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Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Accident: Who is Liable?

lane-splitting

Riding a motorcycle between rows of slow-moving cars, also known as lane-splitting, is illegal in Florida and most other states in the United States. Despite this law, many motorcycle drivers still will perform the act. Lane splitting can obstruct the motorcycle from the view of other motor vehicle drivers and easily result in an accident.

If you have been involved in an accident due to another person’s recklessness, you are entitled to file a personal injury claim with their insurance. If a motorcycle driver lane-splits and causes an accident, they can be held accountable for their actions. The best course of action to take after a personal injury accident is to partner with a dedicated and knowledgeable attorney. While you focus on recovery, they can help file your claim and begin getting you access to the compensation you deserve. 

Understanding Lane Splitting in Florida

Despite it being illegal, lane-splitting is a common occurrence on most streets. Typically, motorcycle drivers will use the tactic in situations where traffic congestion has brought all vehicles to a standstill. When defining lane-splitting, it is important to understand it specifically involves driving between two lanes as opposed to sharing a lane with another motorcycle. 

Florida Statute Section 316.209 (3) specifically outlines that it is illegal to “operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.” Under this statute, lane-splitting is deemed a noncriminal traffic infraction. In a personal injury case, a jury may be given an instruction that violation of this statute can be used as evidence of the motorcyclist’s negligence. However, specific reference to any actual traffic citation the motorcyclist may have received is not admissible evidence in the personal injury case.

Who Is Liable for Your Motorcycle Accident? 

When determining liability for your motorcycle accident, negligence must be demonstrated to identify an at-fault party. This means proving: 

  • You were owed a duty of care
  • This care was breached
  • This breach directly caused an accident and directly resulted in your injury and/or property damage

If you are in a motor vehicle while a motorcycle driver lane-splits and directly causes an accident, you may partner with an attorney to hold them accountable for their actions. On the other hand, if you are a motorcycle driver who lane-splits and then gets into an accident due to the partial negligence of another driver, you may be able to still recover damages under Florida’s modified contributory negligence law. This law states you can recover damages if you are deemed to be not greater than 50% responsible for the accident. As lane-splitting is an illegal activity, you will share some portion of responsibility, but based on the specifics of your accident, an attorney may be able to help advise you on your next steps. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Knowledgeable Attorney Now

Don’t try to navigate the aftermath of your motorcycle accident without the protection of a compassionate and experienced attorney by your side. Scott McPherson and Ian Thomas have devoted their professional careers to safeguarding the rights and futures of their local community. For over a quarter of a century, McPherson & Thomas, P.A., has been a beacon of support for New Port Richey residents involved in motorcycle lane-splitting accidents, ensuring that our clients receive the compensation and care they deserve. Our New Port Richey personal injury lawyers are here to help gather evidence, file your claim on time, and negotiate a worthy settlement with the insurance company while you focus on resting and recovering from your injuries. 

To arrange a complimentary consultation today and see how we can best serve your specific motorcycle lane-splitting accident case, please complete our contact form or reach out to our office at (727) 848-8892.

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