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.
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!
On March 30, 2013, Alvaro Horacio Arroyo, was enjoying a day with his family.
He is pictured here on the upper left with his mother just 20 minutes before he was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused due to a negligent elderly person who made a left turn in front of him.
He was the jovial father of four sons, Alvaro – age 13, Alessandro – age 9, Ali – age 7, and Alden – age 2.
He was a loving husband to a blind and disabled wife Rosa.
He was a loving brother to Marisa, Nancy, Hector, Elmer, and Jesse.
He was a loving son to mother Agripina.
Alvaro was known as a kind and jovial person; the kind of person who made friends with everyone. He was the kind of person who made everyone laugh, and who everyone wanted to be around.
He was a role model to his children, and never balked at lending a helping hand to anyone that needed it, most of all his family.
On March 30, 2013, Alvaro decided to take his niece Bianca, for a ride around the block on his 2012, Yamaha YZF R6 motorcycle.
Bianca happened to be the primary caregiver for Alvaro’s disabled wife Rosa, and is herself also married with kids.
On that fateful day on March 30, 2013 as Alvaro and Bianca went for a short ride around the block where they lived, a car driven by a careless and negligent elderly person turned left directly in front of them.
Having no time to react or maneuver or stop, they hit the vehicle.
Alvaro suffered massive head trauma and died of his injuries on April 5, 2013.
Bianca suffered severe injuries to her right leg, and the right side of her face which required multiple surgeries to both.
Her recovery will be slow and painful and she will need much more medical treatment and therapy to recover.
Rosa and Bianca now both need help living day to day, as well as their children.
The children of Alvaro and Bianca are suffering untold emotional distress, and at their young age do not really full comprehend the tragedy that has happened to the family simply because a negligent driver was not paying attention to what they were doing while driving.
Alvaro was a registered organ and tissue donor. With his wife’s approval, Alvaro’s organs were donated in an attempt to save other people’s lives. One Legacy he leaves is that he has helped other people to live by donating his organs.
This tragedy has left Alvaro’s family with no money to live.
They are in extreme need of help. The family is accepting donations through their PayPal account at:
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.
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.
I 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
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™ 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:
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.
A common issue that is brought to my attention over and over again to such an extent that it is almost routine is the following scenario;
A person sells a car to another person, and that person gets into a car accident, commits a crime, or incurs a massive amount of parking tickets, before the person who sold the car notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the sale or giveaway, or before the new owner registers the car in their name, and they are now getting sued, or having law or parking enforcement coming after them as though they were the responsible party.
I literally get at least 5 calls a week with this exact same scenario.
In the State of California you MUST notify the DMV within 5 days when you sale or transfer ownership of your vehicle.
I am not going to discuss what you need to do if you screwed up and are in this nightmare scenario because it is situation specific.
What I will tell you is this; in the State of California, and I assume other States as well, there is an attachment sheet that is connected to your Certificate of Vehicle Title (Pink Slip) that is to be torn off only upon selling or giving away the car, filled out, and sent to the DMV to notify them that you have sold or given away your car.
The simple act of filling out this form and sending it to the DMV can and will save you a lot of time, hassle, and potentially tens of thousands of dollars.
This is not rocket science folks. You have to assume the person that you are selling or giving the vehicle to may not change the title in their name, thus leaving you on the hook.
Another thing I recommend is creating a bill of sale, or a giveaway agreement that the new owner signs upon receiving the car and the pink slip, which will give you further proof that you sold or gave away your vehicle.
Don’t be a fool, when you sale or change ownership of your vehicle, notify the DMV or it could cost you big time.
If you or your family have been the victim of a truck crash, car crash, or other motor vehicle accident anywhere in California call us for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or go to http://www.thepersonalinjury.com.
Riding on a motorcycle with a friend is one of the most fun things you can do. It could be a much more enjoyable experience if the passenger understands and follows quick and easy rules. To become the kind of passenger riders wish to ride with, try to remember the advice given below:
Wear clothing that will give you some protection in the unlikely event of crash or accident. At the minimum, you should wear the following to safeguard yourself:
Footwear that protects your feet and your ankles (hiking boots are excellent).
Durable pants–leather is most beneficial; if you don’t have or cannot get leather, you will need to get by with jeans, work pants, or something like that. An abrasion resistant jacket that zips or buttons in close proximity to the neck (again, leather is advisable should you have it; a nylon flight jacket or parka are satisfactory, and a Levis-type jacket will do in a pinch).
