Lane Splitting Law Is A Legal Grey Area

There is no absolutely universal legal view on lane splitting, because lane splitting law varies from each state to the next. Even within a single state, lane splitting law tends to be far more complex than many of the other kinds of legislation that restrict how drivers and motorcycle riders can behave. Lane splitting in California is legal in many circumstances, but not in all circumstances, so whether a biker is cited for illegal lane splitting in California has as much to do with what kind of mood a police officer is in as it does with the realities of lane splitting law. Lane splitting law is one of the greyest areas of ambiguity in modern laws that govern the safe use of vehicles, so it is little wonder then that there is a lot of confusion about lane splitting law among driver, motorcycle riders, and even among lawyers and other law professionals.

Even in states where lane splitting is legal, most motorcycle riders who are concerned with being very prudent about their safety and making sure that they are within the confines of the law avoid lane splitting at all because it is such a grey area in terms of law and in terms of safety. Lane splitting law is complex, but the most important decision that a motorcycle rider makes about lane splitting shouldn’t be whether it is legal in a given situation, but rather whether it is safe. Lane splitting is often very dangerous, and even in the cleanest and clearest of circumstances lane splitting can lead to an accident if things go even slightly awry.

Although lane splitting is legal in some states like California, California bikers might find it prudent to take a cue from other states on this matter. The fact that lane splitting is technically legal in California under most circumstances does not mean that it is a safe practice. One of the most dangerous things about lane splitting is that many automobile drivers do not know how to safely interact with motorcycle riders, so lane splitting can make drivers panic and do things that are unpredictable and often cause injury or even death to motorcycle riders who were technically behaving within their legal rights. It is important to remember that legal lane splitting isn’t always safe lane splitting, so although it is important to follow lane splitting law it is even more important to follow your common sense when deciding whether to lane split on your bike or not.

There is a lot of debate among the motorcycle riding community and among drivers about whether current lane splitting law is satisfactory. Some people feel that current lane splitting law is too loose and not restrictive enough about lane splitting. There are even individuals and groups calling for a national ban on lane splitting under any circumstances. However, there are also plenty of individuals and groups who believe that lane splitting can be safely practiced, and that there should be more of an effort to educate motorcycle riders and divers about how to split lanes safely without causing accidents. Whatever your personal views on lane splitting may be, it is almost certainly true that lane splitting law is one of the most complex areas of law surrounding the practices of drivers and motorcycle riders.

Wisconsin Contract Law – What Makes a Legally Binding Contract?

As a business owner, you probably enter into contractual relationships every day. Many of you deal with written contracts on a fairly regular basis. However, do you understand the basic concepts of contract law and what makes a legally binding contract? Do you know what to look for when reviewing contracts prepared by the other party, or your own attorney that make it a legally binding contract?

Under Wisconsin contract law, legally binding contracts, whether oral or written, require three basic components: offer, acceptance, and consideration. An “offer” requires that one party offers to provide something of value to another party, which is then “accepted” by that other party. “Consideration” is what the two parties are obligated to exchange with each other as part of the contract. Consideration must be something of value, and the consideration must be mutual, i.e. both sides must provide something of value under the contract. For example, an agreement whereby a party agrees to pay you $1,000.00, without receiving anything in exchange, is by definition not a contract.

Typically, consideration takes the form of money paid in exchange for the provision of goods or services. This holds true for multi-million dollar transactions between international conglomerates, and when you take your car in for repairs by a mechanic. One corporation agrees to pay millions of dollars for another corporation to develop specific software or some other product, and you pay your mechanic to replace your spark plugs. In either case, there is an offer, acceptance, and consideration, and therefore an enforceable and legally binding contract. Keep in mind, however, that legally binding contracts may require consideration other than money, for example when two parties agree to exchange parcels of real estate.

Under Wisconsin contract law, all contracts also come with an implied duty of “good faith and fair dealing” on the part of both parties to the contract. While this is admittedly a rather broad phrase, in essence it means that, once an agreement has been reached, both parties have an obligation to make reasonable efforts to fulfill their respective obligations, and to avoid taking actions that would hinder the performance of the contract.

