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Motorcycle Lane Splitting Liability

Charlotte | Huntersville | Hickory

Understanding North Carolina's Motorcycle Lane Splitting Liability

What is the motorcycle lane splitting liability in North Carolina? A motorcycle accident can happen because of various reasons – speeding, distracted drivers, impairment, road bumps, but very often, it happens because of lane splitting.

Lane splitting is illegal in North Carolina, but motorcyclists should not fear that it could affect their compensation claim. Lane splitting reduces the traffic, and according to some studies, motorcyclists who do lane splitting are half as likely as other riders to get injured or killed in an accident.

Motorcycle Lane Splitting Liability

Motorcycle lane-splitting happens when the motorcyclists ride between two lanes of traffic that are going in the same direction. Sometimes it is called “white-lining,” “filtering,” or “stripe-riding.” Motorcyclists often decide to do lane-splitting in dense traffic to get past cars and trucks that are moving slowly or standing still.

Lane-splitting is not lane-sharing, which involves two motorcycles riding side-by-side in the same lane.

Although motorcycle lane splitting is illegal in the state of North Carolina, it is often the reason for harsh motorcycle accidents. Vehicle drivers often claim that they were not able to see the motorcyclists when they were lane splitting (which is not the case when a vehicle does it).

If you were involved in a motorcycle accident where you did lane splitting and ended up injured, feel free to seek legal help from our Huntersville motorcycle injury attorneys before filing for a compensation claim.

Whose fault is it?

Determining the fault in a lane-splitting motorcycle accident can be complicated and depends on several factors. Although North Carolina law is not very vocal about motorcycle lane splitting, it does not mean that a motorcyclist who was involved in such an accident won’t be liable for the same.

Another factor about motorcycle lane splitting is if it can be easily proven that that was the reason for the accident. Also, another critical question is if the traffic was slow or not moving when the accident happened and whether the motorcyclist did the lane-splitting to get around a traffic jam? These details can help to determine the liability.

How to prove the liability of the other party in this case?

If you were splitting lanes, you could expect that the insurance of the other involved party to blame you for the accident. The insurance company then could easily deny you the compensation. This way, you can lose your deserved compensation. You need to have ways to prove that your lane splitting was not the reason for the accident. Or at least, you should prove that you have a partial (and smaller) fault than the other involved driver.

How can you do this? You should be able to prove that you were riding responsibly; this can be easily proved with the help of the police report, witnesses, and even surveillance cameras.

Being an experienced motorcyclist could also go in your favor in proving that you were riding safely.

To prove that the other driver holds the blame, even though your split lanes, you can point out that the other driver was not observant of the road, was distracted by their phone, lost control, or was under the influence.

Of course, this is not an easy thing to be done, but with the help of your motorcycle accident attorney, who would do their own investigation, you could easily prove it.

What actions should you take after a lane-splitting motorcycle accident?

If you are a motorcyclist, make sure you avoid lane splitting around trucks and large vehicles. Always wear bright and reflective clothing and never ride above the speed limit. If you must do it, always do it between far left lanes of traffic and avoid vehicle blind spots.

If you were injured in a motorcycle lane-splitting accident involving another driver, you probably expect that the other driver’s insurance company would blame you for the accident. Keep in mind that lane-splitting is illegal in North Carolina. The driver who caused the accident holds responsibility and should compensate you for your injuries, lost wages, damages, and other accident-related expenses.

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you have the right to seek a compensation claim even if you did lane splitting. Your injuries should be taken seriously. Motorcyclists tend to suffer severe injuries because they are not as protected as vehicle drivers.

Very often, motorcyclist riders end up with broken bones, brain injuries and tend to have a longer recovery than other accident victims.

Our team of motorcycle accident attorneys is here to help you and review your case. Call Harman Law today at (704) 286-0947, and schedule your first consultation.