Eye protection–ideally, the helmet you borrow or own needs to have a face shield for comfort in addition to eye and face protection. If it does not, goggles are excellent, and glasses (dark or prescription) will do.
It’s also wise to make an effort to dress appropriately for any weather.
If you have not ridden as a motorcycle passenger very much, you probably do not realize how hot or how cold it can be on a motorcycle ride. If it is hot, it will feel a lot hotter when you are riding; when it is cold, it will feel a lot colder when you are riding. Ask the rider for assistance or tips on dressing for any anticipated weather conditions. When choosing comfortable attire, try not to compromise your minimum level of protection as described above.
On hot sunny days, one trick would be to wear an extra-large white shirt over your jacket. It’s going to reflect a great deal of heat and help keep you cool. (This is not one of my tips, but it is recommended by other riders) In general, it really is easier to dress safely and comfortably for just a cool day compared to a hot one. Lastly, don’t wear anything loose and floppy (like a long scarf or bell bottom pants) which could get caught in the rear wheel, sprockets, drive chain or belt, or any other moving area of the motorcycle. You could injure yourself, and might cause an accident.
Wear a securely fastened helmet which fits properly. Most riders have extra helmets and will also be glad to loan you one.
A helmet should be a snug fit; it shouldn’t be possible to twist it around on your head. The strap should be pulled as tight as you can get it without choking yourself out. You can try for fit, and also to find out if the strap is tight, by holding the chin bar of your full face helmet, or the side edge of an open face helmet, directly over your forehead, and attempt to pull the helmet backwards off top of your head. In the event the helmet ends up on the back of your head, tighten the strap or get a helmet which fits.
Under no circumstances should you ride with a helmet that will slip easily over your head with the strap on. The rider can instruct you on the best way to put on your helmet properly. If you ride often, you will eventually want to buy your own personal helmet. Just about any motorcycle shop will help you choose a suitable helmet which fits you correctly.
Before you decide to attempt to get onto the motorcycle, make sure that the passenger foot pegs are down. (They fold when not being used, and it is easy for the rider to forget to put them down for you.) If you do not know where the foot pegs are, have the rider point them out to you.
Also, beware of the exhaust pipes. Make sure you know where they are, and do not let your leg or any area of your body touch them when you get on or off of the motorcycle. They can and will give you a severe burn all the way through the heaviest pants if you touch them with your legs or another part of your body.
It is actually customary to get on or off the motorcycle from the left side. Always wait for the rider to inform you its okay to mount or dismount. Should you begin to clamber on (or off) when the rider does not expect it, the sudden motion of the motorcycle can and may be disconcerting to the rider. You might even pull the motorcycle over.
The best way to get on a motorcycle and the method almost all passengers should use is to extend your right leg over the rider’s portion of the seat, and then slide gently up onto the passenger part of the seat. Put your feet on the foot pegs and that’s it.
If you aren’t able to do that because you are a small person or perhaps a child, this method may work: put your left foot on the left passenger foot peg, lean your whole body all the way over the motorcycle, and gently step-up until you can swing your right leg over the seat and ease yourself down. You need to keep yourself low and lean over the center of the motorcycle as much as possible when you jump on, to help the rider keep the motorcycle balanced. The extra weight of your body, if it’s too far out of line with the weight of the motorcycle, could pull the bike over.
A person reasonably in close proximity to a normal size (man or woman) should never need to use this method to mount a motorcycle, and a heavy person should not attempt it under any circumstances.
It’s all a matter of balance; the rider may not be sufficiently strong enough to hold a large motorcycle upright should you cause it to get out of balance.
To dismount, just reverse the process you utilized to jump on. After some practice, getting on and off will become second nature.
Once you are on the motorcycle, plant your feet on the passenger foot pegs and keep them there under all circumstances. You do not want to bring your foot into contact with the ground, rear wheel, drive chain, belt, or the hot muffler.
Never make an attempt to assist the rider to hold the bike upright when it’s stopped by putting your foot down. Keep the feet safe by keeping them on the foot pegs at all times.
Place your hands on the rider’s hips. This is the best way to keep hold of the rider, and it keeps you in touch with the rider’s movements. Keep your weight centered over the motorcycle. Try not to move around any more than is necessary, particularly when the motorcycle is stopped, because it affects the balance of the motorcycle.
