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Brain Injury and Epilepsy FAQs

Brain injury and epilepsy affect thousands of people a year. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 3 million adults and 470,000 children across the U.S. deal with the brain disorder.

Whether they inherited it through genetics or acquired it through traumatic brain injury, many with epilepsy share the same questions about how brain injury and epilepsy are connected.

Below you will find answers to a few of the most common questions surrounding TBI and epilepsy, including what you can do if you believe you have epilepsy as the result of a preventable brain injury.

For some, epilepsy from a brain injury might necessitate legal action. If this describes your situation, it’s best to speak with a lawyer regarding the details of your personal case. Contact the experienced attorneys at the Smith Law Center if you believe another party was responsible for your trauma-induced epilepsy.

Can epilepsy cause brain damage?

Consecutive MRI images show a brain scan.

Studies are mixed in response to this question; however, most agree overall that mild to moderate brain damage can occur with prolonged, recurring seizures that accompany epilepsy. This is mainly caused by the atrophy or dying off of neurons in the brain. Early intervention can help curtail the long term effects of this.

One such study by the American Journal of Neuroradiology said that “brain damage can occur quickly and be profound,” while another by global information analytics, Elsevier, revealed that “most studies revealed no significant adverse effects.” 

What can be concluded by most is that a seizure can compromise neurons in the brain — those cells that signal commands, send information, and coordinate muscle movements in the rest of the body. Still, most people with epilepsy are able to lead productive lives, in spite of how it may impair cognitive abilities.

Considering brain damage and epilepsy, there are two main factors that influence seizure-induced brain damage:

  • Age
  • Developmental stage

Teens and adults are more susceptible to damage after seizures than newborns and infants. The potential impact will also depend on the severity or type of seizure involved.

Regardless of your situation, the important note to make here is that any seizure is a reason for immediate medical treatment to avoid the risk of prolonged damage. 

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is characterized by recurring, unprovoked seizures. A patient may be diagnosed with epilepsy if they have at least two unprovoked seizures that were not caused by a specific, known, and reversible medical condition like low blood sugar. Diagnosis can also occur in cases where a person has one unprovoked seizure with the likelihood of having more. 

A group of medical practitioners analyze brain scans on a digital tablet in a hospital boardroom. Brain injury can lead to epilepsy, as studies have shown.

Epileptic seizures are typically related to two main causes: brain injury or genetic inheritance. In many cases, the cause is entirely unknown. The term “epilepsy” alone doesn’t specify the cause or severity of a person’s condition.

What are seizures?

A seizure describes an incident of strong electrical activity in the brain that comes without warning. They can last anywhere between 30 seconds to two minutes and momentarily control the way a person appears or behaves.

Starting in 2017, the Epilepsy Foundation began identifying seizures by a new system that categorizes them into three main types based on which part of the brain they begin in:

  1. Generalized Onset: Seizures involving both sides of the brain simultaneously
  2. Focal Onset: Seizures originating in one part or side of the brain
  3. Unknown Onset: Seizures where the location of origin is unknown or yet to be known

Seizure Symptoms

Seizures vary in their symptoms and intensities. At times, the symptoms are less visible, such as unexplainable emotional changes, nausea, or even hallucination. Other times, the effects of a seizure can lead to serious physical risk with:

  • Convulsions
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Falls and head injuries
  • Tongue biting

When a seizure occurs at a particularly inopportune time, the consequences can be drastic and cause further injury. If a person has a seizure when no one is around and falls unconscious or sustains a head injury, for example, he or she can suffer greater injuries due to delayed medical attention.

What is Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE)?

Post-Traumatic Epilepsy is a type of epilepsy that stems from a brain injury, mostly involving the frontal and temporal lobes. Whereas other types of epilepsy can derive from genetics or family history, PTE is acquired after birth from an injury involving head trauma.

Post-Traumatic Epilepsy Symptoms

PTE is diagnosed when seizures last longer than a week after head trauma. When a person has Post-Traumatic Seizures (PTS), the seizures come in the week following a traumatic brain injury and are considered to be directly related to the head trauma. It is when the seizures persist after a week that it is considered PTE. This can also be called late PTS.

