Motorcycle Lane Splitting: Legal Gray Areas and Rider Protection

Motorcycle lane splitting, also known as “white lining,” is a practice that has been the subject of much debate in the United States. This practice involves a motorcyclist or moped driver riding between lanes of traffic, whether the lanes go the same way or in opposite directions.

While it is seen as a way to navigate through heavy traffic, it is not without its controversies and legal implications, as any motorcycle accident lawyer in Decatur, Georgia, will tell you.

The Legal Status of Lane Splitting in Georgia

In the state of Georgia, the law is clear: lane splitting is illegal. According to Georgia’s Motor Vehicles and Traffic Code §40-6-312, motorcyclists cannot operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or adjacent rows or lines of traffic. This law does not apply to police officers performing their official duties.

The Consequences of Lane Splitting

If a motorcyclist is involved in an accident while lane splitting, the legal and financial consequences can be significant. Here’s what could happen:

Legal Liability

A motorcyclist involved in an accident while lane splitting could be held liable for the accident. This means that the motorcyclist could be found at fault, regardless of the other circumstances of the accident.

In Georgia, a modified version of the contributory fault law is in effect. According to this law, if you are found to be at fault for an accident by 50% or more, you are ineligible to receive any compensation. However, if your level of fault is less than 50%, your compensation will be adjusted downwards, proportional to your degree of fault.

Insurance Implications

Insurance companies may deny coverage for accidents that occur while the motorcyclist is breaking the law. This means that any damages or injuries resulting from the accident may not be covered by the motorcyclist’s insurance policy.

Criminal Charges

Depending on the severity of the accident, the motorcyclist could face criminal charges. These could range from traffic violations to more serious charges like reckless driving or even vehicular manslaughter if someone was killed in the accident.

lane splitting is illegal in Georgia

Civil Lawsuits

If the other party involved in the accident suffered injuries or property damage, they could file a civil lawsuit against the motorcyclist. If the court finds the motorcyclist at fault, they could be ordered to pay damages to the other party.

License Suspension

The motorcyclist’s driver’s license could be suspended as a result of the accident. The length of the suspension would depend on the severity of the accident and the motorcyclist’s driving record.

What Damages Can I Receive If Involved in a Lane-splitting Accident?

The types of damages a person may be entitled to in the event of an lane-splitting accident can vary depending on the specifics of the case. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical Expenses: This can cover the cost of hospital stays, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and any future medical expenses related to the accident.
  • Lost Wages: If the accident results in the motorcyclist being unable to work, they may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
  • Pain and Suffering: This refers to the physical pain and emotional distress suffered as a result of the accident. The amount awarded can vary greatly depending on the severity of the injuries.
  • Property Damage: This covers the cost of repairing or replacing the motorcycle or any other property damaged in the accident.

It’s crucial for anyone involved in a motorcycle accident to consult with a legal professional to understand their rights and potential entitlements. Laws can vary greatly by jurisdiction, and an experienced attorney can provide guidance tailored to the specifics of the case.

Schedule a Consultation With a Decatur Motorcycle Accident Attorney

While lane splitting may seem like an efficient way to navigate through heavy traffic, it is important for motorcyclists in Georgia to understand the legal implications of this practice. Not only is lane splitting illegal, but it could also result in serious consequences if a motorcyclist is involved in an accident while lane splitting.

It is crucial for all persons injured in an accident caused by lane splitting to contact The Weinstein Law Firm at 770-HELP-NOW to ensure that their rights are protected.

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