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: Motorcycle Safety Tips

Motorcycle safety tips that all bikers and motorcyclist should be aware of

Riding your Motorcycle around Curves and Turns without Killing Yourself

California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez riding around a curve on Mulholland Highway
California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez riding around a curve on Mulholland Highway

Many motorcycle riders are seriously injured and die each year when they fail to negotiate turns or curves, and either end of in the opposing lane of traffic, or they lose control and crash.

It is unbelievable to me just how many experienced riders sometimes fail to properly negotiate turns or curves on the road, especially when riding canyon roads, or twisties.

What is the main reason for motorcycle riders failing to negotiate curves or turns? Excessive speed is the main reason.

If you ride too fast through a curve or turn, chances are you are going to either end up in the opposing lane, or you are going to crash.

What is the main way to avoid crashing on a curve or turn? Slow the hell down!

Many motorcycle safety courses teach that you should slow down before you enter a turn or curve, and never to brake or downshift while in a curve or turn. I say bullshit.

Look I have been legally riding motorcycles on the road for 32 years, since the age of 16. In my own personal experience, sometimes it is hard to judge if you are entering a curve or turn too fast.

If you have entered into a turn or curve too fast on your motorcycle, you need to do anything you can not to panic, not to cross over the yellow line into opposing traffic, and not to crash.

My rule is that if you are in a curve or turn too fast, do what you have to do to safely get through the turn or curve. If that means hitting the brake, do it. If that means downshifting, do it.

I have ridden with guys who absolutely refuse do brake or downshift in a turn or curve. I have also seen these guys both in front of me, and in my rear view mirror cross the yellow line into oncoming traffic. Thank goodness none of them have ever crossed the yellow line when a car was right there or they would have been a windshield bug splat.

They teach you in motorcycle safety courses that before you enter a curve you should direct your motorcycle to the farthest part of the lane away from the turn so that you can theoretically see around the turn more.

For instance if you are going into a left curve they say you should direct your motorcade more to the right so that you can see around the left curve, and if you are going into a right curve you should direct your motorcycle more to the left so you can see around the right curve.

They teach that you should not look at the road, but that you should look around the curve to where you are going and that your motorcycle will tend to go where you are looking.

Some say that you should put your knees close into the tank to help you get around the curve, and some say that you should concentrate on counter-steering to properly get around a curve.

I say they are all right to a certain extent.

However, when you are actually riding your motorcycle, you will find that you will at times have to look at the road and not just where you want to go when going around a curve, you will find that sometimes it is not safe to go to the farthest part of the lane away from a curve because of oncoming cars or debris on the shoulder, and you will find that concentrating just on counter-steering is sometime dangerous.

In the end the safest thing to remember when going around curves is to keep a safe speed period.

The one thing that will make you panic or feel uncomfortable more than anything when going around a curve whether it be on a mountain pass or on a highway curve is excessive speed.

If you first let off of the throttle, you motorcycle will naturally start to slow down because of the action of friction and the engine.

If you are still going to fast don’t be afraid to apply a little front brake, but not too much because you may lose control. I like to apply both front and rear brakes.

If the turn is wet applying too much rear brake may make you slide out.

If you are still going too fast, downshift into a lower gear if you can safely.

If there are cars or other motorcycles behind me, and I am downshifting into a lower gear to slow down, I also try to tap my brake a bit just so the persons behind me can see my break light so they don’t rear end me.

Even with plenty of practice and riding experience, riding through turns and curves requires current practice and experience.

The worst riders are sometimes the people with the most experience because they think they are the great riders so they sometimes do not exercise the caution that they should.

Riding a motorcycle is not like riding a bike. Each time you are out, you need to exercise caution and ride at a safe speed.

Keep both wheels on the road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © October 19, 2011

Long Distance Motorcycle Riding; how do you Carry What You Need?

One of California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez's motorcycles all packed up for trip to 4 corners rally in Durango Colorado
One of California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez's motorcycles all packed up for trip to 4 corners rally in Durango Colorado

I have been a serious long distance motorcycle rider for many years now. You may ask what is a long distance motorcycle rider. To me a long distance motorcycle rider is someone who rides 800 or more miles on a motorcycle trip multiple times a year.

So according to my definition, even a first time rider who does a few 800 mile or more motorcycle trips per year would qualify as a long distance motorcycle rider.

I regularly do trips of 1000 miles or more like they are no big deal.

I know many guys who are bikers, and what some would consider to be hardcore bikers, that literally do nothing but bar hop on their motorcycles. To them doing 300 miles in a day is unheard of. Further, many of these guys have motorcycles that are in no way set up to do any serious mileage.

Most of these guys do not have saddle bags, and brag about how they do not need wind screens.

I am not going to knock these guys that are basically local bikers, but they really have no clue what it is like to be a long distance biker.

There are also what I call your ubiquitous trailer queens. These are guys that trailer their motorcycle to events, and then unhook them and ride at the actual event, making it appear that they rode to the event. This article not about packing up your car, it is about packing up your motorcycle.