Motorcycles turn by leaning (banking like an airplane), not by steering like a car. So don’t be alarmed when the motorcycle leans over to go around a corner.
To set yourself into the right position perfectly for any turn, just look over the rider’s shoulder towards the turn. When the motorcycle is turning right, look over the rider’s right shoulder; when it is turning left, look over the rider’s left shoulder. You don’t have to do anything else; looking naturally over the rider’s inside shoulder will automatically put your weight exactly where it belongs in a turn. Keep your body in line with the rider’s body to prevent the motorcycle from leaning greater than the rider intends. (When going straight, it does not matter which shoulder you gaze over.)
Never lean beyond a turn; you could cause a crash that way.
When the rider applies the brakes, it creates a forward weight transfer on the motorcycle. In the event the rider is forced to brake hard, as in an emergency, this forward weight transfer will be very apparent to you; you’ll be forced up against the rider, and you will begin to slide forward on the seat.
Don’t panic. Try to keep back, off of the rider. Resist sliding forward by pressing your feet up against the foot pegs; make use of your thigh muscles to manage your position on the seat. Should you slide forward, you may force the rider forward, decreasing the rider’s control of the motorcycle. Additionally, it moves the weight distribution of the motorcycle forward, reducing the weight on the rear tire and therefore the traction of the rear tire, which makes it much more likely that the back tire will begin to skid. Obviously, none of this is desirable. Try to keep yourself from jamming up into the rider by using your foot pegs and your thighs.
You will be an active participant in the ride by staying alert and being prepared. Help the rider search for potential danger, and stay prepared to hang on and hold yourself back in the event you anticipate a need for sudden braking.
Likewise, in the event the rider is forced to swerve the motorcycle in order to avoid a hazard in the road, you have to be prepared for a sudden lean and change of direction.
It’s also possible to assist the rider by scanning for animals that may run into the street. Dogs and deer are particularly unpredictable, and you might see a deer on a hillside above the road, or perhaps a dog in somebody’s yard, before the rider. (After all, the rider is concentrating primarily on the street.)
In the event you spot a hazard of any type that you think the rider is unaware of, rap the rider on the appropriate shoulder, and point at the hazard in a manner that brings it to the rider’s attention.
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.
Motorcycle accidents can be tragic as well as upsetting events.
The stats speak for themselves. Serious bodily harm as well as death is often the result of a motorcycle accident. Of the actual motorcycle accidents that do occur, roughly one out of every five motorcycle riders is actually fortunate enough to come away from the experience with just minimal bumps, bruises and abrasions. The lack of a protective buffer around the biker and the road inevitably leaves bikers in a very vulnerable situation. Generally there tend to be many common causes of motorcycle accidents, of which the most frequent, and clearly the predominant cause, is definitely a consequence of other motor vehicle drivers to some extent not seeing and recognizing motorcycles within dense traffic.
A number of reports offer support to this particular claim because they advise that virtually 66 % of almost all accidents involving a motorcycle and another car or truck are a direct end result of the motorist in a vehicle turning into the lane of the motorcycle and violating the motorcyclist’s right of way. It has likewise been advised that motorcyclists are 27 times more prone to die in a collision than are people in the other car or truck and they are also five times more prone to sustain an injury. Anyone can see then, the disastrous effects of car-motorcycle accidents.
Additional causative factors
Generally there tend to be a wealth of additional factors behind motorcycle accidents that occur quite frequently. One in particular can be motorcyclists who are inexperienced and simply do not know the constraints of their machine These brand-new riders push their motorcycles to the limit, which, in many cases, far exceeds the speed limit. This brings about another major reason for motorcycle accidents. Needless to say, speeding is not only restricted to new and young motorcycle riders, as often older and more experienced motorcycle riders have been also guilty of operating their motorcycles past the speed limit. Many motorcyclists really like the feel of the wind blowing through their hair, the freedom associated with the open road and the thrill associated with riding fast just inches from the road however,, traveling over the speed limit can result in dire consequences. A quick slip of the handlebars or an unforeseen obstacle ahead of the motorcycle can easily send the motorcycle reeling out of control. Therefore, speeding can be extremely dangerous and it’s also frequently the reason for many motorcycle accidents.
