Baltimore accident attorneys

What is a Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury?

Coup-contrecoup injuries are some of the most severe brain injuries, as they affect two areas of the brain. Understanding what coup-contrecoup injuries are, and how to recover compensation after sustaining one, is crucial for victims.

Coup-contrecoup brain injuries occur in two parts. First, there is an initial impact on one area of the head, causing the brain to move forward and hit the skull. The brain is then pushed backwards and hits the skull again, resulting in brain damage in two opposite areas. Symptoms can vary drastically depending on the damage sites, making it often difficult for victims to identify a coup-contrecoup injury. That’s why going to the hospital after sustaining a head injury is crucial. Coup-contrecoup injury victims should also hire an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled lawyer can help you recover compensatory damages after a coup-contrecoup caused by a negligent party.

We’re dedicated to helping coup-contrecoup brain injury victims get the justice they deserve. To learn more about the Baltimore brain injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras, call today at (410) 694-7291.

What Are Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries?

Coup-contrecoup brain injuries are a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can be especially devastating. Such an injury involves damage to two brain areas, making it incredibly serious and often life-altering for those who sustain one.

The phrase coup-contrecoup is French for blow-counterblow. It’s used to describe a TBI that involves two injuries: one at the initial impact site and another on the other side of the brain. Essentially, when a person sustains a coup-contrecoup injury, the impact from a blow is strong enough to cause the brain to move forward and hit the skull once, then move backwards and hit the skull in the opposite location, or vice versa. This means that there is damage at the specific point of impact and damage on the exact opposite side of the brain.

Some traumatic brain injuries are coup injuries, while others are contrecoup injuries, meaning brain damage was only sustained in one area. For a TBI to be a coup-contrecoup injury, damage occurs on opposite sides of the brain and is initiated by the same blow.

Although coup-contrecoup are generally serious, injuries may not be immediately apparent to victims. If another’s negligent actions caused you to sustain a coup-contrecoup brain injury, visit the hospital immediately. Then, reach out to an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer to learn about your options for compensation.

What Are Common Causes of Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries?

Often, coup-contrecoup injuries are caused by blunt force trauma or impact with a stationary object. Because of the specific nature of these injuries, coup-contrecoup brain injuries tend to occur in specific situations.

Coup-contrecoup brain injuries are a specific type of TBI that can only be sustained in certain circumstances. Vehicle accidents, falls, assaults, and blunt force trauma are common causes of coup-contrecoup injuries.

Coup-contrecoup injuries are often caused by the quick acceleration and deceleration of the brain. That is why car accidents are a common cause of coup-contrecoup brain injuries. For example, suppose your vehicle is hit at a high-speed head-on. The quick push forward, coupled with the impact of a steering wheel or dashboard, can cause a front coup injury and a back contrecoup injury. Depending on the circumstances of an accident, victims may sustain coup-contrecoup injuries in different areas.

Falls or blunt force trauma are also common causes of coup-contrecoup injuries. When the head impacts a stationary object quickly, like the ground, it can cause coup-contrecoup brain injuries. Blunt force trauma can have a similar effect, resulting in a life-altering TBI.

Such severe brain injuries are often the result of negligence. If you are unsure whether another party’s actions caused your coup-contrecoup, consult a brain injury lawyer. A skilled attorney can investigate the circumstances of your injuries and identify the at-fault party.

What Are Common Signs of Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries?

Although coup-contrecoup brain injuries can cause serious damage, it can sometimes be difficult for victims to identify these injuries. Therefore, it can be helpful to learn the signs and symptoms of a coup-contrecoup injury so that you can get the medical care you need as soon as possible.

Depending on the sites of your coup-contrecoup injury, you may experience different symptoms. For example, suppose damage was done to your frontal lobe. In that case, you may notice memory loss, poor judgment, and behavioral changes. If damage is done to your frontal lobe, your occipital lobe may also be affected by a coup-contrecoup injury. If so, you may experience partial blindness or visual hallucinations.

Damage to the temporal lobe can cause hearing loss and difficulty speaking, while damage to the parietal lobe can cause numbness and increased pain. Headaches, nausea, seizures, and dizziness can also indicate a coup-contrecoup brain injury.

Since coup-contrecoup injury symptoms can differ based on the initial impact location and its direct opposite location, victims have found it challenging to identify signs of a TBI properly. If you notice differences in your abilities, mood, or comfort following a head injury, seek medical attention. While understanding possible signs and symptoms can help, coup-contrecoup brain injuries don’t always present in the same ways. So, it’s wise to go to the hospital after any accident, even if you don’t suspect a coup-contrecoup injury.

Unfortunately, coup-contrecoup injuries can be misdiagnosed, as medical professionals may only identify one damage site. To prevent that from happening, be sure to explain your symptoms and the circumstances of your accident to a doctor.

