Who Pays for a Motorcycle Lane Splitting Accident in New Mexico?


Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help Determine Fault in a Lane Splitting Crash

As you ride your motorcycle down the scenic stretches of roads in New Mexico, it is common to encounter slow or stopped traffic. At this moment, you may be tempted to split lanes to move past slower or stopped vehicles to get to your destination sooner. 

Lane splitting is illegal in many states, including New Mexico. If you are in a bike crash involving lane splitting, our skilled New Mexico motorcycle accident lawyers at Keller & Keller can help determine fault and what consequences you may be facing.

Determining Negligence in a Lane Splitting Accident

In New Mexico, motorcyclists are expected to adhere to all traffic laws while riding their bikes. Bikers who fail to comply with traffic laws and cause a crash may be sued for negligence. The person hurt in the accident may seek financial compensation from the rider. 

If a motorcyclist in New Mexico engages in illegal lane splitting—riding between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving vehicles—it may serve as proof of negligence. If lane splitting causes an accident like a sideswipe or a lane-change collision, the motorcyclist's insurance provider might need to pay for the resulting injuries and damages. 

New Mexico operates under a pure comparative negligence rule. Therefore, multiple parties can share responsibility for a lane-splitting accident. In such cases, any compensation awarded to an injured party will be diminished proportionally to their share of fault in the accident.

Although lane splitting is illegal, you may want to try and defend your actions if you are involved in a motorcycle crash. If it can be shown that you took reasonable measures to avoid an accident, this might reduce your liability. Additionally, if you can prove that the other driver involved was distracted, speeding, or violating traffic laws, this information could be crucial in shifting some or most of the fault away from you. 

Consulting with an experienced attorney who understands New Mexico motorcycle laws can help you prepare a lane-splitting defense to recover compensation. If another party is found liable or partially responsible, you could recover damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and bike repair or replacement costs.

Steps to Take if Involved in a Lane Splitting Motorcycle Accident in New Mexico

If you are involved in a New Mexico motorcycle accident, there are essential steps you can take after the crash to protect your legal rights and possible settlement. Some steps to take include the following:

  • Ensure safety. First and foremost, you should assess the situation for safety. If possible, move to a safe area and check for injuries to yourself or others involved in the crash.
  • Contact authorities. Call the police to report the motorcycle accident. A police report can be invaluable in documenting the scene and facts of the accident, which is crucial when liability is disputed.
  • Gather evidence. You will want to collect as much evidence as possible from the accident scene. Take photographs of the crash scene, the vehicles' positions, any skid marks, road conditions, and traffic signs. You will also want to document damage to your bike and obtain contact information from witnesses who saw the accident.
  • Seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine after the motorcycle crash, it’s advisable to undergo a medical evaluation. Some injuries, like head or neck injuries, whiplash, or internal injuries, may not be immediately apparent and can worsen over time.
  • Consult a motorcycle accident attorney. Legal guidance is crucial, especially when involved in an activity like lane splitting that could complicate your accident claim. At Keller & Keller, our aggressive motorcycle accident attorneys have helped secure favorable settlements for our clients and will fight to do the same for you.
James R. Keller
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