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Learning and memory issues are often experienced by people who suffered a traumatic brain injury in an auto accident, a slip and fall or another kind of accident. These issues are among a range of cognitive problems a TBI sufferer may experience.

Brain injuries are complicated by their very nature. Not all cognitive problems experienced after brain trauma may be obvious from the outset. While some problems may improve with time, others are permanent.

Cognition is the act of thinking or knowing. We take the ability to understand, make choices, remember and use information for granted. The sufferer of a traumatic brain injury may experience cognitive deficits that are obvious or more subtle.

If you sustain a TBI, you should talk to a brain injury lawyer with expertise in this highly specialized area. The Smith Law Center has helped clients with very severe and life-threatening brain injuries across the United States.

What is Cognition?

Cognition is defined as:

  • Processing and understanding information
  • Memory
  • The ability to communicate
  • Attention and concentration
  • Organizing, planning, and assembling
  • Reasoning, problem-solving, judgment and decision making
  • Patience and controlling impulses and desires

How a Traumatic Brain Injury Affects Learning, Memory and Cognition

It is common for accident victims who suffer a TBI to experience issues with concentration and memory in the days after sustaining a blow to the head. Other functions like speech and language, reasoning, learning and memory, planning and problem-solving may also be impacted.

Some of the main issues experienced include:

1. Problems Processing Information

After a traumatic brain injury, sufferers may find it difficult to comprehend and understand basic things they took for granted before. They often:

  • Take more time than before to grasp what other people are saying
  • Take more time to understand and follow basic directions
  • Experience trouble reading books, newspapers or magazines
  • Find it hard to follow the plot line in a film or a TV show

2. Issues with Attention and Concentration

If you suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may experience issues with focusing, paying attention or doing more than one task at any given time. People with a TBI may:

  • Be restless and easily distracted;
  • Find it hard to carry on a long conversation or to sit for periods of time;
  • Not be able to work on more than one project at any given time.

3. Problems with Driving After a Brain Injury

People who have suffered a brain injury may find their reaction time slows. This may be a major problem when they are driving. If a TBI sufferer can no longer react quickly to red lights or stop signs, they should not be on the roads until their visual skills and reaction time have been tested by a specialist.

4. Language and Communication Issues After a TBI

If you have suffered from a brain injury, your communication and language skills may be impacted. Brain injury victims often:

  • Fail to think of the right word;
  • Experience difficulty initiating or following conversations or understanding what other people are saying;
  • Find it hard to communicate their thoughts using facial expressions and other forms of non-verbal communication;
  • Ramble or get off of topic easily during conversations;
  • Find mastering more complicated language skills to be a challenge;
  • Experience issues reading other people’s emotions and not responding properly to the views or feelings of other people in social settings;
  • Misunderstand jokes or sarcasm.

5. TBI Sufferers Face Memory Issues

People who suffered brain damage may have a hard time processing new information and recalling other information. They may:

  • Struggle to remember new information and events.
  • Experience difficulty remembering events that occurred several weeks or months prior to the injury. This information may occur to them later. People with brain injuries often remember events from years ago very clearly.

6. Brain Injuries and Problem Solving

People who suffer a TBI often find it hard to work out everyday problems. For example:

  • People with TBI may struggle to recognize the existence of a problem in the first place. This is the first step in problem-solving.
  • They may struggle to analyze information or to be flexible enough to change the way they think.
  • They may rush to quick solutions and decisions without thinking through the potential consequences of their actions.
  • When working out problems, they may struggle to decide on the best solution or get fixated on one solution while disregarding all others.

7. Brain Injury Victims May Behave Inappropriately

A brain injury can cause people to behave rudely and inappropriately in social settings. A TBI can remove social filters on behavior. People who suffered a TBI may.

  • Lack self-control and self-awareness in social settings
  • Deny they are suffering from cognitive problems even when it’s obvious they are suffering from issues related to their TBI.
  • Say hurtful and inappropriate things to family and friends.
  • Lack awareness of social boundaries and the feelings of other people and not be conscious they have made people uncomfortable.

Learning, Memory and Other Issues After a Traumatic Brain Injury – What Can Be Done?

Help people with a TBI by decreasing distractions and encouraging them to master one task.

Practice building attention skills such as reading a short story with them. Gradually make the task more challenging. Re-read information if possible to build concentration skills.

If a family member or a friend has suffered a TBI, be patient. Use a gentle tone of voice and ask the person frequently if they are understanding what you are telling them.

Develop a system to indicate to a TBI sufferer when they have gone off topic. People who have suffered a TBI benefit from one-to-one attention and quiet, non-chaotic environments.

Be organized and develop a structured routine for people who are suffering cognitive issues from a brain injury. It can help to use memory aids like calendars, daily schedules, notebooks and reminder cards. Additional tips can be found on the website of the Brain Injury Association of Virginia.

How Can Memory and Concentration Issues After a Brain Injury Be Proved?

Memory and concentration issues after a brain injury and other cognitive disorders can impact your quality of life. Although these issues may recede over time, they can be permanent.

It is important to document all of these changes when you are involved in a lawsuit against a party accused of causing an accident. Doctors may rule out a traumatic brain injury based solely on a negative MRI or CT-scan of the brain when one is present after an accident.

Tests of this nature are not always rigorous enough to detect certain brain injuries. If a loved one shows marked changes after an accident, you should continue to seek medical advice because a doctor may have missed signs of a TBI.

An attorney can build up your case. Stephen Smith of the Smith Law Center set up the Brain Injury Law Center. He points out it is the only law firm in the United States dedicated exclusively to representing brain injury victims, survivors and their families. Our results include a $60 million verdict to a man who suffered a brain injury in Williamsburg. Call us 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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