In the motorcycling world, splitting a lane refers to the practice of riding between two lanes of slow-moving or stopped cars, for example, during serious traffic jams. Lane splitting is usually considered a dangerous practice, which is why it may complicate an accident claim if the lane-splitting rider crashes with a motorist. Well, the mere act of lane splitting doesn't mean you cannot be compensated for your damages, but the following questions may influence your chances of recovery:
Is Lane Splitting Legal in That State?
This is the first thing that you should concern yourself with because engaging in an illegal move is a sure way of diluting your credibility in court. At present, only one state (California) has laws that make lane splitting illegal; this means you don't have to worry about being charged with a road offense if all you did was split lanes.
What Are the Court's Views on Lane Splitting?
It is important to note that most states don't have express laws to define lane splitting, so it is always up to the police and judge to determine each situation on a case-by-case basis. You should also know that the police and judges tend to frown upon lane splitting. Therefore, if you are pursuing damages for a lane splitting accident, you should take into consideration the views of the police and judge tasked with handling the case.
What Was Your Behavior While Lane Splitting?
Whether or not lane splitting is legal, it can be dangerous if not done correctly. Therefore, the judge will not just look at the fact that you were splitting lanes; they will also consider what else you were doing just before the accident. For example, the judge will want to know whether you were riding too fast, not wearing the right gear, weaving in and out of lanes or splitting lanes when there was no need to do so (say if traffic was moving at a reasonable speed). Those are all things that make lane splitting dangerous and increases your risk of being found at least partially liable for the accident.
What Was the Motorist's Behavior While Lane Splitting?
Just like the judge will put your actions under the spotlight, the actions of the motorist will also be examined to determine whether and how they could have contributed to the accident. For example, a motorist who is using their phone while driving, driving while intoxicated or driving in and out of lanes. In such a case, the other driver may be found at least partially responsible for the accident.
Get in touch with a local personal injury lawyer for more help.
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