Florida Motorcycle Accident Involving Lane Splitting: Who Is Liable?

Lane Splitting Motorcycle Accident in Florida

Many people in Florida choose to ride a motorcycle as a great way to save fuel costs. Riders also appreciate the fact that a small motorcycle can often park or travel in areas where cars cannot go, such as between stopped lanes of cars on a highway. However, the practice of “lane splitting,” common for those on motorcycles, is potentially dangerous and can impact the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit.

What Is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting is the act of driving a motorcycle between rows of cars in an area where there is no marked travel lane. The rider literally “splits” two lanes by traveling down the area where both meet. Motorcycle riders often practice lane splitting when they are traveling on roads where there are traffic jams or slow-moving vehicles in order to get ahead of the traffic.

While lane splitting is allowed in California, it is illegal in Florida. Anyone who tries lane splitting in Florida could jeopardize his or her rights to collect damages in case of an accident. In fact, engaging in the act of lane splitting could result in the victim being unable to collect compensation for injuries related to an accident, particularly if the other driver can conclusively show that the accident was caused by the victim’s actions.

Liability in Motorcycle Accident Cases

In any accident case, it is important that the victim be able to establish liability on the part of another driver. In order to do this, the victim must show that the other driver violated the law in some way or was negligent in operating his or her motor vehicle. If the other driver was negligent, the victim may have the right to collect monetary compensation for injuries and losses.

It is much more difficult, although not impossible, to show liability on the part of another driver when a motorcycle rider is breaking the law. Weaving in and out of traffic, lane splitting and other illegal behavior on the part of a motorcycle rider is not only dangerous but can also lead to difficulty in holding another driver responsible for the accident.

At the very least, a motorcycle rider’s potential settlement or award could be reduced due to shared liability in the accident if the rider is lane splitting. Florida law allows a jury to award partial damages in cases in which the victim contributed to the accident, so the potential compensation for a lawsuit could easily be reduced if the driver is engaged in dangerous behavior.

It is very important that anyone who is involved in a Florida motorcycle accident talk to a trusted personal injury attorney with experience in handling these types of cases. Insurance companies and others are often eager to assign blame to a motorcyclist, whether or not he or she was in the wrong in an accident. That means that, as a motorcycle operator, the victim already faces a harder-than-average job in recovering compensation for injuries.

The Florida motorcycle accident attorneys at David & Philpot, P.L. stand up for the motorcyclist’s rights and work to ensure that he or she is compensated for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, temporary and permanent disabilities and other losses. Contact us today at 800 360-7015, or fill out or free case evaluation form and we will get right back to you.