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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

What Is a Contrecoup Injury and How Does It Affect Personal Injury Settlements?

When motor vehicle accidents occur, one of the biggest concerns for the victims is suffering severe injuries caused by blunt force trauma to the head. The brain tissue is one of the most delicate and important organs of the body, and any injuries that occur in this area can have severe and lasting consequences.


As such, in the aftermath of a car accident, doctors will start by closely examining the site of impact to check for any head trauma. Depending on the nature of the blunt impact injury, the victim may suffer a wide range of head injuries.


Coup and contrecoup injuries are two examples of such injuries that can result in permanent impairment or even death. This type of severe traumatic brain injury can also result in very high settlements in personal injury lawsuits.


Victims who suspect they may have suffered coup-contrecoup injuries as a result of someone else's negligence will need a good injury lawyer to fight for their rights in court. The Law Office of Carl Maltese has been serving the people of New York for many years and can be reached at +1 631-857-3703 for a free consultation.


The Human Brain: Its Function and Protection

The Human Brain: Its Function and Protection


The brain serves as the control center of the entire nervous system. This is where all the muscles and organs of the human body get their instructions from, and where conscious and subconscious decisions that govern a person's day-to-day life are made.


As such, it is not surprising that this vital organ is well protected from damage in the event of a regular head injury. The skull and cerebrospinal fluid in which the brain sits are designed to withstand very strong external impacts, such as those that occur after a serious fall accident or car crash.


However, that is not to say that brain damage is not possible. If the impact is strong enough, the victim can suffer from a wide variety of head injuries, such as a mild concussion or coup-contrecoup injury.


A Coup-contrecoup Injury Defined


What is a contrecoup injury? Well, it is one of the most common brain injuries that victims can suffer from. This is a very severe injury that affects specific areas of the brain depending on the nature and direction of the impact.


To properly define coup-contrecoup injuries, the term needs to be broken down as follows:


  • Coup Injury

When internal brain damage happens at the area directly beneath the site of the head injury, a coup injury occurs. The victim's head being struck by solid objects or crashing against a wall are examples of scenarios that can result in coup injuries.


  • Contrecoup Injury

Sudden head movements that are caused by, for example, a violent slam to the stationary head can cause a type of closed head injury called a contrecoup injury. When a contrecoup injury occurs, the brain damage is localized on the opposite side of the skull impact. Besides car accidents, a contrecoup brain injury is often seen in cases dealing with shaken baby syndrome.


  • Coup-contrecoup Injury

What happens when severe damage to the brain is caused both at the site of the impact and on the opposite side of the brain? Well, this is called a coup-contrecoup injury. Most injuries that happen this way can be very serious. They can sometimes appear in the form of a diffuse axonal injury, and quick medical attention is required.


Dangers of Such a Traumatic Brain Injury


The symptoms of a coup-contrecoup brain injury highlight the dangers that victims face, especially if they delay seeing a doctor. These symptoms are not always easy to determine, and can include the following:


  • Severe headaches

  • Ringing in the ears

  • Light sensitivity

  • Blurred vision

  • Memory loss

  • Dizziness

  • Loss of motor coordination or cognitive function

  • Mental anguish

  • Confusion

  • Loss of consciousness


The longer the victim goes without proper treatment, the worse these symptoms can become. Eventually, coup-contrecoup brain injuries can result in the victim being in a comatose or vegetative state, which may lead to the loss of their life.


Coup-contrecoup Brain Injury Treatment Plan


Unfortunately, damaged brain cells do not regenerate or recover, so the treatment of coup-contrecoup brain injuries mainly focuses on the prevention of further damage to the brain.


After using specialized techniques to determine the extent of the brain injury, such as magnetic resonance imaging, ahead CT scan, and the Glasgow coma scale, the doctors may recommend medication and rehabilitation to allow the brain to heal.


In severe cases, such as those that involve intracerebral hemorrhage, surgery may be required to relieve the internal pressure on the brain.


Costs of Coup-contrecoup Traumatic Brain Injuries


The costs of treating coup-contrecoup injuries vary depending on the severity of the brain damage. If, for example, a patient requires extensive surgery before undergoing rehabilitation, treatment can be very expensive.


However, it is also important to consider the long-term or permanent effects that victims will suffer when coup-contrecoup injuries occur. If the victim will require assistance and therapy for the rest of their lives, this will impact the cost significantly.


Settlements for Coup-contrecoup Brain Injuries

Settlements for Coup-contrecoup Brain Injuries


Like most traumatic brain injury cases, settlement for a coup-contrecoup brain injury can be very high. It is not surprising to see victims being awarded millions of dollars in compensation after having suffered both coup and contrecoup injuries.


However, the settlement offers depend on several factors, such as the severity of the injuries, shared negligence, and the cost of medication. As such, victims need a good lawyer to help them fight for their rights and win maximum compensation. They can also help explain the catastrophic injury legal definition.


How to File a Coup-contrecoup Injury Claim


To file a coup-contrecoup injury lawsuit, victims need to consider approaching an experienced attorney with a proven track record of handling such cases.


In the state of New York, particularly in Long Island and surrounding areas, the go-to law firm for traumatic brain injury lawsuits is The Law Office of Carl Maltese. Victims can call their New York offices right now to schedule a free case evaluation.

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