Brain Injury and Epilepsy

With 1.7 million people suffering a TBI each year, the CDC reports that one in ten of those who are 15 years or older will be diagnosed with epilepsy in the following three years.

Brain injury and epilepsy are a serious concern, since many times they are preventable.

If you believe you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury and epilepsy as a result due to the careless actions of another person, you might qualify for legal assistance to help with the cost of treatment. Learn more about your options by speaking to an attorney qualified in the areas of brain injury and epilepsy today by contacting the Brain Injury Law Center at (877) 537-4340.

Can you sue for getting epilepsy from a brain injury?

A group of medical practitioners analyze brain scans on a digital tablet in a hospital boardroom. Brain injury can lead to epilepsy, as studies have shown.

In many instances, epilepsy from traumatic brain injury is the result of another’s careless or negligent actions. For example, brain injuries can be caused by:

In such cases, it may be necessary to pursue legal action.

If a brain injury can be traced back to the negligence or carelessness of a party or person, you may be able to sue for all damages you have suffered as a result of that, including those caused by epilepsy. This is known as a personal injury lawsuit.

What can epilepsy compensation cover?

Epilepsy compensation can cover a range of damages.

As many who live with epilepsy are aware, living with the condition can require special needs. A person may have difficulty performing everyday tasks. For many, prescription drugs help minimize the sudden onset of seizures, while others may require help with transportation due to driving limitations.

Whatever your unique needs may be, it is worth speaking to an epilepsy attorney about whether you qualify for compensation to help with:

  • Lost wages or earning capacity
  • Transportation needs
  • Medical bills and prescription medication costs
  • Emotional pain and trauma

Those living with brain injury and epilepsy may also experience strain in their relationships as a result of drastic changes caused by the initial injury and the seizures themselves. 

The particulars of your situation may warrant more or less financial compensation, which is why it’s best to speak with a qualified, experienced brain injury attorney. We can help you understand who may be liable for epilepsy due to a brain injury.

Talk to an Epilepsy Attorney About Your Rights

Understanding basic information about traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, and how they interact can have significant impacts on your ability to obtain a legal damages award.

If you or someone you know suffers from epilepsy because of a traumatic brain injury, please don’t hesitate to contact the lawyers at the Brain Injury Law Center to learn about your options.  Our knowledgeable, experienced attorneys have been handling brain injury and epilepsy cases since 1949. We have helped our clients receive over $1 billion in compensation for their injuries. We can help you, too.

Call us today at (877) 537-4340 for a free, private case review.

Our Verdicts & Settlements

Trial for Woman with Brain Injury Settles Two Days Into Trial
Awarded: $14,590,000.00
MANASSAS, Virginia – Motorcycle dealer and tire manufacturers settled for installation of a defective inner tube in the rear tire of a Harley Davidson motorcycle that failed, causing a brain injury to a female passenger.

Jury Awards $4,100,000.00 to School Principal for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Awarded: $4,100,000.00
HAMPTON, Virginia – A middle school principal suffered mild traumatic brain injury in an auto wreck.

Jury Awards $988,000.00 to Woman Who Slipped and Fell on Wet Floor Stuckey’s

Awarded: $988,000.00
SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Virginia – A jury awarded $988,000.00 to a woman who fell on a wet floor in a restroom and suffered a mild traumatic brain injury.


Mr. Smith came highly recommended when my husband was disabled in a car crash over the Christmas holiday when a truck swerved into his lane. It was nice to have someone advocating for us who had been down this path before. We wholeheartedly endorse Mr. Smith and the Brain Injury Law Center.
— Sara R.

When the doctors explained that I had some slight but significant brain damage, my wife called the Brain Injury Law Center. Not only did he [Stephen Smith] pick up the phone, the number we called went directly to his cell phone. From that moment on, we knew we called the right guy. Stephen M. Smith and the Brain Injury Law Center were the only lawyers educated and sophisticated enough to try my case. I have no idea where I’d be today without them.
— Tommy B.

Dear Mr. Smith: Although this card is rather small, the “Thank You” isn’t small at all… You will never know what this money has meant to us. It does not remove the effects of the stroke but makes things somewhat better. The respect you displayed towards me was overwhelming. Thank you so much, Stephen.
— Tom


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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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