When you set out on your morning drive to work or your evening journey home, you don’t expect anything out of the ordinary to take place. Sadly, the roads are not as safe as they could be, and if you get unlucky, you could wind up with a coup contrecoup injury.
“A coup contrecoup injury, what is that?” you ask. That’s precisely the question that this article will answer.
As you’ll quickly see, this is a topic you should educate yourself about, especially if you tend to spend plenty of time on the roads. With introductions now out of the way, let’s get more into the matter at hand.
What is a Coup Contrecoup Injury?
The first and most important thing you should know about coup contrecoup injuries is that they affect your brain, and that should be plenty enough reason to take greater notice of them. Any type of injury to your brain can have a significant impact on your health, both in the short-term and in the long run.
The second important thing you must know about the aforementioned brain injuries is that they actually refer to two different types of trauma, as hinted at by their name.
First off, you have the coup injury.
According to Study.com, the word “coup” in this case translates to “blow.” The coup injury occurs at the very spot where the impact takes place. Very Well Health says that an example of a coup injury is when your head strikes the steering wheel of your car and you end up with a brain injury near your forehead.
Whereas the coup injury refers to trauma affecting the exact spot where an impact takes place, a contrecoup injury occurs when trauma is inflicted to the site opposite where the force is applied. That’s why it is also sometimes called a “counterblow” injury.
Going back to the example from earlier, the contrecoup injury can occur when the impact causes the brain to move to the other side of your skull and sustain an injury there. Usually, the contrecoup injury takes place because your brain makes contact with your skull at a high speed.
All of that impact affecting your brain can cause contusions, which are also known as bruises, to develop. These injuries can also lead to cuts developing on the brain.
Needless to say, your brain getting bruised and sustaining cuts is never a good thing. To find out exactly what coup contrecoup injuries could end up doing to you, let’s learn more about the impact these injuries can have on people.
What Happens if You Have a Coup Contrecoup Injury?
Not all coup contrecoup injuries are equal.
If you are lucky, you may end up with an injury that only has a significant impact on you immediately, with effects that wear off soon after. Examples of symptoms that can be problematic right away, but usually fade with time, include dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and ringing noises persisting in your ears.
Consider yourself fortunate if those are the only symptoms you suffer from if you recently sustained a traumatic brain injury. The other symptoms associated with coup contrecoup injuries and their ilk can be even more impactful, and truly affect a person’s quality of life over a long period of time.
To help people better understand the kind of devastating impact brain injuries can have, this article from Johns Hopkins Medicine offers a long list of their effects that have been divided up into different categories.
First you have the cognitive effects of a traumatic brain injury. These include:
- Attention span problems
- Decreased self-awareness
- Issues with critical thinking
- Memory issues
- Struggling with time and space
You may also encounter problems while trying to communicate with others. Specific problems that could emerge are:
- Difficulty choosing the right words to use, speaking, or understanding speech resulting from aphasia
- Inability to understand numbers and objects
- Problems with reading and/or writing, known as alexia and agraphia respectively
- Slow speech
- Troubles performing common actions caused by apraxia
Motor skills can also be severely impacted by a brain injury. The symptoms can manifest themselves in the following ways:
- Balancing difficulties
- Coordination problems
- Lack of endurance
- Swallowing troubles
Symptoms brought about by a brain injury can also affect how your body regulates itself. After sustaining an injury, you may observe changes in your habits. These habits include:
- How you handle your waste
The senses are not exempt from the life-changing effects of brain injuries. Here are the ways in which they may be affected:
- Changes to your five senses
- Favoring one side of your body over the other
- Struggling with identifying where your limbs are on your body
You may also notice changes in your mood that could lead to you becoming:
The changes in your behavior could also affect the people around you, because included among the symptoms of traumatic brain injury are problems relating to people and understanding them.
Lastly, you may end up suffering from traumatic epilepsy as a result of your brain injuries.
What Are the Causes of a Coup Contrecoup Injury?
Now that you know more about the truly life-changing effects that can be caused by a coup contrecoup injury, you now have more reason than ever to be cautious of it.
So, how can you avoid these injuries?
Unfortunately, you can’t be certain that you will be able to avoid them altogether. Often, coup contrecoup injuries emerge as a result of accidents on the road.
Going back to the nature of these injuries, it’s important to remember that they can happen when an impact is made on one side of your head, causing a bruise to form, and then as your brain moves to the other side of your head, it may bump into the skull and cause another contusion to form.
