Category Archives: Medical Treatment

Articles related to medical treatment in personal injury cases

Getting settled in to the O.C. lifestyle.

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at age 16, before going surfing

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at age 16, before going surfing

Here it is March 13, 2013, and it has been a while since I posted my last article here on the Biker Law Blog.

I have moved to Huntington Beach, and my new law firm “The Moy & Fernandez Law Group,” is fully operational.

Our phone number and fax number are the same, 800-816-1529, but we have consolidated all our California pre-litigation operations into one location in Irvine, California.

So whether your case originates in San Francisco, Eureka, Redding, Sacramento, or San Diego, the pre-litigation will be handled by our competent staff in the Irvine office, while our field staff continues to come to you anywhere in the nation.

We handle the entire State of California. We welcome all of our new and existing clients to the new law firm. We look forward to kicking ass for you on your cases.

My partner Lawrence A. Moy, who has been a friend and brother since 2002 has merged his firm with mine to create a premier California Personal Injury Law firm. Together we have handled thousands of cases, and settled millions of dollars for our clients. We have many years of combined experience.

I feel sorry for the poor bastards who oppose us on cases, I give no quarter. Some lawyers say they will fight for you, we will kick ass for you.

I think we have what most would call one of the most high tech law firms in the nation. The technology we have employed at our firm is mind blowing.

I am a Southern California native, but I have lived in many places during my life. I would say that the move to Orange County for me will be permanent, in that I cannot see living anywhere else.

I love Huntington Beach. I have taken up walking on the pier each night around sunset, the people are great, the lifestyle is fantastic, and the motorcycle riding is good as well.

When I was younger, I used to surf. As a matter of fact, as a teenager I lived at the beach. I learned to surf at Topanga, my home beach was Zuma. Back then, the wave break was much different at Zuma and Point Dume, then it is now.

Believe it or not, I just bought a brand new 9’ Greco Longboard surfboard. It will be delivered this Friday. I got a new full wetsuit to go along with it. Hell, at 49 who says you are too old to start surfing again. I figure a longboard, will help me to ease back into it, and on those days with a small surf, I will be catching waves while the guys on short boards will be watching me ride. I figure if I start surfing each morning at 5am, I can still get to the office easily by 9am.

I wonder if they make a surfboard rack for a Harley Davidson. Once I get used to surfing again, I will have a custom Harley Davidson themed surfboard made for me.

So there it is. As you can imagine, I am swamped with work right now. As I type this article, I have spent the last 4 days out of 5 days in Court. I am still at the office catching up. Nonetheless I wanted to let you all know what is going on.

Looking forward to the Laughlin Biker Rally coming up next month. This will first year I take “Bessie,” my motorhome, (the same one I rode around the country with) to a major motorcycle rally this year.

I hope you are all well.

By California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © March 13, 2013

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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

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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

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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

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A Life Changed in an Instant, the anatomy of a Motorcycle Accident

northridge-motorcycle-accident ** December 19, 2011 Update: I regret to inform you that David Landowski the rider of  the motorcyle, age 53, died of his injuries Sunday night. May he rest in peace.

The following news was reported today as a short blurb in the press.

Northridge – California A motorcyclist suffered severe injuries during a two-vehicle crash in Northridge, California police said today.

The traffic accident occurred about 6 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Lindley Avenue and Rayen Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division.

According to police, Charles Giarratana, 62, driving a red Ford Explorer northbound on Lindley Avenue made a left turn onto Rayen Street where he struck David Landowski, 53, who was going southbound on Lindley Avenue on a white and purple-colored KTM 620SX motorcycle.

Landowski, a resident of Canyon Country, was transported to an area hospital with severe injuries. It was not immediately known if Giarratana, a resident of Reseda, was cited or arrested. Anyone who saw the traffic crash was asked to call the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division at (818) 644-8036.

The only people who would probably read and care about news such as this are people that ride motorcycles, their friends and family, and the people in the article.

It is doubtful that average people would even read let alone care about a man on a motorcycle being hit by a negligent idiot in an SUV.

For me, a California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and an actual motorcycle rider, this article brings forth many thoughts.

The vast majority of motorcycle accidents on city streets are caused by some idiot making left turns in front of or into a motorcycle rider because they do not look for motorcyclist, they do not see the motorcyclist, or they think they can beat the motorcyclist before they turn.

The innocent motorcyclist may not even see the negligent driver making the left turn until they are right in front of them, or not at all.

Their life is changed in an instant.

I wonder if David Landowski riding his KTM 620SX motorcycle saw Charles Giarratna turning before he hit him? I wonder if Charles Giarratna has any clue what damage he has caused to the life of David Landowski simply because he did not look before he made the turn, or tried to turn before David rode past him?

