Monthly Archives: March 2007

Motorcycles riding in between lanes, otherwise known as Lane Splitting, is Legal in the State of California.

California motorcycle biker injury lawyer Norman Gregory FernandezI recently watched a video report from a local TV news channel in San Diego, that you can see by clicking here, and then searching on lane splitting.

It was surprising to me that most cagers (people in cars) did not realize that lane splitting is legal in the State of California. On a personal level, this would explain the reactions I get from people when I lane split. Some cars actually will try to cut off the lane, or honk at you as you go by in between lanes.

Hell I know what it is like to be in a car in bumper to bumper traffic, wishing I was on my motorcycle and so forth, but road rage does not explain what I have seen on the road. If most cagers do not know that lane splitting is legal, they may think in their own sick way that they are doing a public good by cutting us off or honking at us when we are doing a completely legal activity such as lane splitting.

I am calling on all bikers, biker websites, the AMA, MSF, ABATE of California, and anyone else involved in the motorcycle community to help educate the public.

Motorcyclists in the State of California are legally allowed to ride in between lanes or lane split. People in cars have no right to intentionally cut off motorcycles that are lane splitting, and should not be honking at us when we are lane splitting.

If a cager wants to get out of bumper to bumper traffic, then buy a motorcycle.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

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What Would You Do If Someone Stole Your Motorcycle, and Then You Saw Them Riding It Next To You?

california biker motorycle injury lawyer norman gregory fernandezI recently read an article about a guy who had his motorcycle stolen, and then saw a guy riding it right next him while he was in his car. You can read the article by clicking here.

There is nothing funny about this story. The guy who had his motorcycle stolen, engaged in a high speed chase to get his motorcycle back, and did in fact get his motorcycle back.

The reason I say that there is nothing funny about this story is that I know bikers. I already know how the vast majority of bikers would answer the question that I asked in the title of this article. Some would say that they would shoot the guy; some would say that they would chase the guy, etc. Knowing bikers, it makes me laugh just thinking about how they would respond to the question.

Motorcycle thefts are currently at an all time high right now because of the increase in popularity of riding motorcycles.

I know many of you are thinking that they guy who engaged in the high speed chase to get his motorcycle back did the right thing, and that you would do the same thing, however you must consider the consequences.

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The End Result of a Biker Being Killed; The Gerry Morelock Tragedy.

Gerry MorelockEveryone in the motorcycle world is or should be aware of the fact that motorcycle builder Billy Lane is accused criminally and civilly of killing Gerry Morelock, while Morelock was riding a street legal scooter.

As I have stated in previous articles on my Biker Law Blog about the case, Lane who was riding a cage, is accused of crossing a double yellow line while drunk and driving with a suspended license, and hitting Morelock who was killed instantly. You can do a search on the right bar for Billy Lane or Gerry Morelock to find the other articles I have written.

My good friend Mike Odom has conducted an interview of Gerry Morelock’s kid brother. You can find the interview by clicking here now.

The interview is a poignant reminder that there is a human being on that motorcycle you see on the road, and that human being has family who suffers greatly when an idiot decides to disregard a biker’s right to be on the road.

I send my condolences to the family of Gerry Morelock.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

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A Motorcycle Ride to the Grand Canyon; The Good and the Bad!

Biker Motorcycle Lawyer Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez with FianceI must admit that I am a spoiled biker when it comes to be able to do good motorcycle rides. Living in the Southern California presents me with opportunities to do some of the best local motorcycle riding in the world without having to travel too far. Nonetheless, there are times when you just want to get on your motorcycle and take off on a long distance run.

My fiancé and I love to take off on out of town motorcycle trips whenever possible. She is a free spirit and will literally be packed up and suited up for a ride on a moments notice. She loves to ride shotgun on the back of my motorcycle and has literally ridden over 100k miles with me over the years. Not to brag, but my friends and brothers only wish that they had old ladies that wanted to ride like my old lady.

One Thursday during the summer, at around 5:00pm, I asked her if she had ever been to the Grand Canyon; she said no. I asked her if she wanted to take off that night on a little motorcycle run to the Grand Canyon. Her eyes lit up, she gave me that smile of hers, and I already knew the answer. (YES OF COURSE) I told her that to beat the heat in the California Mohave Desert, and the Arizona Desert, it would be better if we took off around midnight or 1:00am.

