A motor vehicle crash is one of the most common ways a victim can sustain multiple personal injuries from just one impact. The victim can experience a fracture to the hand, shoulder, and thigh all at the same time. The force of impact from that single crash could also be massive that it causes traumatic brain injury. According to CDC’s TBI data reports, motor vehicle crash is one of the leading contributors to traumatic brain injury (TBI). In some cases, the impact of a motor vehicle crash could be severe that it causes multiple traumatic brain injuries. An example of more than one type of traumatic brain injury that can happen simultaneously is the coup-contrecoup brain injury.
What is Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury?
The term “coup” and “contrecoup” are two different French words that signify “blow” and “counterblow,” respectively. They are being used to define a type of TBI solely because a single force of impact can lead to both kinds.
Coup brain injury can happen to a victim independently without the victim experiencing a contrecoup brain injury and vice versa. However, when it both happens from one force of impact, it can be referred to as coup-contrecoup brain injury.
A coup-contrecoup brain injury is a type of closed head injury that happens when a force of impact causes brain damage directly under the point of impact as well as opposite the point of impact.
Simply put, it refers to a condition where a force of impact hits one side of the skull, causing the brain to bounce back and cause damage to the opposite part of the brain.
Like other types of brain injury, coup-contrecoup brain injury can cause contusions, hemorrhages in the brain, memory loss, etc.
This type of brain injury is a focal brain injury as it impacts only a specific part of the brain rather than the entire brain. The damage from the impact is in the frontal lobe (coup injury) and the occipital lobe (contrecoup injury).
Causes of Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury
Coup-contrecoup brain injury isn’t only sustained from a motor vehicle crash; it can also result from a fall.
An example is the case of Christus St. Mary Hosp. v. O’BANION. In this case, a neurologist testified that O’Banion fell with enough force to cause a coup-contrecoup brain injury.
Also, a workplace injury can cause this type of TBI. An example is the case of Sabillon v. Max Specialty Ins. Co.
In this case, the plaintiff suffered severe injury to the head while working in a warehouse. The load fell off a forklift and struck a piece of lumber, which became airborne and struck the plaintiff in the head.
The Impact of Coup-Contrecoup Injury Animation In Court
The brain is one of the most complex organs in the human body system. It requires deep expertise to decipher how it functions, and ongoing research is still seeking to understand how this organ works fully.
An injury to this organ can be difficult to understand, and it’s even worse when there is no visible penetration through the skull. Such closed head injuries may be challenging to explain to a layman and the jury in a court setting.
For example, explaining a coup-contrecoup injury with mere words of mouth can be difficult as it will be questionable how an impact on one part of an organ can cause damage to its opposite part.
However, with an animation, an attorney can clearly illustrate how the force of impact made the brain, floating in a bath of cerebrospinal fluid, hit the front part of the skull and bounce back, causing a resultant impact on the opposite side.
An animation can also show the effects of a coup-contrecoup brain injury like a contusion, hemorrhage, etc.
In conclusion, a coup-contrecoup brain injury is a medical animation that can serve as a visual legal strategy an attorney can seek to use in a court case. However, it’s imperative that the attorney works with an expert witness and an experienced legal animation company to create an animation that will clearly illustrate all the complexities associated with the brain and a coup-contrecoup brain injury.