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A car accident can ruin your quality of life. Even a wreck with minor injuries often involves time off work and discomfort. You can make a recovery for pain and suffering after a Virginia personal injury in certain circumstances.

People who end up hurt in a motor vehicle accident, a slip-and-fall, or another accident, often want to know how much their case will be worth if they file a lawsuit. There is no easy answer to this question. It’s relatively easy to work out lost wages, property damage, and medical bills and there are formulas for future losses. Calculating pain and suffering is a different matter.

Insurance companies and lawyers have formulas to pain and suffering but it’s also an abstract concept. If a case makes it to trial, the pain and suffering calculation is at the whim of the jury.

Our Hampton personal injury lawyers will certainly have an approximate idea of what your case is worth, depending on factors like the severity of the injuries, how long-lasting the damage is likely to be, and how the injury impacts your life.

Working out pain and suffering in a Virginia personal injury case is a complicated business. Fortunately, attorneys do this day-in, day-out. We will be able to tell you if an insurance company is offering you a fair deal.

Many insurance companies programs that put a value on pain and suffering shortchange people hurt in accidents and fail to address individual needs.

What is Pain and Suffering?

Pain from injuries like broken bones, cuts, burns, bruises, and sprains goes beyond the pain of the accident itself in the calculations.

You can make a recovery for the pain associated with the accident and pain associated with the treatment such as surgery and future pain.

Suffering includes physical and emotional consequences of a wreck or another accident such as sleeplessness and fatigue, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders. Suffering can also include muscle pain, cognitive issues following a brain injury, and headaches.

Factors Used in Calculating Pain and Suffering in Virginia

Although there is no accepted method used by lawyers and insurers to calculate pain and suffering, one or two formulas is usually used.

The first is to multiply the injured party’s damages comprising medical bills and lost wages by a so-called “multiplier” between 1 and 5. More severe injuries are given higher numbers. If an accident victim’s medical bills were $5,000 and he suffered a reasonably serious injury like a fractured rib, the figure might be multiplied by three to arrive at a pain and suffering figure of $15,000.

The other method used attorneys and insurance companies is a per diem method (meaning “per day” in Latin). This method allocates a certain figure every day from the day of the accident until the victim recovers. This method is less effective for injuries that cause ongoing pain and suffering.

Insurance companies often take into account the kind of treatment a patient receives after an accident. They may take an injury that involves treatment by a specialist more seriously than one where you work with your general practitioner or a chiropractor.

How to Prove Pain and Suffering After a Virginia Accident

It’s important to keep as much documentation as possible to prove pain and suffering. Often insurance adjusters will dispute claims your depression, anxiety and other emotional disorders were caused by your injury.

Obtain statements from doctors, mental health professionals, and family members and friends about how your accident changed you.

You will need to obtain proof of treatment by mental health professionals for anxiety depression insomnia or another condition. In some cases, expert witnesses can be used in trials.

Hire a Virginia Injury Lawyer Experienced in Pain and Suffering

Accident victims regularly fail to secure what they deserve for their pain and suffering. It’s often a mistake to deal directly with an insurance company and accept the first offer you receive.

At the Smith Law Center, our trial lawyers fight hard to highlight the full extent of pain and suffering experienced by accident victims. We have represented people who suffered serious conditions like traumatic brain injuries in accidents. These are acute injuries which cause ongoing pain and suffering to the victims and affect your family life. If you were hurt in an accident due to the fault of another party, please contact the Smith Law Center as soon as possible at (757) 244-7000.

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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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