Unless you are doing an Iron Butt Ride which is 1000 miles in a 24 hour period, (basically nonstop riding except to stop for gas and quick meals) a 1000 mile or more motorcycle trip will be a trip that is at least a 2 days or more.

I have done runs that last a week or more.

The big issue for me on long distance motorcycle trips is; what should I carry on the trip, and how should I carry what I need on the trip.

For me what to carry with on long distance motorcycle runs is almost automatic. I carry:

Water
Sunscreen
Flashlight
Small Tool Kit
Knife
1 Quart of Oil
Flare
Lighter
Sunglasses, and clear night glasses
Warm weather and cold weather gloves.
Leather Jacket
Leather Chaps
Spare clothes
Tennis Shoes
Emergency Contact Form
Cell Phone
GPS
Fine cotton cloths
Spray Wax
Plexus windshield cleaner
And whatever else I may need.

When I go on long distance motorcycle runs at least for the past 11 years or so, Elizabeth has been with me. Therefore inevitably, I also have to carry her purse, gloves, jacket, chaps, and whatever else she might want to bring as well which always includes her makeup and cloths.

In the past when I just had a softail or regular large cruiser motorcycle and no bagger, (see the picture above, the motorcycle is packed up to the brim, with tents, chairs, and everything for a full motorcycle rally.) my solution to accommodate all of the stuff that I like to carry, was to first to buy soft saddlebags, or a locking rigid saddlebag system, install a luggage rack behind the sissy bar, and buy a T-Bag soft luggage system that sat on the luggage rack behind the sissy bar, and then secured around the sissy bar.

The locking saddlebag system, called Leatherlykes Bags, was better than soft saddle bags, because they were bigger, and  I could lock the bags and walk away without worrying about being ripped off.

I used the soft T-Bag motorcycle luggage system on a couple of my motorcycles. After a few years, I switched from the T-Bags, to something called the Kuryakyn Full Dresser Bag, when they first came out. This bag had a rigid plastic shelving system in it, held more stuff then the T-Bags, and actually looked better as well. Not only that, but it had a wheel system on it like conventional luggage so when I got to a destination, I could lift it off, and wheel it in.

I used this system a few times on my FLHT Electra Glide Standard when I got her, but once I put the removable Tour Pak on; there was no room for the Full Dresser Bag.

For 6 years with the Electra Glide we would use plastic bags to fill up the side hard Harley Davidson Saddle bags, and the Tour Pak. We would also utilize the luggage rack on top of the tour pak to bungee tie our leathers as necessary.

I eventually went back to T-Bags and got a Dakota bag which is specifically designed to fit the premium luggage rack on a Harley Davidson Electra Glide Tour Pak.

The Dakota Bag is so big, that it pretty much holds everything we need. Obviously there are some items that will not fit in the Dakota, so we continue to keep small plastic bags in the hard side saddle bags.

The Future

Liz and I are talking about riding cross country this summer. I figure on a cross country run we are not going to want to have to constantly lift the Dakota Bag off everytime we stop, and we are not going to want to have to park in a place where we can see the bike everytime we stop so someone does not rip off our Dakota bag.

So after doing some research, I have found a motorcycle tow behind cargo trailer solution that I may purchase and use for our cross country trip on the Electra Glide.

I can get a cargo trailer that holds anywhere from 18 cubic feet of stuff, up to 25-26 cubic feet depending upon how much I want to spend, or how big I want the trailer to be.

I would need to install a motorcycle ball hitch onto my motorcycle for the trailer to hook onto, and rig up a wiring harness for brake and signal lights on the trailer.

It looks like there are many off the shelf trailer solutions for my Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

A cargo trailer at least to me would be the optimum way to travel cross country on a motorcycle, because we can just throw everything we want to take in the trailer, plus there will be room to store souvenirs if we decide to buy any along the way.

The trailer will take away the fun of trying to cram everything into a few small spaces on the motorcycle.

Even with a full Harley Davidson Electra Glide Custom Ultra, things can get tight real quick.

On a cross country trip I want to be able to enjoy the ride and the sights, without worrying about having to wash clothes every couple of days on the road.

There are many out there that say towing a cargo trailer behind a motorcycle is dangerous. Based upon my research, it can be done safely so long as you get used to it and take it easy just like anything else.

In closing, I have found that rigid saddlebags, a nice luggage rack mounted soft or rigid motorcycle luggage system, tour paks, and cargo trailers, all will allow you to carry the things you need on a long distance motorcycle run. What you do is really up to you.

Keep Both Wheels on the Road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © November 13, 2011

A Rider and a Passenger Killed During Love Ride

Scene of fatal Love Ride accident on the 5 Freeway.
Scene of fatal Love Ride accident on the 5 Freeway.

PACOIMA CALIFORNIA – Two people died Sunday after crashing their motorcycle into a big rig on the 5 Freeway.

The crash happened on the northbound 5 Freeway at Branford Street before 11 a.m. Sunday at just as bikers were crowding the freeway for the 28th annual Love Ride charity fundraiser.

