Understanding the Legal Liability in Lane Splitting Accidents
Motor cyclists have long been allowed to split the lane with auto vehicles to avoid traffic. You are driving in the freeway and all of a sudden, you see a motorcycle accelerating next to you in the same lane. Although motorcycles share the lanes with other vehicles for years, it only became legal in 2017. California Senate introduced a bill that defined the necessary practice for motorcycles to split lanes. But even though the DMV has placed rules for motorcyclists, there were still over 6,000 splitting lane accidents.
A quick Overview of lane splitting
From its name, lane splitting is when a motorcycle rides between lanes or rows of slow moving and stopped traffic. In the case, a car and a motorcycle can be sharing the same lane in the same direction of traffic. This became legal in 2017. However, the legality of this includes speed regulations. Motorists are only allowed to share or split the lane if traffic is moving no more than 35 mph.
Liability in Lane Splitting Accidents
Given the close proximity of the motor vehicles between motorcycles and other vehicles, accidents are bound to happen. Splitting lanes means reduced space in the lane to maneuver. Another reason why accidents are expected is because when you are driving your car, you do not expect or anticipate another vehicle passing by you. Liability in these accidents are a little more complex than usual. This is because it could be difficult to know who is exactly at fault. The legal language requires motorists to split lanes in a safe manner. However, that is vague and falls to interpretation. Having said that, fault is most likely will be towards the motorists. This is because the law requires them to split the lane carefully and safely.
Factors affecting Liability in Lane Splitting Accidents
Liability in lane splitting accidents can be complex. That is why it is important to understand the factors that may help you prove your claim. If the following are true, then there is high likelihood the motorists is liable for your damages:
- The motorist was riding his/her motorcycle carelessly. Meaning speeding or weaving in and out of lanes between other vehicles.
- He/she was not an experienced motorcyclist.
- The motorcyclist never took a motorcycle riding or safety course
Like any auto accident case, having a police report, pictures and witnesses strengthen the case. Therefore, if you were in a lane splitting accident, make sure you have pictures, witnesses and a police report that can back your story.
Injury Accident Lawyer to recover your damages
If you or someone you know was involved in a lane splitting accident, you should call our office as soon as possible. In these cases, time can be sensitive. You will need to get medical treatment which is important for your health and your case. We give everyone who calls us an opportunity for a free consultation. In this meeting, we explain your case, your legal rights and your options. We highly encourage you to pursue your legal rights by calling us today.
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