Either way one thing is certain, David Landowski’s life will never be the same again.

The newspaper article stated that David Landowski was transported to the hospital with severe injuries. I pray for him and his family that he will survive. If he does survive he will probably suffer months or even years of excruciating pain, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress, not to mention loss of income, a career, or a job, tremendous medical bills, and maybe not ever being able to return to a normal life.

Some riders such as David will never be able to ride a motorcycle again, some lose limbs, some suffer permanent debilitating injuries, and some never recover.

So the next time you read a little news blurb about some idiot making a left hand turn in front of a motorcycle rider and hitting him or causing the motorcycle rider to hit the car or truck because the car turned in front of the motorcycle, think about the fact that the motorcycle rider’s life was changed in an instant.

There is tremendous human pain and suffering, support to family lost, and life’s irreparably harmed in such little news blurbs.

The next time you are out riding in your car, SUV, truck, etc., look for us motorcycle riders. You do not want to have the thought of destroying someone’s life on your conscious.

By Biker Lawyer and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © December 17, 2011

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To Retain a Lawyer or to Not Retain a Lawyer, What Should You Do?

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

As a California Personal Injury Lawyer, I give free consultations to injury victims throughout the State of California almost every day.

Inevitably about 5% of the people I talk to have either tried handling their California personal injury matter on their own, or are very reluctant to “get lawyers” involved because of what they heard about lawyers, or are clueless about how the legal system works.

Ultimately, out of the 5% of the people mentioned above, about 1% or 1 out of 100 people I talk to decide to handle the matter on their own.

To me, an experienced California Personal Injury Attorney, it is inexplicable why someone would choose not to retain an attorney to handle their personal injury case. Let me tell you why.

Firstly, most people have no clue that they are entitled to recover the following damages in a typical personal injury matter:

Out of Pocket Expenses: All out of pocket expenses flowing out of the personal injury matter such as: loss of wages, medical cost, prescription cost, cost of travel to and from the doctor, prescriptions, loss of use of vehicle, either the repair cost of a damaged vehicle, or the fair market value of a damaged vehicle when the repair cost exceeds the fair market value, rental car, loss of future wages, future medical expenses, etc.

Non Economic Expenses: Pain & Suffering, Emotional Distress, Loss of Enjoyment of life (loss of enjoyment of life consists of compensation to a person for not being able to do things that they used to do, while they are injured. Such as cleaning, cooking, walking, dancing, going out, etc.)

In a nutshell a typical person has no clue that they are entitled to the things mentioned above, how to value such things even if they know about it, and most importantly, how to get it.

Going further, if an injured person is married, they typically do not know that their spouse also has a cause of action against the person who injured them for loss of consortium. Hell most personal injury lawyers in California do not even go for loss of consortium.

Loss of consortium in a nutshell is damages that a spouse of an injured party are entitled to, for the loss of the things that their spouse used to do with and for them in the marriage, because of their injury. In many cases loss of consortium can amount to a substantial amount of money.

I have just touched the tip of the iceberg with this article. Ultimately, only a fool has themselves for an attorney.

I can assure you that in 99% of cases, a person without an attorney will get less than a person with an attorney in a California Personal Injury case.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a California Personal Injury matter you may call my personal injury hotline 7 days a week, 24 hours a day for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 extension 1. You may also check out my personal injury website at http://www.thepersonalinjury.com.

By California Personal Injury Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © February 10, 2011

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I am Really Sick and Tired of Ambulance Chasers who give us Real Personal Injury Attorneys a Bad Name.

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

Yes you read the headline of this article correctly; I am sick and tired of ambulance chasers who give ethical personal injury attorneys such as me, a bad name.

An ambulance chaser has been defined by an online dictionary as:

“A lawyer or entrepreneur who hurries to the scene of an accident to try to get the business of any injured persons.”

First of all let me tell all of you something right now, lawyers or their representatives are prohibited from soliciting your business at the scene of an accident in the State of California.

Any attorney who engages in such conduct can face disciplinary proceedings.

If someone is coming up to you at the scene of an accident and recommending an attorney to you; chances are they are engaging in prohibited conduct.

You should never select an attorney based upon a solicitation at the scene of an accident, at your doctor’s office, by the tow truck driver, by a body shop, etc.

Always select someone based upon your own research.

My good friend who is an ex NICB agent, and who now runs an investigative corporation, has told me stories of unethical attorneys illegally paying runners, cappers, doctors, tow truck drivers, body shops, to refer cases to them.

He has also told me stories of personal injury attorneys who are in illegal partnerships with non attorneys to get business.

No attorney can fee share or be in a partnership with a non attorney to get your business.

To be frank, I am absolutely shocked to hear such stories. It is beyond my belief that some unethical attorneys are engaging in such behavior. It is to be frank, despicable.