According to California Highway Patrol officials, the driver of the motorcycle was between lanes when he collided with a big rig, throwing the rider and passenger underneath the truck where they were both run over, instantly killing himself and his female passenger.

“During 28 years of the Love Ride, we have not had a single fatality,” Shokough said. “This is sad beyond words. My heartfelt condolences and sympathies go to the family and the friends of these two riders”

Two others were treated on scene for minor injuries and another was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Led by “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno, today’s event was expected to draw over 18,000 bikers and raise as much as $1.7 million for charities, including this year’s designated charity, Autism Speaks.

Love Ride was established in 1984 by Harley-Davidson of Glendale.

The only reason Liz and I were not doing this year’s Love Ride is because I am having a surgery on Friday, and I needed the weekend off.

News of this accident makes me sick as it would any biker who rides motorcycles.

Here in California most of us bikers and motorcyclist split lanes because it is not illegal, and traffic is horrible.

It appears that the guy who was killed in this wreck may have been splitting lanes.

I myself have split lanes countless times and I can tell you what, when I get next to a big rig I always get nervous, especially when there is nowhere to go.

I am not going to use this news to write an article on how to lane split.

My prayers and condolences go out to the family and friends of the rider and passenger who were killed in this accident.

Pacoima California Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Riding Your Motorcycle in Cold Weather Can Be Deadly.

cold-weather-ridingI knew that the title of this article would get your attention.

With winter and cold weather either here for some of us, or almost here for the rest of us, there are things about riding your motorcycle in the cold that you need to know.

Riding your motorcycle in cold weather can be deadly because of something called hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature.

Normal body temperature is around 98.6 Fahrenheit. Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature passes below 95 Fahrenheit.

When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system, and other organs can’t work property. Left untreated, hypothermia can eventually lead to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system, and to death.

As the temperature falls, the body shunts blood away from the skin and exposure to the elements. Blood flow is increased to the vital organs of the body including the heart, lungs, kidney, and brain.

Hypothermia most often occurs because of prolonged exposure to cold weather. Inadequate clothing for conditions may not provide enough insulation for the body to prevent heat loss.

Many of you may know that riding your motorcycle in cold weather can cause hypothermia.

I must admit, when I was younger, and did not know so much, I rode around in cold weather all of the time. Many times I was so cold; that my hands were numb, my feet were numb, and my crotch felt like it was frozen. No one ever told me about hypothermia, I just thought I was butt cold.

Luckily I live in an area that has yearlong riding, however, because of this I sometimes take it for granted, and ride in cold weather that I should not ride in, or I get stuck on the road, and am forced to ride home in very cold weather.

Coming from Southern California, I sometimes ride to other areas or States where it is much colder than it is here.

The trouble is that when you ride in cold weather and you’re not dressed properly, your body senses as well as core temperature start to drop, your decision making abilities start to slow down, and just like an intoxicated person, you start to have problems with simple tasks such as clutching and braking because your hands and feet start to go numb.
Many of you may be saying to yourself “why is he writing this, I already know about hypothermia.” Well I had heard about hypothermia as well.

However, in the past when I was freezing my ass off while riding my motorcycle, I never even had any idea that I could be suffering from hypothermia and that my life was at risk.

There is another risk when riding in cold weather as well, frostbite, however, let’s just stick to hypothermia.

wind-chill chartJust to show you how fast temperatures can drop at certain speeds while riding, I am attaching a wind-chill chart here which you can click to read.

Take a look, if you are riding at 60 miles per hour in 40 degree temperatures, the wind-chill factor is 25 degrees. You could get hypothermia in a matter of minutes without the proper riding attire on.

The point of this article is to make you aware of the danger.

There are many solutions out there for cold weather riding, from electric vests, gloves, pants, and insulated riding attire, to standard riding gear.

What is best for you or what is out there for cold weather riding, I will let you research on your own. There are many websites out there dedicated to this one subject.

The next time you are freezing your ass off on a motorcycle ride and you feel your hands and feet becoming numb, you will now think about this article and hypothermia, and maybe stop in a warm restaurant of motel somewhere to get your body heat back and to recover.

Yes it may be a hassle, but it is better to live to ride another day.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © October 10, 2011

An Example of Extreme Weather Riding, Reno 2011

A nice view from the Go Go Bar, Reno Street Vibrations 2011
A nice view from the Go Go Bar, Reno Street Vibrations 2011

My old lady and I just completed a run up to the Reno Street Vibrations Biker Rally this past weekend.

It was around a 450 mile run each way from our home, and sure was an exercise in extreme weather riding for us Southern Californians, who are used to mild temperatures.

The route we took was from the 14 freeway to Highway 395  to the 80, and to our hotel in Reno.

The day we rode up to Reno, Friday, September 23, 2011, started out to be a mild day. The weather was calm at 5:30am when we left our home, around 75 degrees.

As we started riding north, the weather got hotter and hotter, cooled off, and then got hot again as the day went on.

