Lane splitting motorcycle accidents have significant consequences that can affect the victim’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being. Therefore, it is essential to understand drivers’ legal rights and responsibilities. In the unfortunate event of a lane-splitting motorcycle accident, it’s crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable San Diego lane splitting motorcycle accident lawyer to win fair compensation.
What is Lane Splitting?
Lane splitting is a technique where the rider navigates the motorcycle in the gaps or spaces between slow-moving or stationary traffic lanes. This space is called “the channel.” The motorcycle moves in the same direction as the traffic to move past traffic congestion or maintain a safe distance from larger vehicles. It should be noted that lane splitting is only legal in certain states and countries and should be done cautiously, considering the safety of the rider and other drivers on the road.
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An injury can leave you with mounting medical expenses, lost income, and an inability to participate in your life fully. No accident victim should be left to fend for themselves.
Shamon law understands how important these cases are for our clients. Our experience includes going up against the big insurance companies and winning. We use our expertise to develop powerful cases, negotiate the best possible settlements, and win cases at trial.
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Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The fact that riding a motorcycle comes with potential dangers is widely acknowledged. It is supported by DMV and DOT statistics, which show that motorcyclists are involved in more accidents than drivers of cars, despite the number of motorcycles on the road being significantly lower.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents typically result in more severe consequences than car crashes. The NHTSA recently released data indicating that in 2020, 5,579 motorcyclists lost their lives in fatal collisions. Furthermore, motorcyclists are at significantly higher risk of injury (five times more likely) or death (almost 30 times more likely) than car occupants in the event of an accident.
Is Lane Splitting Legal in San Diego?
Lane splitting is legal in California. Previously, the California Highway Patrol had issued general guidelines regarding lane splitting on their website, but these guidelines have since been removed due to complaints.
The guidelines were intended to provide information on safety issues related to lane splitting. These included advising vehicle drivers not to obstruct or prevent motorcyclists from lane splitting, not to open doors without looking or driving distracted and offering safety tips, such as checking mirrors, being aware of blind spots, using signals when changing lanes, and maintaining a safe distance from motorcycles.
How Safe is Lane Splitting?
Lane splitting can be dangerous for motorcycle riders and the drivers around them. When traffic stops, the motorcyclist may be struck unexpectedly by a car door opening. Sudden lane changes or a braking car present dangers to the rider when traffic moves. Additionally, motorcycles are prone to be overlooked by drivers due to their size and can easily end up in the vehicle’s blind spots.
Common Injuries in Lane Splitting Accidents in San Diego
Here are some of the most recurring injuries that are seen in lane splitting accidents:
- Head injuries: These injuries can range from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and can cause long-term damage or even death.
- Spinal cord injuries: These can result in permanent paralysis or disability and require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
- Broken bones: Motorcyclists involved in lane splitting accidents can suffer from broken bones in their arms, legs, or other body parts.
- Road rash: This injury occurs when the skin is scraped off due to aggressive contact with the road surface, which can cause severe pain and lead to infection.
- Soft tissue injuries: These injuries include sprains, strains, and bruises and can cause pain and discomfort that may last for years.
If you have been injured in a lane splitting accident in San Diego, it’s crucial to seek the help of a qualified attorney who can assist you navigate the legal process and obtain fair compensation.
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Who is at Fault in a Lane Splitting Accident?
Due to heavy traffic and minimal space for maneuvering, lane splitting is seen as a common cause of accidents in Southern California, particularly in San Diego. While fault is usually attributed to the motorcycle rider, some circumstances may favor the motorcyclist. Typically, insurance adjusters and courts hold the motorcycle rider responsible for lane splitting accidents.
However, certain factors could favor the motorcyclist in such cases. For instance, if the motorcyclist was riding carefully without weaving or speeding and can demonstrate extensive riding experience. On the other hand, the automobile driver’s case would be weakened if they were driving negligently by changing lanes abruptly or weaving, talking or texting on the phone, or driving above the speed limit.
Types of Damages
Two types of damages determine the value of a lane splitting motorcycle accident claim:
Economic Damages: This refers to the direct costs associated with the accident, such as medical bills, repair fees, lost income, therapy and rehabilitation expenses, prescription medication costs, and more. These expenses may be covered by personal funds or insurance, but they can later be recovered through compensation.
Non-Economic Damages: This refers to compensation for intangible losses, such as pain and suffering and reduced quality of life. The compensation for non-economic damages does not directly reflect the losses suffered. Still, it is determined by multiplying the economic damages by a factor ranging from 1.5 to 5. The multiplier depends on the severity and duration of the pain, suffering, and other damages experienced.
How Can a Lane Splitting Accident Lawyer Help?
Motorcyclists involved in traffic accidents often suffer bodily injuries and motorcycle damage. Obtaining fair compensation can be costly and prolonged, while medical and repair bills accumulate during the victim’s recovery. Hiring an experienced California motorcycle accident lawyer is the best solution for handling the financial challenges associated with accidents.
Sometimes, the defendant may claim the victim was at fault for lane splitting. However, the victim can argue that the defendant was negligent for failing to notice the motorcycle or intentionally impeding its path. Shamon Law’s skilled attorneys can reconstruct the accident scene, collect evidence, and interview witnesses to support the victim’s claims.
If the accident results in severe injury or death, the victim’s survivors can file claims for wrongful death, covering costs like funeral expenses and loss of companionship. Do not hesitate; Shamon Law offers Free Consultation; call us to know more.
Things to Remember When Hiring a Lawyer for Motorcycle Accidents
When hiring a lawyer for a motorcycle accident claim, some important factors must be considered. Firstly, look for a lawyer who has experience dealing with motorcycle accident cases and is knowledgeable about your state’s specific laws. Additionally, check their track record to ensure they have a history of successfully handling similar cases.
Effective communication is also crucial, so choose a professional who can explain complex legal concepts in clear and understandable language. Ensure you understand their fee structure, whether contingency-based or hourly. Finally, trust your instincts and choose a lawyer you feel comfortable and confident working with.
Contact a Top-rated Lane Splitting Accident Lawyer in San Diego
If you’re involved in a San Diego lane-splitting accident, it’s crucial to seek the help of a skilled lawyer immediately. An expert attorney can assist you in navigating the complex legal system and advocate for your right to receive fair compensation.
Contact Shamon Law‘s highly-rated San Diego lane splitting accident lawyers today for a free consultation. Our team provides expert representation, assists you in exploring legal options, and guides you through your case. Call us now at 888-527-1267 to schedule a consultation and start working on your case immediately.