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After a semi-truck or tractor trailer accident, hiring an attorney can help expedite the legal process. A lawyer’s skill can also maximize the amount of compensation you’re awarded. You only have one opportunity to file your claim — make it count with proven truck accident attorneys.

After a commercial trucking crash, individuals and their immediate family members are often left wondering what to do after a semi-truck accident. Once the initial emergency steps are taken — calling the police, going to the hospital, and notifying your insurance company — a lawyer can help. 

While you focus on healing and getting your life back on track, your truck accident lawyer from the Smith Law Center can investigate the crash, secure evidence, and build the case needed for negotiation. When dealing with insurance companies and the businesses that own the cargo, supply the truck, or employ the driver, you are far more likely to walk away with a substantial settlement when you have a legal professional by your side.

To discuss the specifics of your truck accident and the legal options you may have, contact our Hampton attorneys today online or by calling (757) 244-7000. To learn more about what it takes to resolve a truck accident case, the timeline of a lawsuit, and common commercial vehicle accident procedures, read on.

A large tractor trailer truck’s brakes light up red on a foggy highway at night.

What to Do After a Semi-Truck Accident: Commercial Vehicle Accident Procedures

At the scene of an accident, it may be helpful to take photos if you are able. However, in many cases involving massive tractor trailer vehicles, the injured person is in critical condition — unable to give a statement, or potentially unconscious. This is where calling a lawyer on behalf of your loved one can be essential, because an attorney can visit the crash site and gather important evidence, all while you prioritize emergency matters.

Once the injured person is stabilized, or for the family members acting on their behalf, here are some important guidelines regarding what to do after a semi-truck accident:

  • Exercise your right to privacy: You are not obligated to disclose any information related to how the accident happened or who may be at fault before speaking with an attorney. A lawyer can accompany you when making statements to the police, and can speak on your behalf with insurance or trucking company representatives, who may try to discourage you regarding your rights to sue. 
  • Write down all that you remember: Any details you remember about the accident in the immediate aftermath should be privately recorded on paper or electronically. These details can slip away quickly from memory, especially if you are worried about serious medical concerns like traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage.
  • Save all relevant information: This includes insurance information, names of witnesses, copies of the police report, bills or receipts, and medical records of treatment. All of these documents can be handed to your lawyer for safekeeping and utilized to build the strongest possible case for your benefit.

Keep in mind that while you are processing the accident, there are truck driver accident procedures underway as well. They will be recording their version of events, consulting with their employer, and may be receiving legal advice from company lawyers associated with the truck fleet or the cargo being transported. 

The truck driver may have been trained in what to do after an accident, whereas you and your family may feel completely in the dark about what is happening. Consult with an attorney of your own to stay informed and to protect your rights. Remember that all legal aspects of a truck accident then become your lawyer’s job to handle, not yours. 

Contact the Smith Law Center at (757) 244-7000 for a free consultation as soon as possible. You do not have to deal with this alone, and in many instances, your lawyer can take on all the work so that you can rest and recover. 

What to Do After an 18-Wheeler Accident: Lawsuit Timeline

Once you’ve secured an attorney and decided to pursue a legal claim, here is a general outline of a truck accident lawsuit timeline:

  1. Investigation and discovery: Once a lawsuit is filed, this is the window of time in which both sides are able to compile evidence and demand information (known as discovery).
  2. Demand and offer negotiations: Once your lawyer sends a demand letter outlining the funds you deserve, the trucking company or other liable parties may make a settlement offer. You may be able to negotiate that amount in consultation with your attorney. If no offer is made or if the offer is unacceptably low, your lawyer can take the necessary steps to secure fair compensation in court.
  3. Trial: If a fair agreement cannot be reached pre-trial, then the lawsuit can go before a judge or jury. However, you may not have to wait for a full trial to take place, as the vast majority (roughly 95%) of personal injury cases are settled pre- or mid-trial.

Judges and juries have the ability to award additional compensation with verdicts that go far beyond what most companies would agree to pay. When selecting an attorney, ask about their trial experience. A trial lawyer will have the skills necessary to call the other side’s bluff, and see your case through to a verdict if that’s what it takes to secure what you’re owed. 

The lawyers at the Smith Law Center will not settle for less; if the trucking company representatives refuse to meet our client’s needs, then we are fully prepared to go before a judge and make your case.

How Long After a Truck Accident Do I Have to Sue?

The filing deadline for semi-truck accident cases varies from state to state. In Virginia, where the Smith Law Center is headquartered in Hampton, that deadline is two years from the date of the crash.

The sooner you empower a truck accident lawyer to handle your case, the better. We can meet all the required deadlines on your behalf, and work to secure the funds you need in a timely manner. Compensation for tractor trailer truck accidents may include:

  • Medical bills and the cost of all past and future therapeutic care
  • Loss of income, earning capacity, employment, or job-related benefits like health insurance
  • Pain and suffering costs, including psychological anguish and conditions like PTSD
  • Property repair and replacement costs
  • Wrongful death damages for the families members who have lost a loved one’s financial support and their irreplaceable companionship

The amount of damages you receive depends greatly on the skill and experience of your attorney, especially for non-itemized losses like traumatic side effects such as depression. The Smith Law Center is a family firm founded in 1949, one of the longest-operating firms in Virginia. We have achieved landmark-setting results for clients in areas like brain injury litigation.

Client Testimonial

My accident in 2015 changed my life drastically. My cognitive function was hugely impaired. The headaches were quite severe. There was a ray of hope when I contacted The Smith Law Center. Every one of my phone calls was met with reassurance; I felt supported beyond measure. […] Thanks to the efforts of this dynamic team, I have peace of mind. If I ever need an attorney again, the Smith Law Center will be my one and only contact.

  • Marybeth

After a Crash, Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer

The most important thing you can do for your own protection and peace of mind after a semi-truck, motorcycle, or car accident is to contact a qualified attorney to help you. So much of what must be done after a collision can be helped with a lawyer’s guidance, or handled entirely by the firm while you prioritize your own well-being.

Additionally, those who are represented by counsel for a truck accident lawsuit are 91% likely to achieve a settlement, as opposed to 51% for unrepresented suits. Those settlement amounts also average 300% higher for those with an experienced attorney vs. those who opted to do the legal work themselves.

At the Smith Law Center, we only earn our fee if we deliver for you. This means that you have an enormous amount to gain by choosing our firm — time, peace of mind, proven experience, and statistically higher results — and nothing to lose.

Contact us online or call our Hampton offices directly at (757) 244-7000. We are here to help you through these difficult times to a better, dignified future.

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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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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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