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At the Smith Law Center, we have helped people who suffer from traumatic brain injuries for more than four decades. We are familiar with many of the symptoms of TBI which include depression and anxiety. Knowing what to look for is vital in building a case against the party that caused your brain injury.

Brain injuries are complicated. As well as depression, sufferers can suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a range of other issues. Many of these are interrelated. If, for instance, you suffer memory loss or difficulties concentrating after sustaining a brain injury, you may also feel down.

Our attorneys believe, an at-fault driver, a company, or another culpable individual should be held accountable for a brain injury that affects your quality of life. Attorney Stephen Smith was one of the first lawyers in Virginia to recognize and litigate traumatic brain injury cases. We believe in fighting these cases all the way to trial if necessary.

How Common is Depression after Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury increases your likelihood of developing depression, even if you never suffered the symptoms before.

The Mayo Clinic states people with no previous mental health history are more likely to feel down or suffer depression after sustaining a TBI, even a mild brain injury. Some studies suggest that the risk of developing depression after a TBI may be two to five times higher than in people who have not suffered a head injury. According to Brainline, depression is common in brain injury sufferers whether they have a mild, a moderate, or a severe injury.

Depression can mean different things to different people. It is defined as a feeling of loss, despair, sadness, or hopelessness. The mood of the sufferer does not improve over time. Depression can be so overwhelming it takes over the TBI sufferer’s life.  If you lose interest in things that excited you in the past for weeks at a time, you may be suffering from depression. Common symptoms include:

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
  • Feeling down or blue
  • Feeling worthless, a lack of self-esteem or feeling like a failure
  • Changes in eating
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating on everyday tasks
  • A lack of energy or motivation
  • Withdrawing from the company of others
  • Moving or speaking slowly
  • Feeling fidgety
  • Thinking of death or suicide

 

Sadness is common in more than half of people who suffer a TBI. If you feel down over a prolonged period of time or suffer some of the symptoms listed above, you may have depression.  About half of all people with TBI suffer depression within the first year after injury. As many as two-thirds will suffer it within seven years of an injury. Over half of the people who suffer from TBI who experience depression also deal with anxiety. Typically, two-thirds of people who suffer from depression after a brain injury also experience anxiety.

Treatment for Depression After a Traumatic Brain Injury

If you suffer depression after a brain injury, it’s important to seek help. If depression goes untreated, sufferers often become suicidal. People diagnosed with depression after a TBI should seek personal counseling with a psychotherapist.

Medications are also prescribed for depression and anxiety. Patients may require a long course of anti-depressants.

You cannot overcome depression by wishing it away or exerting more willpower. However, there is evidence living a healthy lifestyle can help. Take part in aerobic exercise and avoid drugs and alcohol.

Anxiety is a feeling of fear or nervousness out of proportion to a given situation. People with TBIs are often acutely conscious of their condition and feel awkward in crowds and other social situations. It’s important to limit stimulation and take things slowly. Most TBI sufferers make a gradual recovery.

Contact a Virginia Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer

At the Smith Law Center, we have helped people with brain injuries across the nation and internationally. Our TBI team will fight for your rights. Please call us for a free consultation today at (757) 244-7000.

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IF WE DON’T WIN, YOU DON’T PAY

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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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DELIVERING RESULTS SINCE 1949

We are one of Virginia’s largest and most successful law firms.

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WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU


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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