Virginia Beach Helmet Laws
Under Virginia law, all motor vehicles classified as motorcycles require drivers to wear helmets that meet the specifications of the Snell Memorial Foundation, the American National Standards Institute, or the Federal Department of Transportation, which Virginia has adopted. Whether one has a slower-moving motorcycle with a smaller engine or a souped-up motorcycle that can drive at high speeds, it does not matter. No motorcycles are excluded from Virginia Beach helmet laws.
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident and were not wearing a helmet, this fact could complicate a personal injury claim. A defense lawyer could argue that the extent of your injuries is a result of your failure to wear a helmet. For this reason, it is crucial to have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney by your side. Seasoned Cooper Hurley personal injury lawyers could create a solid defense against the prosecution’s arguments and fight for you.
Impact of Helmet Use in a Personal Injury Case
The law is clear that wearing a helmet while operating a motorcycle in Virginia Beach is mandatory. That same law is explicit in noting that a failure to wear a motorcycle helmet does not constitute negligence in and of itself in a civil proceeding. While someone might be punished, and while they violated a traffic law by not wearing it, it cannot be used as proof of negligence against them in a personal injury civil proceeding.
Contributory Negligence in Virginia Beach
Negligence is when another person, often the driver of a car, truck, or motorcycle, fails to use due care and act as a reasonably prudent person would under similar circumstances. If someone is negligent, they can be held financially responsible for injuring others. As a defense to a negligence claim, that same negligent driver may argue that the person he injured was contributorily negligent.
Under Virginia law, if the injured person shares any fault, even as small as one percent, in contributing to the cause of the accident and their own injuries, then the injured person is arguably contributorily negligent. If the judge or the jury finds the injured person is contributorily negligent, and the contributory negligence is a proximate cause of cause of their own injuries, they are barred from recovery under Virginia law.
Stated another way, claiming that an injured person is contributorily negligent is the argument that the injured person did not use due care for their own safety and did not act as a reasonably prudent person would act under like circumstances. This rule is known as pure contributory negligence. When the injured person shares any fault for causing their own injuries, they are barred from recovery. This is true even if the other party is almost entirely at fault.
Talking to an Attorney About Helmet Laws
If you are concerned that your failure to follow Virginia Beach helmet laws will affect your personal injury case, reach out to a skilled personal injury attorney for assistance. They could review the facts of your case and explain the possible outcomes. If the defense tries to argue that not wearing a helmet played a role in your injuries, an experienced attorney could come to your defense. Call today to schedule a consultation.