Motorcyclists often take advantage of lane splitting — moving between lanes — to avoid getting stuck in the sort of traffic that plagues larger vehicles. During times of heavy traffic, it is not uncommon to see a motorcycle (or other two-wheeler) splitting lanes and weaving through the endless parade of stopping-starting vehicles.
In Alabama — given its relatively warm weather year-round — motorcycles are a regular feature on roadways. If you are a motorcyclist who has sustained injuries in an accident, then you may be entitled to damages under Alabama law. It’s worth noting, however, that your ability to recover may be significantly impacted by your engagement in certain prohibited activities, such as lane splitting.
It’s important to note that Alabama law prohibits lane splitting. Motorcyclists may not lane split and are only entitled to do so in a sudden emergency. As such, you should avoid the practice of lane splitting, even if you are used to doing so (particularly as other states may allow for lane splitting).
If you’re injured in an accident that occurred while you were splitting two lanes, then your ability to sue and recover damages will almost certainly be affected. In fact, Alabama is a pure contributory negligence state, which means that injured plaintiffs may not be entitled to compensation if they are partially at-fault for their injuries — if the court finds that your negligent actions (i.e., lane splitting) contributed even to a small degree, such as 1 percent, to your injuries, then you will be precluded from recovering damages entirely.
In order to recover damages in Alabama — despite having split the lanes at the time of the accident — you will have to show that your lane splitting behavior is irrelevant and did not contribute to the injuries you suffered. For example, if you can show that a truck overturned in and occupied the entire three lanes of a highway, causing you to collide with it, then you can still recover damages, as the fact that you were between two lanes is irrelevant.
Here at Cross & Smith, our team of attorneys boasts decades of experience representing injured claimants in a variety of personal injury lawsuit, including those that arise out of motorcycle accident scenarios.
We are skilled litigators who focus on the provision of relentless legal advocacy — from the beginning of the litigation process, we strive to learn as much as we can about the client and the facts of their case, and then we aggressively pursue a favorable result. If negotiations fall through, we are willing and able to take the case to trial. In fact, our reputation as aggressive litigators has served us well over the years, helping us negotiate favorable settlements (as opposing counsel understand that we are capable of securing a substantial verdict through trial litigation).
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Call (205) 391-9557 or submit an online claim form to arrange for a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Tuscaloosa injury attorney here at Cross & Smith.
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