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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

What Is a Contrecoup Injury? | How to Get Compensation for Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

During a car accident when the vehicle suddenly stops, it can cause the head to jerk forward and backward. In such scenarios, the brain can collide against the interior surface, leading to injuries at two distinct sites.

The initial impact, known as the coup injury, occurs at the point of contact. On the other hand, the contrecoup injury happens on the opposite side of the brain, where the forceful movement causes it to strike the skull.

This lagging motion leads to contusions, bruising, and other damage on the opposite side of the initial impact.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Symptoms and Diagnosis of a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Identifying contrecoup injuries can be challenging, as symptoms may not manifest immediately following the traumatic event. Patients may experience the following:

  • Headaches

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Confusion

  • Loss of consciousness

However, these symptoms can vary widely depending on the severity of the injury and the victim's overall health. Diagnosis often involves a comprehensive evaluation by medical professionals.

This includes neurological assessments and imaging studies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans.

Recovering from a coup-contrecoup brain injury involves patience, diligence, and expert medical care. Treatment approaches may include:

  • Rest

  • Medication

  • Physical therapy

  • Occupational therapy

  • Cognitive rehabilitation

In cases of a serious traumatic brain injury, surgery may be necessary to alleviate pressure on the brain or repair damaged tissue.

However, it's essential to note that the recovery process can be lengthy and challenging. Coup-contrecoup brain injuries often need ongoing support from healthcare providers, caregivers, and loved ones.

The financial burden of medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and diminished quality of life can be overwhelming.

In such cases, seeking compensation through a personal injury claim may provide a path to justice and financial recovery.

How Much Can Victims Get in Coup-contrecoup Brain Injury Cases?

The amount of compensation the court awards in coup-contrecoup brain injury cases can vary widely. Victims can receive anywhere between $20,000 to $80,000 in mild head trauma lawsuits.

On the other hand, the Texas court might pay out up to $700,000+ for severe coup-contrecoup brain injuries. Several other factors can influence the final value:

Head Injury Type

The seriousness of the coup-contrecoup injury plays a role in determining the compensation amount. More severe injuries that result in long-term disability, cognitive impairment, or permanent damage typically command higher compensation amounts.

Medical Expenses

Victims are entitled to compensation for all medical expenses related to their coup-contrecoup brain injury, including hospital bills, surgeries, rehabilitation, therapy, and medication costs. These expenses can quickly add up and impact the overall compensation amount.

Lost Wages and Income

If the coup-contrecoup injury prevents the victim from returning to work or results in a loss of earning capacity, they can recover compensation for lost wages and future income. This includes reimbursement for past and future lost earnings.

Pain and Suffering

Victims may also receive compensation for the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish they endure as a result of their coup-contrecoup brain injuries.

This category of damages is more subjective and may vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the jurisdiction in which it is heard.

Punitive Damages

In cases where the defendant's actions were blatant or reckless, the court may award punitive damages as a deterrent and punishment.

Generally, predicting the exact amount of compensation victims can expect to receive for coup-contrecoup injuries is difficult.

Pursuing legal action can provide a means of securing financial support and holding negligent parties accountable. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also consult on the catastrophic injury legal definition.

The Common Causes of a Traumatic Brain Injury

When it comes to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), the causes are as varied as they are alarming. These life-altering injuries can happen suddenly and unexpectedly, forever changing the course of a person's life.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Perhaps the most well-known cause of coup-contrecoup brain injuries, motor vehicle accidents, account for a large portion of these devastating injuries.

Whether it's a car crash, motorcycle accident, or pedestrian collision, the forceful impact of a motor vehicle casualty can result in severe head trauma and brain injuries.


From slip-and-falls to falls from heights, accidents involving drops are another leading cause of brain injury cases, particularly among older adults and young children.

Even a seemingly minor fall can have serious consequences if it results in a blow to the head or blunt-force trauma to the brain.

Sports Injuries

Participating in sports and recreational activities can be a source of joy and fulfillment, but it can cause a coup or diffuse axonal injury.

Contact sports such as football, soccer, and hockey carry a higher risk of head injuries due to collisions, falls, and impacts with equipment or other players.

