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Medical professionals use many forms of testing for traumatic brain injuries. Severe brain injuries are usually obvious. The TBI sufferer may end up unconscious or in a coma. However, less chronic injuries are typically difficult to diagnose.

A brain injury may not be evident in the hours or days after your accident. However, brain injury sufferers often experience more acute symptoms a few days after a blow to the head.

If you believe you have symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, see a medical professional and ask for tests. Failure to act can make the symptoms more acute. You can also talk to our Virginia brain injury lawyers. It’s important to establish proof of a brain injury if you are filing a claim against the driver or another party who caused an accident. We will build a case for you.

The Most Common Tests for a Traumatic Brain Injury

The medical profession uses many tools to assess and diagnose traumatic brain injuries. They include the following.


An X-ray can pick up obvious injuries like a skull fracture in a child. However, most brain injuries require more in-depth tests and medical examinations.

CT scans

CT (computerized tomography) scans provide more detailed images than X-rays. CT scans are often used in medical emergencies. Doctors use them to diagnose acute and life-threatening problems that require emergent treatment such as surgery.

The CT scan is both fast and widely available. It is very effective in detecting bleeding in and around the brain, known as hematomas. CT scans are also used to diagnose brain swelling (edema), which may require emergency surgery.

CT scans use X-ray images taken from different angles of your head. The medical team creates cross-sectional images (slices) of blood vessels, bones, and soft tissues.

Although CT scans give doctors more detailed information than standard X-rays, their ability to detect the widespread microscopic injury to nerve fibers associated with more subtle brain injuries are limited.


Many people are unaware of the differences between CT scans and MRIs. Magnetic resonance imaging uses radio waves while CT scans use X-rays.

MRIs use radio frequencies that bounce off fat and water molecules in your body. The radio waves are transmitted to a receiver in the machine. This is translated into an image of the body that can be used as a basis for diagnosis.

Both CT and MRI techniques allow doctors to show evidence of injuries at a microscopic level.

MRIs have become increasingly sophisticated. They can now be used to visualize the effects of brain injuries such as concussions and TBIs. Previously MRIs could only pick up significant damage to the brain.

A new technique can now be used in which a dye is injected into the brain. It can reveal tiny holes and damage to the membrane coverings of the brain and spinal cord caused by a concussion.

PET Scans

PET (positron emission tomography) scans are imaging tests that doctors use to check for diseases including those affecting the brain.

Doctors inject a special dye containing radioactive tracers into the patient’s body. These tracers can be inhaled, swallowed, or injected into a vein in the patient’s arm depending. The tracer is absorbed by certain organs and tissues.

The tracers allow doctors to see how well your organs and tissues are working. A PET scan can diagnose brain disorders including problems with the central nervous system. Areas of disease can show up as brighter spots on the PET scan.

Your doctor will examine your PET scan to see how your brain is working and check for abnormalities.

Neuropsychological Assessments

Doctors use neuropsychological assessments to assess cognitive issues like the levels of a patient’s understanding and comprehension after a head injury

The tests entail giving the patient various tasks to assess his or her level of understanding. The neuropsychologist typically reviews the case history and hospital records of the patient, and interviews family members.

Details of behavior before the accident are compared to behavior after a traumatic event. The neuropsychologist will seek to gain a picture of how the injury is likely to affect the victim’s life.

The Glasgow Coma Scale

The Glasgow coma scale is used by medical professionals to assess how seriously a traumatic brain injury affected a patient.

The Brain Injury Association of America states clinicians use three tests to give patients numbers that indicate the seriousness of their injuries. An assessment is usually made soon after an injury. Typically, the Glasgow Coma Scale is associated with serious brain injuries.

GCS scores range from 15 to three. The lower the number, the more serious the brain injury.

Doctors test motor response, eye opening, and verbal response. A score of 1 equates to no response. Patients with higher scores can follow commands, converse, and have natural eye opening.

Contact a Virginia Brain Injury Lawyer

Brain injuries are complicated. They are costly to diagnose and often require months or even years of medical care. Not all attorneys are able to deal with these cases or take them all the way to trial. At the Smith Law Center, attorney Stephen Smith is an internationally recognized expert in traumatic brain injury litigation, with four decades of experience with brain injury cases. Please contact our trial lawyers today for a free consultation.

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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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