Monthly Archives: July 2014

Lane-Splitting and Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Beverly Hills

Even here in Beverly Hills, motorcycle accident lawyers are always in demand. This is because riding a motorcycle is a dangerous proposition, and accidents inevitably happen. But just because you ride a bike doesn’t mean you should be the victim of another driver’s negligence. When a car and a motorcycle are involved in an accident, especially near Beverly Hills, attorney Barry P. Kaye can help determine who is at fault. This is even true in difficult cases, such as those where the motorcyclist was lane-splitting.

The Los Angeles Times recently covered a story about the legality of lane-splitting. Officially, the practice is neither illegal nor legal. While professional associations like the American Motorcycle Association advocate for the practice – they say it takes riders out of the lanes where most motorcycle accidents occur – the California Highway Patrol is actively distancing itself from the practice. In fact, they took down a list of safety tips for lane-splitting from their website two weeks ago.

Lane-splitting is a sensitive area for law enforcement and other government agencies to address. This is because, should they be seen as endorsing the practice and an accident occurs, they could potentially open themselves up to lawsuits. While it might be difficult to make the case for a motorcycle accident attorney, Beverly Hills has seen odder lawsuits in the past.

Most of the time, even in cases of lane-splitting, establishing fault in a motorcycle accident comes down to the driver and the rider. Most of the time, the rider has the right of way and the driver is at fault, even if the rider was lane-splitting. More importantly, an endorsement of lane-splitting is a tenuous case for establishing fault. If a municipality is found liable in a motorcycle accident, it is usually for failing to maintain the roads properly. Maybe the CHP just wanted to avoid a potential PR problem.