An additional common cause of motorcycle accidents can be a consequence of the motorcyclist’s carelessness. In cases where the motorcycle accident does not include another car, truck, or vehicle, the failure of the motorcycle rider to reduce speed when making a turn or simply under-turning as well as over braking in the turn are causes of motorcycle accidentrs in some instances. There can to be many various other things that may cause physical harm to the motorcycle rider after the initial motorcycle accident. Fuel leakage and spills in the post-crash phase can introduce a fire hazard and are common within approximately 60 % of all accidents sites.
Be careful out there when riding your motorcycle.
Riding within 5 miles per hour of the speed limit and wearing proper protection as well as a good helmet can make your ride more enjoyable, and increase your odds of survival in the event you are in an 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.
It has been estimated that approximately 90% of all motorcycle riders are weekend riders only. That is, they only ride their motorcycles on Saturday or Sunday only.
I am not sure how true this statistic is, because I sure see a lot of guys and gals riding their motorcycles to and from work during the week.
Hell, in some cities like San Francisco, there are hundreds of motorcycles and small scooters parked in downtown during working hours.
If the statistics are true that most people who ride motorcycles are weekend warriors, then that is a troubling statistic for me; here is why. The art of riding a motorcycle is in fact an art. The more you ride your motorcycle, the better you get at being a motorcycle rider.
Experienced riders, who take time away from riding their motorcycles, necessarily take time to become proficient riders again, and the only way to become proficient is to spend time back in the saddle.
Right now it is winter time and many motorcycle riders cannot ride their motorcycles because of the weather. They too will need to take it easy when they get back on their motorcycles when the weather breaks.
Therefore weekend warriors or people that have taken some time away from riding need to take it real easy when they get back on their motorcycles so that they can get used to riding again, even if they have taken 5 days off from riding their motorcycles in between weekends.
Another issue weekend warrior’s face is Sunday drivers; even Saturday drivers are Sunday drivers. What is a Sunday Driver? A Sunday driver is a driver of some kind of cage such as a car, truck, SUV, etc., that rides around on the weekends with their family in the vehicle, distracted by a family outing, and not paying attention for people riding motorcycles.
Therefore weekend warriors more than most motorcycle riders, need to take it real easy on their motorcycles. Do not speed, pay attention for cagers about to turn in front of you, and realize that your riding skills take time to come back after a 5 day absence from riding.
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.
Well with Palm Springs American Heat I have finally had enough with what I think is a disgusting advertising practice by what in my opinion are bottom feeder personal injury lawyers.
In Palm Springs a certain so-called Biker Lawyer group had some scantily clad young girls aggressively coming up to people who were walking by saying that they worked for a lawyer who actually rides, as they tried to force feed passerby’s their business cards, and cheap novelties and trinkets.
I told the girls who came up to me, “Sorry, I am a Biker Lawyer who actually rides.” They kind of had a shocked look on their faces.
You see, I actually ride to many motorcycle events all over the nation. This year was no different.
All of a sudden there are a certain group of the same personal injury lawyers showing up at events calling themselves “Biker Lawyer” and “Lawyers that ride” at motorcycle events.
To me a Biker Lawyer and a Lawyer that rides, is someone like me who is a lawyer and who also is a biker that rides motorcyles. It is a real simple concept, not some bullshit marketing slogan!
I think that I may have been the first Biker Lawyer to coin that term back in 1997 or so, because I am a lawyer who really rides. Once I started putting it out there on my website and on my blog, all of a sudden I saw other lawyers claiming the same thing.
Well now all of a sudden there are groups of lawyers showing up at motorcycle events all claiming to be “lawyers that really ride.”
It is not that I do not mind competition, hell I think it would be great to find a group of lawyers that actually ride motorcycles, hell I would like to go ride with them and make some new friends.
But what I really think is going on is a marketing gimmick aimed at bikers, and the way I see it, showing up at a motorcycle rally with a booth telling people if they crash their motorcycles, to call them, is disgusting and despicable to me.
In two words it is “Bad Karma.”
At the Las Vegas biker rally a few weeks ago, as we were walking by one of these booths, some guy sitting on his ass in the booth looked at my wife’s hat and said in a smart ass way, “who is the biker lawyer?” (The hat said Biker Lawyer, www.bikerlawyer.net on it) I told him I was. I also told him that I don’t sit at booths at motorcycle rallies; I actually ride to the rallies.
He had a stunned look on his face because I was actually in my biker garb because; yes I was riding, unlike him.