Assaults and Violence

Tragically, acts of violence and assaults are common causes of coup-contrecoup injuries. Whether it's a physical altercation, domestic violence incident, or assault with a weapon, intentional acts of harm can cause severe injury and irreversible brain damage.

Workplace Accidents

Occupational hazards and workplace accidents pose risks for coup and contrecoup injuries in various industries. This includes construction, manufacturing, and agriculture.

Falls from heights, being struck by falling objects, and machinery accidents are just a few examples of workplace incidents that can result in such wounds.

Military Injuries

Members of the military are at heightened risk of coup-contrecoup injuries due to combat-related activities, including blasts and explosions.

TBIs sustained in military settings can have profound and long-lasting effects on service members' physical and mental health.

Property Negligence Can Also Cause Coup and Contrecoup Brain Injury

Coup-contrecoup injuries are commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports injuries, and other traumatic events. However, they can also happen due to unsafe conditions on someone else's property.

In this event, landowners may fail to repair a broken staircase railing or maintain a slippery floor surface. Thus, the court may hold them liable if someone sustains a fall and suffers a coup-contrecoup injury.

On the other hand, a property owner may forget to remove hazardous debris or obstacles from walkways, leading to a trip and fall incident. The court may deem them negligent if the victim sustains a coup injury. In that case, they may need to reach out to the best personal injury attorneys in Houston.

Regarding property negligence causing a brain injury, the victim may have legal recourse to pursue compensation. They can recover reimbursement for injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Coup-contrecoup Injury?

How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Coup-contrecoup Injury?

Recovering from a coup-contrecoup injury is a journey filled with uncertainty and challenges. These complex brain injuries are characterized by damage on the impact and opposite sides of the brain.

Generally, a blunt impact injury can have profound and lasting effects on victims' lives. Still, how long does it take to bounce back from such a traumatic event?

  • Severity of the Injury

The seriousness of the coup-contrecoup injury plays a role in determining the duration of the recovery process. Mild cases may resolve relatively quickly, with symptoms improving within weeks to months.

However, more severe injuries, with extensive brain damage and neurological deficits, can need months or even years of rehabilitation and ongoing medical care.

  • Individual Factors

No two people are alike, and the same holds true for their recovery from coup-contrecoup injuries. Factors such as age, overall health, pre-existing medical conditions, and other injuries can all influence the pace and trajectory of recovery.

Younger victims and those in good health may recover more quickly and effectively than older adults or patients with underlying health issues.

  • Rehabilitation and Therapy

Rehab plays a big role in the recovery process in coup-contrecoup injury cases. Proper treatment helps head injury victims regain lost skills, improve cognitive function, and adapt to any permanent changes resulting from the damage.

Physical, occupational, and speech therapy are essential to rehabilitation and can impact recovery outcomes.

  • Support Network

The support and encouragement of family members, friends, healthcare providers, and rehabilitation specialists can make a world difference in the coup-contrecoup injury recovery journey.

A strong support system provides emotional support and assistance with daily tasks. They also offer encouragement during challenging times, fostering a sense of hope and resilience in the face of adversity.

Recovering from a coup-contrecoup injury also needs patience, persistence, and a steadfast commitment to the rehabilitation process. Progress may be slow and incremental, with setbacks and challenges along the way.

However, maintaining a positive attitude, setting realistic goals, and celebrating small victories can help brain injury victims stay motivated and focused throughout the process.

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to how long it takes to recover from a coup-contrecoup injury. Still, one thing is certain: the road to recovery is a journey filled with ups and downs, challenges and triumphs.

Final Words

Despite the majority of brain injury cases in various traumatic incidents, they often go undetected or misdiagnosed. Early recognition can improve patient outcomes and quality of life.

Motorists must also take proactive measures to prevent accidents in the first place. Bikers and their passengers should wear helmets. On the other hand, drivers must ensure all car occupants have their seat belts fastened properly.

Healing from a contrecoup injury takes time. With perseverance and the right resources, recovery is within reach.

Regarding legal action, the lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help. Stating, "We Go to War for You," these professionals know how to recover compensation from vehicle and slip-and-fall accident lawsuits.


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