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Wrongful Death Motorcycle Accident Lawyers


With injuries so often occurring as a result of violent auto and motorcycle accidents, Smith Law Center attorneys possess uncommon knowledge and expertise in negotiating highly favorable settlements with auto insurance companies, and, when necessary, pursuing a verdict in a court of law.

You may have been in a motorcycle accident caused by negligence or defective components on your bike. Or, you may believe the settlement your insurance company has offered you doesn’t adequately cover your medical needs. Whatever the case, it’s important to contact a Virginia motorcycle lawyer who understands the legal intricacies of personal injury claims, insurance laws, and products liability law.

The attorneys of the Smith Law Center offer years of successful trial experience in each of these areas of the law. Get in touch with us directly at 757.695.9134 for a free, no-obligation consultation today.

Fatal Motorcycle Accidents in Virginia

The number of deadly motorcycle accidents in Virginia is rising fast. Motorcyclists are only about 3 percent of road users but account for almost 13 percent of deaths.  Other drivers are often responsible for the deaths or riders.

From 2016 to 2017, deadly motorcycle accidents in Virginia rose 48.6 percent. The Commonwealth recorded the deaths of 107 riders and passengers in 2017.

Fatal accidents are always tragic. Although motorcyclists are aware of the heightened risks, nothing prepares their loved ones for deadly motorcycle accidents in Virginia. Many fatal bike crashes are caused by other drivers. At the Smith Law Center, we represent family members and the estate of deceased motorcyclists in wrongful death cases. Insurance companies often refuse claims over motorcycle accidents. Our trial lawyers will take them as far as the courtroom if necessary. Please contact us today after a fatal motorcycle accident.

What Causes Deadly Motorcycle Accidents in Virginia?

Although a significant proportion of motorcycle crashes are single-vehicle accidents, other motorists often cause deadly motorcycle wrecks. Here are some common causes:

Left-hand turns

Left-hand turns are one of the most dangerous maneuvers on the road. Turning left on a busy road against oncoming traffic is very stressful. Often a car driver fails to see a motorcyclist or mistimes the turn.

Drunk driving

Drunk drivers account for more than a quarter of fatal accidents on the road of Virginia. Often an intoxicated driver fails to see a motorcyclist. Far too many motorcyclists attempt to ride a motorcycle drunk. A report in RideApart noted rider intoxication was a factor in about 27 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents.

A Driver Rear-Ends a Motorcycle

Rear-end crashes are common on the highways of Virginia. The type of low-speed crash that causes property damage in a car crash can be fatal for those on two wheels.

Improper Lane Changes

Car and truck drivers often fail to see motorcyclists in their blind spots, particularly when riders are moving fast. Sudden lane changes can be deadly for riders. Motorcyclists often crash when taking evasive action to avoid another vehicle making a lane change.

Debris on the road

Material on the road that poses little danger to a driver can be a death sentence to a motorcyclist. Gravel on the road can cause a biker to lose traction. Potholes and speed humps can also be fatal hazards. Riders should pay attention to the road ahead. In some cases, contractors or local authorities are responsible for rider deaths.

Bad weather

Bad weather can be extremely dangerous for motorcyclists. Heavy rain may render them invisible to other drivers while making surfaces slippery. Motorcyclists should wear visors and protective clothing. Always avoid riding in strong winds or snowstorms.

Dooring

So-called ‘dooring’ accidents are hazardous to motorcyclists and cyclists alike. Often the driver or passenger of a parked car or truck opens the door without looking for an approaching rider. The motorcyclist may slam into the door, or take sudden evasive action causing a crash. Minimize the danger from dooring accidents by cutting down on your speed and not riding too closely to parked cars.

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Motorcycle Accident

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the death rate in motorcycle accidents is about six times that of cars and trucks.

Riders lack the steel frame of a vehicle to protect them. When a motorcycle accident occurs, the force and the sheer trauma of the impact can cause death at the scene. Severe head injuries are more likely in motorcycle accidents. When the negligence or carelessness of a driver causes a fatal motorcycle crash, the rider’s family may have grounds to file a wrongful death case.

There are special procedures in wrongful death cases that are different from personal injury lawsuits. However, the driver who caused a motorcycle accident must have been to blame for the wreck through carelessness, negligence, drunk driving, distracted driving, inattentive driving or another error.

The types of damages you can recover in a wrongful death lawsuit include the following detailed under Virginia Code § 8.01-52. Damages may include reimbursement or compensation for:

  • Mental anguish, sorrow, and solace which can include the loss of society, companionship, comfort, guidance, and advice given by the decedent
  • Loss of future income
  • Loss of services including protection, care, and assistance
  • Medical expenses incurred due to the negligence of another driver
  • Funeral and associated expenses
  • Punitive (extra) damages when willful or wanton conduct has occurred

 

In Virginia, a wrongful death case can be brought by either:

  •   The spouse of the deceased person
  •   The children of the deceased person
  •   A representative of the estate appointed by the will or by the state

 

The law also considers adopted children or even stepchildren as children of the deceased. Parents of the dead rider or siblings may make a recovery if the deceased has no spouse or children.

Call a Virginia Wrongful Death Lawyer

At the Smith Law Center, we have helped the families of deceased motorcyclists for decades. We fight insurance companies hard to achieve justice after a death. Many people who have lost a family member fail to come to terms with the tragedy in the weeks and months after the death. Our Hampton-based wrongful death lawyers will take on the insurance companies on your behalf. We will take your case all the way to trial if necessary. Please call us after deadly motorcycle accidents in Virginia at (757) 244-7000.

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IF WE DON’T WIN, YOU DON’T PAY

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

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DELIVERING RESULTS SINCE 1949

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

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WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU


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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