Lane Splitting in Florida
Many Florida residents choose to ride motorcycles in an effort to cut down on the costs of car maintenance, to beat traffic, or to save on gas money. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are also put at additional risk of injury. For example, motorcycles are much more difficult to see on the road, which can lead drivers to unknowingly collide with them while attempting to change lanes or pass another vehicle. In these cases, injured motorcyclists can collect compensation from the at-fault party to cover their medical expenses and other losses. However, this is not necessarily true if the motorcycle operator was also at fault. Demonstrating fault can be difficult, especially if one or both drivers were doing something illegal, so if you were injured in an accident, it is critical to contact a motorcycle accident attorney who can help defend your interests.
Is Lane Splitting Legal?
Motorcyclists who engage in the practice of lane splitting, which involves driving between two lanes of stopped or slower moving vehicles, and are subsequently injured in an accident will have a much harder time collecting compensation for their injuries. This is because lane splitting, although permissible in some states, is illegal in Florida. For this reason, motorcyclists who are injured while lane splitting will most likely be held liable for resulting collisions. However, this does not necessarily mean that the injured party will automatically be barred from recovery, as Florida is a comparative fault state. States that adhere to this legal theory allow injured parties to collect compensation for their injuries even if they were partly at fault for their accident, although the amount that they can collect will be reduced by their own percentage of responsibility.
As a result, motorcyclists who were involved in collisions while lane splitting may still be able to collect damages to cover some of their costs if they can prove that the driver also contributed to the accident by talking on a cell phone, driving while under the influence, speeding, or driving recklessly. Generally, the motorcyclist will need to be able to show that the other driver’s behavior was at least as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than lane splitting, or that the act of lane splitting itself was unavoidable.
It is also worth noting that lane splitting is distinguishable from lane sharing, which involves two motorcyclists riding side by side in a single lane. Unlike lane splitting, lane sharing is legal in Florida, although it is limited to two riders. When a motorcyclist is injured in a collision with another driver, his or her recovery will not be reduced just because he or she was sharing a lane. However, if the motorcyclist was driving recklessly or was engaging in negligent conduct, this behavior could play a role in how much he or she is able to collect in damages.
Call Today to Speak with a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer About Your Case
If you were injured in a collision with another driver while riding your motorcycle, you may be able to collect compensation for your losses, even if you were partly at fault. To schedule a meeting with a Fort Lauderdale attorney who can evaluate your case, please contact the legal team at Boone & Davis by calling 954-566-9919 today.