Lane Splitting and Motorcycle Accidents: What Are Your Rights?

Lane Splitting and Motorcycle Accidents: What Are Your Rights?

When operating a motorcycle, understanding the laws for riding a motorcycle in Minnesota is essential. It is necessary for riders to know what is legal to protect yourself and others on the road.

All drivers of motor vehicles have a duty to others to operate their vehicles in a safe manner, keep a proper lookout, and keep their vehicles under control. This is true for motorcyclists, as well.

Even though Minnesota traffic laws are in place to promote safe driving, accidents still happen.  Often, these accidents are a result of vehicle operators ignoring such laws. Unfortunately, the consequences of being involved in an accident when on a motorcycle can be severe.  When a motorcyclist is involved in an accident, the likelihood of serious injuries is much higher than what someone in a passenger vehicle would be exposed to.

If someone else’s negligence caused the accident, it may be possible for the motorcyclist to recover compensation. However, what if other factors, like lane splitting, played a role in the accident?

Minnesota law regarding fault can be complex in these situations. Contacting an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at this point is recommended to do a full evaluation of the facts of your case to determine if you may have a claim to pursue.

Understanding Lane Splitting

Lane splitting, a common practice among motorcyclists, involves maneuvering between slow-moving or stationary traffic lanes. This technique is particularly prevalent in congested traffic conditions, offering a potential solution for motorcyclists to navigate through tight spots and not be “stuck in traffic.”

Legal Context

The legality of lane splitting varies significantly. However, in Minnesota, lane splitting is considered illegal.  It can result in serious fines and other penalties if caught, and also lead to accidents, serious injuries, and death.

Safety Considerations

The practice of lane splitting can be risky for several reasons. The proximity to other vehicles increases the likelihood of a collision. It is important to understand that lane splitting carries inherent risks. The proximity to other vehicles increases the chance of a collision, especially as other drivers may not expect a motorcycle to navigate between lanes. Furthermore, the limited space available for lane splitting requires high skill and acute awareness from the motorcyclist.. If a rider tries to navigate between vehicles, the narrow space is often hard to travel through. Because of this, accidents are more likely.

What Happens If You’re Involved in an Accident While Lane Splitting?

Several factors will come into play if you are involved in a motorcycle accident while lane splitting in Minnesota. The state follows a comparative fault system, meaning that if you are found partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault.  If your fault exceeds that of the other involved driver, you cannot recovery any damages for your injuries.

If your accident occurred because a car merged into you as you were lane splitting, both parties will likely have some level of fault. While recovering compensation may still be possible, this is not always the case.

This is where having a knowledgeable Minnesota motorcycle accident lawyer becomes invaluable. They can help navigate the complexities of the law and analyze the facts of the accident to determine the potential levels of fault for the involved parties.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

As a motorcyclist, you have rights on the road, but you also have responsibilities. You have the right to use the road safely and to expect other drivers to respect your space.

However, you are also responsible for riding safely and adhering to traffic laws. Since lane splitting is considered illegal, it is not permitted and should be avoided.

Compensation for Your Injuries

Understanding your right to compensation is crucial if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident. This is particularly important in lane-splitting cases, where determining fault can be complex.

As a motorcyclist, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries sustained, provided you can establish that another party was 50% or more at fault for causing the accident.

Types of Compensable Damages

Compensation in motorcycle accident cases typically covers various types of damages. These include medical expenses for immediate and ongoing treatments, lost wages due to the inability to work, and compensation for pain and suffering. In some cases, you may also be eligible for compensation for property damage, including repairs or motorcycle replacement.

The Role of a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Navigating the motorcycle accident claims process can be challenging, particularly in lane-splitting cases. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer can be invaluable in such situations.

They can help gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, investigate to ensure you receive fair compensation. Their expertise is crucial in clarifying legal complexities and maximizing your potential compensation.

Understanding Your Right to Compensation in a Motorcycle Accident

Understanding your rights to compensation is key after a motorcycle accident involving lane splitting. Since cases like this can be complex, it is recommended that you seek legal guidance. The motorcycle accident lawyer you hire can significantly affect your claim’s outcome.

As motorcycle accident lawyers in Minnesota, we at Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, are committed to helping you understand your rights and responsibilities on the road. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, whether it involves lane splitting or not, don’t hesitate to reach out for legal guidance. Remember, your safety and your rights are paramount.