While any impact to the head can have severe repercussions on your day-to-day life, not all brain injuries are the same. Some accidents leading to traumatic brain injury (TBI) are actually two injuries in one and may require more extensive medical treatment. These coup-contrecoup wounds occur as the soft brain tissue shifts within the hard skull during an impact.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, a Richmond-based brain injury attorney who understands these differences in TBI varieties can help successfully negotiate compensation for your medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
What Is a Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury?
Because of how the brain sits in your skull, this vital organ is susceptible to bruising if it moves too fast and bounces off the surrounding bone. Whether your head struck the floor during a fall or was impacted by a moving object, you may experience any of these three main types of brain damage:
- Coup. This is the initial trauma at the site of the impact, such as when hitting your head on the ground after slipping or against a steering wheel in a vehicle collision
- Contrecoup. This is the damage that occurs on the opposite side of the brain when the force of the initial impact causes the brain to strike the side, front, or back of your skull
- Coup-Contrecoup. Both injuries being present at the same time after an accident caused the brain to quickly move and strike the skull is a coup-contrecoup injury.
While the initial site of the head impact may be obvious to a jury or insurance adjuster, the secondary injury isn’t directly visible, since it takes place within the skull. The person or business responsible for your injury may not immediately realize the extent of the damage caused by the internal contrecoup portion. Even though they can’t always be seen by the naked eye, coup-contrecoup injuries can be extremely serious.
These double injuries may result in significant long-term medical costs beyond your initial hospital stay, as well as create a need for ongoing therapy. They can further cause cognitive issues beyond simple physical discomfort that make it difficult or impossible to return to work and earn a living.
An internal contrecoup wound may also make your brain more susceptible to further injury in the future from even minor impacts. That can result in a loss of overall quality of life, or lead to worsening cognitive problems if you are hurt again sometime down the line.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you prove the extent of a coup-contrecoup brain injury to ensure you receive the full compensation you are owed after an accident.
Common Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury Causes
Any impact to your head may potentially lead to the brain striking against the inside of your skull and create a contrecoup or coup-contrecoup injury. From a simple fall to a vehicle crash, these are some of the most common ways a coup-contrecoup brain injury may occur:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Shaken baby syndrome
- Slip and fall injuries when a property owner doesn’t exercise their basic duty of care
- Sports injuries such as tackling in football or taking a blow in a boxing match
- Violence such as direct physical assault to the head with a fist or object
- Whiplash during an accident when the head is jerked back and forth violently
- Workplace accidents like falling objects or tripping over equipment
In any of these instances, you or your injured family member may be in for a lifetime of medical therapy and inability to work.
Who to Contact After a Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury
If you or a loved one sustained these devastating two-in-one wounds, let a Virginia traumatic brain injury attorney help you recover the compensation you are owed. Don’t accept a lowball settlement or let an insurance company give you the runaround.
Contact us for a consultation to get started. Besides gathering evidence of your injury and handling communication with the at-fault party when dealing with a TBI, retaining an attorney shows your insurance carrier you are serious about receiving full compensation.