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A traumatic brain injury (TBI) often causes many ongoing problems for the sufferer. Anxiety and TBI often go hand in hand. Emotional changes like anxiety, depression, and mood swings are very common after a TBI. These types of alterations can cause major disruptions in the life and family of an accident victim.

The brain and nervous system are very complicated, and even a minor TBI can lead to dramatic shifts in a person’s emotions and personality. The symptoms you are likely to experience after sustaining a traumatic brain injury depend on the nature of the injury and which part of the brain was damaged.

People who suffer a TBI do not always realize they sustained brain damage. The nature of the injury may not initially show up on tests. This is part of the reason TBI is called “The Silent Injury.” However, subtle changes in mood and behavior can indicate a TBI. This is why it’s important to obtain follow-up treatment after any type of suspected brain injury. 

Woman sitting anxiously twisting her hands

Can a Brain Injury Cause Anxiety?

A common question is, “Can a brain injury cause anxiety?” Although the symptoms of many TBIs clear up, research has pointed to psychiatric and emotional disorders reoccurring years after the initial blow.

A report in The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation studied people with TBIs more than five years after they sustained their injuries. As many as 38% of the sample reported anxiety five years after the injury. Depression was the most common symptom, affecting 45% of the sample. The researchers found a high incidence of psychiatric disorders in the sample 5.5 years after the initial injury.

Anxiety and traumatic brain injury often occur together. There are plenty of overlapping symptoms that can make life harder for a TBI sufferer. These include:

  • Confused thoughts
  • Extreme lows or highs in moods
  • Excessive worry or fear
  • Drastic changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Social withdrawal
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling unable to cope with daily tasks or responsibilities
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

Many people with traumatic brain injuries also experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and anxiety.

There are often difficulties involved in detecting brain injuries or concussions, as they often don’t appear on scans or x-rays. Because of this, you should seek immediate medical attention and thorough follow-up examinations if you’ve been in any type of accident where you sustained a blow to your head. These types of accidents can include: 

Regardless of the cause of the TBI, the resulting anxiety can present various hardships and difficulties for the victim. 

Challenges Caused By TBI-Related Anxiety

Extreme anxiety is very serious. It can cripple your life and make it hard to function. Brain injury victims often struggle with daily tasks, and anxiety conditions can complicate matters even further. They can feel overwhelmed, especially when too much is asked of them.

Anxiety is not only emotionally crippling — it can impact your physical health as well. The American Psychological Association (APA) states that along with feelings of tension and worried thoughts, sufferers often experience physical changes like elevated blood pressure.

Anxiety resulting from TBI can interfere with a person’s:

  • Ability to perform everyday tasks
  • Enjoyment of recreational activities and hobbies
  • Work output, productivity, and quality 
  • Social interactions with friends and loved ones
  • Overall sense of well-being and capability

Anxious middle aged-man sitting on couch and thinking

Coping with Anxiety as a TBI Victim

Anxiety can be a challenge that TBI victims must deal with over long stretches of time. Professional medical and psychiatric treatment is often necessary. Initial medical treatment after a brain injury is extremely important, as are regular follow-ups after the accident. This is highly recommended even if the victim is not experiencing any immediate changes or symptoms.

To help deal with anxiety and other similar issues, TBI sufferers are encouraged to:

  • Act as soon as possible to get the help needed
  • Avoid high-stress situations, such as those involving large crowds or loud children
  • Ask for accommodations if in a stressful job
  • Make lists and break tasks down into smaller, manageable portions
  • Pace themselves when approaching new activities or situations
  • Look for hobbies and pastimes that are calming
  • Seek regular follow-ups, counseling, and therapy
  • Be open to help from family members and friends

Anxiety can be treated through courses of psychotherapy by a trained professional and drugs.  A study found that TBI was linked to a high risk for developing psychiatric disorders. It also showed that post-TBI rehabilitation significantly reduced the risk of psychiatric disorders in a dose-dependent manner.

As you may expect, medical treatment and rehabilitation for both TBI and anxiety can be costly. Filing legal action can help the victim obtain compensation, which will alleviate the financial burdens caused by the accident.

