Lane-Splitting Accident Attorneys in Orange County
If you or a loved one was hit by a negligent driver while lane-splitting, you have the right to pursue legal action.
While illegal in most of the United States, lane-splitting is a legal practice for bikers in the state of California. On our busy roads and freeways, lane-splitting is rather common, yet many careless drivers do not look before changing lanes and end up hitting motorcyclists.
If you were injured while lane-splitting on your motorcycle due to the carelessness of another driver, our OC personal injury lawyers can assist you in obtaining the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even more.
Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie has been representing motorcycle accident victims for over 40 years and our outstanding track record of success for our clients speaks for itself. We have extensive experience working with local courts, medical professionals, and law enforcement to secure the compensation our clients deserve.
We know that there is an inherent bias against bikers in motor vehicle accident cases, but don’t let that stop you from getting the justice you deserve. Call us at (949) 752-7474 to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you during a difficult time.
Lane-splitting is a sore subject for many car drivers in California, as the practice was not explicitly legal for many years, though stopping it was rarely enforced. After Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 51 back in 2016, guidelines were developed and the practice was implicitly encouraged. Though lane-splitting is allowed by California law, determining liability after an accident occurs can become complex. There are two main ways liability will break down:
- A passenger vehicle driver is liable if he/she hit a motorcyclist, who was safely splitting lanes, and the passenger vehicle was being driven in a negligent manner (speeding, texting, etc.)
- A motorcyclist is liable if he/she was unsafely splitting lanes by speeding, cutting off cars, and/or weaving between traffic recklessly
However, other parties may also share some of the blame. If a vehicle was forced to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a crash with another negligent party, but then hit the motorcycle, the first negligent driver would be partly to blame. If the road was unexpectedly dangerous or defective, the municipality responsible for maintaining the roadway may also be to blame. Liability in a lane-splitting accident ultimately comes down to who was most negligent in causing the accident.
California Highway Patrol has released guidelines that give suggestions on how bikers can negotiate between lanes of traffic on busy freeways and surface streets in the Golden State. These guidelines include:
- Lane-splitting bikers should travel at a speed no faster than 10 mph over the traffic moving around them.
- When the flow of traffic reaches 30 mph or higher, it is not recommended that bikers split lanes.
- Bikers should be alert and do their best to anticipate the movement of the vehicles around them.
- Bikers should consider all present roadway conditions before deciding to move between avenues of travel.
- This includes looking out for roadway conditions that may make lane-splitting unsafe, such as seams between concrete slabs, extra-wide vehicles such as RVs or semi-trucks, construction equipment, weather conditions like rain or frost (especially on painted lines), and light levels that may obstruct vision.
- The condition of the motorcycle should be considered before lane-splitting. Wide handlebars, pipes, mirrors, and other features can be in danger of clipping the vehicles around them.
There are various injuries that riders can suffer as a result of a lane-splitting accident. These include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
- Internal organ injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
If you've been injured by a negligent driver while lane-splitting on your motorcycle, you no doubt will need legal counsel. Here at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, we urge you to contact us immediately, so we can start working on your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie has won hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements since 1974. Our veteran legal team has the proven experience and track record to get you justice. For over four decades, we have been helping our clients get what they are entitled to, so they can move forward with their lives. Contact us at (949) 752-7474 today to schedule a case evaluation.
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