A California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer who really rides that you can count on.

If you have god forbid been injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in California, give me a call anytime 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x.1,  to discuss your case.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
  • I can get you medical treatment even if you do not have medical insurance,
  • I will send my investigators to you so you do not have to come into the office.
  • I will work to get your motorcycle fixed.
  • I will work to get you all the compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and more.

I am not some marketing scam that you have seen posting flyers all over motorcycle rallies, or biker rags nationwide. I am not “an association of lawyers” who has attorneys paying me money to advertise for them nationwide, and then farms cases out to them. I don’t pass out trinkets and goodies at motorcycle rallies to make you think that I am something I am not. I am not some generic non-riding personal injury attorney who has designed a fancy website to get you to think that they are biker lawyers, which they are not, I am a real deal biker like you. My firm and I handle the actual cases that come in. We say what we are, and are what we say, experts in motorcycle accident cases.

Read my blog below. I am an expert in motorcycle accidents. Like you I am a real biker who rides, and I am an expert in personal injury cases.

Don’t be suckered into signing up with a firm because of fancy advertising, or who do not ride motorcycles, who says they ride just to get you to sign up with them. Don’t be fooled by fancy ads. I am a top rated attorney who rides in the wind just like you.

Enjoy my articles below, there are hundreds of them!

California Motorcycle Accident and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

Category Archives: Courts

Articles related to Courts

BEWARE; You take your life in your hands at most California Indian Casinos

indian casino personal injury problems
Taking your life in your hands at California Indian Casinos

As a California Personal Injury Lawyer I feel I have a duty to inform all about California consumers lack of any real legal remedy if you suffer a Personal Injury at anyone of California’s numerous Indian Casinos.

If you have been the victim of a Personal Injury, or if you suffer a Slip and fall at an Indian Casino, you may have a potential court case, you may have a claim that will be headed to the tribal council, you may have a case that will go to private arbitration, you may have a case that will be determined by a private insurance company claims adjuster, or maybe you have a case that will literally give you no legal remedy.

Just 14 years after Gov. Pete Wilson signed the first compact with a tribe allowing Las Vegas-style slot machines in California, personal injury and property damage consumer protections in Indian casinos are all over the place respect to consumer rights and remedies in personal injury cases.

Every one of the 56 Class III gaming tribes within the State of California features its own specific tort liability ordinance spelling out how it will process personal injury cases.

The California State Bureau of Gambling Control states that many tribes authorize risk managers or their insurance companies to decide a claim’s validity. Some allow patrons to appeal case denials to tribal courts or to councils of tribal elders. Some others will take disputes to arbitration. Almost all do not recognize a role for California’s trial courts.

Each Indian Tribe is basic its own sovereign government. They do not have to follow California law on personal injury and most if not all don’t.

Due to this problem there are very few of us California Personal Injury Lawyers that will take on Personal Injury cases that occur on Indian Casinos.

I myself reject the vast majority of cases that come to me involving Indian Casinos, because without a standardized arbitration ordinance or something to that affect, they are too much of a hassle to deal with.

I have heard stories of Indian Casino cases taking many months or even years to get resolved, much longer than cases in the normal California court system. Many of the elderly victims who are claimants in these cases either give up or die before having their cases resolved.

Another issue with Indian Casino cases is that the people being sued are also the ones who are deciding the merits of the case. It is analogous to suing a Judge and then having that same Judge determine the outcome of the case in which he is being sued. How you do think that is going to turn out?

Appeals Courts have rejected Indian Casinos being sued in State Court stating that sovereign immunity precluded it from being sued in State Court.

What is bizarre to me is that the State of California negotiated compacts with the Indian Casinos allowing them to place Las Vegas style slot machines in the casinos, yet they did not provide a standard legal path for patrons of these casinos to take if they are injured within the Indian Casino.

I myself think it is time to either re-negotiate these compacts, or boycott the Casinos until the Indian Tribes themselves agree to standardized legal remedies for persons injured at their casinos.

I am calling on all California Indian Casinos to come sit at a table and discuss this situation so that a resolution can be reached to ensure California consumers that they are safe at your establishments.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © May 18, 2012

An Epidemic of Stupidity

dont be stupidI have noticed a marked increase of persons contacting me to get advice on how they can represent themselves in their own personal injury case.

Some of these winners get on websites that allow consumers to ask questions of attorneys, then they go and try to handle cases on their own without an attorney.

Do these people realize why we personal injury attorneys exist? We exist because for profit insurance companies will simply not give you what you are entitled to 99.9% of the time without an attorney.

The first thing they teach us lawyers in law school is never to represent yourself in a legal matter because you are emotionally biased, and the emotions will adversely affect your ability to handle the case. It is always best to have an independent person represent you in a case.

Aside from the emotional aspects of representing yourself, do these people who want to play attorney and that try to represent themselves realize how complicated a real personal injury case is? Of course not they don’t. It would be close to impossible for an untrained person on their own, to prosecute a personal injury case through the court system without an attorney.

I have been practicing 15 years and I can assure you that I have seen some lawyers who need to go back to school, let alone an untrained person actually doing it.

Personal Injury cases are complicated and no self-help book is going to give you the knowledge you need to handle one of these cases.

I see non-lawyers in Court all of the time getting hammered by Judges and getting sent packing because they did not do their cases right. In some instances non-lawyers get dinged with monetary sanctions against them because they do not know the law.

Then there is the matter of the cheapskates. These are winners who figure in their mind, hell; I am not going to give an attorney a third of my case, so I will take all of the $2,000 the insurance company is going to give me.