Curious about what it actually takes to be a Biker Lawyer with one of these organizations that has started up in the last couple of years I believe; I contacted one who I think was based in Arizona if I am not mistaken. They sent me a bunch of literature. At the time I contacted them, they had some firm based in San Diego as their only California firm.
In researching them, I saw no indication whatsoever that anyone from the firm listed for California at the time rode motorcycles. Matter of fact, I never even heard of them! Now it could be that someone from that firm actually rode motorcycles, it all seemed fishy to me.
Basically, I was told that if you pay at the time I contacted them, approximately 10k or so yearly fee to the organization I am referring to, you can be a Biker Lawyer with their group.
They would advertise for cases for you, and send you the cases in your territory. Very interesting!
Now the casual person looking at this group would think that it is all the same organization. Well it is not. It is a marketing vehicle that attorneys pay to be a part of.
Nowhere on the application did it ask if you actually ride motorcycles. Further, they hold themselves out to be Lawyers that really ride.
I think this practice is very misleading. I think consumers and bikers should be notified that lawyers pay a fee to be a part of this organization, and I think each of their lawyers should actually ride if they are going to advertise that they are lawyers who ride!
My next question is that most States require you to be licensed in that particular State to practice law in that State. You can apply to represent an individual in Court on a one or two time basis if you are an out of state lawyer, however, you cannot do it all the time.
So I wondered, how do the now 3-5 groups of lawyers that show up at all of the biker rallies, and that advertise in all of the biker rags, actually practice law in all 50 states legally.
The answer is that they cannot. It appears to me that these groups of lawyers that are advertising nationwide either have some kind of fee splitting deal going on with lawyers in the different States so the main lawyer will advertise and get cases for them, and then they will share the attorneys fee with the guy in the State actually doing the case, or they have some kind of marketing scam going on, where the attorney pays a fee like the organization I contacted, and the main attorney will advertise, and then send cases to the lawyers who are paying their franchise fee.
I think this entire practice is misleading, and despicable.
I saw American Chopper last night where even another group that I have never heard of before has popped up. It appears to me to be another marketing setup where they have created a website to target nationwide the “niche” market of motorcycle riders.
After digging deep into their website, it looks like the main law firm sponsoring their “Biker law” marketing campaign is based in Pennsylvania, and they too are claiming that they are lawyers that ride. I have no clue how this site or law firm work, but again, unless they have attorneys licensed in each state, they too must have some kind of fee splitting or franchise type of deal going on.
They do not limit themselves to just one State on their website.
On the TV show, they had a guy who they represented to be an attorney come in and order a custom bike to honor the firefighters or something to that affect. Somewhere it stated that he was the “lead counsel” or “managing counsel” of the biker law end of the firm. What the hell does that mean?
Anyway, at the end of the show there were a bunch of people in t-shirts with the biker law website address on it.
I almost threw up. You got to admit these people are marketing geniuses. They get an hour of TV advertising for what looks to be new operation, and all they had to do is pay (probably overpay) for a custom chopper from Orange County Choppers.
In the end there sits us real bikers. What are we supposed to believe is true?
First, I think that no lawyer should be going to motorcycle events and advertising for motorcycle accident cases. People are at the events to have fun, not to have the fact that they could crash shoved down their throats by a bunch of marketing hacks.
Second, I think that all of these firms should be forced to disclose the truth about their organizations, i.e., whether they are a fee splitting shop, whether lawyers pay them to have cases sent to them, and who in fact is the real biker lawyer in their organization.
I personally know at least two major attorneys in the so-called biker lawyer nationwide marketing scam, and neither of them rides motorcycles. One of them even stated in the Los Angeles Times in an article that he does not ride; because he wants to see his grandkids grow up. The article featured one of their new associates who had just got a Sportser, who had ridden for less than 6 months. (This guy has since left and opened his own bike lawyer shop)
So here I sit a humble real California Biker Lawyer who actually rides motorcycles. I am the friggen real deal. I am not playing some marketing scam on my clients. They know what they are getting when they retain me.
If you are in California and want the real deal call me; 800-816-1529 x.1.
For the rest of you there is a saying; Caveat Emptor, which is Latin for let the buyer beware.
Finally, you can have a say so if you also don’t like these bottom feeders showing up at our motorcycle rallies, simply don’t call them if you have an accident.
With a little research you can find someone like me who actually ride’s and is not part of some marketing operation geared towards bikers!
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.
I 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.
Just 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.
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.
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.
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.