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It’s difficult to convey the many pressures car crash victims feel under to somebody whose life has not been turned upside down by a wreck. You may be in pain and your car is totaled. You are losing income by missing weeks off work. You are short of cash. Dealing with the insurance company is a further headache. To make matters worse, insurance company tricks after a car wreck may deprive you of the money you are entitled to.

Dealing with the insurance company of the at-fault driver is fraught with dangers. If you have been seriously injured, you should consider hiring a lawyer. There is a real danger you will lose out if you deal directly with an insurance company.

At the Smith Law Center, we have been helping people who were hurt in auto crashes for almost seven decades. Insurance companies have changed a lot in that time, but insurance company tricks haven’t. Contact us if you have been hurt in a car crash and need help in dealing with the insurance company.

Common Insurance Company Tricks After a Virginia Car Accident

Insurance companies have many tricks designed to lower your settlement or to deny your claim. Here are some of them.

1 Failing to Meet All Emergency Room Costs

Often an insurance company will question the cost of a patient’s treatment from the outset. The insurer may claim a CAT scan or an X-ray was unnecessary. This makes little sense because these procedures are usually ordered by a doctor and a patient has little control over them. A personal injury lawyer will fight the denial of these claims.

2 Offering Fast Cash in Exchange for the Signing of a Release

The insurance staff know when accident victims are in a dire situation and want cash fast. If you suffered a serious injury, your medical bills will stack up fast. You may not be able to work, and with no money coming in and a long recovery ahead, financial stress can build fast.

The insurance company knows persuading you to settle when you are at your most vulnerable means you may accept the bare minimum.  Taking the money can be tempting before the full extent of your injuries is known. However, accepting an early offer is usually a mistake. You may experience complications later. You may require additional surgeries and further medical treatment.

If you sign a release before the extent of your injuries are known, you can’t resume your claim later if you are hit with complications. Never settle for fast cash.

3 Asking You for a Recorded Statement

Often the other side’s insurance company will ask you to make a recorded statement about the accident. This is a common trick. The insurance adjuster may be very polite and tell you a recorded statement will help the process. You are not obliged to make a recorded statement and it is unlikely to be in your benefit to do so.

Anything you say to the insurance company is likely to be used against you later if you hire a lawyer and file a personal injury claim to seek fair compensation for your injuries.

You should not talk to the insurance company for the other side. Contact a lawyer first and let the attorney carry out the negotiations.

4 Identifying Gaps in a Patient’s Treatment

Insurance companies will often argue car accident victims had glaring gaps in their treatment to downplay the seriousness of their injuries.

The insurance company will highlight any delay in seeking treatment. The insurance company is unlikely to care that you were trying to keep your health insurance bills down. Alternatively, an insurance company may highlight spurious gaps in a car accident victim’s treatment such as during the holidays. You might not be able to get an immediate appointment with a doctor. We have known insurance company adjusters to say this amounted to a gap in treatment.

5 Claiming You Had a Pre-Existing Condition Before a Car Wreck

It’s not uncommon for an insurance company to claim you are seeking compensation for injuries you suffered before the crash. The insurance company may claim the underlying problem was an old sports injury, for example.

Even if you did have a pre-existing condition, it doesn’t mean you have no grounds to file a case. A new car accident often aggravates a preexisting condition and makes it worse.

6 Subjecting You to Endless Delays

Although insurance companies have a responsibility to help people involved in an accident in a timely manner, they often drag out cases. There is a wide range of stalling tactics used by some companies.

Some common delay explanations used by an insurance adjuster include:

  • Their investigation is continuing.
  • The company needs to confirm your coverage.
  • They need additional information from you.

In some cases, they may assign your case to a different adjuster or start it over. The rationale is people hurt in accidents sometimes get frustrated and settle for a low ball offer.

Contact an Experienced Virginia Trial Lawyer To Counter Insurance Company Tricks After a Car Wreck

A Virginia trial lawyer is prepared to take your case all the way to court where verdicts may be considerably higher than an insurer’s offer. The experienced attorneys at the Smith Law Center are dedicated to the wellbeing of car accident victims and to getting them what they deserve. See our auto accident injury case results from Virginia and elsewhere. Please call our attorneys for the injured 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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We are one of Virginia’s largest and most successful law firms.

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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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