For attorneys such as me who play by the rules, it is outrageous to think of the poor victims of this type of illegal activity.

Going one step further, you may have recently heard about the explosion in San Bruno and the horrible aftermath.

Sure enough, there are some bottom feeder law firms putting out press releases trying to scavenge business from those poor souls in San Bruno.

Historically in the State of California, attorney advertising was prohibited. In the last several decades attorneys have been allowed to advertise. Some have taken it too far.

I am not against attorneys being allowed to advertise, but I am against what I consider to be ambulance chasing in advertising.

The same thing happened after the Chatsworth Metrorail crash, and many other disasters.

As for me, I am no ambulance chaser. I do not need to be because I am good at what I do.

All of my past and present clients know this to be true. To be good at what you do, you need to actually care about your clients, and get them the money that they deserve.

Ask yourself a question; have you ever heard any other personal injury attorney discussing the topic of this article? Heck No. Do you wonder why? It is the dirty little secret that no one wants to talk about.

Well I am talking about it.

I would like to hear any comments you have. You may comment by clicking the comment link below.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © September 15, 2010

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If you Ride a Motorcycle You Need to Read This; it Could Save You or Your Family

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

I cannot tell you how many motorcycle riders have called me this summer after having a motorcycle accident.

One guy in particular really disturbed me. His fiancé called me. He was taken out by a 17 year old teenage girl who had gotten her drivers license 2 weeks before the accident.

As she was driving in the slow lane, she told the CHP that she swerved her car trying to avoid something in her lane. While swerving, she cut across 4 lanes of traffic on the 10 freeway, and nailed my guy on the motorcycle as he was riding to work as a truck driver.

My guy had been riding motorcycles for years, this was his first accident. He had leathers on, and a full face helmet. He suffered a traumatic brain injury from the accident.

In the hospital, his family and fiancé were told he had the worst possible type of brain injury, and that he had a 10% chance of survival. Even before he woke up from his coma, his family and fiancé were told that he had permanent brain damage.

The girl who hit my guy only had the California minimum insurance of 15k per person per incident. This insurance amount will not even cover one day of my guy’s hospital care.

He was in a coma for about a month and in the hospital for 4 months. He is recovering, but he will never be the same. He see’s double vision, he is learning how to talk again, and he will never be able to return back to work as a truck driver. It is unknown what the future has in store for him, but at least he is still alive, and his fiancé is sticking by him.

He is fucked not only because he got taken out by a teenage girl in a car on the freeway, but because of her minimum 15k insurance coverage, he will get no money at all to compensate him for his future care, future loss of wages, his pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, his emotional distress, etc.

This girl ruined his life.

This does not have to happen to you or your family.

WOULD YOU TRUST THE FUTURE OF YOU OR YOUR FAMILY TO HOW MUCH LIABILITY INSURANCE A TEENAGE GIRL DECIDES TO BUY?

Read the above sentence very carefully. If you as motorcycle rider want to put you and your family’s future in the hands of whatever liability insurance another driver buys, then you are a fool, yes a fool.

I cannot tell you how many times I get calls from victims of motorcycle accidents who are stuck living with the policy limits of the people who hit them. 99% of the time, the person who hit you in a motorcycle accident case, does not have enough insurance to properly compensate you.

I have recommended for years that every motorcycle rider and biker carry at least 1 million dollars in under insured and uninsured motorist coverage to cover the difference between the insurance liability policy that a person who hits you has, and what you may actually need to compensate you for your losses in a motorcycle accident case.

Yet time and time again, I hear the same old story from motorcycle accident victims, they do not have under insured coverage or uninsured motorist coverage to cover their losses.

I will lay it out straight to you because I am a fellow motorcycle rider and biker; if you get into a motorcycle accident, chances are that you will suffer a catastrophic injury, because we are not surrounded by sheet metal like in a car.

If you suffer a catastrophic injury in an accident that is not your fault, you could be entitled to substantial money. In order to get substantial money, you need to have substantial insurance. Many if not most people who may hit you on the road on your motorcycle, either have minimum insurance or no insurance because of the economy.

Therefore you need to protect yourself and buy the level of insurance that you feel comfortable with in case you suffer a catastrophic injury. This is not only to protect yourself, but to protect your family as well.

I suggest 1 million in under insured, and uninsured. If you can afford more, get more.

Look many of you out there spend hundred’s and possibly thousands of dollars per year on aftermarket accessories for your motorcycles why not take a chunk of that and protect yourself and your family.

This is just common sense.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © September 10, 2010

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Jobs are Not protected for California’s medical pot users; You can still be arrested for driving under the influence.

medical marijuana can be banned at workTens of thousands of Californians are obtaining medical marijuana recommendations from physicians so they can use pot without fear of arrest.

