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Lane Splitting

Syracuse Motorcycle Lawyer for Lane Splitting Claims

Lane splitting can result in hazardous situations and injuries to motorcyclists and drivers on the road. Researchers have found that a significant percentage of motorcycle accidents in certain states occurred when a motorcyclist was lane splitting. If you were injured as the result of lane splitting, you should call the experienced Syracuse motorcycle accident lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We have a track record of success over the course of three decades. We work hard to obtain the best available settlement or verdict for clients.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is unlawful in New York. Motorcyclists can use the entire width of the lane, but they are not supposed to ride between lanes in which other vehicles are moving or at a standstill. Sometimes lane splitting results in rear-end accidents. These can be quite dangerous resulting in a motorcyclist or his passenger getting flipped over the vehicle and suffering traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, paralysis or death. Lane splitting can also be dangerous because of the close proximity of other drivers. For instance, if a motorcyclist is lane splitting and another vehicle suddenly shifts lanes and cuts him off, there could be a serious or even fatal crash.

More than one person might be held accountable for a crash arising out of lane splitting. For instance, if the accident was caused by the driver of a passenger vehicle, he could be responsible under a theory of negligence. However, there are situations in which poor road conditions or a defective motorcycle part contribute to a motorcycle accident. Contributing factors may combine to create a catastrophic crash.

In order to recover damages from a defendant driver, our lawyers usually must show: (1) the defendant owed you a standard of reasonable care, (2) breach of the standard of reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. Drivers can breach the duty to use reasonable care, for instance, by failing to check their blind spots and hitting a motorcyclist as they change lanes. However, motorcyclists may breach the duty to use reasonable care when they engage in lane splitting at all.

Comparative Negligence in Syracuse

Many motorcycle accidents are preventable. In general, motorcyclists and those riding with them have much less protection than those inside a car or truck. However, in some cases, a motorcyclist himself is responsible for the accident because he was lane splitting in spite of the risks.

Whether you are the motorcyclist involved in lane splitting or a passenger can make a difference as to whether you’ll be able to recover. Your damages can be reduced as a motorcyclist if you were comparatively negligent. That is, if the defendant can prove your own negligence contributed to your injuries arising out of a lane splitting accident your damages could be reduced by an amount proportionate to your percentage of fault.

The analysis is usually different when a motorcyclist’s passenger is catastrophically injured or killed due to the motorcyclist’s negligent conduct in lane splitting. They or their families may be able to establish negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit for damages.


The damages available in a motorcycle accident are often compensatory, meaning they are intended to make up for losses, rather than punish the defendant. Economic losses can include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Costs of medication
  • Replacement services
  • Alterations to your home
  • Out-of-pocket expenses.

Noneconomic losses are intangible harms. These can vary significantly depending on who your attorney is and the extent to which he explores your losses and presents them effectively to a defendant and its insurer, the judge, and the jury in your case. They can include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

Situations in which punitive damages, awarded to punish and deter the defendant may be appropriate are those involving egregious misconduct like drunk driving. For instance, if you are a passenger on the back of a motorcycle and didn’t know that the motorcyclist had been drinking, and then were injured in a crash, it’s possible punitive damages could be awarded.

Retain a Seasoned Attorney for Injuries Arising Out of a Motorcycle Crash

When you choose a law firm to represent you in a lane splitting accident, you should consider its attorneys’ trial experience and reviews. The seasoned Syracuse attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano have more than three decades taking cases to trial and fighting for those injured in accidents. We represent clients in Rochester, Auburn, Watertown, Oswego, Lowville, Wampsville, Canandaigua, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oneida, Utica, Herkimer, Binghamton, and Elmira. Complete our online form or call us at 833-200-2000.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY