What Is a Contrecoup Injury?

contrecoup injury
Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham LLC Blog August 22, 2022

What Is a Contrecoup Injury?

According to Johns Hopkins University, a contrecoup injury occurs when the brain jolts backward and hits the skull on the opposite side, which causes bruising. A contrecoup injury is just one type of brain injury that can happen after any kind of accident where the head experiences trauma. The Quad Cities personal injury attorneys at Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham explain what causes contrecoup injuries and how our team can help if you or a loved one have experienced a brain injury due to an accident. 

Types of Coup Brain Injuries 

A coup injury is a type of head injury that results in a bruise on the brain. There are three types of coup injuries: coup, contrecoup, and coup-contrecoup. All three types of coup injuries are closed brain injuries, which means the skull has not broken, shattered, or punctured. These injuries are often confused for one another, despite being very different. 

  • Coup occurs when the area of the brain just below the point of impact has significant damage. Bruises, cuts, contusions, and other surface marks can help identify the area of injury. Trauma can range in severity from moderate to severe, and symptoms might include brain bleeding, brain edema, and bruises. 
  • Contrecoup occurs when there is an injury to the side of the brain opposite the impact site. Rollover accidents and motorcycle accidents frequently result in these injuries. If not diagnosed, these injuries expose sufferers to long-term risks. 
  • Coup-contrecoup is the most severe type of coup injury and causes damage to both sides of the brain. Due to frequent misdiagnosis of coup-contrecoup injuries, one area is frequently treated while the other is left untreated. With coup-contrecoup injuries, there is a very high chance of permanent brain damage.

Causes of Contrecoup Injuries

After a contrecoup injury, you may experience external damage like bleeding or bruises where the impact occurred. The head must be thrown into a stationary object with some force for this kind of injury to happen. 

Contrecoup damage can occur for a variety of reasons, such as:

Symptoms and Treatments of a Contrecoup Injury

Contrecoup injuries are often misdiagnosed. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of a brain injury and see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Symptoms of a contrecoup injury can include: 

  • Noise sensitivity
  • Light sensitivity
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Trouble focusing 
  • Cognitive, motor, sensory, linguistic, and functional impairments
  • Regulation issues
  • Social problems
  • Personality changes 
  • Poor balance
  • Changes in senses
  • Difficulty speaking, reading, or writing
  • Headaches

In severe cases, a coma or vegetative state is a possibility. Brain injuries can worsen over time, so tell your doctor about any new symptoms and monitor your health. 

Prognosis and treatment vary for every injury. Some people recover entirely from contrecoup injuries, while others never do. Brain injuries can cause permanent disability and might require long-term care. Each brain injury’s recovery timeline is unique. Possible treatment options include physical and/or mental rehabilitation, medication, surgery, or a medically induced coma.

What to Do After a Contrecoup Injury

Your life may never be the same after a contrecoup injury, even with treatment. However, if someone’s negligence causes you to suffer a contrecoup or other brain injury, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham understands contrecoup injuries can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating.

After accepting your case, we’ll review the evidence and help select the best legal options. Then, we work to make sure you have options to recover and rebuild after a catastrophic injury. This can cover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, continued care, pain and suffering, diminished earning capacity, and other expenses.

Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham has successfully represented injury victims in Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Whiteside, and Knox counties in Illinois or Scott, Clinton, Muscatine, Cedar, and Jackson counties in Iowa. Contact us today for a free case consultation. You can reach us 24/7 by phone at (309) 794-1515, via LiveChat, or by filling out our contact form

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.