Traumatic accidents in Virginia sometimes result in brain injuries as a person’s brain strikes the inside of their skull. These injuries are called coup injuries when they only affect one side of the brain, and coup-countrecoup injuries when they affect both sides.
Coup-contrecoup injuries are more severe
Coup brain injuries are injuries to the side of the brain that was the direct site of a trauma. For example, if you fall and strike the left side of your head on pavement, you will have a coup injury on the left side of your brain. As long as the fall you experienced wasn’t too hard, you may only have one injury.
If you have a particularly hard fall, however, your brain will hit one side of your skull and then ricochet to hit the opposite side as well. This is a coup-contrecoup injury. The second injury, when your brain struck the opposite side of your skull, is the countercoup injury.
How do you know if your brain injury is coup-contrecoup?
Usually, it is assumed that a hard impact will cause a coup-contrecoup brain injury. If there was no impact to your skull and your brain injury was only caused by an intense acceleration or deceleration, you may only have a coup injury. Some doctors will recommend brain imaging to determine the extent of your brain injuries.
There are also physical signs that can indicate how bad your brain injury was. If you lost consciousness during your accident, this is often a sign of a severe brain injury. The length of time it takes you to recover is also an indication of how severe it was.