They don’t realize that their case might in fact be worth $25,000 to $50,000, and even on the low end, they would have got two thirds of $25,000 or $16,675 with an attorney, as opposed to the $2,000 they got sucked into accepting by the insurance company.

One of my sayings is that it is better to get two thirds of something instead of all of nothing.

To me this is plain stupidity, and there is a lot of it out there lately.

It does not make sense to me why a person would try to handle their own personal injury case without an attorney, when an attorney like me can be retained with no money out of your pocket whatsoever until a recovery is obtained.

The insurance companies are constantly on the lookout for idiots who will accept the half payment of medical bills, or a token 1k to 2k to settle a case that might be worth tens of thousands of dollars, without an attorney.

Any insurance adjuster worth their weight in gold, loves talking to the stupid amongst us who for whatever reason, does not mind screwing themselves out of what they are entitled to by not retaining a personal injury attorney like me.

Don’t be stupid, if you have been injured due to the negligence of another call an attorney, heck, call me.

If you or your family has been injured anywhere in the State of California, you may contact our law firm for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 ext. 1, or submit your case through our website at http://www.therpersonalinjury.com

California Personal Injury Attorney Website

Introducing our new California Accident App

 California Accident App Icon
California Accident App Icon

The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates is proud to introduce our new California Accident App ™ for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad, and for Android Phones Tablets, and devices.

Best of all it is FREE for all users worldwide.

Our California Accident App™ is available on Apple iTunes by clicking here, and on the new Google Play Market (replacement for the Android Marketplace) by clicking here.

We developed this mobile application to assist all California drivers in the event that should be in a car, motorcycle, truck, or other motor vehicle accident. The California Accident App can also be used in Slip and Falls, and other California Personal Injury cases.

Here is a description of the California Accident App™ right from iTunes and Google:

Why download the California Accident App™?

The California Accident Application™ is one of those things you don’t think you will ever need, until you do. And when you do, you’ll be glad you took a few seconds to download it. the California Accident App provides straightforward to-do’s, fact and evidence gathering tools to ensure you or your loved one are informed and protected when moving vehicle accidents happen. None of us like to think about it, but car accidents do happen.

Here are some screen shots, click on each image to see a bigger image:

California Accident App Screen Shot 1

California Accident App screen shot 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California Accident App™ features:

- Camera, video recorder and text notepad provide all you will need to record all of the pertinent data about any moving vehicle accident.
- Invaluable FAQ section containing important information about the appropriate procedures to prepare for and handle any moving vehicle accident.
- Time saving forms to clearly collect accident information from the other parties (drivers, witnesses, passengers etc.)
- Automatic GPS locator which aides in recording critical accident facts like traffic patterns and driving conditions.
- Emergency Services Locator.

Here are the QR Codes to help you find our California Accident App easier:

QR code for the California Accident App on iTunes for Apple Products
QR code for the California Accident App on iTunes for Apple Products

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QR code for the California Accident App on the Google Android Play market for Android devices
QR code for the California Accident App on the Google Android Play market for Android devices

 

Go ahead and install the California Accident App™ on your mobile device now, and hopefully you will never need to use it. However, if you do, remember the logo and use it.

By California Accident App™ Developer, California Personal Injury Law Firm, The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates

Make Sure you Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles if You Sell or Give Away your Car, Motorcycle, or other Motor Vehicle or You could Los Big Time

California Pink slip and tear off change of ownership form sample
California Pink slip and tear off change of ownership form sample

A common issue that is brought to my attention over and over again to such an extent that it is almost routine is the following scenario;

A person sells a car to another person, and that person gets into a car accident, commits a crime, or incurs a massive amount of parking tickets, before the person who sold the car notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the sale or giveaway, or before the new owner registers the car in their name, and they are now getting sued, or having law or parking enforcement coming after them as though they were the responsible party.

I literally get at least 5 calls a week with this exact same scenario.

In the State of California you MUST notify the DMV within 5 days when you sale or transfer ownership of your vehicle.

I am not going to discuss what you need to do if you screwed up and are in this nightmare scenario because it is situation specific.

What I will tell you is this; in the State of California, and I assume other States as well, there is an attachment sheet that is connected to your Certificate of Vehicle Title (Pink Slip) that is to be torn off only upon selling or giving away the car, filled out, and sent to the DMV to notify them that you have sold or given away your car.

The simple act of filling out this form and sending it to the DMV can and will save you a lot of time, hassle, and potentially tens of thousands of dollars.

This is not rocket science folks. You have to assume the person that you are selling or giving the vehicle to may not change the title in their name, thus leaving you on the hook.

Another thing I recommend is creating a bill of sale, or a giveaway agreement that the new owner signs upon receiving the car and the pink slip, which will give you further proof that you sold or gave away your vehicle.

If for some reason you lost the sheet that is attached to the Pink Slip, the DMV has an online system that is available here, to notify them of the change in ownership.

Don’t be a fool, when you sale or change ownership of your vehicle, notify the DMV or it could cost you big time.

If you or your family have been the victim of a truck crash, car crash, or other motor vehicle accident anywhere in California call us for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or go to http://www.thepersonalinjury.com.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © April 25, 2012

What is up with all these So-Called “Biker Lawyers” all of a Sudden showing up with Booths at All of the Motorcycle Events?

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Photo courtesy of the American Bar Association Journal, and photographer David Newhardt

Well with Palm Springs American Heat I have finally had enough with what I think is a disgusting advertising practice by what in my opinion are bottom feeder personal injury lawyers.

In Palm Springs a certain so-called Biker Lawyer group had some scantily clad young girls aggressively coming up to people who were walking by saying that they worked for a lawyer who actually rides, as they tried to force feed passerby’s their business cards, and cheap novelties and trinkets.

