Motorcycle Lane Splitting Accident Lawyers in OK
Who is at Fault for a Collision Caused by Lane Splitting
Lane splitting may seem like a convenient way to beat traffic, but it is not legal in Oklahoma, nor in most states and Canada. In fact, the only state that permits it is California. As a rider, you are required to operate your vehicle in lanes, as are all other vehicles. Oklahoma law §47-11-1103, states:
"No driver of a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, motorized scooter, motorized bicycle, or electric-assisted bicycle shall pass other vehicles between lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction. This subsection shall not apply to the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle."
Well that’s pretty clear on the subject of lane splitting: it’s illegal. Now, does that mean that if you’re in an accident while lane splitting, you have no recourse? Not necessarily. Read on.
What is Comparative Negligence in an Oklahoma Injury Case?
Oklahoma is a "comparative negligence" state, meaning that more than one party can share liability for an accident. Comparative negligence is a legal concept that is only applied in cases in which personal injury, death, or property damage has occurred. Comparative negligence prevents an injured person from recovering monetary damages if it is determined that he or she was 50 percent or more at fault for an accident. So, for instance, if you were splitting lanes on your motorcycle when you were hit by a car, it would be up to a judge or jury to decide to what degree you were at fault for the accident. If the court ruled that the car negligently turned in front of you and caused the accident, but that you were performing an illegal maneuver at the time by lane splitting, they could rule that the car’s driver was 90 percent at fault, while you were 10 percent at fault. This means that if the total sum of your injuries and losses was $10,000, you could only be compensated for 90 percent of that total sum - $9,000. However, if the court determined that you and the other party were equally responsible for the accident - 50 percent - neither you, nor the other party, would be awarded any compensation.
What to do in a Motorcycle Lane Collision Accident in OK
If you have been injured in a lane splitting accident, there are several steps to take if you hope to recover any compensation for damages.
- File your claim early. The statute of limitations allows two years from the time of an injury or death to file suit. Although this appears to be ample time, in fact, critical evidence could be lost or destroyed, witnesses difficult or impossible to locate, and other problems. It is vital that all supporting evidence is gathered and preserved as early as possible after the accident occurs.
- Get an Oklahoma motorcycle accident attorney working with you. These cases can be complex; the determination of the percentage of fault will be in large part, the result of the legal work performed on your behalf.
- Keep all medical bills and other data in a safe place. To recover damages, all financial losses associated with the injuries sustained must be valued, including the costs of medical treatment and care - keep all of this information safe so it isn't lost or misplaced.
- Keep a daily report of your health condition. You may be facing a long period of recovery, and a daily journal can assist your lawyer in the process of negotiating a fair settlement.
Get Trusted Legal Support in OK
It is very important that a motorcycle rider injured in a lane splitting accident retains legal representation that can be trusted to fully evaluate all of the facts in the case. Get a free initial case evaluation, or contact the team at Car Accident Help to determine if your case has merit. It is very possible that it does, and you deserve to know. Contact us at (405) 285-4357.
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