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Most of us have reached an intersection when the light is turning and raced to get through before it turns red. Although it’s understandable to want to avoid waiting this is dangerous behavior that is costing lives. A recent survey found red light runner deaths have hit a 10-year high in America.

The finding is alarming given the increase in red light enforcement cameras in our cities over the last decade. Cameras do not appear to be working as a deterrent to red light runners.

A new report from AAA warned accidents caused by drivers who ran red lights killed 939 people in 2017, the most recent year crash data was recorded for. It was a 28% increase since 2012, AAA stated.

The report found half of the victims of the intersection crashes were passengers or drivers of other cars struck by a red-light runner. Just over one-third of the victims were drivers who ran the light.

AAA Foundation’s Traffic Safety Culture Index found as many as 85% of drivers see red light running as very dangerous. However, nearly one in three said they blew through a red light within the previous month when they could have easily stopped safely. Drivers also believe they will get away with blowing through a light. More than 2 in 5 motorists said it is unlikely they’ll be stopped by police if they run a red light. Nevertheless, it’s against the law in Virginia and elsewhere.  Red light runners who cause a deadly crash can end up in jail.

More seriously, innocent motorists are ending up dead and injured due to the actions of red light runners. Every year, red light runners cause about 165,000 accidents and thousands of injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Talk to a Virginia red light runner accident lawyer if you or a loved one has been injured by a red light runner.

Do Cameras Curtail Red Light Runner Crashes?

The AAA study found enforcement is the most optimal way to get drivers to comply with any law. However, police cannot be at every intersection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found properly administered red light cameras cut the fatal red light running crash rate in large cities by 21% and the rate of all types of fatal crashes at intersections with traffic signals by 14%.

Some cities in Hampton Roads have PHOTOSafe enforcement cameras. Newport News installed cameras in 2010 at three locations on Jefferson Avenue – the intersections with Mercury Boulevard, Denbigh Boulevard, and Oyster Point.

However, no new cameras have been fitted in Newport News for almost a decade. Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake have red light cameras at certain intersections.

In recent years, some cities have shuttered their red light cameras.

What Happens if You Run a Red Light in Virginia?

Drivers who run red lights in Virginia face high fines of up to $350. Motorists commit traffic violations if they enter the intersection after the light turns red. Drivers who are already in the intersection when the light changes, do not commit an offense. If a right turn is allowed on a red light you must come to a complete stop before turning. Drivers who make a right turn on an intersection that forbids right turns on red commit an offense.

Under Virginia law, a steady red “indicates that moving traffic shall stop and remain stopped as long as the red signal is shown, except in the direction indicated by a steady green arrow.”

State law says if a light is a steady amber, cars that have not already entered the intersection, including the crosswalks, must stop if it is not reasonably safe to continue. Traffic which has already entered the intersection should continue to move until the intersection is cleared.

Is Distracted Driving a Factor in the Increase in Red Light Runner Deaths?

An article in USA Today suggested distracted driving due to mobile devices may be fueling red light running. Drivers who are looking at their phones and texting often fail to realize a light has changed.

Distracted driving is thought to be behind a 13% rise in highway fatalities in 2017 when the death toll hit 37,133 – up 13% from the historic low of 32,744 in 2014.

Talk to a Hampton Injury Lawyer About Red Light Running Accidents

Red light runners cause untold misery to families. We have represented people who suffered extreme injuries such as traumatic brain injuries due to the actions of a red light runner. Please contact the Smith Law Center for help 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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