Motorcycle Lane Splitting Accidents
Motorcycle lane splitting refers to the act of riding a motorcycle between other vehicles on any road or highway with at least two lanes. Lane splitting by motorcyclists is something you are likely to see on busy roads and highways. Some claim that the splitting of lanes is a legal driving technique aimed at increasing the safety of the motorcyclist by way of preventing rear-end accidents with other motorists. The arguments against lane splitting are based on the assumption that it endangers the safety of the rider as well as the drivers of the motor vehicles.
Accordingly, Texas Transportation Code Section 545.060 does not directly address lane splitting, though many police officers will pull over a motorcyclist for splitting a lane. One section of the law states that those operating vehicles must strive to drive within a single lane. In addition, the laws permit moving from one lane to another in the event that it is safe to do so. The laws do not address motorcycles driving between vehicles in side-by-side lanes.
There have been multiple efforts by the Texas general assembly to pass a law concerning the practice of lane splitting. Competing versions of legislation have been debated. Fortunately, no final bill has been signed into law directly addressing lane splitting.
Taking Legal Action After an Accident
In the event that a motorcyclist is involved in an accident caused by the carelessness of another motorist, he or she could file a civil action against the other driver to hold the driver liable for any damages resulting from the collision. This includes instances in which a motorcyclist is injured while splitting a lane. If the police report for an accident mentions that you were splitting a lane when the collision occurred, it could raise a red flag with an insurance adjuster and result in your claim being challenged or denied. This means you may need to take your personal injury claim to court to get any financial restitution from the negligent motorist.
In Texas, courts apply a comparative negligence theory to motorcycle accident injury lawsuits. This implies that the victim of a lane splitting accident stands a chance of recovering financial restitution even if he or she was partly responsible for the accident. In effect, the motorist is likely to receive a reduced compensation award if the jury apportions fault in causing the lane splitting accident. In addition, in case the share of the motorcyclist’s fault is beyond 51%, then he or she might lose the opportunity to recover any compensation at all.
Have Questions? Speak to a Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you or a family member was involved in a lane splitting motorcycle accident, you are probably struggling with massive medical expenses and serious bodily injuries such as broken bones, torn muscles, and other serious harms and losses. Now is the time to hold the negligent motorist accountable. Contact the experienced and skilled motorcycle accident injury attorneys of Michael P. Fleming and Associates today 713-221-6800.