Now, try to think of a situation where something like that can happen. In all likelihood, you pictured a car crash.
At the moment of impact, your head can move forward rapidly and end up striking the steering wheel. Once that happens, it can cause your brain to shift quickly inside your skull until it hits the hard surface of the bone.
An important thing to note about coup contrecoup injuries is that they can occur from side to side as well as front to back. What that means is that you can still end up with this type of brain injury even if a car or some other type of motorized vehicle struck you from the side.
If the force of the impact is strong enough to cause your brain to move from side to side inside your skull, there’s a strong chance that you will develop this injury.
By the way, you don’t have to be inside a car to be vulnerable to this injury.
Individuals on the road riding a motorcycle, a bike, or an e-scooter, can also be the unfortunate victims. A recent study even noted that almost half of scooter-related injuries are head injuries. Furthermore, 15 percent of those head injuries turned out to be traumatic brain injuries.
People who go skiing and skateboarding are also susceptible to head injuries, which is why helmets are always required for those activities. Athletes who participate in combat sports and other full-contact sports are similarly vulnerable to brain injuries.
Coup contrecoup injuries can also emerge as a result of someone attacking you. Being struck by a hard object to the head can be very damaging in so many ways.
Infants can also develop this kind of brain injury. Babies who are mishandled can sustain brain injuries.
What Are the Different Ways to Treat Coup Contrecoup Injuries?
Some of the contusions and cuts that you can develop on your brain after you are involved in a car accident are irreversible. The doctors may order you to get some rest or medication to help control the symptoms caused by the injury, but they may not be able to address the bruises and wounds themselves.
The best they can do is to minimize the symptoms as much as possible so that you can still lead a relatively normal life.
There are times when the brain may actually do something about the injuries it has sustained. Other parts of the brain may compensate for the damaged tissue. The brain may also change up the way it works to get around the problems posed by the injury.
Do note, though, that those developments are more likely to happen to younger individuals. You may be out of luck if you sustained your brain injury later in life.
It’s also worth noting that these injuries don’t follow a strict timeline when it comes to recovery. Some may heal up remarkably quickly while others may require a much longer time.
The bottom line is that you cannot afford to wait around for your brain injury to heal before taking any action. Your inaction in that case may lead to your health deteriorating, placing you in a tougher spot moving forward.
If doctors deem that you need medication and rest for your injuries, then follow them and see how you progress. For more serious injuries, the people affected may be asked to go through rehab programs. These programs can help individuals re-learn the skills they had prior to sustaining their brain injuries.
As with any form of treatment, costs are always a concern. Medication schedules and rehab programs can be difficult to keep up because of how pricey they are.
Along with addressing your brain injury, you must also be prepared to take legal action if possible.
How can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Individuals Suffering from Coup Contrecoup Injuries?
Obviously, not all instances where an individual sustained a coup contrecoup injury is one in which the expertise of a personal injury attorney is required, but there are certainly times where their help is more than welcome.
For instance, if your injuries surfaced as a result of an auto accident involving another driver, getting an attorney involved in the proceedings would be a wise move on your part. You may also want to consult with an attorney if blatant negligence of another party resulted in you getting injured.
Personal injury attorneys can also be incredibly helpful because they are capable of handling much of the work for you. Understanding the kind of impact that a brain injury can have on a person, experienced attorneys will go above and beyond to ensure that you receive top notch legal representation without you having to do much of anything.
The legal process can certainly be taxing, and it may prove impossible to deal with for those who were just recently injured. By having an attorney at their side, they can feel more confident about pushing the case forward and fighting for the compensation that they rightfully deserve.
If you still want one more reason to work with experienced personal injury attorneys, know that the extensive work they have done in this field means that they have partnered up with many medical professionals in the past. Injured individuals can consult with attorneys not just regarding legal matters, but also about who they can approach in the hopes of having their problems addressed properly.
Attorneys are not just there to help you handle legal issues. They can provide other forms of assistance, such as offering contacts and coordinating your schedule, that can prove hugely beneficial to you as well.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney in Your Area Now
Taking action as soon as possible if you were recently involved in any kind of auto accident is crucial if you want to increase your chances of being awarded compensation. To get the process started, you can consult with the attorneys at Batta Fulkerson.
They have the experience and the results you want to see from attorneys who will take up your case. Contact them now and learn more about how they can help you receive the compensation you are entitled to.