Motorcycle Accidents: Lane Splitting
Were You Recently in a Motorcycle Lane Splitting Accident?
You believe in safety at all costs and at all times. The freedom and flexibility that comes with riding a motorcycle is great. However, you follow the rules and do not take unnecessary risks on the road. It is right that others should do so as well—that automobile drivers should know traffic laws and respect them. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Many drivers do not acknowledge the rights and privileges that motorcyclists have on the road and choose to act aggressively against them.
If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by an aggressive or reckless driver, you should seek compensation from them. Hiring a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles is the first step toward that goal.
What is Lane Splitting and is it Legal?
Lane splitting is the act, by a motorcyclist, of driving between two lanes of stopped or congested traffic. As a motorcyclist in Los Angeles, you have undoubtedly come across many traffic jams. Rather than plodding along in slow-moving lanes it is much better to slip between lanes. You are entitled to do so. Lane splitting is permitted in California if it is done in a safe and prudent manner.
If you were smashed into by another vehicle while lane splitting, it will be up to the police officers and judges to determine whether you met the criteria of “safe and prudent” when you changed lanes. It is one of the reasons why you should take care in what you say after the accident.
Dealing with a Motorcycle Accident
It is rare for a motorcyclist to leave an accident unscathed, and your experience is unlikely to be different. If you have been knocked off your bike in a lane splitting accident, you may not be able to speak to the police who arrive at the scene. You may need to keep still and wait for an ambulance to transport you to the hospital.
Whenever you are able to speak to authorities, you should answer their questions honestly. It is a crime to lie to the police. However, you should say nothing that makes you liable for the accident. If you are uncomfortable answering a certain question, you have the right to refuse and to tell the officer that you want legal counsel before answering.
Who is Liable for a Lane Splitting Accident?
Lane splitting accidents are not like other accidents involving motorcycles and motor vehicles. The close proximity of car and motorbike and the reduced room for maneuver can make it hard to determine who was at fault for the collision. Even though you have a right to lane split, you can be held at-fault if it results in an accident.
The other driver will try to show that it was your carelessness and inattention that caused the accident. If you were badly hurt in the crash, the other driver’s insurance company will be desperate to prove the case against you, so that they do not have to pay out a large settlement. And they may be able to do just that if they can gather enough circumstantial evidence against you. This will make it hard for you to recover damages for your injuries.
Proving Your Case
A serious accident injury can throw your entire world into upheaval. It can put you in the hospital for some time. It can leave you without the means to make a living, and you will be stuck with a range of medical bills related to your treatment, rehabilitation, and medication. Accident victims have been known to go bankrupt because of their inability to deal with the financial strain that follows from their condition.
Do not allow this to happen to you. If you did nothing wrong, you should not be left holding the bag when it comes to medical bills and lost revenue. The person responsible for the accident should pay for damages caused due to their negligence. And the only way to make them do so is to hire a legal professional to represent your case.
If you can show that the car hit you while changing lanes or weaving, or, you can show that the other driver was speaking on the phone or with passengers or was otherwise distracted, you will have a good chance of getting an adequate compensation settlement.
These are some of the factors that can help you prove that you were in the right in lane splitting:
- You were riding carefully, slowly, and directly down the lane, without weaving through lanes or cars
- You are an experienced rider with no tickets or citations
- You have completed a motorcycle safety course
- The other driver made an abrupt lane change without signalling
Your Lawyer is the Only One You Can Trust
Lane splitting accident lawyers in Los Angeles know how to gather the evidence that will prove your case. They will go beyond police reports. Your legal counsel will bring in a private investigation team that will go back to where the accident occured and gather any traffic cam video that may be involved. They will also track down people who witnessed the accident and interview them. There may be witnesses who are unwilling to speak to the police but have no problem giving a statement to a private investigator. One of them may have even captured the entire incident on their cell phone camera. Your lawyer will also bring in experts who can develop a computer-based reconstruction of the accident using forensic evidence. This can go a long way toward proving the veracity of your version of events.
Lane splitting accident lawyers also know how to make the case for a high settlement if you were grievously injured. Most law firms are connected with medical experts. Your attorney will not only review the medical records kept by your doctor, they will bring in an independent expert to speak to the extent of your injuries and your prognosis for recovery.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you deserve the best attorney to handle your motorcycle accident claim. You should schedule a consultation to review your options.