I was involved in a Low Speed Crash on Saturday!

Norman Gregory Fernandez Harley Davidson Electra Glide

Well, it can happen to anyone, even a biker lawyer! I had just picked up my bike from the Harley dealership (It was in for the Easy Clutch install and other service) on Saturday, and was out cruising solo. I stopped at a Starbucks to get a cup of joe.

I was riding out of the parking lot when some women pulled out in front of me. Same old story; she pulled right in front of me, less than a second to react.

I locked up the brakes and turned my handle bars hard to the right. I missed her by inches, but I could not hold up my Electra Glide and I dropped her on the right side.

Before I dropped the bike I tried like heck to hold her up but she was at a steep angle and was so heavy that I could not hold her up. The damage to the bike was minimal thanks to the Kuryakyn Highway Boards I have mounted on my front engine guard, and the saddle bag guards on the rear.

I can frankly say that the Kuryakyn Highway Boards saved the fairing and front end of the bike. The right side board did suffer some damage and may have to be replaced but it could have been worse. The right saddlebag guard suffered a nick when the bike went down. I got lucky!

As for me, I somehow managed to suffer a tear to my right hamstring muscle and an injury to my right foot, however I was dammed lucky. It could have been worse.

After the incident I was basically still on the bike with my right foot on the ground, and holding the bike with the engine still running trying to lift her back up to no avail. I screamed to a group of people who were standing in front of Starbucks to help me lift the bike back up. I was more worried about the bike than anything else.

When I looked up the woman was gone. No one got her information.

This is the 3rd time that I have gone down over the years. The old saying is that; it’s not if you are going to go down, it’s a matter of when. In my case I have been very lucky to have only had minor accidents which have not resulted in serious injuries. I have had some very scary close calls!

So the moral to this story at least for me is that I will be very careful in parking lots. You never know when a cager will pop out right in front of you without looking.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. © 2006

10 Responses to I was involved in a Low Speed Crash on Saturday!

  1. Oh that we could all be as lucky as you.

    I hate the stupid, illogical impulse we all have to stop the bike from tipping over. Intellectually, we know that there is no way on earth we are going to stop 700+ pounds of steel from falling over. Yet we try anyway, and we end up with pulled muscles, torn ligaments, ruptured discs, etc.

    You also have the advantage of being your own boss. If something bad does happen, you can recover without pressure from above. Having wrapped myself around a concrete telephone pole on 23 September 2006 and having spent three months recovering from a shattered femur and mangled toe (crushed by the steel toe of my boot), I learned firsthand that managing partners are not very happy when one of their senior attorneys is laying unproductively in bed for three months. They are also not thrilled when they realize that you are going to ride again regardless of the admonitions not to do so.

    Oh well. I should be off my crutches and ready to ride after about two more months, which conicides nicely with the expected date my repairs will be completed.

    Count your blessings.

  2. I understand your problem… Employees tend to get grumpy if they don’t get paid.

    I’m back in the office now. Of course, I found that all of the easy stuff got taken care of and the difficult, time-consuming matters were left for me to deal with. I didn’t as much as I could from my hospital bed with my laptop and a wireless internet connection. But there is only so much that can be done without the files at your fingertips.

    I would say that about 70% of my work is related to maritime matters, such as cargo damage, ship collisions, crew injuries, 25% corporate matters, 5% labor issues. I also handle the occasional defense of foreigners who get arrested for things like drugs and the occasional military court marshal or disciplinary proceedings on the US military bases here.

  3. Norm so sorry to hear about your accident. I had one just like yours only I was driving a corvette a few years ago. People just do not pay attention and it never ceases to amaze me when people just take off and leave a scene. Glad you and your bike are okay. Folks just do not pay attention to bikers. Last week I was up in Palm Bay heading to Kennedy Space Center. I was crusing at about 50 miles per hour the posted speed limit. A lady of the Musulim Faith pulled right out in front of me a made like a U-Turn and came right back in my lane. I was very irked and jumped off my bike and went up to her car window ready to kick in her door…I did not kick in the door or use any Biker Trash Language because a child was in the back seat. I said, Lady you just pulled out in front of me and then pulled back from the right lane in front of me again. You almost killed me. I had no time to stop. She goes”I so sorry…I did not see you”. I could not believe she did not hear the bike…pretty loud pipes. Her windows were down too. She had to see me and hear me too. Glad I am not dead.

  4. Thanks Mike. There is no way that she did not see me after the crash. She just took off. What can you do?

    I have handled many motorcycle accident cases for bikers. I am not a very good client!! There is a section on my law website about not being a dummy and representing yourself in any case because only a fool has himself for a client. I would never represent myself in a PI case because it’s dumb. Even for a lawyer!

    Looking back at it now all I can say is that all I cared about was my bike. I have had clients laid up in the hospital and all broken up worried about nothing but their bikes. You have to be a biker to understand! That is one of the reasons why bikers should go to real biker lawyers and not basic PI lawyers.

    Anyway, I will sit here and heal up and be back on the scoot ASAP!

    Thanks man,


  5. Geez Jeff I feel for you man. You are damm lucky to be alive. Your accident makes mine sound like nothing at all. I wish you a speedy recovery.

    I know all about managing partners. This to shall pass!! Partnerships are like marriages. Either they love you or they don’t. If they won’t stick with you in your time of need then screw them! I know what it is like to have to bring in the billable hours. Hopefully you have associates on your team who can pick up your case load until you come back.

    The problem with being your own boss is that you have to make the payroll and make sure that all of the cases are being done in a timely manner. In any business it’s all about cash flow. If the cash is not flowing, you are out of business.

    As for me, I have a hard time delegating my cases. I own them as do all of the people in my firm. I had to continue an important depo until Friday, and put off some other important matters because I could not function. It’s real depressing sitting in pain. One thing I cannot put off is payroll 🙂

    You are right about the illogical impulse of trying to hold the bike up. Frankly, all I could think of at the time was not dropping the bike. After that all I could think of was the damage; then the pain; then “where is that woman who cut right in front of me!!”

    So what kind of law do you practice?


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