Glendale Lane-Splitting Accident Attorneys
California is the only state that does not have explicit laws against lane-splitting, which is why we commonly see motorcycle riders sliding between vehicles on the 10 and other public roads. However, other vehicle drivers are rarely as aware as motorcyclists, and it is very easy for them to sideswipe and seriously injure a rider who is lane-splitting. Drivers may try to make excuses, saying “I never saw him!” or “The bike came out of nowhere!” but there is no justification for their inattentiveness.
If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident, you can file a claim for compensation, even if you were lane-splitting. But to get the money you need to recover, you should work with an experienced Glendale motorcycle accident lawyer at Aghabegian & Associates, PC. We have more than 40 years of combined experience; have recovered more than $125 million for accident victims; and want to fight on your behalf. Speak to us today at (818) 507-4311 to schedule a free consultation.
Lane-splitting is in a weird gray area under California law. There is no specific law that makes lane-splitting illegal for motorcyclists, but there is no law that makes it legal, either. It is, however, defined under California Vehicle Code 21658.1 as the act of driving with a two-wheeled vehicle between two lanes of stopped or moving traffic.
As such, the general rule of thumb is that motorcyclists are allowed to lane-split but are advised to do it safely. California Highway Patrol (CHP) has outlined several tips for motorcyclists to remain safe while lane-splitting, including:
- Pay attention at all times to the road, including how wide the lanes are, how big nearby vehicles are, dangerous road conditions, and local lighting and weather
- Avoid lane-splitting at high speeds, which increase the likelihood of an accident
- Only lane-split between the far-left lanes
- Do not lane-split near large vehicles like trucks or buses
- Remember that lane-splitting is only allowed between two lanes of traffic and it is illegal to ride on the shoulder
- Watch blind spots and avoid lingering between vehicles
- Wear bright clothing and reflective gear to increase visibility
Sadly, even with this safety information, multiple motorcyclists are injured every year while lane-splitting. These accidents are often caused by careless drivers who were distracted, intoxicated, or otherwise negligent. With how small and relatively quiet motorcycles are, drivers should always keep their eyes open to avoid causing a serious accident.
Despite the common misconception, motorcyclists can receive compensation after an accident if they were lane-splitting. Lane-splitting is not illegal in California, and motorcyclists are not barred from filing a claim. If you were injured by a negligent driver, do not let anyone force you to take the blame for an accident. You are well within your rights to contact an attorney and begin the process of filing a claim.
In order to receive compensation after a motorcycle accident, you will need to prove that:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care;
- The other driver acted negligently;
- That act of negligence caused you to suffer an injury; and
- That injury resulted in damages, including financial and personal costs.
By default, all drivers have a duty of care toward others on the road, despite the fact that they often neglect this duty around motorcyclists. So if a driver did hit you while you were lane-splitting, then you could pursue a claim for compensation for the injuries you suffered. The money you receive in a claim can include compensation for your medical expenses, including your long-term care, as well as any lost wages from time off of work, lost future earnings if you were forced to change jobs due to a disability, and pain and suffering.
However, it is important to understand California’s negligence laws that can impact your case.
The state of California is a pure comparative fault state. Under this legal doctrine, an accident victim can receive compensation in a personal injury claim even when they are partially at fault for their injuries. In a straightforward accident, if one driver is 100% at fault, then the other driver should receive 100% compensation for their injuries.
But lane-splitting accident cases are rarely straightforward. The other driver’s insurance company may argue that you were speeding, weaving between lanes, or otherwise unsafe. Under these circumstances, you may be assigned some level of fault for your injuries, which may reduce the overall value of your claim. However, even if you are 99% at fault, you can still receive up to 1% of the total value of your case.
Pure comparative fault only applies to personal injury trials where you file a lawsuit. Given that most cases are settled out of court, you may be able to receive the full value without having to take your case to court. At Aghabegian & Associates, PC, we are top L.A. personal injury lawyers who can represent you in both situations. Even if your case goes to trial, we can advocate for full and fair compensation for your injuries.
No one should be denied the right to receive compensation for an accident that was not their fault. Lane-splitting, when done safely, is perfectly legal in California, and other drivers should always look out for motorcyclists on L.A. freeways. If you or someone you love was injured in a lane-splitting accident, do not assume you have no options. Our Glendale auto accident attorneys at Aghabegian & Associates, PC, can provide strong legal guidance and hold the other driver accountable for your injuries. We understand that you are in a great deal of pain and struggling with a large amount of stress, which is why we will handle all of the legal burdens of your case. To get started, call our firm at (818) 507-4311 to schedule a free consultation.
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