Lane splitting is not legal in South Carolina, according to S.C. Ann §56-5-3640(c). The statute does allow for two motorcycles to ride alongside each other in the same lane; however, motorcycles and other vehicles must ride separately. Motorcyclists who ride between lanes of traffic are committing an illegal offense.
Lane Splitting is Illegal in Most States Due to the Dangers It Poses to Drivers
Lane splitting is illegal in South Carolina because it is considered risky behavior. Some motorcyclists might choose to go between lanes of traffic when there is congestion or traffic is slow, sometimes referred to as “white-lining” or “filtering.”
However, when motorcyclists do this, they risk getting into an accident because:
- A vehicle might merge unexpectedly as a motorcyclist attempts to ride past.
- A driver might open their door while traffic is at a standstill, which could hit the motorcyclist trying to filter through traffic.
- A driver or passenger might extend their arm out the window, which could also hit the motorcyclist trying to filter through traffic.
Comparative Negligence can Significantly Affect Your Case
If you were injured in an accident involving lane splitting, one question you will need to answer is who may be deemed at fault? While lane splitting is a traffic violation, if the other driver merged without signaling or committed some other driving offense, both parties may be considered partially at fault for the accident.
In South Carolina, S.C. Ann §15-38-15 places a modified comparative negligence rule on most tort cases, meaning plaintiffs may still be able to collect compensation if they were less than 50 percent at fault. If your percentage of fault is greater than 50, the court may bar you from collecting damages.
Our team can review the accident, including the role you potentially played. From there, we can strategize an argument in case the other party might claim you were partially negligent.
You May be Able to Compel the At-Fault Driver to Pay Damages
Our legal team aims to fight for the compensation you need to recover from accident-related damages. Whether you were a motorcyclist who was injured by a negligent driver or a vehicle occupant who suffered injuries because of a reckless motorcyclist, we may be able to help.
S.C. Ann §15-32-210 allows plaintiffs to pursue compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical care costs, including future expenses for medical treatment
- Property damage costs, such as those to repair or replace a vehicle or motorcycle
- Income loss, including income you might expect to lose if your injuries are still healing or permanent
- Reduced earning potential
- Loss of job opportunities or promotions
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish, emotional distress, and even forms of psychological trauma
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
Other damages not listed here can be found inside the statute literature. Our team will discuss your compensable damages in a consultation once we review the case.
Our Attorneys Want to Support Your Case and Help You Fight for Compensation
Our legal team provides the following legal services to all clients we work with:
- Case management: We can manage the case on your behalf, which involves filling out paperwork, making statements to insurance companies and other attorneys, sending legal notices and requests, and responding to settlement offers. We will keep you updated as the case progresses but relieve you of any responsibility to manage it on your own.
- Private investigation: We may need to conduct a separate investigation into the accident to get the evidence and information we need to argue your case. We may interview witnesses to retrieve testimony, consult accident reconstruction analysts, and request video footage from nearby cameras, among other methods of retrieving evidence.
- Legal representation: We will assign a personal injury lawyer to represent you throughout the case proceedings. They may be able to negotiate an out-of-court settlement deal, but they can present the case at trial if necessary. They can also provide legal advice should you have questions or concerns, but ultimately, you make all legal decisions.
You Have a Deadline for Filing Your Claim Against the At-Fault Driver
Per S.C. Ann §15-3-530, you have about three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury case. Be mindful of this deadline, as missing it could jeopardize your ability to have a judge hear the case. In fact, if the other party finds out you were late in submitting the necessary paperwork, they can request to have the case dismissed.
Our team aims to keep track of each relevant deadline attached to the case; however, we advise you to take action sooner than later so that you have enough time to collect evidence.
Call the Attorneys at Hammack Law Firm If Lane Splitting Caused Your Accident
If you were in an accident involving lane splitting, reach out to the team at Hammack Law Firm for a free case evaluation.
Whether you are a motorcyclist or another vehicle driver, we can look into the accident to see how lane splitting played a role in causing your injuries. We may be able to help you pursue compensation, but we can only start once you become our client. Start your legal journey today.