Before I get into the story of this particular motorcycle run to the Grand Canyon, I wanted to mention briefly that there are basically 3 types of motorcycle runs at least for me. One type of run is where I just take off on my motorcycle alone, and ride wherever I want. The second type of run is where I ride with my old lady (fiancée) on the back (shotgun) of my motorcycle and we take off on a run to wherever. (It is not the destination that counts; it’s the ride that matters!) The third type of run is where I roll on my motorcycle with my friends or brothers who also have their own motorcycles. (Group run)

Not that I do not love rolling in a pack with my friends and brothers, or even alone, however, my favorite runs of all are when my old lady and I just take off and do our own thing! There is no pressure and we can do what we want without having to accommodate a group of motorcycle riders. The best part of all is that can find those little spots off of the highway or road for a little extra curricular activity if you know what I mean :). Anyway getting back to this particular ride report…………..

After we both decided to do the run, I promptly inspected my motorcycle for anything loose; checked the air pressure in the tires; and checked the oil, while she packed the T-Bag for the run. The good thing about being together for so long is that she knows just what to pack for a run like this.

We planned the run for 4 days which was not set in stone. We could do an extra day or two if we wanted. I hate doing runs like this on a deadline. The best runs for me are spur of the moment with no time constraints. I will write more about this later.

I strapped the T-Bag onto the luggage rack on the back of the motorcycle and did some other prep work to get ready for the run, i.e. getting someone to cover for me at the office while I was away, notifying family and friends of where I was going, etc.

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Don’t be a Fool; If you have are involved in a Car, Motorcycle, or Other Motor Vehicle Accident, Call a Personal Injury Lawyer As Soon As Possible!

the frustration of California Personal Injury Lawyer Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez by people trying to settle injury accidents without a lawyerI cannot tell you how sick it makes me feel when someone calls me after they have been in a car, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle accident, after they have already allowed themselves to be screwed out of the money that they are entitled to by a savvy insurance company adjuster.

I just gave a consultation today to a person (sex and name removed for privacy) who was involved in a serious car accident with serious injuries. This person was driving a brand new $40,000.00 car that was hit so hard that frame damage was caused to the car.

They were also seriously injured in the accident, and are still treating for their injuries. What did this person do? They signed a settlement agreement for the bodily injury portion of their case for $750.00, which only allows for 3 months worth of medical treatment and/or a total of $3,000.00 in medical treatment; that is it. They got $750.00 and an allowance for only 3 months or 3k in medical treatment. They got royally screwed!

They called to see if I could get them out of the settlement which they had signed. They also wanted to see if I could help them force the insurance company to pay for the fair market value of the car of the new car that suffered frame damage, rather than them being forced into accepting a repair of a car that has suffered frame damage.

I absolutely could not believe it. The person who called me is basically shit out of luck. It would be almost impossible to get the rock solid settlement agreement with the insurance company set aside. They called me too late.

I do the property damage portion of personal injury cases for free minus cost and expenses that I incur in getting the property damage portion of the case settled. I recover cost and expenses for property damage settlement at the end of the case. I do this as a service to my clients so that they can get their cars fixed or so that they can get another car to replace one that has been totaled. How can someone get their car repaired or replaced if a personal injury lawyer takes a percentage of property damage? Do not sign up with any personal injury lawyer that would take a percentage of your property damage loss!

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Celebrities on Motorcycles; Maybe it will help our Cause!

Jay Leno with California Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer Norman Gregory FernandezI found an interesting link to pictures of celebrities on motorcycles. You can check out the pictures by clicking here now.

I am a Southern California native and always seem to be running into celebrities in the Los Angeles area, especially while riding in certain areas. I guess it is no surprise because here is where they all live and work. I am not one to name drop because I think it is in bad taste, but I can say this; there are a bunch of well known celebrity bikers and motorcyclist on the road out here; I run into them all of the time.

The link to the pictures that you can find here is not a true representation of my own experiences of running into celebrities while out on local runs, but it does show something; it shows that motorcycles maybe finally hitting the mainstream which can only help our cause for biker and motorcycle rights, at least I hope.

Some of the pictures in the link may be staged, but what the heck; if a celebrity wants to pose or ride on a motorcycle than motorcycles and bikers cannot be that bad right!

Help us out Hollywood.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

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“In Your Blind Spot;” A Message from James W. Wingate, Retired Baptist Pastor; Sent to me by Biker Law Blog Member Sandie Diephouse.

