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Nevada lane splitting laws and motorcycle accidents

Motorcycle accidents are often serious, and rarely result in minor scrapes and bruises. Oftentimes, riders involved in a crash suffer significant, critical injuries that bring with them steep hospital and medical bills. This being the case, it is not uncommon for drivers involved in a motorcycle accident to end up in a courtroom litigating damages. But first, the state must determine who was at fault.

When investigating and reconstructing a motorcycle accident, Nevada courts will utilize a formula to determine not only who was ultimately at fault, but also a percentage to which each was at fault. This is known as a “modified comparative negligence” standard. It will be quite impactful on how much an injured motorcyclist will be able to recover in damages.

One of the first things to determine is whether the motorcyclist was “lane splitting,” which is illegal in Nevada. Lane splitting is defined as: “Passing another vehicle within the same lane as another vehicle or passing between two vehicles down the center of a lane.” For example, if traffic is at a standstill, a motorcyclist may not drive up the center line between the vehicles, nor pass on the outer sides in the same lane. Just as a motor vehicle would be expected to remain in place, a motorcycle must do the same. However, it is important not to confuse lane splitting with lane sharing. Motorcycles may share a lane with mutual consent, meaning they may ride side by side in the same lane. Lane sharing is legal in Nevada.

If a rider in a motorcycle crash is found to have been lane splitting, they may be determined to be 100 percent at fault for the accident. Thankfully, there are exceptions to the rule.

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