I told the girls who came up to me, “Sorry, I am a Biker Lawyer who actually rides.” They kind of had a shocked look on their faces.

You see, I actually ride to many motorcycle events all over the nation. This year was no different.

All of a sudden there are a certain group of the same personal injury lawyers showing up at events calling themselves “Biker Lawyer” and  “Lawyers that ride” at motorcycle events.

To me a Biker Lawyer and a Lawyer that rides, is someone like me who is a lawyer and who also is a biker that rides motorcyles. It is a real simple concept, not some bullshit marketing slogan!

I think that I may have been the first Biker Lawyer to coin that term back in 1997 or so, because I am a lawyer who really rides. Once I started putting it out there on my website and on my blog, all of a sudden I saw other lawyers claiming the same thing.

Well now all of a sudden there are groups of lawyers showing up at motorcycle events all claiming to be “lawyers that really ride.”

It is not that I do not mind competition, hell I think it would be great to find a group of lawyers that actually ride motorcycles, hell I would like to go ride with them and make some new friends.

But what I really think is going on is a marketing gimmick aimed at bikers, and the way I see it, showing up at a motorcycle rally with a booth telling people if they crash their motorcycles, to call them, is disgusting and despicable to me.

In two words it is “Bad Karma.”

At the Las Vegas biker rally a few weeks ago, as we were walking by one of these booths, some guy sitting on his ass in the booth looked at my wife’s hat and said in a smart ass way, “who is the biker lawyer?” (The hat said Biker Lawyer, www.bikerlawyer.net on it) I told him I was. I also told him that I don’t sit at booths at motorcycle rallies; I actually ride to the rallies.

He had a stunned look on his face because I was actually in my biker garb because; yes I was riding, unlike him.

Curious about what it actually takes to be a Biker Lawyer with one of these organizations that has started up in the last couple of years I believe; I contacted one who I think was based in Arizona if I am not mistaken. They sent me a bunch of literature. At the time I contacted them, they had some firm based in San Diego as their only California firm.

In researching them, I saw no indication whatsoever that anyone from the firm listed for California at the time rode motorcycles. Matter of fact, I never even heard of them! Now it could be that someone from that firm actually rode motorcycles, it all seemed fishy to me.

Basically, I was told that if you pay at the time I contacted them, approximately 10k or so yearly fee to the organization I am referring to, you can be a Biker Lawyer with their group.

They would advertise for cases for you, and send you the cases in your territory. Very interesting!

Now the casual person looking at this group would think that it is all the same organization. Well it is not. It is a marketing vehicle that attorneys pay to be a part of.

Nowhere on the application did it ask if you actually ride motorcycles. Further, they hold themselves out to be Lawyers that really ride.

I think this practice is very misleading. I think consumers and bikers should be notified that lawyers pay a fee to be a part of this organization, and I think each of their lawyers should actually ride if they are going to advertise that they are lawyers who ride!

My next question is that most States require you to be licensed in that particular State to practice law in that State. You can apply to represent an individual in Court on a one or two time basis if you are an out of state lawyer, however, you cannot do it all the time.

So I wondered, how do the now 3-5 groups of lawyers that show up at all of the biker rallies, and that advertise in all of the biker rags, actually practice law in all 50 states legally.

The answer is that they cannot. It appears to me that these groups of lawyers that are advertising nationwide either have some kind of fee splitting deal going on with lawyers in the different States so the main lawyer will advertise and get cases for them, and then they will share the attorneys fee with the guy in the State actually doing the case, or they have some kind of marketing scam going on, where the attorney pays a fee like the organization I contacted, and the main attorney will advertise, and then send cases to the lawyers who are paying their franchise fee.

I think this entire practice is misleading, and despicable.

I saw American Chopper last night where even another group that I have never heard of before has popped up. It appears to me to be another marketing setup where they have created a website to target nationwide the “niche” market of motorcycle riders.

After digging deep into their website, it looks like the main law firm sponsoring their “Biker law” marketing campaign is based in Pennsylvania, and they too are claiming that they are lawyers that ride. I have no clue how this site or law firm work, but again, unless they have attorneys licensed in each state, they too must have some kind of fee splitting or franchise type of deal going on.

They do not limit themselves to just one State on their website.

On the TV show, they had a guy who they represented to be an attorney come in and order a custom bike to honor the firefighters or something to that affect. Somewhere it stated that he was the “lead counsel” or “managing counsel” of the biker law end of the firm. What the hell does that mean?

Anyway, at the end of the show there were a bunch of people in t-shirts with the biker law website address on it.

I almost threw up. You got to admit these people are marketing geniuses. They get an hour of TV advertising for what looks to be new operation, and all they had to do is pay (probably overpay) for a custom chopper from Orange County Choppers.

In the end there sits us real bikers. What are we supposed to believe is true?

First, I think that no lawyer should be going to motorcycle events and advertising for motorcycle accident cases. People are at the events to have fun, not to have the fact that they could crash shoved down their throats by a bunch of marketing hacks.

Second, I think that all of these firms should be forced to disclose the truth about their organizations, i.e., whether they are a fee splitting shop, whether lawyers pay them to have cases sent to them, and who in fact is the real biker lawyer in their organization.

I personally know at least two major attorneys in the so-called biker lawyer nationwide marketing scam, and neither of them rides motorcycles. One of them even stated in the Los Angeles Times in an article that he does not ride; because he wants to see his grandkids grow up. The article featured one of their new associates who had just got a Sportser, who had ridden for less than 6 months. (This guy has since left and opened his own bike lawyer shop)

So here I sit a humble real California Biker Lawyer who actually rides motorcycles. I am the friggen real deal. I am not playing some marketing scam on my clients. They know what they are getting when they retain me.

