Virginia Beach Motorcycle Accident Laws
Motorcycles have an obligation to follow the rules of the road, just like other vehicles in Virginia Beach. Motorcycling involves unique safety risks, however, and bikers can become seriously injured in the event of an accident.
If you were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, you could be entitled to compensation. Our respected legal team at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers could fight for your rights and help you understand how Virginia Beach motorcycle accident laws apply to your situation. Call today to schedule a consultation.
Virginia is a Pure Contributory Negligence State
The rules of the Commonwealth of Virginia apply to motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle accidents, that occur in the City of Virginia Beach. Virginia is one of the few pure contributory negligence states remaining in the country. Pure contributory negligence is a harsh and unforgiving rule and is often referred to as the one percent rule. If the injured person contributes to causing the accident or their own injuries to any degree, they are barred from any recovery for personal injuries under Virginia law.
Even if the other driver is mostly at fault, any shared fault by the injured person is a complete bar to recovery. This prevents the person from seeking reimbursement for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, or any other damages. For example, suppose a judge or jury determines the other driver is 90 percent at fault and the injured person is 10 percent at fault. In a pure contributory negligence state such as Virginia, the person receives nothing.
Who Can File a Personal Injury Claim?
Under the laws that apply to Virginia Beach motorists, any person injured through no fault of their own by another’s negligent operation of a motor vehicle can file a personal injury claim. Related to this, they might file an insurance claim seeking payment for personal injuries and property damage. Under the umbrella of a personal injury claim, that includes payment for past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, scarring, and disfigurement, as well as payment for pain, suffering, and inconvenience resulting from another driver negligently harming them.
Under Virginia law, the property damage claim, which could include the motorcycle and personal property damaged in the accident, and the personal injury claim are ordinarily treated separately. One claim might be settled while the other litigated. One can be concluded without compromising the ability to pursue the other. They do not have to be pursued at the same time nor in the same lawsuit.
Driving Standards for Motorcyclists
Motorcycles are considered motor vehicles just like cars, trucks, and tractor trailers. They have the same rights and obligations as other motorists on the roadways of Virginia Beach, the highways of Virginia Beach, and interstates passing through Virginia Beach. Like all drivers, motorcyclists have the same obligations to:
- Maintain a proper lookout
- Avoid following other vehicles too closely
- Operate their vehicle at a safe speed
- Obey lane markings and traffic control devices
These are often referred to as the “rules of the road” that all drivers must obey, whether operating a car, truck, or motorcycle. For more information about driving standards and Virginia Beach motorcycle accident laws, call an attorney.
Enforcement of Motorcycle Laws in Virginia Beach
These standards are enforced by local law enforcement such as the Virginia Beach Police Department. They aggressively enforce traffic laws on the roadways, especially driving under the influence. Virginia Beach makes more DUI arrests and prosecutions than any other city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. That is partially due to Virginia Beach being the largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia and a resort town.
There are many vacationers in Virginia Beach resulting in more drivers on average. The local police department is aggressive in locating, arresting, and prosecuting drivers as well as enforcing the traffic rules because of the high traffic volumes in Virginia Beach.
Classification of Motorcycles
Under Virginia law as stated in Virginia Code, Section 46.2-100, a motorcycle is classified as every motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground and is capable of traveling at speeds in excess of 35 miles per hour. A motorcycle does not include any auto-cycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, farm tractor, golf cart, moped, motorized skateboard or foot scooter, utility vehicle, or wheelchair conveyance as defined in this section.
A moped is considered a motorcycle if it travels 35 miles an hour or faster. When someone is operating a moped at 35 miles an hour or faster, the motorcycle rules apply to them. Motorcyclists in Virginia Beach are required to have a valid Virginia driver’s license as well as a Class M motorcycle license, which requires additional safety training that pertains to the operation of motorcycles.
Contact a Virginia Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorney
At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we understand the difficulties victims face after an accident. If you suffered a major injury, you may be concerned about how to pay for your medical expenses or make up for lost time at work.
Thankfully, our compassionate injury attorneys are here to help. We could work within the system of Virginia Beach motorcycle accident laws and fight for fair compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to discuss your case.