Emergency rooms in New Jersey and around the country treat several different types of serious brain injury. Coup injuries affect the part of the brain that was exposed to trauma while contrecoup injures are found opposite to the point of contact. The most serious brain injuries are what are known as coup-contrecoup injuries that affect both sides of the brain. Coup injuries are usually caused by an object striking the head while contrecoup injuries are most often suffered when a moving head strikes a wall, windshield or other stationary object.
While most coup-contrecoup injuries are suffered in accidents such as car crashes, they can also be caused by violent head movements. Babies sometimes suffer such injuries when they are shaken violently. Contrecoup and coup-contrecoup injuries occur when the brain moves and strikes the inside of the skull, but the reason this happens is not fully understood by medical science. It is known that inertia plays a role, and many neurologists believe that the movement of cerebrospinal fluid following head trauma is responsible.
Coup-contrecoup injuries can be debilitating, and the damage they cause is often irreversible. Neurosurgery is frequently required when contecoup and coup-contecoup injuries are treated to remove skull fragments and deal with complications such as bleeding and swelling. Individuals who suffer this kind of brain injury may have trouble remembering facts, balancing or concentrating. They may also face sensory loss, muscle weakness and paralysis.
When representing accident victims who have suffered contrecoup or coup-contrecoup injuries caused by the negligent actions of others, experienced personal injury attorneys may consult with neurologists and other medical experts to determine appropriate damages. This is because these injuries are often life-changing and may require prolonged and expensive medical care. Doctors might help attorneys to determine how much care will be needed and how these injuries will impact their client's ability to work and earn a living.