• mobile
Select Page

Burn Injuries in Virginia

applying bandage on burnt hand

There are many causes of burn injuries. Burn injuries can be extremely painful, debilitating and life-altering. If you suffer a burn injury, you may have grounds to sue a party responsible for your accident.

Burn injuries vary in intensity. While most of us have suffered minor burns that clear up quickly, the impact of serious burns can be permanent.

If you suffered a burn injury in a car accident, an industrial accident or from a defective product, you may have grounds to file a claim. Contact our experienced Hampton-based burns injury lawyers for more details.

Burn Injuries in Virginia – How Are Burns Classified?

Burn injuries are classified on a scale ranging from the least to the most serious.

The types of burns a victim may suffer include:

First-Degree Burns

First-degree burns only cause damage to the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. First degree burns may frequently occur after accidentally touching a hot stove, an iron or a hair straightener. Sunburn may constitute a first-degree burn. If you suffer a first-degree burn, your skin may be red and painful, and you could experience mild swelling. First-degree burns are the least serious kind, states the American Academy of Dermatology.

Second-Degree Burns

Second-degree burns are also known as partial thickness burns. They go beyond the epidermis and cause damage to the underlying skin called the dermis. Second-degree burns are extremely painful. Characteristics include blisters and severe pain and swelling.

Third-Degree Burns

Third-degree burns are extremely serious. The entire thickness of your skin and underlying muscle area are burned. Third-degree burns destroy nerves. They can be less painful than second-degree burns but the nerve damage can lead to amputations.

Causes of Burn Injuries in Virginia

– Thermal burns

Thermal burns may be caused either by a heat source or from a chemical reaction that causes the release of heat. You should exercise caution around hot objects and areas where chemicals are used. Welding can result in thermal injuries on the job, especially when a foreman or on-site supervisor fails to provide a safe regime. When a fire breaks out in a public building or an apartment complex, the building’s owner or landlord may be held responsible if people are injured due to the lack of working smoke detectors or inadequate fire exits.

– Electrical Burns

Electrical burns associated with a shock can cause serious tissue and nerve damage. When an electrician fails to properly ground an electrical outlet in a residence, the homeowner or occupant could sustain serious burns. Faulty wires or damaged equipment can also lead to shocks and burns.

– Preventable Causes of Fires

The U.S. Fire Administration states 3,280 people died from fires and 15,700 people were injured in 2015. The following are listed as preventable causes of fires:

  • Smoking;
  • Cooking;
  • Arson;
  • Faulty electrical wiring;
  • Hazardous materials stored incorrectly;
  • Portable heaters.

Burn Injuries Caused by Defective Products

On occasions, a manufacturer may be sued for burn injuries caused by defective products. A variety of products may cause burn injuries. Faulty wiring can cause fires while products like coffee makers or malfunctioning water heaters can cause scalding. Defects in cars have caused fatal blazes. Certain makes of Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Liberty were recalled by Fiat Chrysler in 2013. The recalls followed gas tank explosions that caused deaths and serious injuries. The cars were equipped with plastic rear gas tanks that safety advocates argued offered inadequate protection during rear-end crashes.

Other examples of defective products that can cause injuries are inadequately labeled household cleaners that can burn the user.

Electronic cigarettes caused 133 acute injuries when they caught fire or exploded, the U.S Fire Administration noted.

Electronic products containing lithium batteries such as hoverboards are also linked to a series of fires.

In some cases, manufacturers may have flouted regulations intended to protect consumers or failed to warn of the dangers. Federal regulations relate to household products such as mattress pads, lighters and electronic toys.

Manufacturers have a duty to ensure children cannot easily access products that pose a burn hazard such as stoves.

Hire an Experienced Virginia Burn Injury Lawyer

Burn injuries can be terrible for the victim and the families of a victim. Establishing liability in these cases is not always straightforward. The experienced trial lawyers at the Smith Law Center fight for justice for their clients and take cases all the way to trial where necessary. Call us today at (757) 244-7000.


Best lawyers
American Board of Trial Advocates
Brain Injury Association
Brain Injury Association
Best lawyers
American Board of Trial Advocates
Brain Injury Association
Brain Injury Association
icon headset


Your legal questions answered, completely free of charge.

icon target


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

icon law


There are absolutely no out-of-pocket fees for filing a claim.


Use the simple form below to send a message directly to our lawyers. We will respond within 1 hour or less during business hours.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

icon headset


Your legal questions answered, completely free of charge.

icon law


There are absolutely no out-of-pocket fees for filing a claim.

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

icon target


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



Use the simple form below to send a message directly to our lawyers. We will respond within 1 hour or less during business hours.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.