Parties to contracts have the right to enforce them in courts of law. Generally, the remedies for breach of contract take one of two forms, either specific performance or monetary damages. Specific performance is an equitable remedy most often awarded in cases involving real estate transactions, and consists of the Court ordering the breaching party to fulfill its obligations, i.e. “specifically perform” the contract.

In most cases, the remedy for breach of contract is money damages, usually in the form of “consequential” damages. Consequential damages are those damages that flow naturally from one party’s breach of a contract, and can include the cost to replace a product that was never delivered, the cost to repair a defective product, and any resulting lost profits. However, consequential damages must be “reasonably foreseeable” at the time the contract was created in order to be recoverable.

With certain exceptions, oral contracts may be just as valid and legally binding as a written contract. As an attorney, I recommend that whenever possible, contractual obligations be set forth in a written document signed by both parties. As a general rule, courts are required to look only at the written contract itself to interpret the parties’ obligations, unless there is some ambiguity in the contract. In the absence of a written agreement, or when an ambiguity exists in a written contract, the court may look to extrinsic evidence, including the testimony of the parties, to determine their intent. In other words, the judge or the jury will be determining the fate of the parties, as opposed to the parties themselves. Therefore, written contracts that clearly define the obligations of the parties are almost always preferable to oral contracts.

I will close with a suggestion. Never ignore the “boilerplate” language that you often find at the end of contracts. While these provisions may seem like an afterthought added by the attorneys to make the contract longer, they are often of vital importance, specifying among other things where written notices (for example, terminating the contract) must be sent under the contract, to where a lawsuit must be filed and what jurisdiction’s laws will govern the contract. While it is important to review the detailed provisions of the contract, it can be just as important to understand the “standard” provisions at the end of the contract.

Legal Claims in Pennsylvania Involving Stormwater Onto Your Property

In Pennsylvania, there is a law of surface waters found in legal case law. That is, a municipality or another property owner is responsible for harm to an adjoining landowner if that first owner or municipality artificially diverts or channels surface water (including storm water) onto that adjoining property.

Even if there is not additional volume of water, if the storm water is diverted resulting in higher intensity or concentrated flow, then there is liability if damages result.

A municipality has the right to manage storm water and to protect public health and safety. However, it must balance that with the rights of adjoining landowners.

If a storm drain system or runoff pipes are negligently constructed such that they do not adequately control the runoff, then there is liability for harm caused.

This can be found at the Pennsylvania Storm Water Management Act (32 PS Section 680.13 et seq). The Act requires that there be a plan in place to handle water runoff resulting from construction that involves drainage or alteration of storm water runoff.

If the soil disturbance from a construction project is large enough, or if the soil disturbance is close enough to a protected waterway, then a permit and/or a soil erosion control plan must be filed with the PA Department of Environmental Protection.

So, there are two main things to be aware of that may give rise to a legal claim in Pennsylvania regarding storm water. First. if you are doing construction involving a large amount of soil disturbance or you are within proximity to a protected stream or waterway, you should determine whether you need a permit and soil erosion control plan. Second, if you are a homeowner or landowner in which you believe that storm or surface water is being diverted onto your property at a greater flow or intensity, then you may have a claim if you have resulting damages.

In the second instance, if you believe your property is being damaged, or there is a resulting injury to a person, then you should investigate the source of the problem. If there is recent construction of culverts or some drainage system, you should check with both your local government and PA Department of Environmental Protection. Find out what the project was and whether there needed to be a permit and/or erosion and soil control plan. Even if a permit or plan was not required, it still may be a violation of the Storm Water Management Act or Pennsylvania case law if the diversion of the surface water was negligently constructed or otherwise artificially channels water at an increased flow or velocity onto your property.

In such legal claims, there may be legal causes of action for: negligence, trespass, nuisance, or violations of the PA Storm Water Management Act or the PA Clean Streams Law. The Clean Streams Law (35 PS Section 691.1). The Clean Streams Law does allow for private citizen legal claims for pollution runoff into a waterway. It more often applies to PA Department of Environmental Protection or other governmental actions against polluters.

Usually, a legal claim involving an argument that there was a negligently constructed storm water drain or system or artificially channeled water runoff, requires use of an engineer. That engineer would need to inspect and possibly do a study to compile engineering findings to support the claims.