If you are in California and want the real deal call me; 800-816-1529 x.1.

For the rest of you there is a saying; Caveat Emptor, which is Latin for let the buyer beware.

Finally, you can have a say so if you also don’t like these bottom feeders showing up at our motorcycle rallies, simply don’t call them if you have an accident.

With a little research you can find someone like me who actually ride’s and is not part of some marketing operation geared towards bikers!

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2011

Rancho Cordova California CHP Captain Arrested in Suspected DUI Motorcycle Crash

Scene of CHP Officer DUI Motorcycle Accident
Scene of CHP Officer DUI Motorcycle Accident

PLACERVILLE – California

A captain with the California Highway Patrol has been arrested for suspected drunken driving after crashing his Harley-Davidson motorcycle in El Dorado County.

A CHP accident report obtained indicates that Robert D. Patrick, 47, was arrested late Friday night, and then released for treatment of moderate injuries related to the motorcycle accident, at Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

According to the report, Patrick was riding a 2008 Harley-Davidson Fatboy southbound on Mt. Aukum Road south of Fairplay Road when he failed to negotiate a curve. The motorcycle traveled onto the dirt shoulder and overturned.

The report stated that due to Patrick’s level of injuries, his level of sobriety was undetermined and subject to further investigation. Patrick was released from the hospital Saturday.

Patrick is a 25-year CHP veteran and commander of special operations at the CHP’s Valley Division office in Rancho Cordova, according to CHP Asst. Chief Ken Hill, who is Patrick’s immediate boss.

Hill indicated that the investigating officers gave Patrick no special courtesy because of his position with the CHP.

“I can assure you we handled it the way we would with any citizen. There was no preferential treatment,” Hill said.

Hill said an internal CHP investigation was underway in addition to the criminal case that will be handled by the El Dorado County District Attorney.

Hill said appropriate action would be taken at the conclusion, but that a DUI conviction would not necessarily end Patrick’s career with the CHP.

For the record I do not think anyone should be riding motorcycles after drinking any alcoholic beverage, because it is flat out too dangerous.

I have friends who regularly drink a beer or two and then ride. I always tell them that it is a big mistake. It is better to wait until you are done riding, before you drink.

The case of CHP Officer Robert D. Patrick is a horrendous example of the pot calling the kettle black. I wonder how many people Officer Patrick has busted in his career for drinking and driving.

I am quite sure he also knows how alcohol affects a person’s ability to drive, let alone ride a motorcycle.

Officer Patrick is innocent until proven guilty. However, if he is found guilty of DUI on a motorcycle, his ass should be fired. We do not need officers breaking the laws we hire them to enforce.

You can read a copy of the CHP Report by Clicking Here Now.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer

California Highway Patrol to crack down on bikers and motorcyclist along Ortega Highway in Riverside County

Overhead Image of the Ortega Highway in Riverside County
Overhead Image of the Ortega Highway in Riverside County

Riverside County – California

Motorcyclists committing traffic violations on the Ortega Highway in Riverside County will be the target of a six-month enforcement campaign by the California Highway Patrol, it was announced Monday.

From April through the end of September, the CHP’s Temecula office will ramp up patrols on a 33-mile stretch of state Route 74 to catch unsafe motorcyclists, according to Officer Ron Thatcher.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “Motorcycle Safety Coalitions” grant will provide the funds necessary for overtime and special operations geared to motorcycle riders, Thatcher said.

CHP data from January 2007 to December 2008 indicate there were 75 motorcycle collisions from where the Ortega Highway begins in San Juan Capistrano to Green Avenue in southwest Riverside County. Twenty-five of the accidents resulted in injuries, and all were connected to speeding.

“Taking a turn too fast, a motorcyclist is likely to find himself in over his head,” said Capt. Ernie Sanchez, commander of the agency’s Temecula office.

“This stretch of highway demands concentration and caution on the part of the rider,” he said. “With this grant, we’re hoping to not only raise awareness and educate motorcyclists, but ultimately save lives and reduce the number of riders injured every year.”

The Temecula CHP will coordinate with local law enforcement agencies to conduct enforcement operations and advance public awareness efforts, according to Thatcher.

I am very concerned when I hear that law enforcement is going to single out bikers and motorcyclist for selective enforcement, especially in California.

I would like to hear from anyone who is the subject of harassment as a result of this announced policy by the CHP.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of California, call the real California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

Ortega Highway Motorcycle Accident Attorney

It looks like those Rip-Off Red Light Photo Tickets in California Might Not be Enforceable After All; Thank Goodness.

red light camera
A red light camera affixed to a pole

Some of you out there may have received a notice in the mail that you ran through a red light, and that the evidence or proof was obtained through a photograph.

Some of you may have simply heard of red light photo tickets.

Along with the notice, you probably also received notice of a hefty fine of between $400 and $500 dollars for the infraction.

Welcome to the automated world of governmental entities ripping you off to pay off their budget deficits, under the guise of public safety.

These Red Light Photo tickets have been controversial in California for a few reasons, including but not limited to; (a) most attorney’s have always known that this type of evidence of violative of our hearsay rules of evidence here in California; (b) studies have found that red light cameras actually create more accidents; and (c) with the budget crisis here in California, State and local governments have tacked on so many surcharges onto these types of infractions, that the fine is between $420 and $480 which is absolutely outrageous under the circumstances.

Basically government is using these fines to offset their deficits, rather than making the fine fit the infraction. This is a dirty underhanded method of taxing the public by ticket so to say. This issue is more about governmental entities filling their coffers than public safety.

