Brain Injury Lawyer

Florida Brain Injury Lawyer

Coup Vs. Contrecoup Brain Injuries

A coup brain injury (pronounced coo), is an injury at the same site as the impact. To be specific, if you are in a car accident and slam the side of your head on the window, then you may su er from a coup brain injury near that same location. A contrecoup brain injury (pronounced con-truh-coo), is an injury that occurs at the opposite side of the impact. So, if you struck the left side of your head on the window during a collision, then your injury would be to the right side of the brain. How does this happen? The brain is the consistency of a firm jelly and moves within the skull, so the initial impact of the left side of the brain striking the window is the first injury and then the movement that happens inside the brain causes the second injury to right side of the brain.

When an impact results in injuries to the initial trauma site and the opposite site as well, this is called a coup-contrecoup injury (pronounced coo-con-truh-coo).

All three of these injuries – coup, contrecoup, and coup-contrecoup are all traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). These brain injuries are non-penetrating and usually the result of some type of heavy blunt force trauma from accidents like a fall, sports injury, car crash, motorcycle crash, etc.

Common Misspellings of these TBIs:

  • conracoo brain injury
  • contracoo
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  • contracoop
  • coo injury
  • coop injury
  • contracoup
  • coo contracoo
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Di erences Between Coup, Contrecoup, and Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries

  • Coup Injuries: These injuries a ect the brain at the site of the impact and trauma can range in severity from mild to severe. There are usually signs, such as cuts, bruises, or contusions that help to identify the location of the injury. Brain swelling, bruising of the brain, and hemorrhaging are all associated with a coup brain injury.
  • Contrecoup Injuries: These injuries a ect the opposite side of the brain where impact occurred. Because of this, these injuries are harder to diagnose or may be overlooked, which can pose long-term risks for those su ering from this type of brain injury. Contrecoup brain injuries are often seen in victims of motorcycle crashes and rollover car accidents.
  • Coup-Contrecoup Injuries: These injuries a ect both the site where the impact happened and the opposite side as well. These injuries are commonly seen in car crash victims who have hit their heads on the steering wheel, window, or dashboard. In many cases, these serious injuries are only diagnosed on one side or misdiagnosed, which poses a real threat of permanent brain damage to victims.

How Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries Happen

These injuries happen when an impact to the skull results in brain damage to two di erent sides of the brain. The following are ways that these injuries can occur:

Car Accidents

Car Accidents - Brain Injury

When a car hits another car or crashes into another object, then the trauma delivered to the brain can cause it to rattle around inside the skull and result in a coup-contrecoup injury. This is commonly seen in whiplash accident victims who strike their heads on a hard surface during a car crash as the result of the impact. The trauma can cause the brain to endure damage at the site of impact as well as the opposite end due to the brain bouncing to the other side of the skull.


Football, baseball, basketball, water sports, and even cycling all contribute to the 1.7 million people who su er from TBIs annually. Falling o of a bike, running into another competitor, being hit by a ball to the head, diving into a shallow end of a pool and striking your head, or being tackled can all lead to dangerous brain injuries, like concussions, coma, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE, and coup-contrecoup injuries.

Cycling Accident - Brain Injury

A concussion is bruising/damage to the brain, so they are often associated with a coup- contrecoup injury. While a concussion is known as a mild TBI, this just means that the injury is not life-threating – it is still a serious injury that can disrupt your life causing vision loss, confusion, unconsciousness, loss of balance, and nausea.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents may lead to your head encountering a hard surface, like the floor or a wall. For example, if you slip on water in a restroom at a restaurant and bang your head on a sink, then the impact could cause your brain to rattle, leading to a coup-contrecoup injury.

Slip and Fall Accidents - Brain Injury

If the negligence of the restaurant or property owner contributed to your slip and fall accident, then you may be able to pursue financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against their insurance company.

Symptoms of a Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury

Coup-contrecoup brain injuries may present certain symptoms within days to weeks following the initial trauma. If you have received a blow to the head for any reason, you should not ignore this injury as it could cause permanent damage to your brain if you choose to ignore it.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Below are various symptoms that are linked to a coup-contrecoup brain injury:

  • Dizziness
  • Loss of memory
  • Severe headaches/migraines
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sensitivity to loud noises
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Loss of vision
  • Ringing in ears
  • Muscle weakness
  • Comprehension language troubles
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Di culty swallowing
  • Paralysis
  • Trouble speaking
  • Di culty making decisions

Treating coup-contrecoup brain injuries can be di cult as often these injuries are irreversible. With that said, these injuries must be dealt with right away to prevent any further or worsening damage from occurring inside the brain. Treatment can range from rest and medications to surgeries to reduce brain bleeding and swelling.

How Can Our Florida Brain Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton Help You?

Our Florida Brain Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have decades of experience handling personal injury accidents, like car crashes, sport-related catastrophes, and slip and fall incidents that may result in traumatic brain injuries. We know what to do to identify who is responsible for your injury, gather necessary evidence to prove their fault, negotiate a fair settlement with insurance parties involved, and even represent your best interests in court when a proper settlement cannot be agreed upon by all parties involved.

We work with medical and financial experts to analyze the full cost of your TBI over the entire course of your life. We truly care about your wellbeing and making sure that you have the money you need to take care of yourself in the present as well as the future.

We urge you to act fast and reach out to us for a free consultation as soon as possible as time can erase critical evidence needed to prove your case and there are statutes of limitations that may apply to your case. Do not hesitate to call us now at 866-608-5529 or contact us online 24/7. Your consultation is always free and there are no up-front fees needed for us to pursue your case. We do not get paid unless you do.

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