I Hit A Motorcyclist Who Was Lane Splitting, Am I Liable?
Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of slowly moving, or stopped traffic. Often motorcyclists practice this when trying to get out of a traffic jam. If an accident occurs between you and a motorcyclist who has been lane splitting, determining which driver is at fault depends on whether lane splitting is permissible in your state, and the actions of the driver and motorcyclist at the time of the accident.
New York Lane Splitting Laws
The state of New York specifically outlines laws against lane splitting. According to Statue 1252, “motorcyclists cannot operate his/her bike between adjacent lines, rows of vehicles or lanes of traffic”. In fact, with the exception of California, all states find lane splitting illegal. Currently, some states are pushing to legalize the practice as it has been proven to provide motorcyclists with an escape route in a situation where they would have otherwise been struck from behind.
How Fault is Determined
When an insurance company investigates who is at fault they examine several factors. New York is a state that follows pure comparative negligence, meaning you can still recover damages even if you’re 99% at fault for the accident. If the insurance company finds the motorcyclists involved in the accident was splitting lanes, that person could be found as the sole cause of the accident. However, if the driver in the car that hit the motorcyclist was found to be distracted by texting or talking on the phone, then the driver could also be considered negligent. Additionally, if the driver that hit the motorcyclist was found to have been driving recklessly or was drunk, then they could be found fully liable or at least partially liable.
Contact The Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli
If you’ve been involved in an accident, you should contact an experienced Woodbury personal injury attorney today. With almost 25 years of personal injury experience, you can be confident you are making the right choice.
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