How Coup Injuries Can Impact Your Life: Understanding the Long-Term Effects

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a type of brain injury resulting from external force or trauma to the head. Various incidents cause this brain damage, including falls, sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, assaults, or explosions.

TBIs can happen in two ways. A closed head injury occurs in situations when there is a bump, jolt, or blow to the head. Meanwhile, a penetrating injury occurs when a foreign object penetrates the skull.

In 2021, the US recorded more than 69,000 TBI-related deaths. TBIs can affect various groups of people differing in backgrounds and ages. However, 32 percent of TBI-related hospitalizations and 28 percent of TBI-related fatalities are made up of individuals 75 years and older.

Certain groups of individuals are at an increased risk of dying from brain injuries or experiencing health complications after a brain injury. These groups include veterans or service members, ethnic and racial minorities, people living in rural areas, and survivors of intimate partner violence.

Suppose you were harmed from a blunt force trauma to the head. You can pursue legal actions to recover compensation for your injuries. You can file an accident claim or a lawsuit against the negligent party.

Usually, law firms provide free consultations to victims of personal injury. You can take this chance to find a suitable lawyer for your case. Attorneys have experience navigating legal procedures and will guide you in developing the best legal strategy for your case.

Key Takeaways
  • Coup and contrecoup injuries are characterized by the damage inflicted on the skull’s walls upon impact from an external force.
  • Symptoms of brain injuries include persistent headaches, dizziness, difficulty in concentration or memory loss, irregular sleep patterns, and feelings of anxiety.
  • Coup injuries can have long-term effects on a person’s motor, cognitive, communication, and emotional skills.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Different forms of traumatic brain injuries exhibit unique characteristics and underlying mechanisms. The most common head injuries include brain contusions, hemorrhages, and hematomas.

Usually, a head violently striking an object or a foreign object piercing the skull and entering the brain tissue causes these injuries. In addition, these conditions disrupt normal brain functions and can have long-term effects on a patient’s quality of life.

Mild concussion

Concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) are among the most common forms of brain injuries. Reports from the Cleveland Clinic say 75 percent of TBIs annually are concussions

Concussions involve transient changes in consciousness, like feeling “dazed” or experiencing loss of consciousness for up to 30 minutes. People who suffer from mTBI can experience confusion for approximately one day.

A concussion can happen when the head collides with a solid object, like a wall, floor, or person. For instance, the head may strike the steering wheel in a high-speed car accident or a fall. It may cause the brain to jolt forcefully within the skull.

Diffuse axonal injury

Axonal injuries are a severe form of traumatic brain injury. It occurs from rapid acceleration or deceleration forces, which cause extensive tearing or shearing of the brain’s nerve fibers or axons.

Suppose enough of the brain’s nerve fibers are damaged. A nerve cell’s ability to communicate with each other will be significantly impaired, leaving the patient with severe disabilities.

Shaken baby syndrome

Shaken baby syndrome is a condition that damages a child’s brain cells and prevents them from absorbing enough oxygen. It occurs due to forcefully shaking a toddler or infant. It is also referred to as abusive head trauma, inflicted head injury, shaken impact syndrome, or whiplash shaken infant syndrome.

This medical condition is considered child abuse and can result in significant brain damage and sometimes death. It results from the violent shaking motion, which causes the brain to rotate within the skull.

Shaken baby syndrome involves subdural hematomas or bleeding between the brain and its outermost covering. It also includes retinal hemorrhage or bleeding in the retina and diffuse brain swelling.

Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries

The coup-contrecoup mechanism helps explain the underlying patterns of brain injuries. For instance, suppose the head experiences a sudden impact or deceleration. As a result, the brain collides with the skull’s inner walls. Besides the coup injury, the impact also causes a contrecoup injury. 

Coup injury

A coup injury takes place at the site of impact, where the external force is applied to the head. The brain tissue in direct contact with the skull can suffer damage from this type of injury.

