A coup-contrecoup injury causes damage to two sides of the brainCoup-contrecoup brain injuries occur when there is damage to both sides of the brain. Typically, this occurs when there is a direct impact to one side of the brain that occurs with enough force to push the brain against the skull on the opposite side. It could occur, for example, when a person’s head hits the dashboard in a car crash or the pavement in a slip and fall incident.

Symptoms of Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries

As with other types of traumatic brain injuries, the symptoms of coup-contrecoup brain injuries depend on the specific areas of the brain that were hurt in the accident. Some symptoms of coup-contrecoup injuries include:

  • Headaches.
  • Language or speech problems.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Difficulty making decisions.
  • Memory problems.
  • Difficulty with balance or coordination.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Problems with vision, hearing, or other senses.

Since some brain injuries do not present with obvious symptoms or may have delayed symptoms, it is important to seek a medical evaluation any time that you hit your head hard or you are involved in a serious accident.

Treatment for Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries

If there is no bleeding or swelling in the brain, then treatment for a coup-contrecoup brain injury may focus on:

  • Rest.
  • Observation, particularly to make sure that there is no bleeding, no swelling, and that pressure remains stable within the brain.
  • Pain and symptom management.
  • Rehabilitation therapies.

If there is bleeding or swelling in the brain, then medication or surgery may also be required. These treatments may result in significant time off work and medical expenses.

What to Do If You’ve Suffered a Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury

It is important to follow your doctor’s orders so that you can recover as completely as possible from your brain injury. At the same time, it is important to protect your legal and financial recovery. If someone else caused the accident that resulted in your brain injury, then it is important to take action. You may be able to recover for your past, current, and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain, suffering, and other damages if you pursue an insurance claim or court case. For more information about how to protect your rights and your future recovery, please contact us today for a free consultation.


Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.