Who is Responsible for a Lane Splitting Accident in California?
California is the first state to allow lane splitting, which is when a motorcycle rides between two lanes of traffic in the same direction. As a result, it has been a pioneer in terms of determining what works and what doesn't when it comes to lane-splitting. Allowing motorcyclists to travel between lanes, according to lawmakers, lowers traffic and congestion.
Understand Lane Splitting in California
Any road that has been “divided into two or more clearly designated lanes for traffic in one direction” is acceptable for lane splitting. Motorcyclists can ride a two-wheeled vehicle “between rows of stopped or moving cars in the same lane” under California law, as specified in Vehicle Code 21658.1 VC. In other words, when it is safe to do so, motorcyclists can lawfully ride between lanes of traffic.
There are no official laws that govern how fast a motorcycle rider can switch lanes or whether it is unsafe to do so. The California Highway Patrol did, however, issue safety advice in 2018 to make lane splitting safer for everyone on the road.
Who is at fault for a Lane-Splitting Accident in California?
Since lane-splitting is not illegal in California, a biker will not be held liable for these accidents just because he or she broke the law. If a motorcyclist was riding while inebriated, for example, he or she may be held liable for any future accidents. To put it another way, the victim would not need any other proof of negligence other than the breached law to hold the motorcyclist accountable. It is not against the law to split lanes. As a result, assessing responsibility becomes more complex.
California is a state that strictly applies the theory of comparative negligence. This means that in a vehicle accident case, the courts will look at both parties' probable negligence. Both parties have the ability to absorb percentages of fault, which might impact a plaintiff's ability to obtain damages. In California, a plaintiff who is partially at blame for a motorcycle accident (even if they are 99 percent at blame) may still be eligible for some compensation under exceptional circumstances. For maximal financial recovery, both sides must strive to show the other party's majority fault.
Like other sorts of vehicle accidents, police will investigate the facts and evidence of a lane-splitting collision. In the police report, they may express an opinion of fault, such as careless driving or a motorbike riding in a truck's blind area. Insurance firms may undertake their own investigations to establish who is at blame. The evidence will aid in proving blame and/or negligence in the lane-splitting collision. The plaintiff and defendant must then dispute the question of liability in order to get financial recompense.
Consult a Los Angeles Attorney after a Lane Splitting Accident
Lane splitting accidents aren't usually the fault of a single biker or driver. A crash is frequently caused by a combination of circumstances. More than one individual can be held responsible in California. Fault is simply distributed among those who share some of the blame for the accident. The greater your role in an accident, the more responsibility you bear.
You may be able to obtain compensation even if you share fault. The amount of money you may receive, however, is limited by your own level of fault. To discuss a lane splitting accident case, contact the experienced attorneys at Ghozland Law Firm.