Finding Fault in Lane Splitting Accidents
Lane splitting involves the riding of a motorcycle or bicycle between lanes of traffic traveling on the road. Lane splitting often occurs when traffic is slow or congested, and the rider splitting lanes seeks to make headway compared to the flow of traffic. Lane splitting is also referred to as stripe riding and lane sharing. Aside from using lane splitting to pass cars stuck in traffic, riders also use the technique to pass traffic stuck at a red light and pull up to the front of the intersection.
Currently, lane splitting is not legal in Oklahoma. In fact, the only state where it is legally permitted is California. Studies have concluded, however, that despite the legal status, lane splitting is often the safer option for motorcycle riders approaching traffic and stop lights. Aside from the ostensible threat it poses to riders and drivers, lane splitting has been shown to reduce the motorcycle rider’s chances of being rear ended when an abrupt stop must be made.
Regardless of its legal status, however, lane splitting accidents aren’t always ruled to be the fault of the rider. The major hurtle for riders involved in lane splitting accidents to overcome is the concept of “comparative negligence.” In Oklahoma, this concept is used to determine fault in accidents that involve damage and injury. This system dictates that the driver who is determined to be at least 50% responsible for the accident will be held liable. While insurance covers the price of injuries and damages resulting from an accident, it can still have substantial consequences on the party at fault. In some cases, motorcycle riders who were splitting lanes can be found less that 50% responsible for the accident. In such a case, the rider will not only forego potential increases in the insurance premium, but can also be eligible for monetary compensation as reimbursement for their damages and injuries.
Motorcycle accidents can be detrimental to a rider’s health. Broken bones, burns, lacerations, concussions, severe trauma, paralysis, and death, among a slew of other injuries, can all be suffered by motorcycle riders involved in accidents. Aside from physical injuries, riders can also face property damage, mental and emotional trauma, and an inability to work and support themselves.
If you, or a loved one, has suffered an Oklahoma lane splitting accident, or a motorcycle accident in general, it is highly recommended that you quickly file a claim with the help of a qualified lawyer. For more information, please contact us at (877) 478-3737 for questions and consultation.
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