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Who is liable in crashes involving lane-splitting motorcyclists?

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2021 | Car Accidents

Lane splitting and lane filtering are controversial topics among motorists and motorcyclists alike. The reason is the problem of determining liability in the event of such an accident. Motorcycle laws in different states vary. Delaware law makes no mention of lane splitting; therefore, it is not implicitly illegal, making it legal by default.

What is lane splitting?

Lane splitting is a practice by bikers also called stripe riding and white lining. It involves two-wheeled vehicles like motorcycles riding in the same lane when overtaking automobiles of any kind. Riding between two lanes of moving traffic is also called lane splitting.

What is lane filtering?

Filtering is similar to lane splitting, except that it happens when traffic has stopped or is moving slowly. Motorcyclists are often seen weaving in between lanes of congested traffic.

Without clear boundaries and rules, both motorists and bikers often flex their assumed rights. Motorcyclists may use risky driving, and some motorists intentionally drive in a way that blocks bikers. When accidents occur that involve lane splitting or filtering, it is typically hard to determine who the negligent responsible party is.

In circumstances where no video evidence or reliable eyewitnesses are available, working out a liability becomes a problem. It could become even more complicated when more than one vehicle is involved and when such collisions cause personal injury.

Victims of car vs. motorcycle accidents may seek financial relief to cover losses like medical expenses and lost wages. Emotional damages like pain and suffering can also form part of the documented claims. This could be done by filing a personal injury lawsuit in a Delaware civil court. However, the plaintiff in such a case would have to prove negligence on the part of the defendant for such a claim to be successful.