But they still can lose their jobs, and be arrested for being under the influence of marijuana and driving.

California’s Proposition 215, passed by voters in 1996, approved the use of marijuana for a wide range of ailments. But it doesn’t require employers to make accommodations or waive any workplace rules for legal cannabis users.

And a state Supreme Court ruling affirmed that medical pot use can get you fired by a disapproving employer.

Christian Hughes, 33, just found that out.

For five years, he was a manager at a senior citizens apartment complex near Redding. Unknown to residents, he used marijuana to dull pain from a jaw shattered in a car accident.

Recently, a new company bought the apartment complex and ordered drug testing for employees. “I tried to explain my situation,” Hughes said.

After his test results came in last month, he was dismissed.

Joe Elford, legal counsel for Americans for Safe Access, an advocate for medical marijuana patients, said people such as Hughes don’t have much protection.

“The California Supreme Court gave carte blanche for employers to discriminate against medical marijuana patients,” Elford said. “However, that doesn’t mean they have to.”

Elford argued before the state Supreme Court on behalf of Gary Ross in a landmark 2008 case.

Ross, of Carmichael, was fired after 10 days as a lead systems administrator for a Sacramento firm, RagingWire Telecommunications.

He told a clinician performing a drug test as a condition of his hiring that he had a medical marijuana recommendation for back pain and spasms from injuries sustained in the U.S. Air Force. When the results came in, Ross was out of work.

The Supreme Court rejected his argument that he was protected from job discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act as a qualified pot patient under Proposition 215.

“Nothing in the text or history of the (Proposition 215) Compassionate Use Act suggests that the voters intended the measure to address the respective rights and obligations of employers and employees,” the court ruled.

Advocates for private employers argued strenuously against legislation – advanced after the court decision – to ban discrimination in hiring or firing of workers for being medical marijuana patients.

The California Chamber of Commerce fought the legislation, Assembly Bill 2279 by then-Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco. It hasn’t eased its opposition to workplace protections for medical pot.

“It really boils down to this: An employer’s right to maintain a drug-free workplace is critical,” said Denise Davis, the California Chamber’s vice president for media relations. “It protects the safety of all workers and limits exposure to potentially costly litigation.”

Sacramento’s largest employer – the state of California – has no policy in place when it comes to medical marijuana, said Lynelle Jolley, a spokeswoman for the Department of Personnel Administration.

Forty state agencies can dismiss employees based on tests for “reasonable suspicion” of drug or alcohol use. They include the Highway Patrol, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of Motor Vehicles, Lottery Commission, California Public Employees’ Retirement System and Museum of Science and Industry.

The U.S. Department of Transportation declared last year that workers from aircraft pilots to school bus drivers can’t legally smoke pot, even in states allowing medical use.

In Rancho Cordova, GenCorp Inc., a major regional employer that relies heavily on federal contracts, has a strict anti-marijuana policy.

“GenCorp and its company, Aerojet, are a drug-free workplace,” said spokeswoman Linda Cutler. “We do not accommodate medical marijuana. Under federal law it is still an illegal drug, and we are a federal contractor.”

Gargoyle, another large employer in the region, requires job candidates to pass a drug test as a condition of hiring and makes no allowances for people with a medical pot recommendation. Drivers of heavy trucks face random tests. Employees from press operators to reporters may be subject to discipline for on-the-job accidents attributed to drugs, alcohol or performance-altering medications.

The pot issue recently arose in Michigan when a Wal-Mart store fired Joseph Casias, an employee who had been using marijuana under Michigan’s medical pot law for pain from sinus cancer and a brain tumor. Casias claimed he never came to work high. But he was fired this month after being tested for drugs following an on-the-job knee injury.

Leno, now a state senator, still hopes for a California solution governing medical pot in the workplace.

“When voters supported Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act, they didn’t intend use of medical marijuana only for those who are unemployed,” Leno said.

His 2008 bill would have allowed employers to fire workers who were impaired on the job. But it would have protected employees from being targeted because they have a medical pot recommendation or test positive for marijuana.

The bill passed both houses of the Legislature but was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The state Supreme Court clearly decided employers can set any rules they want when it comes to medical pot. But he said there may be a narrow legal window to challenge drug tests ordered without cause.

However, you cannot just test somebody because you think they’re a pothead or someone saw them walking out of a cannabis club.

Recently I just got a call from a person whose car was searched after Police officers pulled her over, smelled pot in the car, and observed a pot pipe sitting on the seat.

She ranted and raved about the fact that she had a marijuana card, that she was sick, and that it was an illegal arrest; WRONG.