You see highway 395 took us through the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, past Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in North America, up around 8,000 feet and higher, then through Carson City (Lake Tahoe is just above Carson City), and then to Reno which is basically in the Nevada Desert.

I usually wear a light long sleeve type of t-shirt on hot days to protect my skin from the sun, and blue jeans. I know I should wear an armored fabric type of jacket, and I am in the process of trying to find a good one.

My old lady also wears long sleeves, and usually always wears chaps as well.

On Friday, due to traffic conditions, an accident in a bad spot where a biker went down due to a defective road under construction, the heat, and the extreme traffic in Reno again due to construction and the fact that lane splitting is illegal in Nevada, Liz and I were totally spent by the time we got to Reno.

A view from the Reno Street Vibrations 2011
A view from the Reno Street Vibrations 2011

My new Electra Glide Ultra got so hot that it almost cooked that day.

We tried as best as we could to hydrate along the way, but I think that we over did it on Friday. We both almost suffered severe heat stroke by the time we got to Reno. We were both dizzy and sick upon arrival.

I was in such a rush to get to Reno; I ignored my basic riding principals!

In the future, I will make sure we take more breaks, hydrate more, and give ourselves more time to get to a long destination.

450 miles in one day riding two up, is a very long ride under any circumstances. In heat it can be tough.

On the way back from Reno, it was warm when we left, but soon, when we got up into the mountains, we suffered severe weather. There was lighting storms, rain, hail, and cold. Imagine going from warm to very cold in just a few miles.

I let Liz use my chaps since she left hers with a friend by mistake, I put a sweatshirt on, my leather jacket, my gauntlet gloves, and we proceeded through the severe weather.

Upon reaching Lone Pine, we stopped to get some food at the Mt. Whitney Restaurant. (A great local restaurant with damn good food.)

Lone Pine is a tourist town along the 395 which caters to people on their way to see Mt. Whitney and Yosemite.

When we walked into the restaurant to eat, we were all bundled up in leathers and more, all of the locals were in t-shirts and shorts. I took my jacket off and sure enough it was at least 80 degrees outside.

We went from warm in Reno when we left, to cold lighting storms, back to warm again, all within a 300 mile stretch.

I proceeded to take my leather jacket and gauntlet’s off again, and switch to light gloves, and then we got on the road again.

There was a 30 mile stretch after Lone Pine, just before Mohave and the 14, where I never was so afraid in my life while riding a motorcycle.

Out of no-where we hit cold, and 60-70 mile per hour wind gusts or more that literally almost knocked my bike over while we were riding.

The wind was hitting us from the side going north to south. When a gust would hit us it caused my head to jerk hard to the left. It also caused the bike to jerk violently, and I have a very heavy bike.

Liz and I had our intercom hooked up, and she was freaking out. I had to tell her to be quiet and not panic. The wind was so bad that I knew if I slowed down and tried to pull over there would be no way I could hold the bike up. I knew the wind would knock us over.

I knew the forward energy and centrifugal force of the tires turning made it safer for us to keep riding than trying to stop.

I was genuinely afraid like I have never been before in my life while riding. It was a horrible experience, especially in the pitch dark of the Mohave Desert.

When we got to a 76 truck stop in Mohave where the 14 hits the 395 we pulled over to get our bearings back. It was then that another couple pulled in on a motorcycle in a panicked state.

They were on a Harley Davidson Road Glide, they each had beanie helmets on with clear glasses on for eye protection, and they were even more panicked than we were.

The women got off of the back of her old man’s bike and literally hugged him and would not let go.

We discussed the fact that it was by the grace of god that we all made it through unscathed.

I put my leather jacket and gauntlet’s back on and we rode off watching the woman from the other bike hugging her old man like there was no tomorrow.

Moral to the story; when riding a motorcycle, be prepared for any weather.

I can’t wait for next year 🙂

Keep Both Wheels on the Road!

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

What do you have to watch out for the Most when Riding a Motorcycle?

California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Beach Ride
California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Beach Ride

As a California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer, I regularly deal with all sorts of different motorcycle accident cases that are caused by all sorts of different scenarios. As an actual rider of motorcycles, something that sets me apart from other lawyers who handle motorcycle accident cases, I know firsthand the risks and dangers of riding motorcycles.

I am always asked what do you have to watch out for the most while riding your motorcycle. I could write an entire book on this subject, however, I will do my best to answer the question in this short essay.

There really is no simple answer to this question. Motorcycle accidents are caused by other negligent motorists, lack of riding experience or knowledge, road conditions, loose debris, mechanical failure, excessive speed, tire failure, weather, animals, drugs and alcohol, even medical conditions of a rider.

All of these topics warrant a lengthy discussion.

However, in my practice and in my opinion, the single largest cause of motorcycle accidents is other motorists in 4 wheel or greater vehicles, we bikers and motorcyclist call these persons “cagers.”

The largest threats to a biker and motorcyclist from a 4 wheel motorist on his or her motorcycle are; (1) A motorist turning left in front of you, (2) A motorist cutting you off or hitting you while exiting a driveway or an ally, (3) A motorist cutting you off or hitting you while coming from a side street, (4) a motorist merging into you from the side while driving next to you or near you, (5) a motorist pulling out from the curb, and (6) getting rear ended.

