As of 2019, lane splitting officially became legal in the state of California. This is great news for most people who ride motorcycles, but some people have been wondering: Who is at fault if an accident occurs while a motorcycle is lane splitting? Keep reading to learn about these types of motorcycle accidents and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
There is Disagreement About the Impact of Lane-Splitting
Those who are in favor of legal lane splitting say that the practice doesn’t increase the number of accidents – but those who are against say it does. There is little data available and all it tells us is that lane-splitting can lead to accidents – but so can many types of driving behavior. The question is whether it causes more accidents than would occur if it were not legal.
Determining Fault in Lane Splitting Accidents
As is true of any other type of motor vehicle accident, the police will investigate the accident and determine who was at fault for the accident. Note that the police officer’s decision is not necessarily final. They are giving their opinion on who is at fault based on what they see at the scene. They may choose to issue citations to one or more at-fault parties but determining fault for insurance purposes can be more complicated.
Why? Because not all the relevant evidence is obvious at the scene. Once you start working with a motorcycle accident attorney, we will complete an accident investigation and look at all the facts and evidence as it pertains to the crash. It may even be necessary for us to consult with experts who can analyze the evidence and find the exact cause of the accident. This is essential due to the fact that we are in a pure comparative negligence state.
What does that mean? It means that if you are partially at fault, any jury award or judge award you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault. This is bad news if you are 10% at fault and your award is reduced, but if you are 75% at fault it is good news that you can still sue for 25% of your damages.
Several Parties Could Be at Fault
The fact is that there are many parties who could potentially be at fault for the accident. It could be the person on the motorcycle, the driver, or a third-party that was somehow involved. It may be that several parties are partially at fault. Lane-splitting is often viewed negatively but it is legal and a motorcycle rider should not be found liable simply for lane splitting. Contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now if you need a free legal consultation.