I explained to her that drinking alcohol is legal in the State as well, however, you are not allowed to drink and drive, or have an open container in the car, so why would she think that she can smoke dope in her car.

Under California’s medical marijuana law, you are allowed to use marijuana, but you are not allowed to smoke it or ingest it while driving. This is also true for certain prescription drugs which impair your driving ability.

So there you go; and employer can fire you for marijuana use even though it is legal to use if you have medical marijuana card and you cannot use marijuana and drive.

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

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It is About Time we get Health Care Reform in this Nation; With a Public Option.

We need health care reform with a public option now. ****March 25, 2010 Update – Reconcilliation bill approved by Sentate with a few changes, sent back to House, and approved by House. This phase of health care reform is compete.

****March 23, 2010 Update – Healthcare reform was signed into law by President Obama, history has been made.

****March 21, 2010 Update – History is made; the Senate Health Care bill was passed by the house. President Obama is expected to sign the bill.

****December 24, 2009 Update – The U.S. Senate has voted to reinvent the nation’s health care system, passing a bill to guarantee health insurance for all Americans and rein in health care costs as proposed by President Obama. Now all that needs to happen is for the House and Senate to reconcile their bills. This thing looks like it will actually happen. No more denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, no more cancelling coverage when people need it the most. This is a good thing.

****December 19, 2009 Update – It appears that the United States Senate is on the eve of passing a historic bill that will revolutionize health care in this nation. Many of the things I wanted to see are not there. However, health insurance companies will no longer be able to wily nily deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. I will write another article once I have the specifics.

****October 21, 2009 Update – The United States Congress have voted to allow debate on a health car bill. Let’s hope these insured Congressmen do the right thing!

****October 9, 2009 Update – The United States House of Representatives has passed a historic health care reform bill which includes the public option. Now it is up to the Senate to act on the bill, and the President to sign.

Well I try to stay away from topics like this on my Blog because I know for sure that some people because of their politics will get pissed off, and some will not. Some will support what I have to say, some won’t. At the least maybe this will get you thinking!

Let me start off by saying this; I am a Democrat, I am a Republican, I am an Independent, and I am an American.

My politics do not get in the way of what I believe is the right thing to do. I decide an issue on what I think is right or wrong, not by what a bunch of political cronies in a particular party say is the right thing to do. I think if all Americans starting thinking and doing what they think was best rather than what some political party tells them is best we would all be much better off. It may never happen but if all of you try it for yourself you will see the lunacy of political parties.

Now, unless you are Bill Gates, and have millions of dollars at your disposal to pay for catastrophic health care bills than maybe this article might make a little sense to you. If you are blinded by politics, still read on, maybe what I say will “break on through,” as quoted by Jim Morrison of the Doors.

You see I am a personal injury lawyer and attorney. I get many new clients that have half assed medical insurance coverage, or very good insurance. However, I also get new clients every week that have no health care insurance at all.

Many of these uninsured client’s literally have suffered for days, weeks, and even months without medical treatment, hoping that their injuries would heal on their own. I can only imagine the untold numbers of others who are suffering with medical ailments and have no insurance or viable way of obtaining medical care.

Out of desperation they call me because they know I can get them treatment for their injuries, even if they do not have health care insurance.

Health care reform to me is not about politics, it is not about profits for doctors, hospitals, medical providers, and medical insurance providers. (All of whom continue to make huge profits while the rest of the nation is in a depression) Health care reform to me is about right and wrong. Let me explain.

I personally know many people who have lost their jobs and their medical insurance before the present depression, and during the present economic depression. It has happened to me in the past!

If you have never lost your job and medical insurance in your life, you are either full of shit, or you are one in a billion; yes I said billion.

If you are an American worker who does not have a multi-million dollar inheritance, rich parents, or are rich yourself, you are going to lose your job and your insurance at some time or another. It is a simple fact of life.

No one can depend on having insurance for life the way the system is set up right now. Your healthcare and possibly life depend on the whim of your employer, or your ability to obtain and pay for individual healthcare plans. This is not acceptable any longer.

What are you supposed to do if you lose your job and your medical insurance? In the good old days you could simply get another job. Those days are pretty much over now.

With unemployment at 10% or more in some locations, and the nation mired in an economic depression, good jobs are hard to come by. Hell even college graduates from top institutions are having trouble finding jobs.

If you lose your job and insurance, the end result is that your sorry ass along with your innocent children and spouse, if they stay with you, may have no insurance to cover your healthcare if you get sick. This situation is a surreal nightmare for millions of our fellow citizens as I type this article. Hell it could be you!

If while you are uninsured due to no fault of your own, you get sick, and you need to go to an emergency room, which by law has to treat and stabilize you, then the rest of us have to pay for your sorry ass through higher taxes and health insurance costs, because the hospitals have to charge more to cover their losses in treating uninsured people.