Anyway, getting back on topic, guess what, the Appellate Court Division of the Orange County Superior Court has ruled in the case of People v. Khaled, 30-2009-304893 (Orange Super. Ct., Ap. Div., filed May 25, 2010) that a Court Commissioner was wrong to admit photos and a declaration seeming to show that Tarek Khaled ran a red light in Santa Ana on August 2, 2008. Without those pieces of evidence, Khaled should not have been convicted of violating the Vehicle Code, the Court said.

In its opinion, the Court added; the case “involves an issue far too often presented in this Court, namely the admissibility of evidence and the statutory compliance with the procedures employed by several municipalities in the County in what have come to be known as “photo enforcement” citations.”

The Court threw out the automated photo evidence because it is hearsay and violates that California Evidence Code.

If this opinion stays on the books or is upheld by the State Appeals Court, Red Light Tickets will not be enforceable in the State of California.

The attorney who fought these tickets stated that he became very frustrated that the Courts were not applying the California Evidence Code to these types of tickets.

Of course the City Attorney Joseph W. Fletcher believes that the ruling is wrong, intends to ask the 4th District Court of Appeal to take up the decision and to order it depublised.

My opinion is such; Photo Tickets are inadmissible hearsay if the California Evidence Code is applied thereto. Pursuant to California Rules of Evidence with respect to photo evidence, it has long been established that to admit photo’s into evidence, that the person taking the photo must testify that the photograph is a reasonable representation of what it is alleged to portray, otherwise it is hearsay.

With red light tickets, there is no one to testify that the actual photographs reasonably depict that which is being shown; they lack foundation and are hearsay.

The California Evidence Code has long established the principal that photographs must be supported by adequate foundational testimony.

Now with the advent of digital photography and programs that allow photographs to be easily altered with the click of a mouse, it is even more important that an adequate foundation be established for photographs that are admitted into evidence, and that the person testifying to the same be available for cross examination.

It has simply been too easy for the government to set up red light cameras and introduce their photographs without following the rules of evidence.

In my opinion, maybe it is time to initiate a voter ballot initiative to take this issue out of the legislative hands, and ban red light cameras in California because they cause more harm than benefit, and the potential for abuse does not justify their use in society.

I would go even further; I would limit the amount of fines that can be imposed for infractions. It does not make sense that general damages have been limited in medical malpractice cases to $250k since the 1970’s yet the government has without justification raised the cost of infractions a few hundred percent since the 1970’s.

It is time we make the government work for us and not against us.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

What do you do with your hands if you are stopped by the Police!

what to do if you are stopped by the police. **** 5/16/10 Update: Officer found guilty in shooting of sitting biker, see below for link.

**** 5/12/10 Update: See Video of shooting victim testifying in Court below.

When you are stopped by the Police in your car, on your motorcycle, or other motor vehicle, it is usually because the police think you have done something wrong.

It is very important that you keep your hands visible to the police officers for various reasons, the most important of which is so that you do not get shot or tasered.

Here is a link to some very disturbing video of a man being shot by the police while sitting on his motorcycle; click here to see video and story. The police officer is facing felony charges. The man who was shot is paralyzed as a result.

YouTube Preview Image

The police officers defense attorney is arguing that the police thought that this man had a gun. Judging by the video, it looks like a cold blooded shooting that was unjustified, however if you put yourself in the officers shoes, how did he know for sure that the biker did not have a gun when he turned toward him? If you were a cop, what would you do under similar circumstances?

I for one, sure the hell do not want to be the victim of a shooting such as this; who does?

There are a few things you can do to ensure that your encounters with law enforcement are safer for you and for law enforcement.

If you are in a car or other enclosed vehicle, turn off you ignition, place your car keys on the dash board, and keep your hands on the steering wheel. If the officer asks for your license and registration, ask the officer if it is ok to remove your hands from the wheel, and tell him where you are going to reach to get the information he or she is requesting. Once you get the information, put your hands back on the steering wheel until allowed to leave by the officer.

If you on a motorcycle, turn off the motorcycle, put you hands on the handlebars, and wait for the officer to approach. Do not remove your hands from the handlebars until the officer asks for your license and registration, at which time ask for permission to remove your hands from the handlebars, and inform the officer where you will be reaching.

In either case, do not exit your vehicle unless asked to do so, and do not get off of your motorcycle unless asked to do so.

I know many of you are thinking that having to do this is plain wrong. The purpose of the above exercise is not being right or wrong; it is to protect your life by assuring the police that you are not a threat.

I am not sure if this above procedure would have prevented the shooting of the guy on the motorcycle in the video, only god knows.

Officer found guilty for shooting, click here for story.

By Biker Lawyer and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

Basic explanation of Motorcycle Related Laws in the State of California.

California Motorcycle Related LawsLicense Requirements

A motorcycle license (M1 endorsement) is required for any rider who rides a motorcycle 150cc’s and above.

If under age 18 you must be at least 16 years of age, have a permit for six months, have proof of driver ed. and driver training, and complete a motorcycle training course.

If you are 18 and older you must pass the written motorcycle test, and either take a certified motorcycle rider training course, or make an appointment to take the motorcycle driving test at the DMV.

Safety Helmet

All operators and Passengers must wear an approved safety helmet when riding on a motorcycle, motor driven cycle, motorized bicycle, or motorized scooter in California.

Eye Protection

Eye Protection is not yet required by California Law, but it always recommend that you wear good eye protection when riding your motorcycle. You do not need a law to tell you that a rock in the eye at 50mph will ruin your day and possibly your eyes.

Daytime Use of Headlight

Daytime use of headlight is required by law on all motorcycles. Modulating headlight is permitted. Most new motorcycles automatically have the headlight on when the motorcycle is started. It is best not to screw around and disable this function because you will get a ticket if your light is off.

