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People who suffer injuries in car, truck or motorcycle accidents, at their workplace, or at a business often delay seeking medical treatment. They have busy lives or believe their injuries are not serious enough to warrant medical help. Procrastinating over medical treatment is a serious mistake. Delays in medical treatment can harm your injury case in Virginia.

Filing an insurance claim after an accident is tough enough without giving the insurance company more reasons to deny your claim or give you less than you are entitled to.

As soon as you file an insurance claim for your injuries, the adjuster will look for ways to reduce the money you are entitled to or to deny your claim altogether. If you decline help at an accident scene, say you feel fine, and delay seeing a doctor for weeks, the insurance company will claim your injuries are not serious.

When motorists are hurt in car, truck, motorcycle or bike crashes, they don’t always feel pain in the hours after the incident.

During a car crash, the human body generates adrenaline and endorphins. These chemicals can block pain. You may feel fine after a wreck but that doesn’t mean you are fine. For that reason, you should not make statements to the investigating officer or another motorist that you have no symptoms.

The pain often kicks in once the levels of adrenaline and endorphins subside.

Many factors are beyond our control after a car wreck. Drivers should give a factual account of the accident to a police officer and avoid spin and opinion. However, what the officer writes in his report is beyond your control.

However, you can control your medical treatment. Even if you lack health insurance and feel you cannot afford consultations and x-rays, you should talk to your doctor as soon as possible after an accident with injuries. If the accident was a minor fender bender you might not need to see a medical professional. If you feel any pain or discomfort, get it checked out.

If you wait weeks or months to receive treatment, the insurance company is likely to claim your injuries were not caused by the accident. By delaying, you will make it more difficult to establish the link between your injuries and the accident itself.

If another person caused your injuries, it’s vital to consult a doctor as soon as possible.

It’s not enough to make one visit and discontinue treatment. Schedule follow-ups and document everything. Keep all of your medical records. People who suffer neck injuries like whiplash may suffer complications like herniated discs. Neck injuries are common after rear-end crashes. While many of these injuries clear up in weeks, the neck is a complicated and sensitive area. Injured people may require surgery.

Make sure to document the cause and effect between the car crash and the surgery and don’t discontinue treatment.

As well as citing the failure to seek medical care in a timely manner, the insurance company will look for “gaps” in your treatment. These are periods of time in which no treatment takes place.

Insurance companies use gaps to claim you made a recovery or your condition was not serious enough to continue with your treatment program. The adjusters may say another intervening injury resulted in subsequent medical treatment and put a “cut off” date on the claim.

Delays in Medical Treatment Following a Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries are different from other injuries. If you see your family doctor because you are suffering from headaches after a car accident, you may be suffering from a brain injury.

However, there are many other causes of persistent headaches like neck injuries.

Your family doctor may fail to diagnose a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Even CT scans and MRIs can miss mild traumatic brain injuries.

If you start to feel symptoms after a car accident that you did not experience before like a loss of concentration, a problem comprehending what’s going on, sleeplessness, and anxiety, ask to see a specialist to be tested for a TBI.

You should not ignore the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. If you suffered a brain injury due to the fault of another driver, you can make a claim for your long-term care needs. Insurance companies habitually fight brain injury claims because a TBI can be permanent and payouts are often higher. It’s also easier to explain away TBI symptoms on other causes.

Seek medical advice if you believe you have a TBI and get a second opinion. Talk to your family members about mood and behavior changes that are typical of a brain injury.

Talk to a Virginia Injury Lawyer After a Car Accident

At the Smith Law Center, our attorneys have helped car accident victims and other injured people for decades. We helped pioneer TBI litigation in Virginia and elsewhere. Our lawyers can advise you on a course of treatment and how to claim for past, present, and future medical bills.

It’s important to talk to both a doctor and an attorney soon after a car accident if you believe another person caused your injuries. Delays in medical treatment can harm your injury case in Virginia.  The clock is ticking after an accident. Don’t lose your chance to make a claim. Call our experienced injury team 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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