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Herniated Discs and Whiplash Injuries in Virginia Car Wrecks


Whiplash is one of the most common injuries related to car crashes. As Virginia car accident lawyers, we also see some people developing herniated discs, a more serious condition that may require surgery. Always ask your doctor to check for herniated discs and whiplash injuries if you were in a Virginia car wreck.

The Smith Law Center represents people who suffered a wide range of injuries in car accidents including herniated discs. If you have suffered this injury, you should consider a visit to a personal injury lawyer after consulting your doctor.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a very common injury suffered in car crashes in Virginia. Rear-end accidents are the primary cause of this injury. Whiplash injuries occur to the soft tissue in the neck and shoulders.  Whiplash is a type of sprain that is so named because it results from the head and neck snapping quickly backward and forwards during an impact.

People who suffer whiplash injuries do not always realize they are injured at the accident scene. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stoke states symptoms may be delayed.

Before diagnosing whiplash, your doctor will perform a range of imaging tests, including CT scans, X-rays and MRIs to eliminate other possible causes of your symptoms.

Typically, the symptoms of whiplash heal up in a matter of weeks. However, they may linger and lead to other serious complications. Whiplash can affect the ability of a sufferer to move, work and carry out normal functions. If over-the-counter medications and applying ice to the injury fails to relieve the symptoms, you may require more powerful painkillers. In the past, cervical collars were used to treat whiplash. The medical profession no longer uses them widely but they can still be prescribed for short periods such as during sleep.

Symptoms of a Whiplash Injury

  • Neck pain
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Dizziness
  • Ongoing headaches
  • Abnormal prickling or burning sensations;
  • Pain of the shoulders
  • Back pain

Herniated Discs

Herniated discs may be caused by vehicle accidents as well as the aging process. The spine is protected by jelly-like discs. When you sustain a powerful impact in a crash, discs are sometimes damaged.

A herniated disc means the disc pad has ruptured and disc fluid is protruding outside the disc space. Often it impinges on a nerve or the spinal cord causing severe pain.  The condition may require surgical intervention.

If you suffer from a herniated disc in your neck, you will likely feel considerable pain in your arm and shoulder. Herniated discs often irritate nearby spinal nerves. Sufferers may experience shooting pains when moving into certain positions, coughing or sneezing. They may experience tingling, numbness, or weakness around the affected area.

Usually, doctors will treat a herniated disc with conservative methods before deciding on surgery. These may include nerve pain medications, muscle relaxers and other over-the-counter treatments.

Physical therapy and cortisone injections can address the inflammation associated with a herniated disc after a Virginia car accident.

Surgery may be required if the injury does not respond to less invasive methods of treatment. All or part of the damaged herniated disc may be removed. When the damaged disc is removed, the two vertebrae adjacent to the disc are often fused together.

Surgery is a last resort. However, if you require surgery to treat a herniated disc, your medical bills and time off work will rack up.

The Difference Between a Herniated Disc and a Bulging Disc

People often assume bulging disc and herniated disc injuries are the same. This is not the case.

A bulging disc is diagnosed when the jelly in the center of the disc bulges out more than usual because of damage from an accident, general weakness and stretching of the outer annulus fibrosis layer.

Unlike in the case of a herniated disc, the jelly inside remains confined within the disc. Usually, small bulging discs do not cause compression of spinal nerve roots or the spinal cord and are associated with less radiating pain than herniated discs.

Talk to a Hampton Injury Lawyer About Herniated Discs and Whiplash Injuries

The neck and spine is a very complicated area of the body. Even a crash at low speed can cause considerable damage and pain. Most whiplash injuries clear up within weeks but we have seen symptoms that linger considerably longer. Herniated discs can be extremely painful and require major surgery.

Often another driver may be to blame for your whiplash or herniated disc injury. An experienced Virginia lawyer will file a claim against that driver to help ensure you get the payout you deserve. The veteran attorneys at the Smith Law Center have decades of experience in these cases. 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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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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