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Contrecoup Brain Injury


Missouri personal injury Specialists

Unlock the complexities of contrecoup brain injury cases to ensure your law firm excels in representing affected clients effectively and securing optimal outcomes.

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What Is a Contrecoup Brain Injury?

A contrecoup brain injury is a closed head injury that can be caused by blunt force trauma to the head. This type of traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain strikes the skull on the opposite side of the point of trauma. A contrecoup injury can also be caused by an acceleration, deceleration or rotation injury. Shaken baby syndrome is one common example of this type of brain injury.

Head trauma can range from a minor concussion to a coma causing a variety of neurological issues that have long-lasting or permanent effects on your life.

Learn how Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien in Missouri can help you seek compensation for your contrecoup injury.

Coup vs. Contrecoup Brain Injuries

The human brain is a well-protected organ. It is protected by the skull, various layers of tissue and cerebrospinal fluid. This means that simple bumps and minor hits to the head typically do not cause severe injury. 

However, blunt force trauma or sudden acceleration can cause contrecoup lesions. During these incidents the brain moves in the opposite direction of the site of impact causing it to hit the skull. 

A coup injury occurs when the brain is injured directly below the point of trauma. A low-speed car accident may lead to a coup injury or impact from a moving object such as a ball.

Coup and contrecoup injuries may occur individually or together, known as a coup-contrecoup brain injury.


What Is a Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury?

Most coup-contrecoup injuries occur when a moving head collides with a stationary object. The coup-contrecoup injury results from the head striking the object causes the brain to bounces back and strike the intracranial cavity on the opposite side of the impact site.

One common cause of a coup-contrecoup brain injury is slip and falls. Your head may hit the floor when you slip and fall. The force and trauma of the strike can make your brain bounce and hit the skull at both the point of impact and the opposite side.

What Is a Contrecoup Brain Injury sec

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What Are the Symptoms of a Contrecoup Brain Injury?

Both coup and contrecoup injuries can affect different parts of the brain. Therefore, brain damage victims experience varying symptoms depending on the injury. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help determine what brain tissue may have been damaged.

Frontal Lobe Damage

The frontal lobe takes up the larger part of the cerebral cortex. It is primarily responsible for major cognitive skills. A contrecoup injury to the frontal lobe may cause:

  • Decision-making problems
  • Impulsivity
  • Poor judgment
  • Memory loss
  • Aphasia (language difficulties)
  • Problem-solving difficulties

These issues can affect day-to-day activities and your relationships. Our Missouri brain injury attorneys can help you seek compensation if you are experiencing symptoms and a decreased quality of life due to a brain injury.

Temporal Lobe Damage

The temporal lobe is located in the lower middle part of the brain. It is responsible for processing auditory information. If a contrecoup injury affects this part of your brain you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Hearing loss
  • Challenges recognizing faces and objects
  • Attention problems
  • Change in emotional behavior

Parietal Lobe Damage

The parietal lobe is responsible for processing sensory information, such as touch, pressure and pain. Parietal lobe damage can make it difficult to interact with your surroundings. A contrecoup injury can cause:

  • Numbness
  • Loss of direction
  • Difficulty reading or writing
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Abnormal perception of pain

Occipital Lobe Damage

This is the area of the brain that processes visual stimuli. A contrecoup injury in this area may cause:

  • Partial blindness
  • Word blindness
  • Decreased peripheral vision
  • Poor attention and visual recognition

You may not function normally if your brain has challenges processing visual stimuli, affecting your quality of life. Talking to personal injury attorneys can help you understand your legal options and right to compensation.

Other Signs and Symptoms

You may also experience these signs as a result of coup-contrecoup brain injuries:

  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea
  • Amnesia/ memory loss
  • Severe headaches
  • Seizures
What Are the Symptoms of a Contrecoup Brain Injury

Confused about personal injury in Missouri? We are here to answer your questions.

Treatment for Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries

You may need various treatment methods depending on the affected part of the brain. Rehabilitation of your injury may require:

  • Cognitive training. A contrecoup injury can affect your cognitive function. Cognitive training may be necessary to help improve your memory, learning and problem-solving skills.
  • Speech therapy. A speech therapist can help you regain lost language skills. You may also need help relearning swallowing skills if you suffered a contrecoup injury.
  • Physical therapy. A physical therapist can help improve deterioration of gross motor skills. They will use targeted exercises to restore motor control if it was affected by a traumatic brain injury.
  • Occupational therapy. An occupational therapist can help you function independently. They can teach you new ways of completing daily tasks and improve fine motor skills.

Long-term Effects and Distinction from Other Brain Injuries

Contrecoup brain injuries, often resulting from severe traumatic brain injuries due to motor vehicle accidents or blunt impact injury, can lead to significant long-term effects.

These injuries usually occur when a stationary head experiences negative pressure, causing brain movement within the skull. Sufferers may face persistent cognitive challenges, such as memory impairment and slowed processing, often linked to damage in the temporal lobe.

The prognosis for individuals with contrecoup injuries, especially when compared to mild traumatic brain injuries, is generally more severe, with many experiencing chronic headaches, dizziness, and motor function impairments.

The diffuse nature of coup contrecoup injury affects a larger brain area, leading to a broad spectrum of neurological and cognitive deficits.

In the acute phase, the symptoms of a contrecoup brain injury might be similar to other TBIs, but the long-term trajectory can include more pronounced mental anguish and physical disabilities.

This necessitates comprehensive and ongoing rehabilitation, highlighting the importance of a skilled personal injury lawyer to navigate coup contrecoup injury claims effectively.

Car accidents are a frequent cause of contrecoup injuries, emphasizing the need for legal expertise in addressing the complex aftermath of such incidents.

The distinction between contrecoup and other types of TBIs, like concussions or isolated coup injuries, lies in the widespread brain damage and more severe long-term impact associated with contrecoup injuries.

For legal professionals, understanding these differences is vital in advocating for clients.

They must consider the extensive nature of a severe traumatic brain injury when pursuing a coup contrecoup injury claim, ensuring that compensation reflects the injury’s profound effect on the victim’s quality of life and ability to work.


When a contrecoup injury occurs it can have life-altering and devastating implications. Treatments and lifestyle changes require an investment of both time and money and you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injury. A Missouri personal injury lawyer can help you receive compensation for a coup, contrecoup or coup-contrecoup injury.

Have you or a loved one suffered a contrecoup brain injury? Contact Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien today for the legal representation you need.


What are the Most Common Head Injuries?

Accidents may cause traumatic brain injuries such as concussions, skull fractures and epidural hematomas. It is vital to seek medical attention after a head injury, even if you do not immediately feel any symptoms.

What are the Signs of Head Injury?

Head injuries may be external and internal. After a blow to the head, you may feel dizzy, fall unconscious or suffer from memory loss. Additionally, blood or a clear liquid coming out of ears and nose are signs of a serious injury.

How Can You Prevent a Brain Injury?

Following helmet laws and road safety rules can help prevent contrecoup and coup injuries.

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