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Paraplegia and Quadriplegia Lawyers

Paraplegia or quadriplegia injuries can be among the worst possible outcomes of an accident. These serious injuries are often permanent, and victims will typically require intensive medical care for the rest of their lives. These cases can be exceedingly complex and require the assistance of a paraplegia or quadriplegia lawyer.

Spinal injuries can cause paraplegia or quadriplegia. These include injuries to the vertebrae, spinal cord, or surrounding ligaments. The spinal cord is vital to the functioning of the entire body, as it links the brain to the rest of the body’s central nervous system. Thus, if you suffer a spinal cord injury, you may lose sensation, the ability to move, and control of critical bodily functions. These functions may include bowel movements, sexual function, and breathing.

If you or a family member suffered a spinal cord injury, it’s vital to seek legal counsel to recover damages that can help you move on after your injury. At The Smith Law Center, a quadriplegia lawyer can help put you back on track toward a better quality of life.

What is the Difference Between Paraplegia and Quadriplegia?

Paraplegia affects the lower extremities of a victim. It occurs when a spinal cord injury occurs at the thoracic level or below. Such injuries may either be complete or incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury is permanent and irreversible. In comparison, incomplete spinal cord injuries may cause temporary paralysis that can improve in time. However, even victims who suffer an incomplete spinal cord injury may never again regain normal use of their legs.

Paraplegia due to spinal cord injury also affects abdominal muscles. Patients diagnosed with paraplegia often lose the ability to move and stretch their torso. Car accident victims who lose control of their abdominal muscles may also suffer from incontinence and lose sexual function. Spinal cord paraplegia may cause chronic pain and low blood pressure.

Quadriplegia is also known as tetraplegia, a type of paralysis that affects a victim’s arms and legs. Severe injuries to the spinal cord can result in quadriplegia or tetraplegia.

Quadriplegia is more serious than paraplegia because the victim has no control over their limbs or torso. Injuries that occur higher in the neck may be deadly. Victims can lose control over their breathing and may need to be on a ventilator for the rest of their lives. Patients with quadriplegia often need full-time care for 24 hours a day. This may also be the case for patients who have paraplegia.

What Types of Damages Can a Quadriplegia Lawyer Help Obtain?

Lawsuits involving paraplegia or quadriplegia can result in a substantial damages award that can compensate the victim for their losses. Each case outcome varies, but such compensation can cover:

  • Hospital bills
  • Costs of surgery and rehabilitation
  • Medical expenses not normally covered by insurance, such as additional therapy or alternative treatments
  • Home and vehicle accommodations, such as wheelchair ramps
  • Lost wages, since the patient will likely miss extended periods of work while recovering
  • Loss of an ability to generate income in the future, especially if the person can no longer perform their previous duties
  • Pain and suffering

One of the most challenging aspects of a spinal cord injury case is predicting the cost of future medical needs your loved one will require. An injury lawyer will make those calculations based on known formulas. Contact a qualified quadriplegia lawyer at The Smith Law Center at (757) 695-9314. We have the experience needed to handle complex injury cases.

Why Spinal Cord Injury Claims Are Complicated

If you suffered a spinal cord injury due to another person’s fault, it may be a difficult fight for justice. Often, you may need a highly specialized medical team to diagnose and treat your injuries. From the outset, your medical bills start piling up.

Victims of spinal cord injuries face critical medical needs. They can remain for months in the hospital while evidence from the crash scene disappears and recollections fade. People who suffer paralysis face many months in a costly rehabilitation center.

Even after being released from the hospital, the ordeal is not over. People affected by a spinal cord injury may require adaptive equipment and home renovations to be able to live away from a hospital. They may lose their ability to perform essential functions like walking, which can drastically affect other areas of life, especially work.

In cases like this, the burden falls on a loved one to deal with an insurance claim to cover the medical costs. Hiring a personal injury attorney will take away the added stress of dealing with insurance adjusters yourself. Working with a lawyer means preserving vital evidence of the wrongdoing that led to your injury.

What Evidence Can a Quadriplegia Lawyer Use to Prove a Case?

Unlike traumatic brain injuries, which can be difficult to detect, paraplegia or quadriplegia can be apparent shortly after an accident. In many cases, the accident victim may not be able to move or may lose control of various bodily functions.

Even still, a strong foundation of evidence will be useful in proving a spinal cord injury. Evidence can include:

  • Photos or video from the crash or accident
  • Written and verbal statements from eyewitnesses
  • Police reports
  • Medical reports and receipts
  • Physical evidence from the scene of the accident

An experienced lawyer can gather these items of evidence and use them skillfully in litigation to prove the other party’s negligence. Having an attorney handle these matters can help the victim focus on recuperating and recovering from their injuries.

How Common Are Spinal Cord Injuries?

A report by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation suggested the prevalence of paralysis across the U.S. was higher than suspected.
The study found nearly 1 in 50 people in the United States live with a form of paralysis. That’s 5.4 million people, approximately the combined populations of Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. Superman actor Christopher Reeve, who had quadriplegia for the last decade of his life after a horse-riding accident, was chairman for the foundation.

What are Common Causes of Paraplegia and Quadriplegia?

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, car crashes cause 38 percent of all spinal injuries like paraplegia and quadriplegia. Auto wrecks are the leading cause of spinal accidents in Virginia. Falls account for 32 percent of spinal injuries and violence, in particular, gunshot injuries, for 14 percent.

Extreme accidents involving trucking accidents, rollover accidents, or motorcycle wrecks are more likely to result in spinal cord injuries. Other causes of spinal cord injuries include sports accidents, medical malpractice, and botched surgeries.

The Pitfalls of Dealing with an Insurance Company For Quadriplegia

If you suffer a minor soft tissue injury in a car crash, the insurance company will seek to pay you less than what you actually deserve. However, the amount of money you can potentially lose is much higher in the case of a spinal injury that causes paralysis.

Settlements that the insurance company offers will likely fail to cover all the acute medical needs of a person with paraplegia or quadriplegia.

As such, it is highly advisable to enlist the services of a quadriplegia lawyer and pursue legal action. That way, the victim can obtain full compensation for the various costs associated with long-term care.

Contact a Hampton-Based Lawyer For Help with a Paraplegia or Quadriplegia Case

The Smith Law Center has forged a reputation for taking on complicated and serious injury cases such as spinal cord injuries and securing outstanding results. We understand the importance of being responsive and compassionate to our clients who are undergoing extremely challenging circumstances. Our trial injury lawyers have represented the injured in Virginia and further afield since 1949. See our case results or call us today at (757) 695-9314 for a free, no-obligation 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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