Motorcycle safety matters. It requires the absolutely highest level of priority. The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) emphasizes that “motorcyclists are consistently overrepresented in traffic fatalities.” They are nearly 10 times more likely to be killed in a crash in Georgia than are other drivers. It is crucial that motorcyclists comply with the rules of the road.
Georgia prohibits motorcycle lane-splitting. If lane-splitting is a factor in a crash, a motorcyclist could be deemed at fault. Though, Georgia’s comparative negligence laws could make it possible for a motorcyclist to recover some compensation. Here, our Georgia motorcycle accident lawyers provide a guide to the key things to know about lane-splitting crash cases in Georgia.
Understanding Motorcycle Lane-Splitting
Motorcycle lane-splitting is a controversial practice that is lawful in some jurisdictions in the United States while being outright banned in others. In effect, lane-splitting occurs when a motorcycle drives in between two lanes of slow moving or stopped traffic. Proponents of lane-splitting argue that it can actually reduce traffic congestion and is safer for motorcyclists as it minimizes their chances of being hit from behind. On the other hand, opponents assert that it is dangerous as it decreases the space for maneuverability and can surprise other drivers, potentially leading to accidents. To be clear. Georgia does not allow motorcycle lane-splitting.
Georgia Law: Lane-Splitting is Prohibited
Under Georgia law (Ga. Code § 40-6-312), motorcycle lane-splitting is explicitly prohibited by law. In other words, all motorcyclists operating within the State of Georgia are not allowed to ride between lanes of traffic or between adjacent rows of vehicles. The law is in place to promote road safety and minimize the risks associated with this maneuver. Violating this law can lead to fines. A motorcyclist could potentially be held legally liable for a crash that happens because of lane-splitting.
A Note On Motorcycle Lane-Sharing: Although lane-splitting is not allowed, two motorcyclists can share a single lane of traffic in Georgia. As long as they both consent to do so and they are able to operate their motorcyclists safely, motorcycle lane-sharing is a permissible practice.
Motorcycle Accident Claims are Subject to Comparative Negligence in Georgia
Georgia is a comparative negligence jurisdiction for traffic collisions, including for motorcycle accidents. You are not automatically barred from recovering financial compensation if you are deemed partially responsible for causing your own accident. Here is an example of how the process could work:
- Imagine that a motorcyclist is hurt in a crash in Cobb County. The rider was lane-splitting in violation of the law at the time of the collision. However, the other vehicle in the crash was being driven by an impaired driver who was distracted. If a motorcyclist is found to be 20 percent at fault in an accident that occurred while lane-splitting and the total damages are $100,000, the motorcyclist would only be eligible to receive $80,000.
Ultimately, every percentage point of fault matters in a Georgia motorcycle accident injury claim. If you or your loved one was hurt in a crash and lane-splitting is a suspected factor, it is absolutely imperative that the collision is carefully and thoroughly investigated by an experienced Georgia motorcycle accident injury lawyer.
We Help Injured Motorcyclists in Georgia Secure the Maximum Compensation
Following a motorcycle crash, it is crucial that injured victims are able to secure the full and fair financial compensation that they need to pay all of their bills. Navigating the legalities of motorcycle accidents can be complex, especially with Georgia’s comparative negligence law. An experienced Georgia motorcycle accident attorney can help in gathering evidence, establishing liability, and negotiating with insurance companies. Among other things, your lawyer will work diligently to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to. You may be entitled to recover monetary damages for:
- Motorcycle repairs or replacement;
- Emergency room treatment;
- Medical bills and other health care costs;
- Loss of wages and loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death.
Contact Our Georgia Motorcycle Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Review
At Lourie, Chance, Forlines, Carter & King, PC, our Georgia motorcycle accident lawyers are committed to fighting for justice and the maximum financial compensation for injured victims and their families. Involved in a motorcycle lane-splitting crash? We can help. Give us a phone call now or contact us online for your no cost, no obligation consultation. From our offices in Atlanta and Augusta, we fight for the rights of motorcycle accident victims all around Georgia.