If you’ve been in an accident with a motorcyclist who was lane splitting, you are probably wondering who is liable to pay for your damages. When a driver is found to be negligent in their driving or in violation of traffic laws, he or she will be deemed at fault for the accident. The same is true for lane splitting. Consult with your Las Vegas car accident lawyer to learn more about how lane splitting affects your motorcycle accident claim and whether you may be eligible for compensation.
What is Lane Splitting?
Lane splitting happens when a motorcyclist rides between two lanes of stopped traffic or slowly moving vehicles. It’s most likely to take place during a traffic jam but can happen at any time. Lane splitting enables motorcycles to find their way through traffic jams because they can more easily maneuver their motorcycle through the traffic toward the open road. Although this can save a motorcyclist time and the frustration of being stuck in traffic, it can be an extremely dangerous situation for the motorcyclist and for other drivers for a variety of reasons.
Why is Lane Splitting Dangerous?
Although motorcycles are small enough to fit easily between two vehicles, lane splitting sets up dangerous situations for everyone who is involved. Drivers can become uncomfortable with the lack of space. It’s difficult for drivers to see motorcycles that are quickly approaching between cars. When a vehicle needs to change lanes or open a car door for an emergency situation, the motorcyclist is at high risk of an accident with a severe outcome. Although lane splitting provides ease for motorcyclists, it’s likely that the driver of a larger vehicle will not see the motorcyclist, putting them at risk of sideswiping or other serious consequences.
Is Lane Splitting Legal in Las Vegas?
In many states, investigators and insurance companies will examine the data from a car accident and determine who was at fault. When a driver’s negligence causes the accident, they will be deemed at fault. If one of the drivers was engaged in illegal activity or violated traffic laws, they will be deemed at least primarily at fault for the accident. Drivers who are less than 51% responsible for an accident can work with their Las Vegas personal injury attorney to recoup compensation from the at-fault driver for their medical bills and damages.
Although lane splitting is legal in some states and in many countries across Europe and Asia, it is illegal in the state of Nevada. This means that motorcycle drivers are not allowed to drive between vehicles. Instead, they must stay in their place during a traffic jam and move ahead with traffic instead of driving between lanes in order to get through the traffic more quickly.
Because lane splitting is illegal in Nevada, motorcycle drivers who are lane splitting will be deemed at fault for the accident. They will be liable to pay for the damages and medical bills of any injured parties and may be severely limited from obtaining compensation for their own damages.
What are the Legal Consequences of Lane Splitting?
Additionally, lane splitting will lead to criminal charges and fines. The initial fine is $190, but the amount may be increased for repeated offenses or if the driver has a history of other traffic violations. If lane splitting happens enough time, the driver’s license can be suspended. Although prohibition of lane splitting may be frustrating for motorcycle drivers, the law is intended to protect motorcyclists and other drivers from the serious injuries and death that can result.
What About Extenuating Circumstances?
Because lane splitting is illegal in Nevada, accidents caused by drivers who are lane splitting will generally be liable for the accident. Other drivers can consult with a Las Vegas car accident lawyer to obtain compensation for their medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Occasionally, there are extenuating circumstances that make determining liability more complicated. For example, if another driver was engaged in a more serious traffic violation than lane splitting or intentionally struck the motorcycle while they were splitting lanes, the liability for the accident may be divided between the parties or even be determined to be the fault of the vehicle driver. Your Las Vegas personal injury attorney can investigate on your behalf, discover the facts, and potentially build a case on your behalf to help you obtain the compensation you deserve after a motorcycle accident.
Lane splitting can result in serious injuries or death for the people who are involved. Beyond the legality of lane splitting in Nevada, these types of situations can result in lifelong injuries, fatalities, damage to property, and other serious consequences.
Get in Touch with an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident that was the result of lane splitting, you need support and advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you understand who is liable and what rights you have. Get in touch with the lawyers at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC. Our team has extensive experience assisting victims of motorcycle accidents to find peace of mind and the financial compensation they need for a full recovery. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!