Lane-splitting is illegal in Texas, per Texas Transportation Code § 545.060. If you’re pulled over for lane-splitting, you could be issued a traffic citation and fined. However, if you were in an accident caused by lane-splitting, you have legal recourse when pursuing damages.
These cases can get complicated because fault and liability are not always clear. After all, just because you were lane-splitting doesn’t mean the other party was driving safely. In late-splitting accidents, you still have options, and you still have legal recourse available.
What Is Lane-Splitting?
Basically, lane-splitting is when a motorcyclist shares a lane with a car, usually by driving alongside them. While lane-splitting does have benefits, in Texas, it is illegal. California is the only state that has legalized lane-splitting.
Lane-splitting can cause accidents because:
- Motorists are looking ahead and may collide with a motorcyclist who is riding alongside them
- Motorcyclists can hover in motorists’ “blind spots,” making them impossible to see
- Reckless driving behaviors often accompany lane-splitting, like weaving in and out of lanes, speeding, and braking suddenly
For a free legal consultation, call 877-239-4878
Texas Has “Proportionate Responsibility” Rules
Per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 33.001, Texas operates under proportionate responsibility rules. You generally can recover compensation as long as you did not primarily cause the collision. So, for example:
- If you were injured as a motorcyclist who was lane-splitting, you could still seek compensation even though you broke the law. However, you cannot be primarily responsible for the collision, as this could bar you from seeking damages.
- If you were injured as a motorist who collided with a lane-splitting motorcyclist, you could also seek damages as long as your negligence didn’t cause the accident. You could argue that because the other party broke the law, you were injured and suffered damages.
Regardless of your role in the accident, the insurance company may deny you compensation or assign an inaccurate percentage of fault to you. But you don’t have to take this treatment without a fight.
Lane-Splitting Is Negligence
Because lane-splitting is illegal, if this action causes or contributes to an accident, the other party could argue that you were negligent. To be deemed negligent, a party must:
- Have had a duty of care toward others
- Breached their duty of care
- Caused the accident
- Caused the other party to incur financial losses
You don’t want to handle this situation on your own. Being deemed negligent could end up costing you money in the long run. Seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
Contact our personal injury lawyers today
How Does the Financial Recovery Process Go in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
Your case will likely begin with an insurance claim. You’ll file your claim with the other motorist’s insurer and request compensation for an array of expenses. In an ideal situation, the insurer will agree to your terms, process the claim, and issue a check.
In most situations, however, you’ll have to negotiate to get what you want. The other motorist and their insurers might argue that lane-splitting on your part contributed to the accident and refuse to pay you. This can complicate matters.
To build a typical insurance claim in a motorcycle accident that occurred through no fault of your own, we can:
- Handle all correspondence
- Communicate with the claims adjuster on your behalf
- Calculate your losses
- Write and send your demand letter
- Point out the liable policy
- Support your claim with evidence
You May Need to File a Lawsuit
If the insurance company undervalues or denies your claim, we can file a lawsuit against the at-fault motorist. We have two years to file, per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. In service of your lawsuit, we can:
- Exchange information with the other party’s legal team
- Continue negotiating with the insurer
- Abide by all courtroom proceedings
- Determine how the law views your case
- Present evidence
- Argue your case before a judge and jury
Most cases are resolved through insurance settlements, per the American Bar Association (ABA). However, our team prepares each case as though it’s going to court. When we step into the courtroom, the other side knows we’re not playing games.
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What Damages Can You Collect in an Accident Caused By Lane-Splitting?
Depending on the severity of your injuries and the nature of your collision, you could pursue:
- Past and future healthcare expenses
- Lost income
- Future loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Disability (whether physical or cognitive)
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Property damage expenses
These are just a handful of potential recoverable losses. Others could be available to you based on your situation.
Call in the Strong Arm for Help with Your Case
If you were lane-splitting as a motorcyclist and contributed to your accident, you might not have a case to pursue compensation. If you’re unsure what to do, obtaining legal advice is the first step.
However, if your accident occurred because of another negligent motorist, and you had no fault in the matter, we’ll be ready to fight for your full compensation. Using our decades of legal experience, our team is prepared to manage your case’s obligations.
We can handle everything from your case’s paperwork to proving it in court. It all begins with one phone call. To connect with Loncar Lyon Jenkins, dial (877) 239-4878.