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New York City Brain Injury Lawyer

There are perhaps no injuries more severe than traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). They have a profound, permanent impact on someone’s life, requiring long-term care, potentially permanent assistance, and a complete change to his or her quality of life.

At Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath, Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C., we are committed to helping those who have been seriously injured to due to the negligence of another. Suffering a TBI through no fault of your own can be a devastating event, but we can help you seek compensation and justice. If you have suffered a brain injury or TBI in an accident, please contact us today to discuss your options for compensation during this difficult time.

Why Choose Us?

Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath, Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. is committed to seeking justice for those who have been wrongfully injured in New York City.

  • Our firm has over 75 years of experience helping residents of New York City in all personal injury matters, including traumatic brain injuries.
  • We have a reputation for success and results, securing more than $2 billion total in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients.
  • We are committed to fighting for the wellbeing and justice of our most vulnerable members of society. Some of our most notable past clients includes those injured at the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and rescue and recovery workers from the 9/11 attacks.
  • We represent all clients on a contingency fee basis. We do not charge any upfront costs, and you are only obligated to pay legal fees if we secure a favorable verdict or settlement recovery on your behalf.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another, it is crucial to seek representation to help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Traumatic brain injuries are incredibly serious injuries that may require intense recovery and hospitalization. Through this period of healing, pursuing a claim against the responsible parties may be the last thing on your mind. An attorney can help file a claim on your behalf to ensure you are able to pursue the compensation you are entitled to.

Additionally, even after healing, injured traumatic brain injury victims often suffer permanent impairments that can significantly impact their life – including their career, family, and life-long medical costs. An attorney can help determine the full value of your claim so that you receive the maximum possible compensation necessary to help support any current and future expenses that you may incur as a direct result of your injury.

Further, because a traumatic brain injury is so serious, any legal representation or insurance providers of the at-fault party will fight hard to prevent a large payout or settlement – often aggressively litigating against the compensation you need in your life. A lawyer provides the help and support necessary to ensure these aggressive efforts are met with equally strong negotiations to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation.

Ultimately, an attorney is your trusted legal advocate and counsel during a time when it may feel like nobody else is providing you the support necessary to seek compensation and justice.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury is a disruption to the normal function of your brain that is suffered due to some sort of physical trauma due to an external force. This commonly occurs with bumps or blows to head, but it can also occur as a result of a sudden, severe jolt to the head.

Depending on the circumstances of the accident, traumatic brain injuries can range from mild to severe.

What are Some Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Regardless of the severity of the injury, symptoms of traumatic brain injuries typically fall into four distinct categories.


Those who suffer brain injuries often have difficulties thinking or remembering certain things. Some common symptoms in this category include:

  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating on one task
  • Issues with memory and difficulty remembering information

Additionally, some victims may feel like their thought processes are slowed down, as if it takes longer to process thoughts and things that are said to them.


These symptoms often surface in the form of intense headaches, but TBI victims can also experience:

  • Fuzzy, blurry, or otherwise obscured vision
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Extreme sensitivity to noise and/or light
  • Having issues with balance or walking properly
  • Sudden drain of energy


TBI victims often have wide swings in mood and general disposition. This can include:

  • Irritability
  • Sudden aggressiveness with no apparent cause
  • Sadness or depression
  • Anxiety or general nervousness
  • Sudden moodswings


Those who suffer a brain injury may also develop issues with sleep. Some may sleep more than usual – and others may sleep considerably less than usual. Still others may simply have trouble falling asleep.

It is important to note that these symptoms often do not surface right away. If a TBI is left untreated, these symptoms may develop weeks or even months after the injury/accident. Additionally, some who suffer a traumatic brain injury may be unaware that they are not acting or feeling normal, looking normal to others.

What are Some Warning Signs of Traumatic Brain Injuries?

If you believe someone has suffered a traumatic brain injury, seek immediate medical attention if they exhibit any of the following symptoms:

  • A persistent headache that does not go away
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Have one pupil that is dilated and/or larger than the other
  • Suffer convulsions or seizures
  • Is unaware of their surroundings and is getting increasingly more confused
  • Lose consciousness

These can be a sign of a complication following a traumatic brain injury, such as a blood clot that restricts blood flow and oxygen to the brain.

Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are most commonly caused by a blow to the head from a serious accident. This blow can be caused by:

In some cases, traumatic brain injuries can be caused due to the resultant force of a jolt to the neck or head. The most common case of this is whiplash, in which the sudden forces of a collision in a motor vehicle accident cause your neck (and your head) to whip violently back and forth. Sometimes, this can cause the brain to violently bump inside of your skull, causing an injury.

What Are the Different Types of Brain Injury?

Traumatic Brain Injuries are typically categorized into five distinct types:


Concussions are the most common type of traumatic brain injury. Also known as “mild traumatic brain injuries,” concussions occur due to a blow to your head that results in the brain shaking in place. At one point, concussions were considered mild injuries that had little lasting damage after a full recovery. However, recent findings are showing that even mild concussions have the potential to leave lasting, permanent effects on a person’s life – including an increased susceptibility to suffering more concussions. Repeated concussions, no matter how mild, have been shown to cause severe brain damage that can permanently alter one’s normal brain function and cause severe emotional and psychological issues.


A contusion is a bruise on the brain, a slight bleeding of the brain. Caused by sudden impacts to the head, these often occur in conjunction with concussions. Although contusions generally heal on their own, they may require surgery if they are particularly large and do not stop bleeding on their own.


A coup-contrecoup injury occurs when the brain slams into the skull on the opposite side of the initial impact. This results in damage to the impact site, as well as the side that the brain impacted the skull. These injuries often occur in significant, severe impacts and accidents, as it takes a considerable amount of force to cause the brain the hit the opposite side of the skull.

Diffuse Axonal

A diffuse axonal injury occurs due to extreme rotation or shaking of the head. The sudden rotational forces causes the skull to move, but not the brain – resulting in extensive tearing of brain and nerve tissue and serious brain damage. “Shaken baby syndrome” is due to a diffuse axonal injury, and can result in serious, permanent impairments in cognitive and motor function.


A penetrating brain injury often occurs in assaults, where a knife, bullet, or other object penetrates the skull and damages the brain. Due to the resultant brain loss and increased chance of serious brain damage, these can often be fatal. In fact, firearms are the largest single cause of death from traumatic brain injury.

What Damages Can I Recover?

Typically, someone who has suffered a serious injury can expect to recover:

  • Medical expenses. This includes any immediate medical bills and emergency care, along with any future expenses you may incur due to your injury. For example, follow-up appointments, necessary surgeries, rehabilitation and therapy costs.
  • Lost wages. Any income and/or revenue you may have lost due to spending time in the hospital. Additionally, due to the severity of a TBI, you may be eligible for damages for future earning capacity – any wages you may have made in the future were you not injured.
  • Any property damage.
  • Any pain and suffering experienced as a result of the injury.
  • Any loss of enjoyment of your life due to your traumatic brain injury.

The exact amount of damages is hard to discern due to the unique circumstances surrounding each case. A variety of factors will be considered before determining how much you will recover in a traumatic brain injury claim.

In cases where egregious negligence or carelessness occurred, the court may also reward punitive damages in your favor. These are awarded as a form of punishment to the at-fault party for being especially negligent in your case. Additionally, punitive damages also serve as a deterrent to prevent parties from engaging in the same negligent actions again.

How Long Do I Have to File a TBI Claim in New York State?

It is important to note that New York has a strict statute of limitations on personal injury claims such as brain injury lawsuits. This is a time limit in which you are allowed to file a valid lawsuit against the at-fault party; failure to file within this time limit means you may not able to secure compensation for your injuries.

In New York, those who have been injured due to negligence have three years from the date of the injury/accident to file a claim against the at-fault party. However, some circumstances may either extend or limit this time limit. For example, some types of personal injury claims (such as medical malpractice claims) may have a limited “discovery rule” – an exception to the statute of limitations that starts the time limit from the first time an injury is discovered. Regarding these details, it is best to consult an experienced attorney if you have any questions.

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another party, please contact us immediately to discuss your case. We are committed to providing assistance to those in need, and we want to help you seek the compensation you need and the justice you deserve.

Schedule a free initial consultation with us today and see how we can help.