Among all of the motorcycle accident cases that I handle, the threats articulated above are the main causes of motorcycle accident and motorcycle accident death cases that I handle.

There are some basic preventative measures you can take to minimize the chances of you becoming the next victim of a negligent motorist while out on your motorcycle.

Beyond taking a certified motorcycle safety course, and advanced course on your own motorcycle, not driving while intoxicated, wearing proper riding attire including a DOT certified full face or modular helmet, and making sure you have a proper motorcycle endorsement, there are a few tricks I have learned throughout the years that I will share with you.

(1) Don’t ride too fast for the conditions you are in.

Most motorcycle accident happen on city streets, and within a 5 mile radius from your home. If you are on let’s say a 4 lane street (2 in each direction), there are risks everywhere. Make sure you keep your speed down so that if you have to stop or slow down quickly, you can. Remember, the faster you ride, the longer distance it takes for you to slow down or stop.

(2) Cover your brakes at intersections or when you see a risk.

Covering your brake means to put your hand over the front brake lever to prepare to use your brake. You should cover your brake anytime you enter an intersection where you see a car stopped on either side of you, or a car waiting to make a left turn in the opposite direction. Why, because already having your hand on the brake lever will give you an extra second or two to hit the brakes and to potentially avoid and accident if one of the cars drives or turns in front of you.

I know it sounds like a hassle, but if you do it everytime, it will become engrained into your muscle memory and you won’t even have to think about it in time.

Under certain circumstances, you may even want to hit your brakes while covering, to heat the them up so that you can stop faster, and to signal the car behind you that you are slowing down. The car behind you cannot see you if you let off of the throttle and use your engine to slow you down.

(3) Look at the tops of the wheels of a threatening car.

When you see a car stopped as you approach a driveway, a side street, or in the oncoming left turn lane, look at its wheels, especially the tops of its wheels if you can see them. If you cannot see the tops, look at the tire rims or hubcaps. The tops of the wheels actually move much faster than the actual car does, and it will give you an indication of whether the car is moving towards you or not. Your eyes will be able to perceive the wheels moving way before your eyes will be able to perceive the entire car moving forward. Don’t ask me why, it is just the way we perceive things.

Obviously if you are riding along and you see a car stopped at a driveway or a side street, and you see its tires moving, you better assume that they do not see you, and take evasive action. The best evasive action is to brake or stop and to not swerve because when you swerve you have less motorcycle tire contact than if your tires are straight up and down. The less tire contact you have, the more likely that you will not be able to stop in time, and/or lose control of your motorcycle and lay it down.

If you see an oncoming car in the left hand turn lane, and its tires start to turn in your direction, assume that they are going to turn in front of you, and take evasive action.

(4) Assume that other motorist cannot see you when you ride.

No matter how bright your clothing, how many lights you have on your motorcycle, how visible you think you are, no matter what you do, for some inexplicable reason, we motorcycle riders seem to be invisible to motorist in cars, trucks, or other motor vehicles. I am not telling you to try do anything you can to be more visible to other motorist, on the contrary, you should do everything you can to try to be more conspicuous to other motorist.

There have actually been studies done to understand how we human beings perceive things, and it has been found that we humans actually and not consciously selectively filter out certain things that we see for various reasons.

It seems that many people riding in cars, trucks, and other vehicles for some reason, filter us motorcycle riders out. After an accident these people swear that they did not see us, when they should have. Whether it is unintentional or not, some motorist flat out do not see us.

When you ride you have to assume that other motorist do not see you and you need to ride accordingly. If you ride as though you are invisible to other motorist, you will actually be a much more cautious and better rider.

Assume that the car in the oncoming left hand turn lane is going to turn left in front of you Assume that if you are on a two lane road with cars parked on the side that a car will pop out from the parked position. Assume that the car you see waiting to turn out of a gas station or waiting to make a right turn at the intersection will turn in front of you.

I know it’s not fair, but as a motorcycle rider, we have to be much more diligent about our own safety when we ride our motorcycles. Yes you may have the right of way, but that is not going to stop the negligent cager from hitting you and doing some major damage to you.

Exercising caution and some restraint, will make your motorcycle riding experience much more pleasurable, and above all, will allow you to make it home after your ride instead of in the hospital.

Keep both wheels on the road!

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © August 28, 2011

One of the Pleasures in Life; Being a Motorcycle Rider.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in Malibu, CA
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in Malibu, CA

There are few things I enjoy in life more than jumping on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra and riding my motorcycle on the open road, especially with my brothers.

To be frank, it really is hard for me to express how much I enjoy riding motorcycles. The good thing is that I really do not have to explain it to those of you who already ride motorcycles, because you already know what I am talking about.

One of the reasons I bring this subject up is that last Friday night, I was on my home from a gathering of motorcycle club brothers in Tehachapi, California, when I stopped in Palmdale, California for some gas.