Passenger Seat

A Passenger Seat is required on all motorcycles if you are carrying a passenger.

Passenger Footrest

A Passenger Footrest is required on all motorcycles if carrying a passenger.

Helmet Headphones / Ear Buds

Helmet Headphones / Ear buds should only have one single earphone only. It is illegal to have dual earphone headphones or ear buds on while driving a car or operating a motorcycle in California.

Muffler / Exhaust

A Muffler is required by California state law. No muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass or similar device (VC §27150. Adequate Muffler Required).

Maximum Sound Level of Motorcycle

Maximum allowable A-weighted sound levels based on measurements taken at a distance of 50 ft from center lane of travel: 1)Pre-1970..92dba; 2) After 1969, and before 1973…88dba; 3) After 1972, and before 1975…86dba; 4) After 1974, and before 1986…83dba; 5) After 1985…80dba (VC §27201-27202. Motorcycle Limits).

California State Insurance Requirements

Compulsory Liability Insurance (Minimum Limits) (10/15/30) – Financial responsibility required. A driver involved in an accident who fails to prove existence of financial responsibility at time of accident shall have driver’s license suspended for 1 year, face a hefty fine, and potentially have their vehicle impounded. Plus if you have an accident without insurance you cannot recover general damages. (you are screwed) Don’t be a fool; you must at least have minimum liability insurance when you ride.

Motorcycle Handlebars

A person shall not drive a two-wheel motorcycle that is equipped with handlebars so positioned that the hands of the driver, when upon the grips, are more than six inches above his or her shoulder height when sitting astride the seat.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting or riding between cars on the lane divider is not prohibited by California law so it is therefore legal. However, there is a recognized speed limitation that a rider should go no more than 15-20mph faster than the flow of traffic. If you go too fast while splitting lanes, you could face a ticket.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of California, call the real California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

Orange County Chopper Father and Son in Bitter Lawsuit

American Chopper - Orange County Chopper Lawsuit
Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul M. Teutul jr.

I am sure that many of you in the motorcycle world have watched the TV show American Chopper. American Chopper is a reality TV show about the company Orange County Choppers. Its stars are the infamous Teutul family; Paul Teutul Sr., his son Paul Jr., and of course Mikey.

Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul M. Teutul had a very public falling out, which was chronicled on American Chopper. In the Season 6 premiere, Paul Sr. and son had a contentious contract dispute, which led to Paul Jr.’s departure from the company. After a brief reconciliation, Paul Jr. left the OCC for good to explore other opportunities. In later episodes, Paul Jr. was seen working as a consultant at Orange County Choppers.

It has been reported that Paul Sr. sent a letter to Paul Jr. exercising an alleged right to purchase Paul Jr.’s share of the stock he owns in Orange County Choppers since Paul Jr. no longer works there.

Paul Teutul, Sr. claims he had a deal with his son, Paul M. Teutul, in which he could buy his son’s stock from the Orange County Choppers Holdings, Inc. motorcycle company.

The father, who appears on the television show alongside his son, sent Teutul, Jr. a letter saying he would be exercising his right to buy the stock.

Paul Sr. apparently has filed the lawsuit to the Supreme Court of New York; however I have not seen a copy of the lawsuit heretofore. He also filed a suit against Orange County Choppers, Inc.

In the lawsuit, he claimed damages in excess of $1 million and is asking for an order from the judge to force his son to give him the stock.

My take on the situation is this; yes I have watched the show for years. It is better than watching some of the other crap on TV I will tell you that.

I have been a businessman since I was in my 20’s, when I first got venture capital to start Daylight Data Corporation in Los Angeles, and am now running a successful California law firm.

Being successful at business requires management expertise, capital, and luck. It appears to me that Paul Teutul Sr. has been a very successful businessman. He started out installing railings; he worked hard and built his business into a metal manufacturing company, and then started Orange County Choppers. He then used the TV show American Choppers as a marketing vehicle to build his successful business.

There is no doubt that his son really did help with Orange County Choppers, however, in the end, it is the businessman who keeps a company going.

I learned in law school that you never want to represent friends or family because you will never do well enough in their eyes no matter the outcome in a case.

You would think family run businesses would be the easiest to run because of the trust factor. Let me tell you, it takes a special kind of family to stick together to run a business. Unlike other businesses where you can hire and fire at will, it is kind of hard to fire your son, or your brother, etc.

It is a shame that the Teutul’s family business relationship has apparently broken down. My personal take on the situation is that Paul Jr.’s head grew too big for his britches. He designed motorcycles, he started making money, he got the big house, he got the nice looking girlfriend, he obtained fame, etc. He started screwing off at work. Not coming in on time. He became unreliable to his father. Above all, he disrespected his father on national television.

Look, I know full well Paul Sr. is an asshole sometimes. Hell, he and my father would get along well if they were too meet. Paul Sr. did not ask anything more of his son, than a son should give to his father and a family owned business.

Without Paul Sr.’s capital, management expertise, and experience, Orange County Choppers would be a non entity. Motorcycle designers and fabricators are a dime a dozen. Paul Jr. could be, and has been replaced. I think Orange County Choppers are putting out their best motorcycles now.

I think Paul Sr. wants nothing more than to have his sons with him; as sons, not as monsters.

In my honest opinion, Paul Jr. should go to his father, apologize for being an asshole to his father, make amends, and jump back into the family business. Maybe when his money starts to run out he will.

Life is too short and you only get one father in this world. Paul Jr. and Mickey should jump back on the team for the big win, especially for their family.

Good luck to Orange County Choppers in all of their endeavors.

