Motorcycle Accidents and Lane Splitting
In the state of Utah, lane splitting is illegal. While there are many people who advocate for the legalization of lane splitting, a study conducted at the University of California Berkeley found that out of the 5,969 motorcycle accidents that occurred in 2013, 997 involved lane splitting. Most of these accidents occurred in the state of California, the only state where lane splitting is legal. Of note, California also has a mandatory helmet law for motorcycle riders of all ages.
Currently, Utah motorcycle laws require only riders under the age of 18 to wear helmets. Riders over the age of 18 are not required to wear helmets, nor are they required to wear eye protection. Therefore, the passage of a law permitting lane splitting in Utah could be particularly dangerous, especially considering the lack of attention many operators of cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, and other passenger vehicles give to motorcycles. Nevertheless, a bill that would legalize lane splitting in Utah made it as far as the State House of Representatives as recently as 2014.
Although lane splitting is illegal and dangerous, it does occur. When motorcyclists are injured in auto accidents while lane splitting, they may still be entitled to at least partial damages even if they were in violation of state law at the time of the accident. Drivers of passenger vehicles are not relieved of their duty of care to motorcyclists simply because motorcyclists are lane splitting. However, handling cases involving motorcycle accidents and lane splitting requires particular legal skills. The Ogden, UT personal injury attorneys of the law firm of Froerer & Miles have these skills along with the resources and experience to handle motorcycle accident cases involving lane splitting successfully on behalf of injured victims and their families.
If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motorcycle accident while lane splitting, we urge you to contact our law firm to arrange for a case evaluation today.
Utah’s Comparative Fault Rule
In the state of Utah, the rule of comparative fault often comes into play in personal injury cases, and will almost certainly come into play in any motorcycle case involving lane splitting. If a motorcyclist is injured in an accident while lane splitting, he or she will be assigned at least partial blame for the accident by virtue of having broken the law. However, according to the rule of comparative fault, if he or she is less than 50 percent at fault for the accident, he or she may be eligible to collect the full measure of damages to which he or she is entitled, minus the amount equal to the percentage to which he or she was at fault. Therefore, if he or she was 40 percent at fault for the accident, he or she would be eligible to collect 60 percent of the damages to which he or she was entitled.
However, according to the rule of comparative fault, if he or she is determined to be at least 50 percent at fault for the accident, he or she cannot collect any damages whatsoever. This is why it is important to secure the services of an attorney who can present the strongest evidence of negligence possible on the part of the defendant, such as the personal injury attorneys of Froerer & Miles.
Arrange for Your Motorcycle Accident Case Evaluation Today
To arrange for an evaluation of your motorcycle accident case, please contact our personal injury law firm today.