Statistics on Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.5 million people experience a traumatic brain injury annually in the United States. In fact, the CDC concludes that injuries involving coup-contrecoup contribute to about 30% of all injury deaths in the U.S. Another study concluded that coup and contrecoup injuries are found in 20-30% of severe head injuries.

What these statistics show is that coup-contrecoup are incredibly common. Furthermore, these types of injuries can be incredibly debilitating and lead to death if left untreated. If you have experienced recent head trauma, there is a very good chance that you could have coup-contrecoup injuries.

What Should You Do After Sustaining a Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury?

Head injuries are often incredibly serious. Any impact to the head is reason enough to visit the hospital, even if you appear uninjured. Therefore, it is crucial for victims to seek medical attention immediately after sustaining a coup-contrecoup brain injury. Then, call an attorney to learn about your options for recovering compensation.

After sustaining a head injury, go to the hospital. Since coup-contrecoup injuries can be devastating, it is crucial that victims get assessed by a medical professional right away. Some coup-contrecoup brain injuries can result in death, especially if swelling and bleeding in the brain go untreated for too long.

After an initial visit with a doctor, it is crucial that you maintain continuous treatment. When coup-contrecoup injuries are not addressed quickly and thoroughly, the chances of recovery can decrease.

Coup-contrecoup brain injury victims should also hire an attorney after an accident. Often, these serious injuries are the result of another person’s negligence. Your brain injury lawyer can investigate your accident and help you learn your potential paths to compensation.

An experienced attorney can also inform you of the crucial next steps. For example, if a negligent driver caused your injuries, you should inform the police immediately. Or, suppose a negligent landlord failed to maintain common areas, causing you to fall and sustain a coup-contrecoup injury. In that case, your Ocean City personal injury lawyer will help you properly report your injuries and inform the necessary parties to document your coup-contrecoup injuries adequately.

Are There Treatments for Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries?

Depending on the severity of your coup-contrecoup brain injury, recovery may be possible. That said, the medical treatments and rehabilitation tactics necessary for recovery can become expensive quickly. Therefore, coup-contrecoup brain injury victims should learn what treatments they may need to recover after an accident.

Generally, rehabilitation for coup-contrecoup injuries can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and cognitive training. Which treatments you require will differ based on the damage sites.

For example, suppose one of your brain damage locations is the frontal lobe. In that case, physical therapy may be necessary to relearn certain movements, like fine motor skills. The frontal lobe and the temporal lobe control speech, meaning speech therapy may be necessary to help you recover from a coup-contrecoup injury.

Cognitive training may also be vital to help you learn to be self-sufficient after sustaining a serious coup-contrecoup injury. This form of therapy can help coup-contrecoup brain injury victims improve memory and problem-solving abilities.

Unfortunately, a full recovery may be impossible for some coup-contrecoup brain injury victims. Medical intervention may not be enough if a coup-contrecoup injury causes you to lose your eyesight or hearing. Other side effects, like memory loss, can also be permanent. While therapy is often required for years after a coup-contrecoup brain injury, it is not guaranteed to result in a full recovery. Coup-contrecoup brain injuries can cause bleeding or swelling, which may require emergency surgery. Generally speaking, all of these treatments are expensive.

How Can You Recover Compensation After a Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury?

Since coup-contrecoup injuries are often so severe, victims generally require compensation. You might wish to collect payment if a negligent party caused your injuries. Before you can do so, it is important to learn your options.

Depending on the circumstances of your coup-contrecoup injury accident, and the state you live in, you may be able to file an insurance claim for compensatory damages. While that may initially appear appealing to victims, it may not be as fruitful as anticipated.

Insurance companies are generally hesitant to offer victims an adequate settlement amount. Furthermore, insurance companies rarely compensate victims for pain and suffering, which is often vital after victims sustain a coup-contrecoup brain injury. In addition, filing an insurance claim may not be an option, depending on the cause of your injuries.

Regardless, bringing a personal injury claim is generally the best way for victims to recover damages after a coup-contrecoup brain injury accident. This is especially true when victims hire an experienced Pasadena personal injury lawyer to represent them.

When victims file an insurance claim and accept a settlement, they can lose their opportunity to recover greater damages in a lawsuit. While exploring the potential of an insurance claim may be appropriate depending on your specific accident, filing a coup-contrecoup brain injury lawsuit is often more fruitful for victims.

Determining Liability for Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries

The liability for coup-contrecoup injuries largely depends on the circumstances surrounding the incident that caused the injury. For instance, if the injury occurred in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, that driver could be held liable. This could also extend to a trucking company if a commercial vehicle was involved or even a municipality if poor road conditions contributed to the accident.

Employers could also be held responsible if the injury happened at work, especially if they failed to provide adequate safety measures or violated Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Further, property owners could be held liable if a slip and fall on their premises led to the injury, particularly if they were aware of, or should have been aware of, a hazardous condition and failed to address it.

In cases where an injury is caused by a defective product, like a malfunctioning helmet or faulty car airbag, the manufacturer could be held responsible. In rare situations where a medical professional’s negligence during treatment results in a coup-contrecoup injury, they could also potentially be held liable.