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and California Biker Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

Tort Reform is a big Scam; Why Tort Reform will Hurt You and take away more of Your Freedom!

Tort Reform takes away your legal rightsWhen you hear the term “Tort Reform” realize they what you are really hearing is a call to take away your legal right to get compensation when you are injured due to the negligence of another, to protect big business, the insurance companies, the big pharmaceutical companies, and big medicine; as though they are not rich enough.

You will be the only one getting screwed with tort reform; mark my words.

I hear a certain political party constantly preaching about tort reform this and tort reform that in a way to demonize personal injury attorneys as the fall guys for excessive costs of medical care, insurance, and everything else you can imagine.

You see they like to blame attorneys for taking on big business, the insurance companies, the big pharmaceutical companies, and big medicine, when they screw up and harm you.

Hell, 99.9% of the time, we are the only way you are going to be compensated when you are harmed due to the negligence of big business, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, or big insurance companies.

You don’t hear members of this political party telling you this do you?

One thing they don’t tell you is that since the 1970’s, there has already been a cap on general damages in medical malpractice cases of $250.000 in the State of California.

This means that if a doctor screws up and let’s say cuts out your only good kidney, or let’s say misdiagnosis an illness like cancer, you only get $250,000 for general damages in the State of California. Does this seem right to you? Hell no!

The laws of the State of California basically protect doctors from their negligence and the laws have done so since the 1970’s. States such as Texas have in the past couple of years, recently enacted their own tort reform laws. My understanding is that in Texas there is a $750.000 cap on general damages.

California is way behind the eight ball in this regard; we can only get $250,000 for general damages. It is time to either remove the cap in California or to increase it to reflect the inflation that has occurred since the 1970’s.

Look if you are the victim of medical malpractice, how much would the pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress be worth to you if let’s say a doctor screws up and cuts off the wrong leg, or even caused the death of a loved one?

Do you want some law to prevent you from recovering from your loss? This is tort reform. It is time to get educated folks and stop believing those talking heads who pocket big bucks from those who would save money with tort reform.

This is the essence of tort reform; it is taking away your legal rights, to protect a class of persons or corporations from the harm that they cause by limiting what you can get from them if they screw up your life.

You will see that one political party preaches about less government, and less regulation and intrusion, and they in the same breath will argue to regulate your legal right to obtain compensation as an individual when you are harmed. Who are they protecting? Big business, big medicine, insurance companies, everyone but you. These people are full of shit.

It does not matter what political party you are from when your life gets turned upside down in a personal injury case does it. In the end we are all the same; when we are sitting on our couch injured and hurting due to the negligence of another, all we want is to get better, to get compensated, and to get our lives back. Tort reform prevents this. This is what pundits do not tell you.

These are the same guys that are saying that providing medical coverage to millions of Americans, and prohibiting insurance companies from denying you coverage for pre-existing coverage is a bad thing. These guys are despicable.

It is time to expose the lies America. Tort reform is against your interest and your freedom as Americans.

This is another way to screw the little guy and protect those who are already making a fortune at your expense!

It is time to become educated folks. I am on the front lines of this fight on a daily basis. Any one of you could be sitting in my office looking for help for your personal injury case; you never know. What you should know is tort reform is bad for you; it is bad for all of us.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009

Billy Lane files a Motion to Reduce His Jail Sentence.

Billy Lane leaving Court *** 10/25/09 Update – The Judge has rejected this motion. I guess you cannot blame someone for trying to get out of jail right?

Imprisoned celebrity motorcycle builder Billy Lane wants a judge to give his fatal crash victim’s family another chance to say what kind of punishment he should receive, in hopes of getting his six-year prison sentence reduced.

Lane, 39, was sentenced in August to six years in prison after pleading no contest to one count of vehicular homicide for crashing his pickup truck head-on into 56-year-old Gerald Morelock’s motorcycle while speeding past slow traffic in a no-pass zone on Sept. 4, 2006.

During sentencing, the victim’s brother and nephew declined to recommend a punishment, but asked the judge to impose a sentence that would use Lane’s celebrity status to help save the lives of young people through a foundation they plan to create in Morelock’s name.

However, Lane’s attorneys recently filed a motion claiming the men have since expressed that intense media and public scrutiny caused them to be “vague” about their feelings on a prison sentence for Lane.

“They were sufficiently overwhelmed by the experience that they did not fully express their feeling that Mr. Lane would better be able to benefit society if he were not incarcerated,” the defense motion says.

The attorneys want Circuit Judge Robert Burger to give the Morelocks another chance to be heard and to reduce Lane’s sentence if he sees fit.

No hearing on the motion has been set.

I must admit, this is one of the most bizzare defense motions I have ever heard. If it is granted I will be shocked.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer

Billy Lane Gets Six Years in Prison for Vehicular Manslaughter – A Follow Up.

Custom Motorcycle Builder Billy Lane is sentenced to 6 years in prisonYou can read many of the articles I have written on the Billy Lane case below or by typing in Billy Lane in the search box on the sidebar to the right.

Billy Lane is a custom motorcycle builder who got famous on reality TV shows like Biker Build off on the Discovery Channel in the early 2000’s. He then went on to make regular appearances on the motorcycle event circuit at events such as, Sturgis, Daytona, etc.

Billy Lane got rich and famous as a biker off of bikers. Then Billy Lane did something really stupid; he got shit faced drunk. Then, while his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit he decided to jump into a free SUV given to him to drive as a promotional item by Dodge, along with a lady who rode in the passenger seat, and proceeded to drive.

