Lane-splitting is legal in Missouri but is not always the safest option. Lane-splitting is when motorcyclists ride between two lanes of traffic going in the same direction instead of staying in one lane like other vehicles.
Legal Does Not Mean Safe: Lane-Splitting Could Impact Your Accident Recovery
There are not currently any laws in place in Missouri that make lane-splitting explicitly illegal. However, lane-splitting can be risky and increase the odds of getting into a collision. The close proximity between your motorcycle and the vehicles next to you means that even a minor miscalculation or a moment of inattention by a distracted driver could cause an accident.Lane-splitting is widely considered an unsafe practice and could prevent you from recovering the highest level of damages from the other party. In Missouri, the amount of damages you can receive after an accident is based on how much blame is assigned to you for causing the accident. You are not prohibited from filing a claim in Missouri just because you were lane-splitting. However, you may be assigned a higher degree of fault than if you were not lane-splitting and thus receive a smaller settlement, even if the other person was mostly to blame for the accident.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Missouri Motorcycle Accident
In the immediate aftermath of a collision, it can be challenging to remember what to do. Try to stay calm and take action to protect yourself.
Step 1: Ensure Your Immediate Safety
Though it is ideal not to move any evidence, moving yourself and your bike out of the traffic flow may be necessary to prevent further injuries.
Step 2: Call Emergency Services
Law enforcement can come to investigate the accident and make sure that you get medical attention. The adrenaline flow immediately following a collision may limit your ability to detect injuries, so it is essential to be assessed immediately, even if you think you are uninjured or only slightly hurt. It may be tempting not to get treated, especially if you think you cannot afford to see a doctor, but it may be more costly not to be seen immediately following an accident because a lack of medical records can ruin your chances of getting a settlement. Retain all medical documentation you receive, as you may need it to support insurance claims or a legal case.
Step 3: Gather Evidence
Take pictures of the scene, your body, your bike, and other vehicles involved. Get contact information from witnesses and try to get their statements as soon as possible. Look around to see if there might be any traffic or security cameras that could have captured footage. Record your own statement while it is still fresh in your mind. If you are unable to gather evidence, this is something the lawyers at Beck & Beck can assist in doing.
Step 4: Contact Insurance
You will want to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident but remember not to make any detailed statements to either your own or the other party’s insurer until you have spoken to one of our attorneys. Insurance companies make money by paying out as little as possible, and it is easy for an accident victim to say things that can be used to deny or reduce a claim.
Step 5: Get Legal Help
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is essential to seek out legal counsel right away to assist you in navigating the claims process, your medical bills, gathering evidence, talking to witnesses, and more. There is the potential for the case to be resolved without going to court, but should a court case be necessary, you will want an attorney experienced in handling motorcycle accident cases in Missouri to represent your interests.
The Missouri motorcycle accident attorneys at Beck & Beck only deal with cases related to vehicle crashes. We know what to look for to present your strongest case to the insurance adjuster or jury and get you a fair settlement.