Most motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers, whether a person driving a truck, car, or other vehicle. That said, many people assume that the motorcyclist is at fault. Despite the fact that California has passed some of the broadest legal protections for our motorcycle riders, insurance companies often work hard to minimize the payouts for motorcyclists.
There are two things a motorcycle rider can do to combat this problem. First, they can know their rights. There are specific laws that pertain to motorcycle riders to keep them safe on the road. Second, they can get aggressive legal representation if they are involved in a car accident. If you have been injured in this type of accident then we urge you to know your rights and to contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
You have the right to lane split
As most bikers know, lane splitting is the term used for motorcycles driving between two side-by-side lanes of traffic when said lanes are moving in the same direction. Though it was not entirely legal (though never illegal either) until 2016, it is now legal to lane split. The law allows motorcycles to travel steadily between two lanes of traffic, to move back and forth from the lane to in-between the lanes, and to travel at a faster speed than the other vehicles when they are between lanes.
You have the right to share lanes
Another thing that is often misunderstood is the legality of lane sharing for motorcycles. This pertains to two motorcycles driving side by side within the same lane. It is also legal in California but there are some restrictions. For example, it is only legal on larger roads with at least two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction.
When it is legal, two motorcycles are permitted to ride side by side and one motorcycle and one passenger vehicle can ride side by side within the same lane. It is never legal for more than two bikes to share a lane.
You have a right to the road
Finally, we want bikers to never forget that they have a right to the road. Car drivers sometimes look down on motorcycle drivers and feel that they are in the way. The reality is that as a motorcycle driver you have an equal right to the road.
You have a right to file a personal injury lawsuit
While you have rights on the road, we also want all bikers to know that they also have legal rights if they are injured in an accident. Despite what an insurance adjuster might tell you, or what others may think, you have the same basic legal rights as any driver of a vehicle. If you have been in an accident and injured, then we strongly urge you to contact a personal injury attorney to find out what your options are.