Lane splitting, a common practice among motorcyclists, involves a rider driving between two lanes of cars in times of slow or stopped traffic. Although relatively common, laws that either prohibit or permit lane splitting vary by state, and many states lack clear statutes detailing its legality. Generally, liability in an accident involving lane splitting will go to the motorcyclist, unless the other driver’s actions indicate behavior that is more reckless. This convention is in place because many consider lane splitting an opportune way for accidents to occur. The close proximity of the car and the motorcycle, the reduced speed of traffic and the fact that other cars do not anticipate an oncoming motorcyclist to zoom past them in slowed traffic all contribute to lane splitting accidents.
Although the motorcyclist is more likely to be found liable in a lane splitting accident, there are actions a motorcyclist can take to prove the other party’s fault. Proving that another driver’s actions contributed to the accident can result in partial damages or full compensation for an innocent motorcyclist. Precautions, such as wearing reflective clothing, driving with headlights on and riding at a speed only slightly higher than the speed of traffic, can help support your claim. In proving fault, it is imperative to seek the counsel of a motorcycle accident attorney informed about the lane splitting laws of your state.
FACTORS PROVING FAULT OF DRIVER
If it can be determined that a driver was talking on the phone at the time of the accident, weaving between lanes recklessly or otherwise not paying attention, a motorcyclist has a better chance of recovering damages. Other factors that can help prove a motorcycle rider’s claim include:
- The motorcyclist was driving carefully, avoiding reckless lane changing or weaving
- The motorcyclist is a responsible driver with no past accident history
- The motorcyclist has completed a safety course
- The other driver was doing something more dangerous
Evidence of past riding behavior considered cautious and safe will make it more likely that a judge or insurance company will find your claim valid.
CONTACT A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS ATTORNEY
If you or someone you love has been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is always wise to obtain the representation of a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer that can help prove your claim. At Chris Mayo Law Firm, our knowledgeable legal team has the resources to ensure