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Motorcycle Accidents and Lanesplitting: Who Is to Blame?

By William Chanfrau, Jr. on August 19, 2014

A crashed motorcycleAs a motorcyclist trapped in traffic, lanesplitting is a tempting alternative. Slipping between lanes of traffic and gliding to the front certainly beats sitting on hot pavement inhaling exhaust fumes any day.

But in Florida, lanesplitting is illegal. When a Florida motorcyclist drives between two lanes of stopped or slower moving vehicles they run the risk of a getting a ticket.

Of greater concern is the risk of a motorcycle accident. What happens if you are in an accident while lanesplitting? If an accident occurs while illegally lanesplitting, does that mean lanesplitting caused the accident? What if the actions of a negligent car driver caused the accident?

If you have been in an accident while lanesplitting, who is to blame is not clear-cut. An experienced motorcycle attorney can see beyond the lanesplitting to determine what other factors contributed to the accident. The attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau in Daytona Beach understand the complexities involved in motorcycle accidents and lanesplitting. They understand that lanesplitting is often not the only factor in an accident and are willing to thoroughly investigate the case to ensure a fair and equitable resolution.  

Accidents While Lanesplitting

When an accident happens, one person is rarely to blame. In reality, careless actions by two or more people usually contribute to an accident.

In a case of lanesplitting, a traffic violation, the odds are that the motorcyclist will probably be assigned blame. However, there are “degrees of fault” in any accident, a fact that Florida law recognizes with the doctrine of comparative negligence.

With comparative negligence, more than one person can be found at fault. How much blame is assigned to each driver will determine how much compensation each can receive. For example, one driver may be 90 percent at fault, while the other is 10 percent at fault.

For a motorcyclist, comparative negligence may allow them to receive compensation for injuries, even if they were illegally lanesplitting.

In such a case, the motorcyclist will need to prove the driver of the other vehicle contributed to the accident. Perhaps the car driver was using a cell phone, raising the question of distracted driving. Or, the car driver made an abrupt lane change without using a signal.  In some cases, it may be possible to prove that the actions of the car driver were more to blame in causing the accident than the motorcyclist who was lanesplitting.

Next Steps

If you have been involved in an accident while lanesplitting, it is important to understand that the other driver can also be held accountable for his or her negligent actions in an accident. The car driver may in fact be more to blame.

However, these cases are not clear-cut. To ensure you are treated fairly, it is in your best interests to hire an experienced attorney who will investigate the accident thoroughly. The attorneys at Chanfrau & Chanfrau will aggressively pursue your case to ensure just compensation. 

If you are unsure what to do next, we offer free consultations for victims of personal injury and can review your case to determine the best course of action.

Call today for your free consultation.

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