In the end, it is cheaper just to make sure that there is universal coverage for everyone.

I am no communist, I sure the hell am no socialist, but when it comes to medical care, I believe that in the richest nation on earth, healthcare should be a right for all, not a privilege.

Now forget about politics, forget about what some rich congressman is telling you to believe because of your political party affiliations, forgot about hating certain political figures; what do you think is best for you and your family; the way it is now, or universal health care for all? At least try to be honest with yourself.

UNDER FEDERAL ERISA LAWS, AN INDIVIDUAL CANNOT SUE A HEALTH INSURANCE PROVIDER FOR FAILING TO PROVIDE COVERAGE; NO SHIT!

Now that I have got your attention, let me tell you about my father; this is a true story that happened last month in October, 2009.

My father just had a major arterial bypass surgery recently, and is presently in a nursing home for recovery. He has probably the best HMO/PPO health insurance on earth, with probably the most famous health insurance provider on the planet.

Until just recently, he was ordered by his doctor to not place any weight whatsoever on his legs, he was basically bedridden in the nursing home. He was and still is dependent upon the nurses and doctors there for care while he recovers.

On October 14, 2009, we found out that his health insurance provider had retroactively determined that he no longer needed to be in the nursing home as of October 10, 2009. In other words a man that is and was bedridden with no viable alternative for other care, was basically told by his insurance company that “we don’t give a shit about you, you are out of there. Oh and by the way, you owe for 4 days.” His health insurance provider made this determination even though 2 of my dad’s doctors ordered him to be placed in a nursing home to recover.

Some health insurance bureaucrat unilaterally decided that they knew what was best for my dad, rather than two of his treating physicians. We all know that this is a bunch of bullshit to save the health insurance company some money don’t we.

Under present ERISA exemptions, my father cannot sue his medical insurance provider for failure to cover the nursing home even though his insurance covers nursing home care, because he is in a group plan. 80% of all health care insurance in this nation is provided under a group plan. How come nobody is taking about the fact that health insurance providers cannot be sued by individuals for failing to provide that which they contract to provide? It is a big scam.

Luckily for my dad, he has an attorney for a son (me) who is pissed off, and the political climate is not good for this kind of bullshit decision on their part right now, especially considering the fact that congress is presently debating health care reform as I write this article.

The insurance company probably thought that my dad was some old Hispanic man (looking at his surname) that they could screw around. Who knows? After talking to them and telling them exactly what I intended to do, they miraculously reinstate his insurance and everything is fine now.

What if this was you or you did not have a son who was an attorney? You would be screwed, blued, and tattooed as they boot your sick ass on the street. You would be dead! Geez, I wonder what will happen to me if god forbid I am in the same boat as my dad, my daughters are not attorneys like me.

The healthcare reform changes being debated right now would prevent insurance companies from denying coverage based upon pre-existing conditions, they would prevent insurance companies from terminating coverage because of an illness, and they would prevent insurance companies from placing a lifetime cap on your insurance. It is because of health insurance greed and excesses that these changes need to be implemented in the first place.

How many of you reading this are not worried about anything I stated above? If you are not worried, you are probably full of shit and are lying to yourself, or are too dumb to realize it. I do not think even a billionaire would want to risk a catastrophic illness. The cost of healthcare is so high now; million dollar plus bills are not out of the question.

If you are poor, middle class, or even moderately rich, a catastrophic illness could destroy you financially. Even if you have the best health care insurance. The present system is a free market free for all and it sucks the big one. Health care today is about profits, not about quality medical care for all. Hell, I don’t mind a man making a buck, but under the current system we are all being raped.

Imagine, you saved all of your money for years to buy a home, you have a nice car, your family is doing well, and then little Jenny gets sick, imagine having to lose everything and go bankrupt because of co-payments, no insurance, or your insurance company cutting you off. This is reality for millions of American’s right, it is not right, and it is bullshit.

It is time for healthcare reform.

We Need a Public Option

We need to have a public option just like Congress has. Yes Congress, the same folks that we vote into office to represent us. Why should we not get what they get? Are they better than the rest of us?

What is funny is that there are certain congressmen from a certain political party that all have great “lifetime” medical coverage for themselves and their family as a perk of office, and yet they are opposed to giving us universal healthcare; feature that! These people are so out of touch with the reality and exigency of the situation it is mind blowing. They might as well be from another planet. Their supporters support them along party line regardless of whether the healthcare reform will actually benefit them and their own family. This is truly bizarre to me.

It is kind of like not wearing a jacket in winter so that you will not freeze to death, because your enemy supports wearing the jacket; so you freeze to death! Makes no sense.

