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Motorcycles Cases Summarized By Personal Injury Lawyer

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Motorcycles. For more information on motorcycle accidents see the pages on Wikipedia and the pages on this site dealing with motorcycle accidents.


See Va. Code § 46.2-100 for definition.

See Va. Code § 46.2-800. Persons operating moped on highway have same rights and duties as driver of any vehicle unless context of provision clearly indicates otherwise.

See Va. Code § 46.2-910 indicating that failure to wear face shield, safety glasses or goggles or protective helmets shall not constitute negligence per se in any civil proceeding.

See Va. Code § 46.2-912 stating that it is unlawful to operate motorcycles on public highways without headlights, horn or rearview mirror.

See Va. Code § 46.2-857 as to driving motorcycles alongside another vehicle in lane only intended for one vehicle.

See Va. Code § 46.2-337 as to licensing requirements for motorcycles.


2007 Commonwealth v. Burns, 273 Va. 14, 639 S.E.2d 276.

In this wrongful death action asserted against the Commonwealth and VDOT employee, it was alleged that they left a two-inch depression in the driving surface that was approximately three feet wide and 108 feet long in the left portion of the right lane. Plaintiff on a motorcycle hit that area and lost control. The public duty doctrine does not bar a claim of negligence or gross negligence against a public employee where there is no public duty owed by the public official to the citizenry at large. In this instance, the duty was owed to an individual, i.e. the motorist in this case and therefore the public duty doctrine is not applicable.

2001 Stout v. Bartholomew, 261 Va. 547, 544 S.E.2d 653.

Motorcyclist injured when dog attacked her. She brought negligence action against dog’s caretakers and negligence and breach of warranty claim against invisible-fence company and fence manufacturer. Supreme court held that county code provision requiring dogs to be kept secured by leash or lead and under control of owner or within the real property limits of owner was not applicable and therefore, did not supply standard of care as to caretakers of dog. Judgment against caretaker set aside. When dog escapes from pet containment system designed to keep dog within owner’s property limits, owner has not violated county code provisions requiring that dog be kept secured by leash and under control of owner. This action by owner and caretaker was reasonable and caretaker did not fail to exercise ordinary care. Jury returned verdict against plaintiff on her negligence claim against the invisible-fence company.

1981 Central Nat’l Ins. Co. v. Virginia Farm Bur. Mut. Ins. Co., 222 Va. 353, 282 S.E.2d 4.

Record was insufficient to determine whether “trail bike” was “automobile” or “midget automobile” excluded from coverage.

1973 Sager v. Ortts, 214 Va. 318, 200 S.E.2d 539.

Plaintiff on motorcycle was in line of traffic passing through uncontrolled intersection. Defendant had yielded to line of traffic and cannot reassert right of way until line of traffic passes.

1970 Phillips v. Schools, 211 Va. 19, 175 S.E.2d 279.

Statute dealing with motorcycles and person riding bicycles refers to persons controlling operation not to passenger on bicycle.

1961 Rushton v. Mountcastle, 202 Va. 521, 118 S.E.2d 660.

Plaintiff on motorcycle was forced to stop quickly as result of defendant’s sudden lane change and stopping. Verdict for plaintiff affirmed.

1960 Railway Express Agency v. Moore, 201 Va. 928, 114 S.E.2d 626.

Intersection accident. Plaintiff on motorcycle recovered against defendant when intersection was not normal one and it cannot be said that plaintiff was bound to see defendant had he looked.

1960 Beasly v. Barnes, 201 Va. 593, 113 S.E.2d 62.

Table of stopping distance not applicable to motorcycles.

1960 Thompson v. Mann, 201 Va. 528, 111 S.E.2d 792.

Plaintiff passenger on cycle collided with vehicle in intersection. Neither driver saw other until just before accident. Jury issue presented.

1959 Lilley v. Simmons, 200 Va. 791, 108 S.E.2d 245.

Oncoming vehicle drove to left of center into lane of motorcycle. Defendant was not entitled to instruction on contributory negligence.

1955 Gough v. Shaner, 197 Va. 572, 90 S.E.2d 171.

Plaintiff’s decedent killed while riding on gas tank of motorcycle in violation of ordinance prohibiting overloading vehicle or transporting more persons than vehicle has regular seats for. Decedent was child of thirteen; not negligence per se.

1953 Kidd & Taylor v. Little, 194 Va. 692, 74 S.E.2d 787.

Motor scooter alleged sudden stopping of defendant caused scooter to rear-end plaintiff. Jury issue presented.

1947 Hickerson v. Burner, 186 Va. 66, 41 S.E.2d 451.

Collision between motorcycle and automobile. Verdict for operator of automobile.

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