A Lone Biker Riding a Motorcycle In The WindJUST A BIKER

I saw you hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line.
You didn’t see me put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.

I saw you pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk.
You didn’t see me playing Santa at the local mall.

I saw you; change your mind about going into the restaurant.
You didn’t see me attending a meeting to raise more money for the hurricane relief.

I saw you, roll up your window and shake your head when I drove by.
You didn’t see me, driving behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car window.

I saw you, frown at me when I smiled at your children.
You didn’t see me, when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless.

I saw you, stare at my long hair.
You didn’t see me and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.

I saw you roll your eyes at our leather coats and gloves.
You didn’t see me and my brothers donate our old coats and gloves to those that had none.

I saw you; look in fright at my tattoos.
You didn’t see me cry as my children were born and having their name tattooed on my skin and in my heart.

I saw you change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere.
You didn’t see me going home to be with my family.

I saw you complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be.
You didn’t see me, when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.

I saw you, yelling at your kids in the car.
You didn’t see me pat my child’s hands knowing he was safe behind me.

I saw you, reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road.
You didn’t see me; squeeze my wife’s leg when she told me to take the next turn.

I saw you, race down the road in the rain.
You didn’t see me, get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date.

I saw you run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time.
You didn’t see me, trying to turn right.

I saw you; cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in.
You didn’t see me, leave the road.

I saw you, waiting impatiently for my friends to pass.
You didn’t see me. I wasn’t there.

I saw you go home to your family.
You didn’t see me, because, I died that day you cut me off.

I was just a biker and a person with friends and family. You didn’t see me.

PLEASE PASS THIS ON FOR YOUR FRIENDS WHO RIDE, OR HAD SOMEONE WHO MAY HAVE DIED WHILE RIDING A MOTORCYCLE.

Also for those who feel the same way as above about the biker. Pass this on… let’s help make people aware!

This Message is from James W. Wingate, Retired Baptist Pastor, and was sent to me courtesy of Biker Law Blog Member Sandie Diephouse.

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Florida is Cracking Down on Speeding Sport Motorcycle Riders; Their Method Is Truly Disturbing!

California Biker and Motorcycle Rights Attorney Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez commenting on Florida civil seizure lawFlorida is using a civil seizure law in an effort to combat speeding sport motorcycle riders. As stated in an article that you can read by clicking here; law enforcement is using an old law to combat speeding sport motorcycle riders.

The gist of the law is that once a Florida law enforcement officer turns their lights on to pull someone over, and if they allegedly speed up, their motorcycles can then be seized because they were used in the commission of a felony, i.e. “aggravated fleeing and eluding.”

The article states that the officers do not have to identify the person riding the motorcycle; all they have to do is get the license plate information. The law allows them to then seize the motorcycle rather than chase it.

As a Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer and Bikers Rights advocate this method of cracking down on speeders is disturbing to me on many different levels.

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We Are Being Raped by the Oil Companies (Monopolies); It is Finally Time to Do Something About it Now!

California Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez speaks out on high gas prices

Does everyone remember how the price of Gasoline decreased substantially before the last congressional elections? I wonder why that was. Does anybody think that maybe the Oil Companies were trying to influence the elections? If the price of gasoline and oil are truly market driven, how was it that gasoline prices managed to substantially fall close to the elections?

Since the last congressional elections Gasoline has gone up here in California about 80 cents a gallon. Regular unleaded gas is going for over $3.00 per gallon now, and premium is at about $3.20 per gallon. My Oldsmobile Aurora and Harley Davidson Electra Glide take Premium gasoline. I wonder why it is that I am paying 80 cents more per gallon than I was just a few months ago.

The past couple of years the oil companies have been raking in record profits at the expense of all Americans. Big Oil’s greed is ruining our economy at all levels. We are an energy driven economy. The price of oil and gasoline is directly proportional to the price of everything else we buy. We can expect the price for everything to go up, people to lose their jobs, and a potential recession to spring up due to the cost of gas in our nation.

I have read the same bullshit excuses for the price increases that the Oil companies always use i.e. some refining plants are down for maintenance; summer is coming so demand is up, etc. It is not even spring yet!

Oil companies are in fact monopolies. A monopoly is a company or market where there is not true competition because only one or a few companies control the market.

