The practice of riding motorcycles between traffic lanes has been a hot topic of debate, particularly in Southern California, where they often split lanes in order to move past stalled traffic rows. Lane splitting was gaining acceptance across California a few years ago, with the California Highway Patrol given the responsibility to issue lane splitting guidelines for motorcyclists. The effort to normalize the practice, though, hit complications, and the authorities later opted not to issue, use, or even enforce the guidelines, and therefore, removed them from its site.
At the same time, the Motor Vehicles Department said the state does not prohibit or allow people from lane splitting. All of this then raises the question: Who in a personal injury lawsuit is at fault when a motorcycle accident happens in a situation that involved lane splitting?
The State Looks at Each Party’s Comparative Negligence
In a personal injury case that ensues after a vehicular accident, the injured plaintiff will need to prove its defendant negligently acted in causing it. This means that the motorcyclist involved in the accident will need to present sufficient facts in order to show it was likelier than not the case the truck or car driver failed to exercise care that is expected of a reasonable individual in the exact circumstances, and the person was injured due to this negligence. Examples of careless or negligent driving comprise changing lanes without looking, driving while inebriated, or driving while texting.
The defendant, however, might argue that the injured person was also careless in his/her actions in bringing about the accident, and may present the act of lane splitting by them as an example of the lack of attention. Nevertheless, in such cases, the motorcyclist involved in the accident can push back against negligence claims by giving proof that their carelessness was limited and not a contributing factor to it. Even when the motorcyclist was negligent, it will not prevent them from bringing a winning lawsuit against another negligent driver (even though damages may be decreased).
Why the Motorcyclist Have to Contact an Attorney Soon After an Accident
Motorcycle accidents usually happen speedily. Therefore, collecting as well as piecing together proof that shows another driver’s negligence and that is supportive to fight the allegation of comparative negligence is important following the accident.
By reaching out a personal injury lawyer, who is skilled and experienced at bringing as well as winning accidents relatively quickly, the professional will have better chances to collect evidence (comprising physical evidence, medical proof, and eyewitness account) to support claims of injury in pursuit of winning maximum recovery with minimum delay possible.