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Sharing the Lane With Multiple Motorcycles

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the fault of another, then Arizona law may entitle you to damages.  Do bear in mind, however, that the lawsuit may be a bit more complicated than it initially appears.

Motorcyclists are often — and unfortunately — perceived by much of the general public to be inherently undisciplined on the road.  This perception can be challenged, of course, but it takes skillful and detail-oriented advocacy, particularly in situations where the injured motorcyclist may have engaged in behavior that is violative of the law.

Without context, this can all be somewhat confusing.  Let’s explore some basic issues relating to lane sharing and splitting, and how liability is affected.

Two Motorcycles May Ride Together in the Same Lane

In Arizona, Section 28-903A of the Revised Statutes quite clearly allows for two motorcycles to ride abreast of one another in a single lane.  This “lane sharing” allowance is limited to two motorcycles, however.  If another motor vehicle attempts to share the lane with you, then they could be held liable in the event of an accident.

Prohibited Behavior

Arizona prohibits a variety of behavior relating to motorcycle lane use:

  • Motorcycles may not ride more than two abreast in a single lane
  • Motorcycles may not ride between lanes of traffic (i.e., lane-splitting)
  • Motorcycles may not overtake other vehicles in the same lane (they must transition into the next lane and back to perform a passing maneuver)

By violating any of these prohibitions, you will have committed a “negligent” act, which could influence your damage recovery in the event of an accident.

How Liability is Affected

Arizona implements the doctrine of pure comparative fault.  Simply put, a motorcycle accident plaintiff may recover damages even if they are partially at-fault for their own injuries.

In fact, the doctrine of pure comparative fault allows recovery even if the plaintiff is 99 percent at-fault for their own injuries.

Importantly, however, the amount of damages that you are entitled to recover are reduced in proportion with your contribution of fault.  If a court deems you 50 percent at fault in a case involving a claim for $100,000 in damages, for example, then you may only receive $50,000.

Any contributory negligence that is linked to your injuries will have a significant impact on your total recovery.  Suppose that you were riding three abreast in a lane (violative of the law), and in doing so, you had less room to maneuver and avoid a drunk driver.  Given the circumstances, you may be found partially at-fault, leading to a reduction in damages.

Contact Hirsch & Lyon for a Free and Confidential Consultation

Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our attorneys have extensive experience advocating on behalf of motorcycle accident plaintiffs.

As a firm, we only handle motor vehicle accident claims (including motorcycle accidents).  We have successfully represented numerous clients in a variety of motor vehicle accident litigation, including disputes that center around motorcycle accidents.  Thanks to our focus on personal injury cases over the decades, we have gained key insight into what it takes to secure a favorable result both pre-and-post-litigation.

Curious about your claims?  Call 602-535-1900 or send us a message online to request a free and confidential consultation with one of the skilled Phoenix motorcycle accident attorneys at Hirsch & Lyon today.

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