Important Facts About Motorcycle Accidents and Lane Splitting
When you are preparing to ride your motorcycle, your thoughts are mainly on doing so on the open road with nothing to slow you down. Chances are you will encounter slow-moving traffic or a traffic jam when you reach the city, which has ground everything to a halt. In these instances, you may use your bike to drive between two lanes of traffic, a practice known as lane splitting. While it sounds easy enough to do, many accidents involving motorcyclists and motorists take place in these situations. When they do, a number of factors will go into determining who was responsible for the accident. To make sure your rights are protected in these situations, make an immediate call to a Los Angeles personal injury attorney you can trust.
Is Lane Splitting Legal in California?
Technically, lane splitting is considered neither legal or illegal in most states. In California, lane splitting is permitted if it is done in what is viewed as a “safe and prudent” manner. Since this is obviously open to interpretation by police, insurance companies, judges, and others, it can make an already complex case much more difficult. Therefore, consider building your claim with a motorcycle accident lawyer Los Angeles with experience and knowledge needed to win these cases.
Police and Courts
When reviewing motor vehicle accidents regarding lane splitting in California, your attorney will likely tell you that law enforcement will find your actions unlawful, meaning you will have a more difficult time winning your case. However, all hope is not lost. Since police will need to carefully examine the accident, speak to witnesses, and lay out the facts pertaining to the accident exactly as they happened, it may be possible for your lawyer to prove another driver caused the accident. Since your ability to gain complete compensation for your injuries and other damages will depend on proving the accident was not your fault, work closely with your lawyer to make sure all details of the accident are carefully examined.
Why are Motorcyclists Always Blamed for these Accidents?
As to why motorcyclists are blamed for lane splitting accidents, it is typically due to such factors as having reduced space to maneuver, vehicles being very close to each other, and drivers not expecting motorcyclists to pass them when traffic is slow or halted. While it is very easy for an insurance company, police, and judges to say you were careless while riding, your attorney may say otherwise. By demonstrating that another driver was changing lanes without using turn signals, was distracted by talking or texting on their phone, or other factors, you can come away with a legal win and money to pay your medical expenses and make up for lost income.
Factors Working in Your Favor
Along with proving the other driver was at fault for the accident, you can also increase the chances of winning your case. For example, if you have been riding a motorcycle for many years accident-free, this can work in your favor. Also, if you have completed a safety course, this too can work in your favor. Finally, by having your lawyer carefully examine each and every word of police reports and witness statements arguing your case, it can be shown that witnesses stated the other driver was erratic or careless while behind the wheel.
Taking Precautions While Lane Splitting
If you are a motorcyclist who uses lane splitting on a regular basis, it is always best to take as many precautions as possible to prevent an accident from occurring. To do so, you can do such things as stay alert and aware of all vehicles near you while lane splitting. Along with this, you can also turn on your headlight, wear reflective clothing, and honk your horn if vehicles get too close. In addition, pay close attention to your speed while lane splitting. To decrease the chance you will be in an accident, always approach lane splitting at speeds that are only slightly faster than moving traffic. If an accident does occur and witnesses state you were driving at what they perceived to be a high rate of speed, you may lose your case and your chance to be compensated for medical bills and related damages.
Lane Splitting Injuries
When motorcyclists are involved in lane splitting accidents, they suffer various types of injuries. In many accidents, injuries such as broken arms and legs are common, since cars will often swerve into a rider’s lane without any warning, thus hitting them with their vehicle. In other situations, a driver stuck in a traffic jam may open their car door to get out and stretch their legs for a minute or two, not realizing you are heading their way. If this happens, you may be thrown from your bike and suffer serious head and neck injuries, lacerations, and other injuries requiring immediate medical assistance. By getting medical treatment at the scene and at a hospital, you can have your injuries documented in your medical records. Once this is done, an insurance company will find it more difficult to say your accident did not result in any serious injuries, allowing the legal professional representing your case to aggressively pursue an out-of-court settlement.
Due to the ambiguousness associated with lane splitting, you will undoubtedly need an experienced lawyer on your side who has handled these specific types of cases in the past. Since the fate of your case will likely rest on your attorney’s ability to uncover and present evidence to the court showing you were not responsible for what happened, hire the best possible attorney for motorcycle accident compensation. To do so, schedule your consultation today with Grey Law.