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!
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.
** 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.
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!
I am a Motorcycle Accident Attorney who handles motorcycle accident cases all over the State of California. Unlike all of the other lawyers out there advertising for motorcycle accident cases, I actually ride motorcycles.
I have a unique incite above all other lawyers who do not ride motorcycles because I am actually a biker like you.
I cannot tell you how sick and tired I am of getting a new motorcycle accident case, where my client has suffered catastrophic injuries, and the person at fault has minimum $15,000 coverage, no coverage, or coverage nowhere close to covering the damages in the accident.
Look let’s face it, we motorcycle riders are far more likely to be seriously injured or even killed in a motorcycle accident, then those who ride 4 wheel cars or trucks. Unlike the person in a car who has a metal cage around them, all we have is the helmet and clothes on our body to protect us. When we hit the ground at speed we tend to suffer more serious injuries.
It is smart and prudent for those of us who ride motorcycles to protect ourselves financially in case we are in an accident.
So you may ask how we protect ourselves financially in case we are in a motorcycle accident.
It is simple; we buy enough insurance to cover the risk of catastrophic injury in case we are in a motorcycle accident.
How do we buy the right insurance? It is simple, in California, most uninsured motorist coverage policies also cover under insured motorist as well. In other states or even California, you want to make sure you have uninsured motorist and under insured motorist coverage in an amount of no less than $500,000 dollars. I suggest that you have at least one million dollar uninsured motorist and under insured motorist coverage for motorcycle accidents.
Uninsured motorist coverage will cover you in case a person who is at fault in an accident has no insurance.
Under insured coverage, covers the difference between what the at fault driver insurance policy limits are and your coverage. It gives you the option of deciding how much coverage you will need.
I also suggest that you maintain high liability coverage limits as well (In case you are at fault) for your passenger in case you are in an accident where you are at fault.
Finally how do you cover yourself for an accident that you are at fault in? You can get comprehensive and collision coverage to cover your motorcycle, rental car coverage to cover your loss of use of your motorcycle, and medical payment coverage to cover your medical bills.
Most policies that I have seen only cover medical payments up to $10,000; however I am sure you can get more coverage depending upon how much you are willing to pay.
So there it is there are no more excuses for not enough insurance coverage to cover you in case you are in a motorcycle accident. Call your insurance agent and get yourself covered.
I do not want to find myself one day trying to explain to you why after you have suffered a million dollar injury, you will only get $15,000 in your motorcycle accident, because the person who is at fault only has minimal coverage, and no assets to pay you a million dollar judgment.
Besides, if you do get a million dollar judgment against an at fault driver, all they have do to is go bankrupt to get rid of the debt to you. The right insurance is almost always the only way to protect yourself financially in a motorcycle accident case.
If you or your family have been the victim of a motorcycle crash, 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.
As a California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer, I regularly deal with all sorts of different motorcycle accident cases that are caused by all sorts of different scenarios. As an actual rider of motorcycles, something that sets me apart from other lawyers who handle motorcycle accident cases, I know firsthand the risks and dangers of riding motorcycles.
I am always asked what do you have to watch out for the most while riding your motorcycle. I could write an entire book on this subject, however, I will do my best to answer the question in this short essay.
There really is no simple answer to this question. Motorcycle accidents are caused by other negligent motorists, lack of riding experience or knowledge, road conditions, loose debris, mechanical failure, excessive speed, tire failure, weather, animals, drugs and alcohol, even medical conditions of a rider.
All of these topics warrant a lengthy discussion.
However, in my practice and in my opinion, the single largest cause of motorcycle accidents is other motorists in 4 wheel or greater vehicles, we bikers and motorcyclist call these persons “cagers.”
The largest threats to a biker and motorcyclist from a 4 wheel motorist on his or her motorcycle are; (1) A motorist turning left in front of you, (2) A motorist cutting you off or hitting you while exiting a driveway or an ally, (3) A motorist cutting you off or hitting you while coming from a side street, (4) a motorist merging into you from the side while driving next to you or near you, (5) a motorist pulling out from the curb, and (6) getting rear ended.
Among all of the motorcycle accident cases that I handle, the threats articulated above are the main causes of motorcycle accident and motorcycle accident death cases that I handle.