While driving intoxicated, he decided to cross a double yellow line and hit a biker named Gerry Morelock head on killing Gerry Morelock. Although Gerry Morelock himself had been drinking, he was in no way responsible for the accident or his death. His only mistake that day was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As a biker, I empathize with Gerry Morelock, because it could have been me; it could have been any biker on the road that day. When you have an asshole like Billy Lane crossing a double yellow and plowing into you head on it really does not matter who you are, you are dead. Gerry Morelock is dead. He is dead because Billy Lane decided to get drunk and drive.

I have heard commenter’s on my Biker Law Blog make the argument that we should not talk shit about Billy Lane because we have all drank alcohol and driven, so who are we to throw stones? I say bullshit. How many of us have got drunk then crossed a double yellow line and smashed into a fellow biker head on, killing him?

Billy Lane and Dodge reached settlements of civil cases brought by the family of Gerry Morelock well before Billy Lane’s criminal case was resolved.

So Billy Lane was sentenced to 6 years in the pokie, (prison) by a Vera, Florida Court. He was also placed on three years of probation following his incarceration, and the loss of his driver’s license for life. For basically murdering a man, he got off real light.

May Gerry Morelock rest in peace.

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009

Billy Lane to Face 9 years in Jail as Part of Plea Bargain Deal

Billy Lane 2009 *** August 18, 2009 Update.

Billy Lane got 6 years in prison and probation after he gets out. Look for a new article on the subject soon.

*** June 17, 2009 Update.

Billy Lane’s plea of guilty to vehicular homicide was accepted by the Court last week. He will remain free until his next Court appearance on August 14, 2009, when he will be sentenced. It is said that he will probably avoid prison. Part of the plea deal mandates a lifetime suspension of his drivers license in Florida, however he could petition the Florida department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for a hardship licence.

He faced up to 15 years in prison, however according to published reports his plea deal mitigates his maximum possible sentence to 9 years. He may also be sentenced to house arrest or probation.

In June 2002, motorcycle builder Billy Lane of Melbourne Beach, Florida was on top of the world. He sold custom-built motorcycles at $30,000 to $40,000 a piece. He gained fame and celebrity status through various reality TV shows. He was subsequently was invited as a featured guest to motorcycle shows and festivals all over the United States and beyond.

Now Billy Lane who is 39 years old, is facing up to nine years in prison on a single felony charge of vehicular homicide in connection with a Labor Day 2006 car crash that left a Gerry Morelock, a Melbourne Beach, Florida man, a motorcyclist, dead.

After several delays, Lane is expected in court Tuesday morning to change his not guilty plea to “no contest.” He would then be sentenced on Aug. 14, 2009, at 9:00am.

“We did get the written plea agreement in,” defense attorney Greg Eisenmenger told several newspapers. “Based on my review of it, I don’t anticipate any problems. I anticipate we are good to go Tuesday.”

Lane was charged two years ago with one count of DUI manslaughter in connection with the 2006 traffic accident in which Gerry Morelock, 56, died.

Police said Lane’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when he crossed a double yellow line to pass slow traffic on State Road A1A south of Melbourne Beach, Florida. He crashed his Dodge pickup head on into Morelock’s small Yamaha motorcycle on Sept. 4, 2006, police said.

In light of ongoing legal discussions over the permissibility of blood evidence at trial, prosecutors in late December added an alternative charge of vehicular homicide, which requires the state to prove that Lane was driving recklessly but does not include the drug or alcohol element needed to prove DUI manslaughter.

Both charges are second-degree felonies in the State of Florida, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Billy Lane 2006But under the terms of the plea deal, Eisenmenger said prosecutors will drop the DUI manslaughter charge. Instead, they will seek a nine-year prison term for the vehicular homicide charge, a term Lane is eligible for under state sentencing guidelines when his prior criminal record is considered.

Eisenmenger will seek a sentence that calls for no time in prison. “We believe there are mitigating factors in this case. . . . And we’re going to be presenting those to the court at sentencing,” he said.

Since the crash, Lane’s public persona has suffered, but he still seems to be popular at biker and motorcycle events.

A message on his motorcycle shop’s Web site says the shop is closed to the public, though merchandise is available for purchase online. Court records indicate that Lane’s Melbourne Beach, Florida home is going through foreclosure.

Lane reached a confidential out-of-court settlement on a wrongful death suit filed by Morelock’s family. Also, records show that Erin Derrick, a 22-year-old woman who was in the car with Lane at the time of the crash, is suing him for injuries she says have rendered her unable to work.

If Billy Lane does change his plea to no contest tomorrow, I will comment more on this issue at that time. Everyone who reads the Biker Law Blog knows how I feel about people who kill bikers and motorcyclist.

California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., 2009

The Biker Law Blog is published by California Motorcycle Accident Attorney & Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

The Moy & Fernandez Law Group are real bikers helping other bikers. Unlike some other so called "fake" motorcycle accident attorney's who do not ride motorcycles, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. actually rides a motorcycle.

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We handle motorcycle accident cases, motorcycle passenger injury accidents, and other personal injury cases all over the State of California. We are real bikers and motorcycle riders who represent bikers and motorcycle riders who have suffered injuries due to motorcycle accidents and crashes. We handle Motorcycle Accidents, Motorcycle Passenger Accidents, Dangerous Conditions on public roads which cause motorcycle accidents, defective motorcycle cases, Cruiser Motorcycle Accidents, biker rights, criminal law, Car Accidents, Uninsured Motorist Claims, Wrongful Death, Torts, Cager and/or Car negligence, personal injury and Other Injury Cases. We have locations in Southern California and Northern California. We handle personal injury, and motorcycle accident cases in all over California including: Southern California, Central California, and Northern California.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or any other motor vehicle accident, you may call us 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or submit your case online here.