Montana Motorcycle Laws
Here are some of the laws governing the use of motorcycles in the state of Montana:
Lane splitting is a traffic maneuver in which a motorcyclist drives between two rows of cars moving in the same direction. Montana law S.B.9, which goes into effect on October 1, 2021, says motorcycle riders are permitted to split between other motorists under the following conditions:
- The lanes are wide enough
- The road conditions are safe
- The rider is traveling under 20 mph
Montana's motorcycle helmet law mandates that all motorcycle operators and passengers under 18 years of age wear helmets. Helmets must meet the standards of the state's Department of Justice.
Any passengers under 18 years or age must wear a helmet regardless of the driver's experience or age. Passengers should not be in a position that interferes with the motorcycle's normal operation.
The minimum liability limits for Montana motorcycle insurance are as follows:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person in a single accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more persons in a single accident
- $10,000 for property damage in a single accident
Montana is an “at-fault” state. This means that the driver who caused the motorcycle accident (the at-fault party) will be held liable for injuries, property damage, and other losses suffered by the accident victims. In order to prove negligence and recover damages, the plaintiff must prove the following elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care
- The defendant breached the duty of care owed
- The injury was caused by the defendant's breach or negligence
- The plaintiff suffered some kind of physical or financial harm
Modified Comparative Fault
Montana operates under a "modified comparative fault" rule, with a 51% bar. According to this system, motorcycle accident victims are eligible to seek compensation for their injuries, provided that they are partially or equally (50% or less) responsible for the accident. The amount of compensation you may recover, however, will be reduced by your fault percentage.
For example, if the court awards $50,000 in damages against the at-fault party and you are found to have been 10% at fault for the accident, your damages will be reduced by $5,000. You will only be able to recover $45,000. If you are found to have been mostly (51% or more) responsible for your injuries, you will be barred from receiving any compensation.
How an Experienced
Attorney Can Help
Being injured in a motorcycle accident can affect you physically, mentally, and financially. Thankfully, you don't have to face these challenges on your own. When you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you hire a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to protect your rights and help you seek deserved compensation for your injuries.
At Gerstner Adam Law, we have the resources and experience to represent motorcycle accident victims and their families in their injury claims. As your legal counsel, we can:
- Fight to protect your rights and work to hold the liable parties accountable
- Review every aspect of your case and conduct a thorough, private investigation
- Gather and document relevant information, evidence, witness statements, and police reports
- Help prove fault and establish liability
- Determine the full extent of your injuries or losses, and estimate case-value
- Help negotiate a fair settlement with insurance providers
- Take additional legal action, where required