Now the public option is just that, an option. You can opt out and still use traditional insurance. Maybe a public option will make private insurance companies pull their collective heads out of the asses and compete on a more even playing field rather than monopolizing the market and making untold billions of dollars of profit each fiscal quarter, at our peril.

I have heard the “socialized medicine” sucks arguments, and the “in Canada they have to wait months” arguments, and they do concern me. Thank goodness we are not talking about a system like that. We are only talking about mandating that all people buy medical insurance, (just like we do with car insurance) and giving them an inexpensive public option if necessary.

Healthcare reform is about what is morally and ethically right. It is about what is right for the most powerful nation on earth. Persons from all political parties have been trying to get this done since Theodore Roosevelt was President to no avail.

The time for half assed excuses, political bullshit, and half measures is over. It is time for Health Care reform with a Public Option.

Call your congressman, write your congressman, this issue is a matter of national security, and could be a matter of life and death for you and your family if healthcare reform is not implemented.

I truly look forward to your comments on this subject, and debating the issue.

God bless you all.

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

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A Horrible 30 Motorcycle Pile Up Accident in Oregon Injures Many Bikers.

massive 30 motorcycle accident in Oregon

scene of massive 30 motorcycle accident in Oregon

Yes you heard that right. On Saturday there was a massive accident involving almost 30 motorcycles on the I-5 in the State of Oregon. I read about this accident just before I was about to ride my motorcycle to Lompoc, California for a Karate tournament.

The injured bikers were members of a motorcycle club who were riding together in standard two column (side by side) or “coffin” formation.

From the news reports that I have read and watched, it appears that one or two SUV’s in front of the motorcyclist either intentionally hit their brakes with no traffic in front of the SUV, or suddenly hit their brakes because of slowing traffic in front of them.

This caused a chain reaction pile up accident, or domino effect as the bikers apparently had no time to stop or get out of the way.

Many of the bikers were injured, and two were critically injured and were airlifted out.

From the news reports that I read, there were motorcycles scattered all over the freeway.

I have ridden in many packs of motorcycles, and what happened in this accident is everyone’s nightmare scenario. If the witness reports turn out to be true, and the SUV intentionally hit its brakes, then this would be attempted murder as far as I am concerned.

Some of you may be thinking that stuff like this does not happen, well it does. I had a client report to me today that a car load of what looked to him like street gang thugs, tried to hit him in the head with a baseball bat as he was riding his motorcycle in Los Angeles a few days ago. They were in a truck.

Hell, as I was riding yesterday, splitting lanes just before Santa Barbara going north on the 101, some asshole big rig truck driver must have saw me riding up, and purposefully moved his rig left to close off the center lane just so I could not pass. Had I been next to him, he would have taken me out. Other motorist saw what he did because they honked and one guy flipped off the big rig truck driver. It took me about 30 seconds before I could finally pass the guy. He was glaring at me as I looked up at his rig. What was this asshole thinking?

For some reason, some motorist do not think that bikers and motorcyclist have the right to ride on the roads, as everyone else, and they seem to get off on trying to take us out.

Now I do not know why the SUV’s braked in the case of the 30 motorcycle vehicle accident which is the subject of this article and op. ed. , but if it was on purpose to cause an accident, the drivers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

What can be done to ensure safety while riding your motorcycle in a pack like this? The main thing that can be done is to ensure that the Road Captain, or the one leading the ride, makes sure that there is enough distance between the pack, and traffic in front of the pack to stop in case the vehicles in front suddenly stop. I wrote an article on group riding which you can read by clicking here now. My main rule is that the lead riders should not under any circumstances tailgate cars or other vehicles in front of the pack. There needs to be ample room. I have been in packs where the Road Captain was tailgating, and I just sat there waiting for the car to hit their brakes. I hate to be in the middle of a pack, I would rather be in the front, or rear, preferably the rear!

In a tight pack, everyone must use hand signals so that the people in back know what is going on to prevent just this type of scenario.

I am not saying that this accident could have been prevented, especially if the SUV purposefully hit the brakes to cause this accident, but there are things that can be done to make rides safer for riders in a group.

If you want to read a story about this accident that does not seem to be biased about the club members in this accident you may click here now to read it and watch a video about the accident.

May god be with the injured bikers and motorcyclist who were involved in this accident, and their family members. Bikers and Motorcyclist are human beings and deserve respect just like anyone else.

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

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The Importance of Keeping Your Liability Insurance Even in Tough Economic Times.

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses the importance of maintaining liability insurance in tough economic timesMy office has been swamped with accident victims who are not at fault in motorcycle, car, truck and other motor vehicle accidents, yet had no liability insurance at the time of the accident.

