Is Lane Splitting Legal in Chicago, Illinois?

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Is Lane Splitting Legal in Chicago, Illinois?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

A motorcycle sits at a stop light along with several cars. To save time, the motorcyclist decides to cut between the two cars and pass them so they can be closer to the red light as it turns green. This practice, called lane-splitting, may seem like a logical idea that makes travel more efficient. However, lane-splitting is dangerous and can lead to an accident and injury. Lane splitting is illegal in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois.

Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/11-703(c) states that a person operating a two-wheel vehicle such as a moped, scooter, or motorcycle cannot pass two vehicles at the same time. If found guilty of lane-splitting, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a punishment of up to one year in jail. If a person has been hurt, the charge can become a Class C felony.

If you have been in an accident as a result of a motorcyclist practicing lane-splitting – or if a driver caused you injuries on your motorcycle – we recommend contacting an experienced Chicago car accident attorney. 

An Experienced Attorney May Be Necessary For A Lane-Splitting Claim

A lawyer can help you to secure the right evidence to best prove your case. Securing a settlement can be easier if an accident results from a motorcyclist’s lane-splitting. However, a claim may still be filed if you have suffered injuries while lane-splitting. You may still be compensated for the accident if you can prove that the other party held more liability than you in causing the accident.

Due to the legal concept of comparative negligence, you may not recover damages if you are found to be 50% or more at fault for the accident. Alternatively, if the other party carries more fault than you, you may recover damages relative to the amount of fault carried. For example, if the other party was found to carry 80% fault for the accident, and the damages total $50,000, you may be paid $40,000.

Lane-Splitting Puts Multiple People At Risk

Lane-splitting can be dangerous because little distance exists between vehicles, which means that you carry a higher risk of crashing into another vehicle. A car or larger vehicle may also struggle to see a motorist, which also makes one more prone to getting into an accident. In addition, the practice creates added confusion, as intersections can already feel chaotic due to congestion.

You Can Take Several Steps To Build A Claim

If you have been in a lane-splitting accident, there are several things you can do to lay the groundwork for developing a credible claim. You should:

  • File a police report.
  • Avoid admitting fault.
  • Seek medical help.
  • Continue to follow up with medical providers and track records, appointments, and progress.
  • Exchange insurance information with the other party.
  • Take photos of the scene and begin to document evidence.
  • Gather the contact information of any witnesses.

Contact An Experienced Chicago Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been in a lane-splitting accident, it is important to contact an accident attorney to help build evidence to support your claim. Attorneys at Malman Law have helped many clients recover damages from accidents. Schedule a consultation today.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2023

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