Obtaining Relief for The “Silent Injury”

TBI and anxiety often go untreated. This is because symptoms may not be immediately apparent and because the victim may often not want to speak up about the changes in mood or cognition they are experiencing. They may be embarrassed or hesitant about discussing it, or they might fail to see a connection between the changes in their personality and the brain injury they previously sustained.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that as many as 40 million people in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder. However, only 36.9% of them receive treatment.

If you or a loved one have been affected by TBI, anxiety, and other resulting conditions, you should reach out for assistance as soon as possible. Seeking regular medical treatment is recommended, and contacting a lawyer can help ease any concerns you may have regarding any legal issues. 

The damages award from a lawsuit can help to cover: 

  • Medical expenses from the TBI accident
  • Follow-up therapy and rehabilitation
  • Psychological counseling and evaluation
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of the ability to generate income
  • Pain and suffering

Symptoms can progress over time or appear much later after an accident. The best thing you can do is to take initiative and obtain help for your condition and injuries, even if you don’t necessarily feel any symptoms. 

Can You Make a Claim for Anxiety and Traumatic Brain Injury in Virginia?

People who suffer a brain injury through the fault of another, be it a driver, a business owner, an employer, or another party should consider filing a lawsuit. Anxiety can affect your quality of life. A claim can be made for the long-term physical and psychological impacts of a brain injury under the pain and suffering category.

At the Smith Law Center, our attorneys have been litigating brain injury cases before the issue was widely known about and Stephen Smith is an international expert on the topic. His work on traumatic brain injury has done much for the movement to shed light on “the silent injury.” Contact us at (757) 244-7000 for a free, no-obligation consultation to determine your next steps.

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If you or a relative had a severe reaction to military housing mold, it might be time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Mold is everywhere, and can be dangerous. Researchers have linked mold to serious respiratory illnesses in some individuals.

Smith Law Center may be able to help if a property owner failed to keep you safe from mold in your military housing. We are one of Virginia’s oldest and most successful firms. We know how to hold negligent property owners responsible, especially when the military is involved.

Call us at (757) 244-700 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. There’s no fee for learning more about Virginia mold laws, your rights, and your legal options.

Mold in Military Housing

Black mold in military housing became widely known when Reuters published an investigation in 2018. Since then, the Department of Defense and the housing providers were supposed to take steps to improve the situation.

Unfortunately, a 2020 audit by the DoD Office of Inspector General found many issues, including the need for mold remediation, still persist.

Monetary Awards in Military Housing Toxic Mold Cases

If the property owner lets toxic mold run wild and continue to cause you harm, talk with our toxic mold attorneys about filing a lawsuit.

You may receive financial compensation for:

Service members and their families do not receive different types of damages than civilians. These are civil lawsuits in traditional courts of law.

Military Housing Mold Toxicity Symptoms

The Institute of Medicine discovered there was evidence connecting exposure to indoor mold with:

  • Upper respiratory tract symptoms;
  • Coughing;
  • Wheezing;
  • Asthma symptoms in individuals with asthma; and
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals with weak immune systems.

There is also limited evidence that mold causes respiratory illnesses in healthy children or causes people to develop asthma.

Understanding Exposure to Toxic Mold in Military Housing

The topic of toxic mold is complicated. This Is in part because the term “toxic mold” isn’t accurate. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains mold isn’t toxic or poisonous. However, some molds are toxigenic, which means they produce toxins called mycotoxins.

Mold is common in military housing because it’ll grow anywhere there’s moisture. That includes on and inside walls, carpet, upholstery, wallpaper, and heating and air conditioning systems. This is especially pronounced in humid conditions such as those present in Virginia.

Some people have no difficulties around mold, even large infestations in their homes. Other individuals are sensitive to molds, including those that produce mycotoxins. Someone can have a severe reaction when exposed to a large amount of mold indoors.

People may be more likely to experience mold toxicity symptoms if they have:

  • Allergies,
  • An underlying lung disease,
  • Immune suppression,
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder,
  • Asthma, or
  • Another chronic respiratory disease.

