Lane splitting refers to the process of driving a motorcycle between two vehicles moving in the same direction. When a motorcyclist engages in lane splitting, he or she rides between the lanes of the highway. Lane splitting is also called stripe-riding or white lining. Motorcyclists use lane splitting to save time and bypass traffic congestion. Some motorcyclists contend that lane splitting is safer than stopping behind vehicles while they are stationary, but lane splitting can also cause a serious motorcycle accident.
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Lane splitting is against the law in Ohio and every other state except for California. Motorcyclists who engage in lane splitting may receive citations and fines for the dangerous operation of a vehicle. When motorcyclists who are engaged in lane splitting cause an accident, they may be liable for injuries caused by the accident. If you’ve suffered a severe injury caused by a lane splitting motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Jones Kahan Law, LLC, today to schedule your initial consultation.
Lane Sharing is a Common Cause of a Motorcycle Accident in Ohio
Lane sharing and lane splitting by motorcyclists is extremely dangerous. The narrow dimensions of a motorcycle make it easy to drive one between two lanes of traffic, a practice called lane sharing. While it is legal to drive two motorcycles side-by-side, it can be dangerous. When motorcyclists drive side by side, they have a duty to pay attention to lane changes and turns.
Lane sharing can cause collisions when one motorcyclist is unaware of another biker’s intention to drive up beside them in their lane. When one motorcyclist’s clips or bumps into another motorcyclist, one or both motorcycles can collide with other motor vehicles. The accident could cause a severe and dangerous pile-up on the highway. When a motorcyclist’s dangerous lane sharing causes a motorcycle accident, the injured party could be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries.
Lane Splitting is Another Dangerous Practice that Can Cause a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists cannot legally drive between cars in Ohio. Lane splitting is illegal, while lane sharing is legal because lane splitting is exceptionally dangerous. Lane splitting is not illegal in California, and some Ohio motorcyclists are unaware that it is unlawful. They engage in lane splitting to get to their destinations as soon as possible.
Whether or not motorcyclists know that lane splitting is illegal is not essential in a civil personal injury lawsuit. When motorcyclists who engage in lane splitting make a mistake and veer too closely to one vehicle, a seriously dangerous motor vehicle collision could result. Additionally, a side-swipe accident could take place, or an opening car door could cause a motorcycle to collide with the door, slide, and collide with another motor vehicle.
Ohio Personal Injury Lawsuits for Lane Splitting
If you’ve suffered an injury caused by a motorcyclist who was lane splitting, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the negligent driver. What are your options after suffering a personal injury from a motorcyclist who was lane splitting?
Success in a personal injury lawsuit always depends on the specific facts of the case at hand. First, you’ll need to determine who was at fault in your accident. Then, you’ll need to prove that the defendant’s actions or inaction caused the accident that resulted in your personal injury.
Determining Fault in an Ohio Lane Splitting Motorcycle Accident
As the injured party, you will need to prove that the motorcyclist attempted to act negligently or recklessly, causing the accident. Here are a few ways in which a motorcyclist engaging in lane splitting could be considered negligent:
- The motorcyclist attempted to change lanes too quickly
- The motorcyclists moved too close to the middle line too quickly
- The motorcyclist negligently failed to see the motorcycle rider coming up from behind
- The motorcyclist didn’t account for the speed of traffic and drove too quickly or slowly
- The motorcyclist lacked enough experience to safely operate a motorcycle
- The motorcyclist did not reasonably assess the risks when engaging in lane splitting
- The motorcyclist did not take the required motorcycle safety course
- The motorcyclist was weaving too quickly between motor vehicles
Ohio’s Comparative Negligence Law
Ohio follows the legal doctrine of comparative negligence. Personal injury victims could not recover any damages if they were over 50 percent at fault for the accident. For example, if the jury determines that you were 60 percent at fault for the accident, you will not be able to recover any damages for your injuries. If the jury finds that you were 40 percent at fault for the accident, the court will decrease your compensation award by 40 percent. Thus, if the court awarded you $100.000 in damages, you would receive only $60,000.
Juries determine who was at fault for the accident after examining all of the evidence at trial. They will consider any eyewitness testimony, the police report, CCTV footage, and any other relevant evidence of the accident. When a motorcyclist who is lane splitting is involved in an accident, a court could determine that both parties were at fault.
Perhaps the driver of the car was texting while driving. At the same time, the motorcyclist was speeding while lane splitting and a collision occurred. Hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer is essential when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. The defendant will likely argue that you cannot recover compensation because you were the most at fault.
Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
At Jones Kahan Law, LLC, our lawyers have an in-depth understanding of Ohio personal injury law. We understand the significance of the doctrine of comparative negligence plays in personal injury lawsuits. If you suffered a personal injury caused by a motorcyclist who was lane splitting, you might be entitled to compensation. Contact us as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.