Motorcycle accidents are often a catastrophic event for the person or persons on the motorcycle. Lack of physical protection during an accident can lead to severe or life-threatening injuries. Many injuries sustained in these types of events require lifetime care.
When reviewing an accident where a motorcycle is involved, the State of Nevada applies a modified comparative negligence standard to determine what percentage each driver is responsible for the event. This determination has a direct impact on any compensation the motorcyclist receives for their injuries. Here’s what you need to know about lane splitting and motorcycle accidents in Nevada.
Lane Splitting Motorcycle Accidents
When it comes to motorcycle accidents, lane splitting events can have grave consequences for the motorcycle driver and their ability to recover compensation for their injuries. Lane splitting is illegal in Nevada under NRS 486.351(2). This law states it is illegal for motorcycles or mopeds to pass another vehicle within the same lane.
Lane splitting is defined as: “Passing another vehicle within the same lane as another vehicle or passing between two vehicles down the center of a lane.” Lane splitting should not be confused with lane sharing. Lane sharing occurs when two motorcycles ride side-by-side in a lane and is legal in Nevada.
If an accident takes place when a motorcyclist is lane splitting they may be found 100 percent responsible for the crash because they were acting negligently by breaking the law.
There Are Always Exceptions To The Rules
Although this law was designed to be very straightforward when it comes to lane splitting, several issues have arisen to show that the other vehicle involved in a lane splitting accident may be responsible for the event.
If the other car, for instance, swerves towards the motorcycle while they are passing and causes the accident, they may be responsible for the event. If the driver of the other vehicle was acting negligently by talking or texting on the phone and did not see the motorcyclist passing them and moved the vehicle in a manner that caused the accident, they might also be held responsible. If the motorcyclist was lane splitting as a way to leave a traffic jam or accident to seek help and was hit by another car, the other car may be held responsible.
There are many other instances where even though the motorcyclist was lane splitting when the event occurred the other driver may be liable for the accident.
Professional Accident Reconstruction in Motorcycle Accidents
If you have sustained injuries in a lane splitting accident, you should not give up hope on receiving compensation for your injuries. It is imperative that you speak with a qualified motorcycle accident attorney about your case and allow them to review the facts related to your accident.
The information in the accident report along with witness recollections of the event may be very relevant in showing how you were not at fault for the crash. Your attorney understands the importance of establishing fault in these types of cases and will work diligently to find the truth behind the events of the accident.
If necessary, your attorney can determine if a professional accident reconstruction specialist needs to be called in to evaluate the accident scene. A reconstructionist will use all of the data from the crash and determine who or what caused the event and how. They will use all the information including the injuries you received to recreate the event from a non-biased point of view. Their findings will have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.
Duty Of Care When Operating A Motorcycle
Every vehicle that operates on the roads of Nevada has a particular duty of care. Duty of care means drivers must operate their vehicles in a manner that is safe and in compliance with the laws of the road. This obligation applies to all vehicles, not just motorcycles.
Nevada places the responsibility of any vehicular accident on both parties until fault can be officially established. Fault can be divided between the parties or placed on just one of the parties. In order to make a claim for compensation, the other party must be at least 51 percent or more responsible for the accident.
If an injury victim is found to be any percentage responsible for the accident, any claim for compensation will be reduced by that amount when finalized. For example, if you are found to be 10 percent liable for the crash, and you receive $100,000, your compensation will be reduced by 10 percent to $90,000.
Why An Attorney Is Your Best Choice
Having an attorney represent your motorcycle accident case will always be in your best interest. There are many factors at play and laws that must be addressed when a motorcycle accident occurs. The injury victim often finds themselves facing large medical bills and financial losses because the insurance company almost always wants to place 100 percent of the fault on the motorcycle driver.
Your motorcycle accident attorney will find out who is truly responsible for the event and protect your rights to receive full compensation based on those factual findings. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, schedule your free consultation with an experienced lawyer today.