these injuries is:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Sports incidents
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Gunshot wound

Any time an object strikes the skull, these common forms of a TBI are possible. It is best to seek medical care immediately to reduce further injury. 

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How Are Brain Damage Injuries Diagnosed?

The first step in identifying a suspected brain injury is a medical examination. Typically, an evaluation includes a neurological exam. 

This test assesses reflexes, coordination, eye movement, reasoning, and motor function (movement). Some TBIs use CT scans and MRI scans to identify damage. Brain damage is usually noticed through symptoms first.

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Contrecoup, Coup-Contrecoup, and Coup-Brain Injury Symptoms

You may experience instant or delayed symptoms if you suffer a coup and/or contrecoup brain injury. The symptoms of many traumatic brain injuries are hidden or delayed, particularly when the accident’s adrenaline hides the immediate agony. A contusion could cause numerous symptoms in one or more areas of the brain.

The effects of a brain injury show up in the following ways:

  • Lack of consciousness
  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Mentally disoriented
  • Migraines
  • Nausea
  • Memory loss
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensory loss
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Coma

You should head to the hospital as soon as you become aware of any suspected concussion symptoms. An early diagnosis and course of treatment may accelerate your recovery. Rest, pain medications, therapy, surgery, and rehabilitation may all be suggested as treatments. The severity of these closed-brain injuries has the potential to cause permanent damage.

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What Legal Options Are There for Brain Damage Incidents?

In Virginia, if you sustain a coup-contrecoup brain injury or another kind of brain contusion as a result of an accident, you may be able to make a damage claim against one or more responsible parties. 

The at-fault party may be responsible for paying non-economic and economic damages. In the event that a personal injury claim is successful, the following factors may be recovered in financial compensation: 

  • Accident-related medical expenses
  • In-home care
  • Therapies and rehabilitation
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering
  • Cognitive problems
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Diminished income and lost earning capacity
  • Punitive damages

Other Forms of Compensation

The compensation your TBI attorney might be able to secure on your behalf for coup and contrecoup brain damage could cover all related past and future losses, both financial and otherwise. 

You can also be eligible for wrongful death damages if a severe brain injury claims the life of a loved one. For additional information about your coup, contrecoup, or coup-contrecoup brain damage lawsuit, contact a lawyer in Virginia.

What is the Deadline for Filing a Coup-Contrecoup Injury Claim in Virginia?

TBIs greatly impact a person’s ability to think and do for themselves. If you were in an incident that has impacted your cognitive ability, seeking compensation through a personal injury lawyer is your best option to file a personal injury claim on time and receive a fair settlement. 

Every state has a legal deadline for being a case against another person or entity that harmed you. In Virginia, the statute of limitations for a TBI personal injury is two years from the date that the accident occurred. If you are a veteran, you will have to apply through the VA-DoD website.

While you recover from such a traumatic injury, time is running out. When possible, find a TBI lawyer near you to discuss the details of your accident to see if you qualify for monetary compensation.

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