Proving Negligence in a Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury Lawsuit

In order to receive compensation for coup-contrecoup brain injuries, it is necessary to prove four elements of negligence in a lawsuit. The first step is to establish that the defendant had a legal obligation to act in a specific manner toward the injured person. For instance, drivers are required to follow traffic regulations and drive safely.

Next, you must show that the defendant failed to fulfill their duty of care. This could be shown by proving the driver was speeding, intoxicated, or otherwise acting recklessly at the time of the accident that caused the injury.

To prove causation of your coup-contrecoup brain injury, it is necessary to establish that the defendant’s breach directly caused it. Medical records and expert testimonies are often critical in establishing this link. This means showing that your injuries were not the result of another accident or condition. In most cases, the defense will try to argue that your coup-contrecoup injuries were not caused by the incident in question, but something that resulted from a previous accident. This is why expert testimony is usually required to show that your injuries are the result of the accident in question.

Finally, you must be able to show that you suffered losses, known as damages, as a result of the injury. These can be economic, such as medical expenses and lost wages, or non-economic, like pain and suffering.

How Long Do You Have to File a Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury Lawsuit?

Although coup-contrecoup injuries are considered serious TBIs, victims generally do not have a long time to sue a negligent party. Depending on the state where an incident occurred, coup-contrecoup injury victims may only have a few years to hold a defendant accountable in a lawsuit.

The statute of limitations for filing a coup-contrecoup brain injury lawsuit varies from state to state. That said, the average length of time victims have to file a lawsuit is two to three years. At first glance, this may seem like a sufficient amount of time. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Coup-contrecoup brain injury victims may be so preoccupied with treatment and rehabilitation that they don’t realize years have passed since an accident. However, the need to file a lawsuit can become clear as hospital bills and lost wages begin to take a toll on your financial stability.

Instead of becoming bogged down by expenses after a coup-contrecoup, it’s best to act fast. For the best chance at a successful lawsuit, victims should hire a brain injury lawyer right away. Your attorney can begin working on your case immediately, gathering evidence to support your claim and prove a negligent party’s fault. Unfortunately, the longer victims wait to sue, the less significant their coup-contrecoup brain injuries can appear.

Damages in a Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury Lawsuit

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, and the state you live in, you may be able to recover substantial compensatory damages in a lawsuit against a negligent party. The likelihood of recovery only increases when victims have a skilled Frederick injury lawyer by their side.

Often, coup-contrecoup injury victims can at the very least recover economic damages against a negligent party in a lawsuit. That said, it’s still important to hire a brain injury lawyer to prove a defendant’s fault. Economic damages attempt to compensate victims for the financial impact a negligent party’s actions have had on their lives. For coup-contrecoup brain injury victims, that can refer to rehabilitative therapies, medical treatment, and lost wages.

Victims may also be able to recover non-economic damages in a coup-contrecoup brain injury lawsuit. These damages try to compensate coup-contrecoup injury victims for the emotional impact a negligent party’s actions have had on their lives. This includes things like pain and suffering and reduced quality of life.

However, it’s important to note that some states have comparative or contributory negligence laws that impact a victim’s ability to recover damages. Remember, civil suits can vary from state to state, so it’s important to confer with your attorney, so you know what to expect from your coup-contrecoup brain injury lawsuit.

Medical Care

In cases of coup-contrecoup, a considerable portion of the damages consists of medical expenses. These expenses comprise immediate costs like hospital bills, surgeries, and medication. Furthermore, long-term medical expenses are incorporated, such as ongoing physical therapy, occupational therapy, or any potential future surgeries required by the child due to their condition. It is important to consider the long-term implications of coup-contrecoup injuries. Victims might experience symptoms for years after their initial injuries. Thus, your medical damages should compensate for the future issues presented by your condition.

Lost Income

When seeking damages, compensation for lost wages is an important consideration. If your injuries result in a permanent disability that prevents you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. For example, if your physical impairment limits your ability to pursue certain careers, the expected income loss from those jobs would be factored into the damages. Furthermore, if you had to take time off or request special accommodations from your employer to tend to the consequences of your condition, claiming lost wages will be necessary. You can also claim any lost future earning capacity if your coup-contrecoup injuries prevent you from doing the work you enjoyed before your accident.

Non-Economic Damages

When someone develops coup-contrecoup, they often experience physical pain and emotional distress as a result. These symptoms typically include discomfort, anxiety, depression, and a decrease in life satisfaction. These are referred to as pain and suffering or non-economic damages and are considered when determining compensation. For instance, if you experience chronic pain or anxiety as a result of the impact of coup-contrecoup, these factors could affect the amount awarded for non-economic damages.

Our Attorneys Can Help You File a Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury Lawsuit Today

If a negligent party’s actions caused your coup-contrecoup brain injury, our attorneys can help. To learn more about the Easton personal injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras, call today at (410) 694-7291.