Traumatic Brain Injury: Coup-Contrecoup Injuries

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury that is a result of a sudden and/or severe trauma to the skull and/or a penetrating head injury. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one-third of all injury-related deaths involve a traumatic brain injury with motor vehicle accidents being the leading cause of TBI- related death. 

In today’s unique situation, more and more people are purchasing and riding motorcycles on the roads in order to get out and enjoy the fresh air and to avoid being “cooped up” in their homes. Many of these first-time riders don’t have the knowledge and experience to avoid accident situations. 

To make matters worse, trucks on our nations’ highways have been driving with relaxed regulations in-order to more quickly transport goods and as a result, they are driving fatigued and not as alert or aware of other traffic. Now that the traffic has started to increase, the number of serious accidents has started to increase and with that the number of truck and motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, often these are the most severe accidents that occur due to the size of the trucks and the lack of protection of the motorcycle riders.

What Is a Coup-Contrecoup Injury? 

A contusion is a bruise or injury below the surface caused by blunt force. Coup (pronounced kou) and Contrecoup (pronounced kon-tre-kou) injuries are contusions brought about by the brain slamming into the skull as a result of a strong blow to the head. A coup injury occurs when the brain impacts the inner skull at a single point, often the frontal lobe. A Contrecoup injury occurs when the brain slams into the opposite side of the skull or coup injury due to a recoiling action; often resulting in a contusion of the temporal lobe. Frontal and temporal lobe injuries may affect decision-making abilities and are often associated with language issues—both communicating and understanding language.

Symptoms of Coup-Countrecoup Injuries

In an automobile, motorcycle, or trucking accident, a sudden impact with a severe strike to the head may cause the brain to ricochet against the inner skull creating opposing contusions. Medical professionals identify this kind of TBI as a Coup-Contrecoup injury.

Coup-Contrecoup injuries may include the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding of the brain;
  • Swelling within the confines of the skull;
  • Disruption of spinal fluid which nourishes the brain; and/or
  • Skull fragments entering brain tissue.

Sadly, the damage caused by coup-contrecoup injuries is usually irreversible. Treatment of these injuries consists of addressing further damage or complications by the use of surgery or medications to control brain swelling and/or bleeding.

Disabilities from a TBI depend upon the severity of the injury, the location of the injury, and the age and general health of the patient. The prognosis for moderate to severely injured patients of traumatic brain injuries consists of an individually tailored treatment plan which may include physical, occupational, speech and language therapies and psychiatric support. The most severely injured patients may continue in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) in which an individual remains in a vegetative state for more than a month.

Contact a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Today for Help!

If you or someone you love has been in an accident and suspect there may have been damage to the brain you should seek out the advice and counsel of a traumatic brain injury attorney who has experience handling matters involving complex brain injuries. The complex litigation attorneys at Wocl Leydon treat each client as if they are family spending the time and effort to give them each the individual attention they need and deserve. We are here to listen to you and we are here for you in these difficult times to help you receive the settlement you and your family deserve.