If you have suffered brain injuries in an accident, you may have been told that they are coup or contrecoup injuries, pronounced “coo” and “contracoo”. Or even coup-contrecoup which is a combination of both. While the terms have meaning they don’t, in themselves, tell you what to expect going forward. Coup and contrecoup brain injuries are contusions, meaning bruising. They can be relatively mild, or very serious injuries involving dangerous bleeding and swelling.
Coup or Contrecoup?
Unless you were already well-versed in brain injury terminology, the words coup and contrecoup probably just sound like noise in the first hours or days after sustaining or learning that a loved one has sustained a brain injury. So first, some clarity on what they do and do not mean.
Coup simply tells you that the bruise is at the site of initial impact. Contrecoup means the bruise is on the opposite side of the brain from the initial site of impact. Both are focal point injuries, meaning the brain took a direct hit, either from a blow to the head or from slamming into the inside of the skull. Coup-contrecoup means the brain is bruised on both sides.
Neither coup, contrecoup, nor coup-contrecoup indicate the severity of the injury. They don’t tell you what region of the brain was harmed, and therefore, they do not tell you what functions may be affected.
If you or someone you love has incurred brain injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, Shaw Cowart LLP can help you recover the compensation you need. Please call us at 512-499-8900 today to schedule your free consultation.