Every traffic accident has the potential to cause serious injuries—especially if there is a motorcycle involved. Motorcyclists are not as protected as motorists are in an accident, which means they often suffer devastating injuries. This is especially true if the motorcyclist was lane splitting at the time of the accident. What is lane splitting? Who is liable in motorcycle lane splitting accidents? Here’s what you need to know:
What is Lane Splitting?
Lane splitting is the practice of riding a motorcycle between two lanes of traffic that are traveling in the same direction. Motorcyclists typically choose to lane split when traffic is either slow or at a complete stop because it allows them to quickly pass vehicles.
The space between two lanes is very narrow, which makes lane splitting dangerous. However, some studies have shown that a motorcyclist is at a greater risk sitting in slow moving or stopped traffic than he is while lane splitting. In stop-and-go traffic, motorcyclists risk being hit from behind by an inattentive or aggressive driver, which is why many of them choose to lane split instead.
Who is Liable in Lane Splitting Accidents?
In traffic accident cases, the negligent party that is responsible for causing the accident will be held liable for the victim’s injuries. Negligence can take on many different forms. Driving while under the influence of alcohol, speeding, and violating traffic laws are all examples of negligent behavior that could lead to an accident. But, what about lane splitting?
Colorado law prohibits motorcyclists from lane splitting with vehicles. Because lane splitting is prohibited by law, a motorcyclist who engages in this behavior is being negligent. Therefore, if a motorcycle is hit by a car while lane splitting, he could be at fault for the accident. Even if the motorcyclist suffered far more serious injuries than the motorist, the motorcyclist could be liable because it was his negligent behavior that caused the crash.
Of course, every motorcycle accident case is different. It’s possible that the motorist’s negligence also contributed to the cause of the accident. In this case, the motorcyclist might still be able to recover compensation for his injuries, but his award may be reduced to account for the fact that he was partly to blame.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, let Reisch Law Firm help. Our personal injury attorneys will investigate the crash to determine who is at fault and whether or not you are entitled to compensation. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.