A fat guy dressed in what appeared to me to be medical scrubs of the type that doctors and nurses wear at a hospital, made it a point to walk up to me as I was gassing up my motorcycle to say “You really should not ride motorcycles around here because of all of the illegal aliens and unlicensed drivers.”

I looked at the guy who thought he was giving me genuine advice that would make me stop riding motorcycles after 40 some years, and said “dude, life in general is dangerous, I am not going to live my life here in America, worried about getting hit by an illegal alien or an unlicensed driver. Further, life itself is a fatal illness.”

The guy gave me a puzzled look and walked away.

This guy must be out of his fucking mind thinking that I would quit riding because I was afraid of illegal aliens and unlicensed drivers.

Riding motorcycles is one of the important pleasures that I have in my life.

This guy was not giving advice to a novice. I have literally handled many motorcycle accident cases all over the State of California. Everytime I handle such a case, I think about “what if that were to happen to me.” Yes it kind of freaks you out, but then again, flu season is coming up, am I supposed to hide in my estate afraid of getting swine flu? Hell no.

There is one unalienable fact of life; those who are alive today, will someday die. You cannot live your in fear of what could happen, all you can do is just live.

I am not cavalier about riding motorcycles. I am about as safe of a rider that there is out there, although I could improve my riding attire somewhat. I am thinking about adding an armored riding suit to my repertoire.

This weekend I will be on my new motorcycle. I cannot wait to test out the intercom and the CB that came standard on my Ultra. I have installed the speakers and mic inside Liz’s helmet and mine.

I hope we all have a safe riding weekend everyone; keep both wheels on the road.

Also just a reminder, My 02 Harley Davidson Electra Glide is still for sale. She is sitting in my garage waiting for you to come pick her up. You can check it out here at http://www.galaxystorm.com/bike.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © August 12, 2011

Amongst the Best Motorcycle Riders in the World; a Video

I just saw this video of a motorcycle police officer running his Harley Davidson Electra Glide Police model through an obstacle course and it completely blew me away.

I have seen many skilled riders in my years of riding. Hell I can even do a pretty tight circle in a small area on my motorcycle, but check this guy out in the video. His skill on a motorcycle speaks for itself.

I only wish that I can attain that level of skill on such a big motorcycle.

Enjoy the video.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © July 26, 2011

A Rider and Passenger Die in Motorcycle Accident on the 405 Freeway in Seal Beach, California

Biker Law Blog NewsSEAL BEACH – California

A man and woman died Sunday when they lost control of their Harley-Davidson motorcycle, cut across the 405 freeway, hit a car and were launched head first into a cement wall, California Highway Patrol officials said.

The man, 60, and woman, 57, were wearing full helmets, but the blunt-force trauma was too strong, said Officer Stacey Willits, who was at the scene.

The accident occurred at 11:18 a.m. on the northbound 405 near the Seal Beach Blvd. exit. The two were taken to Long Beach Memorial Hospital with massive head wounds. They were pronounced dead at 12:07 p.m. and 12:25 p.m. Their identities have not been released.

The man was driving, and the woman was his passenger, Willits said.

Witnesses said the pair was driving in the first or second lane of the northbound 405 freeway at about 65 mph when the motorcycle started fish-tailing, Willits said. The bike then made an almost 90-degree turn and cut across the freeway to the sixth (slow) lane. It hit the left-rear corner of a Honda Accord and ejected the riders into a concrete road-construction divider.

The investigation is still open and officers do not yet know what caused the couple to lose control of the motorcycle. Willits asked that anyone who saw the bike lose control call the California Highway Patrol office in Westminster at 714-892-4262.

Law enforcement officers shut down the third through sixth lanes of the freeway for about an hour while CHP investigated the accident.

This accident is a horrible tragedy. I send my prayers and condolences out to the friends and family of the victims of this accident.

Based on the witness reports from this accident regarding the motorcycle’s rear end beginning to fishtail, it is possible that the victims suffered from a rear tire blow out, or a loose and unstable swing arm, or something to that effect. They could have even locked up the rear end braking too heavy. However there is no evidence based on the witness reports that the motorcycle was braking at the time of the accident.

Both victims were wearing full face helmets.

This accident should remind all bikers to check their tire tread and tire pressure before they ride their motorcycles. I am not saying that this is what caused the motorcycle accident, because I do not know, but it may have played a factor.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer

By Brother went Down Today.

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, and his Brother Slider on a Motorcycle Run to the Angeles Crest Highway on June 19, 2011
Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, and his Brother Slider on a Motorcycle Run to the Angeles Crest Highway on June 19, 2011

I got a call today from my Brother Slider who went down today on his motorcycle.

It seems that a woman who was not paying attention, decided to make a right turn directly in front of my brother who had no chance to stop or get out of the way. He then laid his bike down and slammed into the car that turned in front of him.

Although I do many motorcycle accident cases every week, this one hit me real hard. Hell, I just rode with Slider and his old lady this past weekend up to Angeles Crest. Slider is my brother, and he is a friend.