Usually, coup injuries occur when a moving object strikes a stationary head. For instance, a punch lands on a boxer’s head in a sports-related collision, such as boxing. The initial impact can cause localized damage and lead to a coup injury.

Contrecoup injury

A contrecoup injury refers to damage at the opposite side of the brain where the point of impact originates. For example, the brain experiences a sudden deceleration or stops abruptly after a crash. It can rebound and strike the opposite side of the skull.

Contrecoup injuries usually happen when a moving head collides with a stationary object. For example, a person slips and hits the back of their head on the ground. The brain can rebound forward and strike the frontal area of the skull. This movement causes contrecoup damage to the brain.

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Symptoms of Coup-Contrecoup Injuries

Symptoms of brain injuries can vary among patients. The timing of their onset can also differ, with some warning signs appearing immediately after the injury and others manifesting hours or days later.

This variability is due to several elements, like the severity and type of the damage, individual differences, and the complex nature of the brain’s response to trauma.


Physical symptoms commonly associated with brain injuries include light and noise sensitivity, dizziness, and balance problems.

Patients with brain injuries may find bright lights, like natural sunlight or artificial lighting, uncomfortable or sometimes painful. They may experience eye discomfort, headaches, or squinting in bright environments.

In addition, they can also be sensitive to loud or repetitive sounds. It can lead to discomfort, anxiety, or pain. For example, suppose a patient is in a crowded environment. The sounds or noises around them can trigger or exacerbate their headaches or cause stress.


Brain injuries usually result in attention or concentration problems and short- or long-term memory issues. These cognitive issues affect a person’s ability to sustain attention, focus, or concentrate on tasks. Similarly, they may struggle to filter out distractions, stay engaged in conversations or activities, or multitask effectively.

For example, a patient may struggle to concentrate while watching a film or reading an essay. They can lose track of the storyline or be easily distracted by external stimuli.

Brain injuries can also disrupt short-term memory, making retaining and recalling recently acquired information or events challenging. They can repeatedly forget conversations or discussions that occurred just a few minutes ago.

Brain damage can also influence long-term memory. It includes difficulty recalling past events, experiences, or personal details. For instance, patients with brain injuries may have trouble remembering significant life events, such as their wedding day or graduation ceremony.

Social or emotional

Brain injuries can significantly impact an individual’s psychological well-being and social interactions. Emotional symptoms include anxiety, irritability, and sadness.

Coup-contrecoup injuries increase feelings of anxiety, causing excessive worry, fear, or a sense of unease. For example, a patient may feel anxious about returning to work or school due to concerns about their cognitive abilities or performance.

Brain injuries can also induce frustration, anger, or impatience. It affects emotional regulation, making individuals more prone to irritability or emotional outbursts. For instance, a patient with a brain injury encountered a minor inconvenience, such as technology malfunctions or changes in routine. They may become easily frustrated, irritable, or impatient.

Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries can significantly affect victims, impacting their physical, cognitive, emotional, and social well-being.

The effects of TBIs can vary based on the severity and location of the injury. Common complications include physical impairments and cognitive challenges. If left untreated, TBIs can lead to an increased risk of secondary brain damage, worsening of symptoms, and delayed recovery.

Thinking and remembering

The frontal lobe controls higher cognitive skills, like planning, attention, behavior, and memory. It can also impair motor control and result in paralysis of voluntary muscle movements.

Suppose a coup-contrecoup injury damages this part of the brain. The patient may experience functional challenges, such as concentration problems, aphasia, problem-solving difficulties, and decision-making problems.

Sensation and perception

The parietal lobe, found behind the frontal lobe, plays a role in processing sensory information. It interprets sensations such as touch and proprioception or your perception of your body’s position in space.

Parietal lobe damage may cause concerns with perception and sensation. Patients with brain injuries may find it challenging to interact with their environment. Symptoms may include numbness, poor hand-eye coordination, loss of direction, and abnormal perception of pain.

