Motorcycles are both practical and fun. Motorcyclists enjoy the feeling of the open road and the wind blowing in their hair. However, riding a motorcycle isn’t without risk.
What Is Motorcycle Lane-Splitting?
When a motorcycle drives between two lanes with traffic that is stopped or slowly moving (typically during traffic jams), such action is called lane-splitting. Sometimes this risky practice can lead to an accident. If it does, fault depends on the actions of both the motorcyclists and other motorists involved, the views of the police officer or judge involved in the case, and how the accident occurred.
Is Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Legal?
Most states don’t recognize lane-splitting as a legal maneuver, nor do they expressly forbid it. California is the only state that legally permits motorcyclists to split or share lanes, or ride between lanes of still traffic. Even still, riders who do this are legally required to do it safely and in a reasonable matter. For example, they cannot speed through traffic while weaving in and out of lanes.
Unfortunately, motorcycle lane-splitting is a dangerous practice that often leads to severe or even fatal injuries. If you were involved in a lane-splitting accident, you could still be entitled to compensation for your injuries, depending on the actions of the other drivers and the specific circumstances.
Proving Your Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Case
It can be extremely challenging to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries without the help of a reputable and experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Insurance companies will typically attempt to blame you for your injuries because you were lane-splitting. However, if the following factors exist, they may help prove your claim:
- You are an experienced rider.
- You completed a motorcycle riding or safety course.
- You were riding carefully, such as going the speed limit or not weaving in and out of lanes or between vehicles.
- The other driver did something even more dangerous than lane-splitting, such as drifting from one lane into another or abruptly changing lanes without signaling.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists are at an increased risk of serious injuries when an accident occurs. They lack the protections typically afforded to other motorists such as seat belts, airbags, and crumple zones. Although helmets can save lives, they cannot protect riders and passengers like other vehicle safety features. They are more likely to come into contact with the road or other objects if an accident occurs. As such, serious injuries can occur, such as:
- Concussion and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Neck, back, and spine injuries
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Broken bones and fractures
- Road rash
- Blunt force trauma
- Internal injuries, including internal bleeding
These types of injuries cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars and cause extreme pain and disabilities.
Damages in Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Accident Cases
Damages are the ways in which accident victims were injured or the types of losses they suffered. For example, if your motorcycle needs repaired or replaced, this is an economic damage. Other economic damages can include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning capacity
Economic damages are relatively easy to prove as they have a pre-set value. Often, injured individuals will have non-economic damages as well. These types of damages are subjective and, therefore, can be more challenging to prove. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
The type of damages an accident victim suffers will vary from one case to the next. It’s best to talk with your attorney about the applicable damages in your case and how much they might be worth.
Are You Awaiting a Settlement?
If you were in a motorcycle accident and are awaiting your settlement, you might be feeling some financial strain. Medically necessary time away from work coupled with non-stop medical bills can leave motorcycle accident victims with severe financial stress. It’s common to feel like you are stuck and have nowhere to turn. However, we want you to know that you can count on USClaims.
We provide eligible motorcycle accident plaintiffs with the money that they need before their settlement arrives. Once their case settles, we receive our funds back with interest. Bridging this financial gap can mean the difference between financial ruin and survival.
Get started today by completing an online application, or call us at 1-877-USCLAIMS! Approved applicants can receive funding within 24 hours. If you can’t afford to wait for your motorcycle accident case to settle, USClaims can help.