As usual, when Slider called me today, he acted cool as if nothing was wrong. He told me about someone who had a motorcycle accident, and asked me if I could help. I said of course brother. He then told me it was him that went down. I could not believe it.

Here my brother is sitting in the E.R. at a major hospital with a broken and torn knee, road rash, and in major pain, and here he is talking as though everything was normal.

You have to know Slider to understand his coolness even while he is in extreme pain.

I went to the ER with a couple of brothers on Thursday evening to see Slider and his old lady. He is in pain, but I think he will live.

I ride with a lot of hardcore bikers, and Slider is no different, however, due to my experience in dealing with these types of cases, I know once Slider gets past the physical issues, he will have to get past the mental issues as well. Most riders that I know who have gone down, end up being much more careful and cautious riders as a result.

God please be with my brother Slider and his old lady and give him a speedy recovery.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © May 24, 2010

Sport Bike Riders Close Another Freeway While Doing Stunts; They will Bring Down Heat on All Sport Biker Riders.

I have written about Sport Motorcycle Riders raising hell on public streets on the Biker Law Blog many times in the past.

Here is a link to a story and videos, I wrote and posted almost 4 years ago showing this type of activity on a freeway; click here now.

Below is a video of a freeway closing by sport motorcycle riders in Texas this past weekend.

I know I am going to get the usual “Yea I am a badass sport bike rider so screw off” messages from certain sport bike riders who read the Biker Law Blog, but the real fact of the matter is that idiots doing stuff like this on public freeways will only bring down heat on everyone riding a sport motorcycle, even the poor bastard who may have just bought an inexpensive motorcycle to ride to work on.

I know the idiots doing these things think it is cool to raise hell like this and then post the videos on Youtube and the like, but in the end no good can come out of it.

You can watch the video below and see for yourself. The video comes from a news channel in Texas, and a short commercial will appear before the video appears.

You tell me if you think the non riding civilian public will tolerate this kind of thing and if you think it will bring down heat on all bikers.

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

The California Highway Patrol gets ready to Roust Bikers as Angeles Crest Highway Re-Opens Today

Motorcycle Riders about to ride up the Angeles Crest Highway
Motorcycle Riders about to ride up the Angeles Crest Highway

As the California State Department of Transportation is poised Friday to re-open Angeles Crest Highway, a curvy mountain road beloved by bikers, the CHP will step up enforcement.

The Crest’s sweeping turns and steep cliffs demand motorcyclists navigate the road with care and at a controlled speed, and the California Highway Patrol plans to help folks remember this through the Motorcycle Safety Coalitions grant, the agency announced Wednesday. CHP Public Information Officer Ming-Yang Hsu declined to release the amount of the grant.

The grant, which provides enhanced enforcement effort by CHP officers through September 30, will focus on traffic violations made by motorcyclists, as well as other vehicle drivers that can lead to motorcycle collisions, injuries and fatalities, according to a CHP press release.

“Angeles Crest has one of the highest accident rates in the state,” Hsu said, adding the CHP waited to make the grant announcement until Caltrans’ announcement of reopening the road.

According to data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, 164 motorcycle-involved collisions occurred on Route 2 from Starlight Crest Drive to state Route 39 in Los Angeles County between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008. Among the collisions, eight were fatal, seven of which were the result of unsafe speed. Of those, speed was the primary collision factor for 98 of the accidents.

Therefore, in an effort to reduce the number of motorcycle-involved fatal and injury collisions along the 38-mile stretch of highway patrolled by the Altadena Area office, the CHP will establish a task force and develop and implement a public awareness campaign by working with local agencies and community members.

Funding for this grant was provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Basically what this grant does is give the CHP more money to put more officers on the Angeles Crest to roust motorcyclist and bikers.

You have now been warned, take it easy out there!

California Biker Lawyer

California Highway Patrol Officer Injured in Motorcycle Collision at the 134 and 2 Freeway Junction in Glendale; Maybe the Accident could have been avoided with a Safety Device.

Glendale CHP Motorcycle Accident
Scene of Glendale CHP Motorcycle Accident

A California Highway Patrol officer was hospitalized with major injuries Tuesday afternoon after he was knocked off his motorcycle by another driver during an attempted traffic stop on the 134 Freeway, according to a CHP traffic report.

Officer J.D Fields, 59, an Altadena resident, suffered a broken femur and wrist after the accident, which occurred around 1:40 p.m. near the intersection of the 134 and 2 freeways in Glendale.

Fields had seen a vehicle pulled over on the side of the road and moved into the right lane, put on his lights, and slowed down to approach the car.

A woman driving a 2010 Nissan vehicle was behind him and failed to see him slow down, according to the report. She veered quickly out of the lane and then “for unknown reasons,” moved back into the right lane and hit Fields’ motorcycle, the report states.

Fields was thrown from the motorcycle and onto the road. He was transported to the Huntington Hospital shortly after the accident.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation, according to the report.

This crash brings to mind a safety feature for motorcycles that I think should be implemented; a brake light that triggers with sudden deceleration of a motorcycle.