Smell and sight

The temporal lobe interprets auditory information and processes smell and sight. Suppose a coup injury damages this area of the brain. The patient may experience hearing loss, memory loss, attention problems, trouble recognizing faces and objects, and changes in emotional behavior.

How To Recover Compensation for Your Injuries

People who have sustained injuries from accidents, including traumatic brain injuries, can pursue various legal options to recover compensation. They can explore remedies like filing a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim depending on their injury’s circumstances.

Insurance claims

Individuals seeking damages for their injuries can file an insurance claim with the negligent party’s insurance company. However, obtaining and keeping track of relevant documentation is crucial to establish the nature and extent of their losses.

For example, patients may need to present medical documentation to prove that they sustained and are suffering from injuries due to the incident. It includes the following:

  • Medical records: Provide copies of medical records, including diagnoses, treatment plans, and documentation of the brain injury and associated symptoms.
  • Hospital bills and invoices: Submit copies of bills and invoices related to hospital stays, surgeries, procedures, medications, and other medical expenses.
  • Diagnosis reports: Turn over imaging reports, such as CT scans or MRI results.
  • Rehabilitation reports: Include reports from therapists, physical or occupational therapists, or speech-language pathologists.


Injured victims can also choose to file a lawsuit to recover damages for their losses. Suppose an insurance company delays or denies their claim without a valid reason. Patients can bring their cases to court and seek compensation through civil litigation.

However, civil litigation can be more time-consuming and expensive than filing a personal injury claim. Lawsuits require court costs, legal fees, and potential expert witness fees and can accumulate over time. Additionally, litigation can be lengthy, taking months or even years to resolve.

Types of Compensation From Personal Injury Claims

Plaintiffs successfully filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit entitles them to receive various compensation for their losses. These damages aim to provide financial recovery and address the different implications of their injuries.

The two categories of compensatory damages are economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are quantifiable financial losses incurred by the patient due to the injury. These damages typically have a clear monetary value and include the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage

On the other hand, non-economic damages compensate the plaintiff for intangible losses that do not have a precise monetary value. This compensation reflects the physical, emotional, and psychological impact of the injury and includes the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

Sometimes, the court can award punitive damages. They are given in exceptional cases where the defendant’s conduct is deemed malicious or intentional. This compensation aims to punish the at-fault party and discourage other people from repeating the same behavior. Moreover, punitive damages are rare and are awarded in addition to compensatory damages.

Did you know?

Traumatic brain injuries are a form of acquired brain injury (ABI). Conversely, there are also non-traumatic brain injuries (NTBIs) caused by internal factors, like exposure to toxins or lack of oxygen. Examples of NBTIs include strokes, aneurysms, and brain tumors.

Avail of a Free Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer

Seeking compensation for injuries is a complex process, especially for health concerns as severe as traumatic brain injuries. This medical condition can have debilitating effects on patients and can drastically alter their future.

Consulting with a personal injury attorney is vital to recover fair compensation and get the justice you deserve. The Personal Injury Center works with experienced lawyers who can help you navigate legal complexities and assess potential damages. 

Working with an attorney increases the chances of pursuing maximum compensation for your injuries and expedites the claims process. Suppose you or a family member is seeking the help of an assertive personal injury lawyer. You can contact The Personal Injury Center to connect you with an experienced attorney.

Get maximum compensation for your injury. Contact The Personal Injury Center to find a reliable attorney for you.

FAQs on Coup Injuries

A neurological exam is the first step to diagnosing a potential traumatic brain injury. In addition, imaging tests such as CT and MRI scans can help medical professionals rule out other brain injuries.

Coup-contrecoup injury treatment varies depending on the severity and impact sites of the brain damage. However, rehabilitative interventions include physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as well as cognitive training.

Yes. In fact, children are at an increased risk of sustaining brain injuries while participating in outdoor activities like roller skating, bike riding, or skateboarding. In addition, children playing sports like soccer, football, and hockey are more prone to concussions.