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Is Lane Splitting Legal in Virginia?

a line of motorcyclist splitting the lane on a Virginia highway.

Motorcycle accidents can result in serious, sometimes fatal injuries. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash in Virginia, it’s absolutely crucial to understand Virginia motorcycle laws—especially those about lane splitting—to determine liability and protect your rights.

If you’ve suffered injuries due to lane splitting, contact us to speak with a Virginia motorcycle accident attorney about the ins and outs of your case. We’re here to help you determine fault, file a claim, and negotiate for maximum compensation. 

If you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, we are here to help. Sharif Gray has won millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. Call us at (804) 915-1611 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We will get justice for you. 

Understanding Lane Splitting

Lane splitting (i.e., stripe riding or lane filtering) happens when a motorcyclist rides between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic that’s traveling in the same direction. 

Many supporters (namely those on two wheels) argue it eases congestion and makes motorcycle riders safer by keeping them from being rear-ended. On the opposite end of the spectrum, critics find it dangerous, and suggest that it increases the chance of side-swipe collisions.

Lane Splitting Vs. Lane Sharing

It’s important to distinguish between lane splitting and lane sharing. Virginia permits lane sharing. This happens when two motorcycles ride side-by-side in the same lane. However, lane splitting – a motorcycle maneuvering between motor vehicles (i.e., cars, trucks, buses, etc.) in separate lanes – is explicitly illegal in Virginia.

Who’s At Fault For A Lane Splitting Accident In Virginia? 

If you’re involved in a motorcycle or car accident due to lane splitting, several factors can determine who’s liable and who’s not. They include but aren’t limited to:

  • Traffic Conditions: Were vehicles at a halt or were they moving slowly? The speed of traffic can factor into how fault is established.
  • Negligence: Did any party operate their vehicle recklessly, for example, by making unsafe lane changes?
  • Comparative Fault: Virginia follows a “contributory negligence” rule, meaning that if you’re found at all responsible for an accident, it could block you from recovering damages.

What To Do After a Lane Splitting Collision

Suppose you were lane splitting. In that case, you might still have a case if another driver’s negligence contributed to the accident (i.e., exigent situation). Here’s what to do after any motorcycle crash:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health is your wealth – Thus, get any injuries checked, even if seemingly minor. 
  2. Collect Evidence: Take photos/videos of the scene, damage to vehicles, and proof your injuries (if applicable). Further, gather eyewitness contact info as soon as possible. 
  3. Contact the Police: An accident report is an absolutely essential document for insurance claims.
  4. Consult an Attorney: An experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer can thoroughly evaluate your case, explain your rights relating to Virginia’s motorcycle laws, and fight to get you the maximum compensation you deserve.

Whether you were riding your motorcycle and split a lane due to negligent driver’s recklessness, or you were driving a car involved in a lane splitting accident, we’re here to help. 

Let our attorneys investigate your claim, determine fault, and seek maximum compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact us today for your free initial consultation. 

Additional Considerations Regarding Lane Splitting

While lane splitting is currently illegal in Virginia, there are ongoing efforts to legalize lane splitting. Stay informed about proposed bills, as laws can change.

Here are some safety tips specifically for motorcycle riders in Virginia:

  • Wear Protective Gear: Always wear a helmet with safety glass (limit likelihood of brain injuries), protective clothing, and high-visibility gear.
  • Obey Traffic Laws: Follow traffic rules, including speed limits and signals – even if you’re stopped at a red light, make sure it’s safe before proceeding. That’s especially true if the sensor doesn’t detect your motorcycle.
  • Be a Defensive Rider: Be aware of your surroundings, anticipate other driver’s actions, and be prepared to react quickly. 
  • Keep Your Motorcycle in Tip Top Shape: Ensure your motorcycle is in proper working order and adheres to all Virginia state insurance requirements – Important for filing motorcycle accident claims. 

Contact RVA Personal Injury Lawyers Today

Motorcycle accidents often involve complex legal issues. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle crash, you don’t have to fight with the insurance company alone – We’ve got your back. 

At RVA Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand Virginia motorcycle laws and have a track record of fighting for injured motorcyclists. When you work with us, we will:

  • Investigate the Accident: Determine fault, even in lane splitting scenarios.
  • Negotiate with Insurance Companies: Handle all communications and negotiate aggressively for the compensation you deserve.
  • Represent You in Court: Take your case to trial if needed.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to file a personal injury lawsuit in Virginia. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll assess your claim, explain your options, and work tirelessly to protect your rights.

“We Get Justice For Injured People, and We Love What We Do”

We are not settlement lawyers. Sharif Gray has proven that he can and will get results in court, and the insurance companies know that. If you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, we can help.

Sharif is committed to trying cases well. Because of that, he does not handle hundreds of cases at a time. He is selective in the cases he takes so he can get justice for the people he represents. In every case, he has three goals:

  1. Hold the responsible corporation or individual fully accountable.
  2. Make the community safer, so others are not also harmed.
  3. Compensation that recognizes the full and fair value of what was taken from your health and quality of life.

We love what we do, and we are proud of the positive impact we have had and will continue to have on the people we represent and the community we live in.

If we can be of help to you, please do not hesitate to call us at (804) 915-1611 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We will get justice for you.

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