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What Are the Motorcycle Safety Laws in Virginia?


Virginia is an amazing place to enjoy motorcycling. There is an incredible feeling when you ride across the state that can only be shared by other motorcyclists.

While motor vehicles have a duty to watch for you on the road, a negligent driver can cause a catastrophic motorcycle accident that may rob you of that feeling forever.

At the Smith Law Center, we believe every motorcyclist has a right to the road and to experience the beauty of Virginia without the threat of careless drivers. When the worst happens, our dedicated motorcycle accident attorneys will fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve.

Call and schedule a free assessment of your case by clicking here or calling (757) 244-7000.

A helmet with shield, protective gloves, thick black jacket, and sunglasses are laid out on a wooden table along with the key to a motorcycle.

What Are the Virginia Motorcycle Laws?

Like car and truck drivers, motorcycle riders must follow certain laws set by the state to ensure the roads remain safe for everyone. Some important laws to know under the Code of Virginia include:

In addition, there are specific Virginia motorcycle requirements every bike must meet. Riders and their passengers must also wear safety gear, including a helmet and eye protection. A rider must also be aware of the helmet requirements and helmet regulations.

What Are the Virginia Motorcycle Requirements?

Virginia motorcycle requirements are detailed in the above links. All motorbikes must have:

Motorcycles are also required to pass an annual safety inspection.

What Are Virginia’s Helmet Requirements?

As stated above, all motorcyclists and their passengers are required to wear specific safety gear. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, passengers only need to wear a helmet. However, operators of the motorcycle must wear:

  • Shatterproof, scratch-resistant, and well-ventilated eye protection in the form of:
    • Goggles
    • Glasses with plastic or safety lenses
    • Helmet with a face shield
    • Bike with windshield
  • Headgear that meets or exceeds the helmet regulations set forth by:
    • The federal Department of Transportation (DOT), which has four tests for the legal minimum standard a helmet must pass:
      • Impact test
      • Penetration test
      • Retention strap test
      • Peripheral vision test
    • The Snell Memorial Foundation Certification (SMF), which has stricter testing, including:
      • Impact test
      • Roll-off test
      • Dynamic retention test
      • Chin bar impact test
      • Two distinct penetration tests
    • The American National Standards Institute, Inc (ANSI), which certifies general sports and work helmets but does not have any specific certification for motorcycle helmets

Helmets go through rigorous testing for each certification listed above. It can be challenging for motorcyclists to choose the right helmet for them. One helmet may be certified by the DOT but fail certification by the Snell Foundation.

Reviewing the helmet regulations can help protect motorcyclists from purchasing inferior headgear. Whichever helmet you choose, make sure it has one of the above certifications listed.

A male motorcyclist looks out through his helmet’s windshield while sitting on a bike with safety lights on as the sun goes down.

How Does the Virginia Motorcycle Helmet Law Affect My Claim?

Unfortunately, many injured motorcycle riders feel they will not be able to file a claim if they were not following all of the Virginia motorcycle requirements or helmet requirements. That is not the case.

If you were not wearing a helmet in your accident, that does not take away your right to recover damages for your injuries.

However, the lack of a helmet may be used against you:

  • An insurance adjuster may pressure you into accepting a lower offer than you deserve
  • An insurance company may deny your claim, forcing you into a difficult appeals process

It is crucial to have a highly skilled attorney by your side to overcome any hurdles in your claim. At the Smith Law Center, our motorcycle collision lawyers will make sure the focus of your accident remains on your injuries and how they have affected your day-to-day life. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the last reporting year, motorcycle injuries increased by 2%, totaling over 84,000 riders. The most common injuries include:

Expressing the pain and suffering of a person is one of the most challenging aspects of any personal injury claim. Pain is not something someone can see, like a medical bill or a damaged motorcycle. Our attorneys are exceptionally skilled at presenting your pain in such a way that an otherwise healthy person can understand. When you have suffered serious trauma from a motorcycle crash due to a negligent motorist, you need our motorcycle accident attorneys to stand up for what is right.

What if I Lost a Loved One in A Motorcycle Accident?

Some causes of motorcycle accidents can be fatal. According to the Insurance Information Institute reports:

  • Motorcycle riders are 29 times more likely to be killed than passenger car occupants
  • 14% of all traffic fatalities are motorcyclists or their passengers

If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, our compassionate attorneys are here to hold negligent parties accountable. When careless motorists cause deadly motorcycle accidents, families are left devastated.

We understand no amount of compensation can ease your grief. However, wrongful death claims are not filed solely for monetary gain. Wrongful death claims are also filed to hold careless people responsible and to prevent future tragedies. Any financial compensation will represent the extent of wrongdoing.

Call Smith Law Center and speak with our sensitive and dedicated wrongful death attorneys today. We can discuss the details of your case and help you and your family gain the closure you need to move on.

When you have suffered serious trauma from a motorcycle crash due to a negligent motorist, you need our motorcycle accident attorneys to stand up for what is right.

What Compensation Can a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Recover in Virginia?

Our Virginia motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help you through this difficult time. If you have been seriously injured by an act of negligence, you deserve compensation. The most common damages we have recovered for our clients include:

  • Full compensation for medical expenses related to the accident
  • Lost wages if you are unable to work
  • Loss of future earning potential
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Possible punitive damages

It is important to speak with our motorcycle accidents lawyers to discuss which damages apply to your unique case. Even if you did not follow all of the Virginia motorcycle laws, our dedicated personal injury attorneys will fight for your right to compensation. Close-up of the hands of a bearded motorcycle rider who has removed his safety gloves to make a phone call.

How Can the Smith Law Center Personal Injury Attorneys in Virginia Protect My Rights?

The Smith Law Center has been advocating for the rights of injury victims for more than 70 years. Our founder, Attorney Joseph Smith, opened the Smith Law Center in 1949. Now his sons, Attorneys Stephen and Howard Smith, are proud to serve Virginians who have been harmed by negligence.

As one of Virginia’s largest personal injury firms, we have the experience, skill, and resources you need to maximize your compensation. We have built our reputation on dedication, integrity, and trustworthy service. Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Virginia protect the rights of injury victims with aggressive representation.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident through no fault of your own, call the Smith Law Center today. Our talented litigators have a long track record of delivering results that are higher than expected. Schedule a free evaluation of your case today by clicking here or calling (757) 244-7000.

Motorcycle Safety FAQs

Is it illegal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet?

All motorcycle riders and passengers must wear a helmet in Virginia. The helmet must meet the standards set by the Snell Memorial Foundation, American National Standards Institute, Inc., and the federal Department of Transportation. In addition, motorcycle riders must wear safety glasses or goggles, a face shield, or have a bike that has a windshield.

Is it possible to "safely" crash a motorcycle?

“Safely” crashing a motorcycle refers to measures a rider can take to prevent as much bodily harm as possible. If you must go down, remember to let go of your bike, tuck your arms and legs, and aim to slide on your side. Once you think you have stopped, count to five to be sure.

What safety gear is required on a motorcycle?

Virginia requires all motorcycle riders to wear protective eyewear. Some motorcycles are equipped with a windshield or safety glass. If the bike does not have built-in protection, motorcyclists must wear a face shield, glasses, or goggles.

Am I at fault in an accident if I wasn't following all the motorcycle safety laws?

Whether you were following every motorcycle safety law or not, suffering serious injuries due to the negligent actions of another is devastating. Our motorcycle accident attorneys are here to discuss the details of your case and help you hold the responsible parties accountable. Contact the Smith Law Center today and schedule a free consultation by clicking here or calling (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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We are one of Virginia’s largest and most successful law firms.

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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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