I am not going to make the article boring by writing about what the history of the laws that have been enacted to break up monopolies such as the John D. Rockefeller “Standard Oil” monopoly on the early 1900’s, or the “AT&T” (ma bells) breakup in the 1980’s, or even the monopoly charges involving Microsoft. Monopolies are the bane of capitalism.

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The Great Helmet Debate Continues………

Califonria Biker Motorcycle Lawyer Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

I have recently read newspaper articles, statistics from various governmental entities, and from other sources about motorcycle death rates increasing in States that revoked their mandatory helmet laws. I am not going to post all of the links here. If you search for helmet law debate on Google you will get tons of hits. Read to your hearts content.

This debate as far as I am concerned will never end, especially amongst bikers like me that grew up riding with no helmets.

I feel that the choice should be up to the individual biker. There are valid arguments for wearing helmets and not wearing helmets, but the law should give Americans the freedom of choice. That is my issue with helmet laws.

As I started doing motorcycle accident cases, and have had my own incidents of going down, I made the choice to wear a helmet for my own personal reasons. There is no doubt as to what happens when a human head hits the pavement; the pavement wins everytime. However, I must make an admission; I sometimes still ride with no helmet in States where it is legal, because I love the wind in my hair on the open road. My friends and brothers who have ridden with me on out of State rides know this to be true.

America is about Freedom; being a Biker is about Freedom. Freedom of choice is what makes America great. I say let us decide whether to wear helmets or not.

I know I will probably get many comments on this short article about the pros and cons of riding with helmets.

The purpose of this article is to make a point about personal freedoms, and to advocate the freedom of choice. Can you imagine some lunatic legislators enacting laws requiring Motorcyclist to wear seatbelts?

Where does government intrusion into our personal lives end if we do not stand up for ourselves and make a statement?

How do we make a statement that our government will listen to? Simple; write your congressmen, State legislators, and vote for candidates that advocate freedom.

The trouble with freedom is this; if you let it go, it is very hard to get back!

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. , © 2007

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You just had a Car, Motorcycle or other Motor Vehicle Accident; Now What?

Personal Injury, Car Accident, Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

The statistics are amazing. 9 out every 10 persons who drive a car will eventually be involved in a car accident in their lifetimes. 3 out of every 9 persons will be in a car, motorcycle or other motor vehicle accident that involves alcohol.

You can see an article about what to do if you are involved in a car accident or other motor vehicle accident on my personal injury website by clicking here now.

You can see an article about what to do if you are involved in a motorcycle accident on my motorcycle accident lawyer website by clicking here now.

Many car, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle accidents involve someone in the car being injured and some do not. Most personal injury lawyers will not represent you on a contingency basis (no money out of your pocket unless there is a recovery) unless there are injuries involved in an accident. Some firms including mine can provide representation on a fixed fee or hourly basis to help you recover for out of pocket losses when you are in an accident with no injuries.

My firm will represent you on a contingency basis (no money out of your pocket unless there is a recovery) if you have an injury case that we accept.

You will see in the articles that I posted links to above, that it is critical to try to retain an attorney within the first 24-48 hours after an accident to get the prosecution of your case started.

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Sport Motorcycle Stunt Insanity; Take it off Public Roads!

**** 7/16/2010. I have substituted the original video with another video, because the original video is no longer available.

I came across this video and am reluctantly posting it courtesy of youtube.com. This video shows some extreme examples of why our Motorcycle Insurance rates are going up; why the non motorcycle riding public cannot stand us; and what not to do!

This video shows stunts being performed on Sport Motorcycles. You will see what I consider to be idiots doing stunts on public roads, in the middle of traffic, and putting innocent peoples life’s in danger.

My position is that if you want to do stunts, do them on a non public road or parking lot, and have proper riding apparel on. Is your life worth a stunt gone bad?

I have heard that the Sport Motorcycle community is lobbying to put their stunts in the X-Games; cool. But this shit should not be done on public roads and in traffic.

You will also see stunts being done in parking lots and at raceways. I have no problem with that so long as you are self insured. Here is the video.

YouTube Preview Image

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. ,© 2007

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What is a real Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer?

Personal Injury Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

I have been asked by many people what is the difference between a biker lawyer and a normal personal injury lawyer.

The main difference is that a biker lawyer actually rides motorcycles and is a biker himself. A biker lawyer has a unique insight when dealing with motorcycle accident cases that a normal personal injury lawyer does not have. Why, because we also ride motorcycles.

