• mobile
Select Page


Jet skis or personal watercraft are some of the most dangerous vessels on the water. Numerous jet ski accidents are reported because these machines are fast and unstable. They are often driven by young and inexperienced riders.

Jet skis can be great fun on the waters off Hampton, Chesapeake Bay, or Virginia Beach. However, you should treat them with care. You should operate them like other boats. Unfortunately, many states lack adequate laws to govern how jet skis or PWCs are operated.

We see some terrible injuries cause by jet ski accidents. Riders often suffer broken limbs, back and head injuries, burns and joint damage. In some cases, victims drowned. Reckless jet ski users place other boaters and swimmers at risk. If you or a family member has been injured on the water, please contact our Hampton personal injury lawyers as soon as possible.

What are the Rules to Prevent Jet Ski Injuries in Virginia?

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries sets out rules relating to jet skis in the Commonwealth.

As of July 2009, the department made it mandatory for all riders 20 and younger must complete a boater safety course.

The dangers were highlighted in the 2003 boating accident statistics in Virginia, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries points out.

While personal watercraft comprised just over 10 percent of all registered boats, they were involved in 22.6 percent of all boating accidents in Virginia that year. Although no newer statistics are available, jet skis remain popular and the accidents have continued.

“As a fast growing segment of boating, both in Virginia and the nation, personal watercraft operators need to become more safety conscious through personal responsibility,” the department stated on its website.

What are the Most Common Injuries from Jet Ski Accidents in Virginia?

Jet ski accidents often cause extreme injuries. These vessels operate at a high speed and riders have little protection. The main injuries include:

  • Head Injuries and concussions: Mild traumatic head injuries like concussions are one of the most common jet ski injuries. Riders of personal water craft seldom wear head protection, nor is it mandatory. If they are thrown off their jet ski, they may hit the water or an obstacle hard. A concussion in the water can be particularly hazardous, leading to disorientation and drowning.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: It’s not uncommon for jet ski riders to end up paralyzed after a serious accident. The high speeds involved in jet ski crashes can put extreme force on the spine.
  • Arm and leg fractures: Often a rider will seek to break his or her fall by putting out a hand or a leg. Wrist and ankle fractures are common in jet ski accidents as well as serious sprains.
  • Burn injuries: In some cases, crashes cause jet skis to ignite. The rider or other parties may suffer serious burn injuries. Riders have been killed during fueling accidents in Hampton Roads.  

Tips for Safe Jet Ski Use in Virginia

Many people who are injured or killed in jet ski accidents act recklessly or fail to follow the rules. Often swimmers or other boaters end up as victims of riders.

  • Don’t Drink Alcohol on the Water: Many people think differently about drinking alcohol on the water than on the roads. However, the rules are the same. Drinking alcohol can be hazardous on the water, especially for jet ski riders operating at high speeds.
  • Wear a Lifejacket: Always wear a lifejacket when you are out on the water. Rivers and the ocean can be unforgiving places. Even advanced swimmers can drown if they are out on the water for a long time.
  • Maintain Your Watercraft: People who own their own personal watercraft should maintain it before hitting the water. Failing to check the gas tank is full or the battery is working can leave you stranded on the water and pose dangers to other boaters.
  • Slow Down: Excess speed is a major cause of jet ski crashes. Make sure to maintain a safe speed and keep distance between yourself and other boaters.
  • Don’t race or play games: Many deadly jet ski crashes are caused by reckless riders, racing or other irresponsible behavior. A jet ski is a dangerous piece of equipment not a toy.

Liability for Accidents Involving Rented Jet Skis

Many people who go out on jet skis rent them. If a jet ski is badly maintained or defective, the rental company can he held liable for accidents on the water. There have also been cases of product liability lawsuits against manufacturers for defectively designed personal watercraft.

Contact a Virginia Jet Ski Accident Attorney

The lawyers at the Smith Law Center have represented many people hurt at sea and on the waters in maritime injury cases. We have also helped injured boaters on Virginia’s inland waterways. If you or a family member has been hurt in a boating accident please contact our experienced team at (757) 244-7000.

Best Law firms
Best lawyers
American Board of Trial Advocates
Brain Injury Association
Best Law firms
Best lawyers
American Board of Trial Advocates
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.