Common Types of Military Housing Mold

When you’re trying to learn more from the CDC and other resources, you’ll see the word “fungus” a lot. Mold is a type of fungus, which is something that exists all around us. Fungi are living organisms different from animals, plants, and bacteria. There are over 200,000 types of fungi and over 100,000 types of molds.

If you discovered mold in your military housing, it could be Cladosporium, Penicillium, Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus, or many other types. Stachybotrys is what everyone knows as black mold. Aspergillus is a common indoor fungus, which releases mycotoxins and can cause illness. Your symptoms may resemble common allergy or asthma symptoms.

Who is Liable for Military Housing Mold?

Since 1996, most military housing has come under the management of private companies:

  • Belfour Beatty Communities: Fort Eustis and Fort Story/li>
  • Lincoln Military Housing: Dahlgren, Little Creek, Naval Station Norfolk, Northwest Annex, Oceana, Portsmouth, Quantico, and Yorktown/li>
  • Hunt Military Communities: Fort Lee and Langley AFB

Outside of Virginia, Lendlease and Corvias Military Living are two more housing providers. Together, these five companies formed the Military Housing Association.

Military families living in on-base housing must take their complaints to their private management company — not the military. The company is responsible for providing habitable conditions and making repairs, including mold remediation.

If you’re unsure about your rights, review your state law and local ordinances about mold. In general, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide a habitable unit, which means it has to be safe to live in. A unit isn’t safe if it’s causing a tenant health issues due to mold.

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act requires landlords to disclose if there’s mold in the written report of the move-in inspection. If a tenant discovers visible mold in the unit, then the Act requires the landlord to remove the mold and relocate the tenant until it’s gone at no additional cost to the tenant.

Unfortunately, many families find their housing providers aren’t receptive to complaints. Attorney Stephen M. Smith has handled many mold lawsuits against military housing providers who fail to abide by their lease terms and the law when it comes to mold remediation and other hazards.

Other Hazards in Military Housing

Many service members and their families deal with uncomfortable, if not hazardous, conditions in privatized military housing, including:

Lead Paint: Lead-based paint can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, irritability, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, organ damage, and in extreme cases, death.

Asbestos: Exposure to asbestos harms a person’s lungs, and can lead to lung fibrosis (scarring), lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Radon: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It naturally forms underground, however cracks and gaps in buildings lead to over-exposure indoors.

Poor Water Quality: Dozens of military sites have water with detectable levels of harmful chemicals.

Other issues involve rodent or insect infestations, pesticides, and faulty electrical wiring.

What Happens When a Lot of People Get Sick?

Sometimes mold exposure impacts a single individual or family. However, when the mold spreads throughout military housing, it can impact hundreds or thousands of people.

Occasionally, a large enough group of people are injured to allow for a class action or mass tort lawsuit. A class action lawsuit is one where a class representative acts as the plaintiff on behalf of the group of hurt individuals. Not every victim participates in the lawsuit. There are rules about when a group is big and similar enough to create a class action.

Mass tort lawsuits are different. When there are fewer plaintiffs who have their own set of circumstances, each person files a lawsuit. For efficiency’s sake, one or a couple of law firms may represent most plaintiffs, and the lawsuits are consolidated in a federal court.

Call the Military Housing Mold Lawyers at Smith Law Center for Help Right Away

Mold cases come about in a few ways. You or a loved one may start getting sick, and after weeks or months of struggling to find answers, you finally realize your military housing has a mold infestation. In other cases, you struggle with visible mold and then become ill.

Once you connect the illness with the mold, it’s time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Reaching out to an attorney early helps you build a strong compensation claim. We know how to collect evidence, identify who is liable, and craft a successful argument for a settlement or court award.

Attorney Stephen M. Smith has decades of experience handling injury claims and has been internationally recognized for his work. He has litigated cases involving catastrophic injuries and complex legal and scientific issues. In 2019, he was inducted into the Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame.

You’re in good hands when you come to Smith Law Center for help. Reach out online or call (757) 244-7000 to schedule your 100% free consultation.

Military Housing Mold Lawsuits: FAQs

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Use the simple form below to send a message directly to our lawyers. We will respond within 1 hour or less during business hours.

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