In California if you drive a motor vehicle such as a car, motorcycle, truck, etc., without basic liability insurance, you are precluded from recovering general damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, etc. (California Proposition 213)

In other words if you lose a leg, or become a quadriplegic, you will only be entitled to out of pocket expenses only if you drive without liability insurance. To add insult to injury, you could lose your license, have your car impounded, and face penalties from the State.

If you cannot afford liability insurance, there is a special program through the State of California to obtain cheap liability insurance. If you cannot get that, flat out don’t drive. It is not worth it.

My law firm is one of the few law firms that will represent accident victims throughout the State of California who did not have liability insurance at the time of the accident. We do not condone it, but we believe that everyone deserves a fair shake. We will do everything we can for you, even if you were an uninsured victim of a motor vehicle accident.

I am recommending that if you cannot afford liability insurance, you should use public transportation until you can. It is illegal to drive in the State of California without minimum liability insurance to cover you in case you are fault in an accident.

The flip side of the coin is that all California motorist should carry uninsured motorist coverage in an amount equal to what they would want to cover themselves for in case they are injured, to protect yourself from a person who is at fault in an accident against you, yet has no liability insurance.

Motorcycle riders should carry a minimum of $500,000.00, five hundred thousand dollars in uninsured motorist coverage because of the usually catastrophic injuries that result from motorcycle accidents.

By California Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009

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When a Personal Injury Exacerbates a Pre-Existing Medical Condition; The “Egg Shell Skull” Theory.

California Personal Injury Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses egg shell skull theory.Many people live their lives with pre-existing medical conditions such as: Bad knees; degenerative conditions in the back, previous broken bones that have healed, etc.

Are you entitled to recover for damages in a personal injury accident when a pre-existing medical condition is exacerbated? Yes!

The Egg Shell Skull Theory

The Egg Shell Skull Theory goes something like this. Let’s say Humpty Dumpty, who has a skull as thin as an egg shell, is driving, and gets into a car accident that is not his fault. His skull being as thin as an egg shell shatters into a million pieces so that all of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men could not put his head together again. Can Humpty Dumpty recover for his injuries considering the fact that he had a skull as thin as an egg shell, which is not normal for human beings? Yes!

The law of personal injury in a nutshell (not to be confused with egg shell) makes persons who are negligent, liable for injuries that they cause that are reasonably foreseeable. The case law on the subject has concluded that it is reasonably foreseeable that persons who are injured may have pre-existing conditions, or deformities, and that a negligent person must take the injured person as they find them. Hence Humpty Dumpty is entitled to a recovery eventhough is head is as thin as an egg shell.

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Motorcycle Injury Accidents; Why do Bikers and Motorcycle Riders Not Want to Protect their Rights?; Thoughts from a California Biker Lawyer!

California Biker and Motorcycle Injury Accident Lawyer Attorney Norman Gregory FernandezAs a biker lawyer, I handle many motorcycle injury accident cases. I also give many free consultations for bikers and motorcyclist who are injured in motorcycle accident cases.

Bikers and Motorcycle Riders are a tough breed. This goes for the female bikers that I represent as well. In most cases, they call because they know that they have legal rights when they have been injured in a motorcycle accident, but they waffle as to whether they should retain a lawyer to get what they deserve.

I gave a consultation and signed up an interesting motorcycle accident case yesterday. The gal who was riding her motorcycle was hit by a negligent cager who swerved into her lane, and admitted that he did not see her. She has broken bones and is in severe pain.

Although she is a female, she exhibited the exact same macho biker personality that I see with all of my male clients. It made me think to myself; why do us bikers not want to protect our legal rights when we are injured in an accident due to no fault of our own?

Most bikers are just worried about getting their motorcycles fixed after an accident. I had one guy laying in a hospital bed with broken bones, and a punctured lung and all he cared about was his motorcycle. I see this time and time again. I can relate, I have been injured in a motorcycle accident and all I cared about was my bike.

Does this make sense? None of us can take our bikes to our grave, nor will the bike do us any good if we are too messed up to ride it anymore. We have to think about ourselves and our family in situations such as this. Why cheat ourselves and our family out of just compensation if a cager hits us?

I try to make things easy for bikers and motorcycle riders who are injured in motorcycle accident cases in the State of California. I send my investigator out to them so they do not have to hassle coming to my office, we assist in handling all of the property damage portions of the case for free without taking a percentage of property damage like some other personal injury lawyers do. Why would anyone sign up with a lawyer that would take a percentage of your property damage loss? The only job of our clients is to get better, and to cooperate with us in case we have to sue the people who caused the accident!

Even then some bikers and motorcyclist are apprehensive about retaining a lawyer. I am telling you now, don’t be apprehensive; pick up the damm phone and give me a call so I can help you! (My Firm handles motorcycle accident injury cases in California)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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