Frankly I know of only 2 other biker lawyers in the State of California that actually ride motorcycles besides me. There may be more; I don’t know. I do know of several other lawyers that ride, but they do not do personal injury. I even know of one Judge who rides motorcycles.

What ticks me off is a bunch of normal personal injury lawyers pawning themselves off as biker lawyers. You see them advertising in the biker rags, you may see them at events. Have you ever seen any of them actually riding?

The next time you come across a so-called biker lawyer, why don’t you ask him to take a ride with you? The proof is in the pudding so to say.

I am a real biker lawyer. I am a biker and I do personal injury. My practice is not just limited to motorcycle accident cases; I also do car accidents, truck accidents, other motor vehicle accidents, and other torts such as slip and falls, assault and battery, etc. However, my passion is prosecuting injury cases for other bikers. Don’t get me wrong; I aggressively prosecute all cases for my clients. If you are the victim of a car accident, I will treat you no differently than any of my other clients.

If you are a biker you have probably heard comments made by cagers such as: “we are the best organ transplant donors;” “we are crazy for riding motorcycles because they are dangerous,” etc.

In a personal injury case there is a general bias against bikers and motorcycles amongst potential jury pools. It is my opinion that only a biker lawyer himself can explain to a jury during trial, that bikers and motorcyclist have the same right to share the road as everyone else.

It is much easier for me because I feel what I say. There is no act; I feel a kinship towards my biker clients.

There is a general bias amongst jury pools against bikers and motorcyclist. They automatically think that it is our fault when we get hit by a cager, because we are engaged in a dangerous activity. This bias has to be addressed at trial in Jury Selection, and during the trial.

Bottom line; if you have had a motorcycle accident, get a real biker lawyer. If you are in California, give me a call at 818-584-8831 extension 1, or go to my biker lawyer website by clicking here now.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. ,©2007

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An Update on the Anna Nicole Smite Debacle; Was a Crime Committed Here?

Anna Nicole SmithOn a personal level, I was in Los Angeles Superior Court Central District, Department 2, The Honorable Judge Schnider presiding, on February 20, 2007 for an ex parte hearing. Low and behold as I turned the corner to go to the Department, I observed about 50 people standing outside of the Courtroom. It turns out that a hearing was being held that same morning, in the same department, and at the same time as my hearing, in the Anna Nicole Smith paternity case. I had no clue. There were reporters everywhere. I can tell you war stories about practicing law in Los Angeles. Anyway………….

Many things have happened since my last article on the death of Anna Nicole Smith. I was incorrectly informed before I wrote the article that Anna’s mother was given the body for burial. We have since learned otherwise.

A Florida Judge determined that her infant daughter is her heir. (Pursuant to the laws of intestate succession) The Florida Court then appointed a guardian ad litem (minors counsel) for the child, to represent the child’s interest because she is under the age of majority. (A minor) The Judge then directed the guardian ad litem to do what is in the child’s best interest, but strongly suggested that he look at the intent of Anna Nicole as to where she wanted to be buried. (The Bahamas)

I do not do probate law, but all California Lawyers must take Wills & Trust, which is a subject that is tested on the California State Bar. I still very much remember the subject but it is not one of my practice areas.

Testamentary intent is a huge factor not only for wills, but for other issues as well. It is not rocket science. What we observed in the Florida Court is that the judge took testimony on the intent of Anna Nicole. (And many other things) “Where did Anna Nicole Smith want to be buried?” (The Judge opined that it was in the Bahamas)

I am not going to comment on the proceedings in Florida other than to say that I am not used to such informality. In the Court’s that I play in, the rules are much more formal and structured. The Florida proceeding was a free for all.

This issue is moot now. Anna Nicole Smith has been buried in the Bahamas after an appellate court in Florida let the decision of the probate court stand. I feel that a Guardian should have been appointed for the body of Anna Nicole Smith to carry out her intent rather than a guardian ad litem for the child, because a guardian ad litem is supposed to do what is in the minor’s best interest. What does the burial of a mother have to do with the minor’s best interest? Anyway, the end result would have been the same anyway.

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If you have been in a Motorcycle Accident ANYWHERE in The State of California, call me now 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, for a free consultation at 800-816-1Law (800-816-1529), Extension 1

Welcome, my name is Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. I am a real biker, and a real California Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer. Click on the About Me Tab on Top to find out more about me

I created this site to provide information to the motorcycle and biker community, as well as general California Personal Injury, and Family Law Information to all.

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