Let me explain. We, who ride motorcycles, tend to downshift to decrease our speed on most if not all occasions, before we hit the brakes.

If a car traveling fast behind us, does not see brake lights when we downshift to slow down, they do not know we are slowing down, and they rear end us.

I think that is exactly what happened in this rear ender of Officer Fields.

I have been on rides and seen motorcycle on motorcycle rear end collisions due to the same reason.

If there was a sudden decoration device on our motorcycles that triggered the brake light, I think we could save many a biker and motorcyclist lives.

For you inventers out there, maybe you can come up with something. Maybe a device like this should be mandatory for motorcycles.

It would appear that Officer Fields in the accident mentioned above, not only has a Workers Compensation case against the California Highway Patrol, and a separate Personal Injury case against the woman who hit him from behind.

The law in California is that a person driving behind another person, has a duty to maintain a safe distance from the car or motorcycle in front of them, so they can stop in case the vehicle in front of them stops. It appears that the woman is at fault in this case.

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

Norm’s Tidbit’s Monday May 23, 2011

Norm's TidbitsGreat Riding: I have been doing some great riding with my bros for the past 5 weeks or so, and this weekend was no exception. The weather has been great, which also equals great riding. I love riding my motorcycle, and there is nothing better than riding with a bunch of friends who also love riding their motorcycles. Stay tuned for some great upcoming ride reports. My ride calendar is booked solid through December. These are some beautiful times people.

Equipment malfunction: I have a Harley Davidson removable tour pak set up with a 4.25 extension kit on it. Not this weekend, but the weekend before last, I discovered that the middle two bolts of the 7 total bolts that hold the Tour Pak onto the extension kit (5 bolts hold the actual tour pak onto the extension kit, the additional two secure the extension kit to the removable tour pak bracket) sheered completely off, which left my tour pak dangerously flapping in the wind on the back 3 bolts and lock nuts. I went to the Harley dealership and found a comparable bolt and lock nut and installed them where the sheared off bolts were. Everything was great until this weekend when I rode to an event on Sunday that was in downtown Los Angeles. The streets were full of pot holes. When I got to the event I discovered that one of the front two bolts that secure the extension kit the removable tour pak bracket was gone. (It must have broken from the hard core pot holes I went over). This was a more serious situation because it meant that only 3 bolts were holding the actual extension kit to the removable bracket. If I lost the other front bolt I would have probably lost the entire tour pak off of the back. Suffices is to say I escorted my friend to his work in Burbank, then went to the Home Depot in Burbank, bought a bunch of bolts, lock-nuts, and washers, and installed one in the place where the other one broke off. Now I have a bunch of extras for the road just in case. Moral to the story, it is important to inspect your equipment before and after every ride, and make sure that you do not over tighten bolts and nuts, especially ones that are under high impact or pressure because it will cause them to snap off under certain circumstances.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © May 23, 2010

Watch out for Counterfeit DOT Certified Helmets – Look for Revised DOT Labeling.

Watch out for counterfeit helmets bearing DOT labels
Watch out for counterfeit helmets bearing DOT labels

Novelty and/or Counterfeit DOT motorcycle helmets may look the part, but many, if not all, fail to meet federal safety standards.

These dubious novelty and/or counterfeit helmets feature a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved label, but most are counterfeit, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In other words if you buy a cheap helmet that you think is DOT certified because it has a DOT label, you may be buying nothing more than junk.

It is important that if you want to wear a DOT helmet for safety purposes while riding your motorcycle that you ensure you are buying a helmet manufactured by a reputable helmet manufacture.

To help combat counterfeiters, the NHTSA has revised the DOT labeling for motorcycle helmets that now reads “DOT FMVSS No. 218 Certified,” which is an acronym for the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218.

Effective May 13, 2011, all new motorcycle helmets must have one of these new labels in its interior, which show that the lid met federal standards for “Impact Attenuation,” “Penetration” and “Retention System,” such as the strap.

Besides reading “DOT FMVSS No. 218 Certified,” the label will also identify the motorcycle helmet manufacturer, precise model designation and also month and year of manufacture.

According to the FMVSS No. 218, “Each helmet shall be labeled permanently and legibly, in a manner such that the label(s) can be read easily without removing padding or any other permanent part.”

And of course, the DOT logo sticker must be present at the lower rear of the motorcycle helmet.

The NHTSA says these new labeling requirements will enhance overall motorcycle safety based on the following statistics:

  1. A motorcycle helmet that meets the DOT FMVSS No 218 requirements drops the risk of dying in a motorcycle crash by 37 percent, the NHTSA reports; and
  2. If fewer helmets are created that don’t meet the federal standard, the NHTSA reports that between 22 and 75 lives may be saved.

It is good to see the NHTSA trying to save the lives of motorcyclists by attempting to weed out scumbag helmet counterfeiters. However, there is a good chance that the new labels will also be counterfeited.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Website

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

Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm, The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates, 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.

We are experts in dealing with motorcycle accident cases.

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.