There are some basic preventative measures you can take to minimize the chances of you becoming the next victim of a negligent motorist while out on your motorcycle.
Beyond taking a certified motorcycle safety course, and advanced course on your own motorcycle, not driving while intoxicated, wearing proper riding attire including a DOT certified full face or modular helmet, and making sure you have a proper motorcycle endorsement, there are a few tricks I have learned throughout the years that I will share with you.
(1) Don’t ride too fast for the conditions you are in.
Most motorcycle accident happen on city streets, and within a 5 mile radius from your home. If you are on let’s say a 4 lane street (2 in each direction), there are risks everywhere. Make sure you keep your speed down so that if you have to stop or slow down quickly, you can. Remember, the faster you ride, the longer distance it takes for you to slow down or stop.
(2) Cover your brakes at intersections or when you see a risk.
Covering your brake means to put your hand over the front brake lever to prepare to use your brake. You should cover your brake anytime you enter an intersection where you see a car stopped on either side of you, or a car waiting to make a left turn in the opposite direction. Why, because already having your hand on the brake lever will give you an extra second or two to hit the brakes and to potentially avoid and accident if one of the cars drives or turns in front of you.
I know it sounds like a hassle, but if you do it everytime, it will become engrained into your muscle memory and you won’t even have to think about it in time.
Under certain circumstances, you may even want to hit your brakes while covering, to heat the them up so that you can stop faster, and to signal the car behind you that you are slowing down. The car behind you cannot see you if you let off of the throttle and use your engine to slow you down.
(3) Look at the tops of the wheels of a threatening car.
When you see a car stopped as you approach a driveway, a side street, or in the oncoming left turn lane, look at its wheels, especially the tops of its wheels if you can see them. If you cannot see the tops, look at the tire rims or hubcaps. The tops of the wheels actually move much faster than the actual car does, and it will give you an indication of whether the car is moving towards you or not. Your eyes will be able to perceive the wheels moving way before your eyes will be able to perceive the entire car moving forward. Don’t ask me why, it is just the way we perceive things.
Obviously if you are riding along and you see a car stopped at a driveway or a side street, and you see its tires moving, you better assume that they do not see you, and take evasive action. The best evasive action is to brake or stop and to not swerve because when you swerve you have less motorcycle tire contact than if your tires are straight up and down. The less tire contact you have, the more likely that you will not be able to stop in time, and/or lose control of your motorcycle and lay it down.
If you see an oncoming car in the left hand turn lane, and its tires start to turn in your direction, assume that they are going to turn in front of you, and take evasive action.
(4) Assume that other motorist cannot see you when you ride.
No matter how bright your clothing, how many lights you have on your motorcycle, how visible you think you are, no matter what you do, for some inexplicable reason, we motorcycle riders seem to be invisible to motorist in cars, trucks, or other motor vehicles. I am not telling you to try do anything you can to be more visible to other motorist, on the contrary, you should do everything you can to try to be more conspicuous to other motorist.
There have actually been studies done to understand how we human beings perceive things, and it has been found that we humans actually and not consciously selectively filter out certain things that we see for various reasons.
It seems that many people riding in cars, trucks, and other vehicles for some reason, filter us motorcycle riders out. After an accident these people swear that they did not see us, when they should have. Whether it is unintentional or not, some motorist flat out do not see us.
When you ride you have to assume that other motorist do not see you and you need to ride accordingly. If you ride as though you are invisible to other motorist, you will actually be a much more cautious and better rider.
Assume that the car in the oncoming left hand turn lane is going to turn left in front of you Assume that if you are on a two lane road with cars parked on the side that a car will pop out from the parked position. Assume that the car you see waiting to turn out of a gas station or waiting to make a right turn at the intersection will turn in front of you.
I know it’s not fair, but as a motorcycle rider, we have to be much more diligent about our own safety when we ride our motorcycles. Yes you may have the right of way, but that is not going to stop the negligent cager from hitting you and doing some major damage to you.
Exercising caution and some restraint, will make your motorcycle riding experience much more pleasurable, and above all, will allow you to make it home after your ride instead of in the hospital.
SALINAS, California – A 6-year-old Salinas girl was killed after her father attempted to chase down a pickup truck on Highway 101 in North Salinas that he thought had his stolen motorcycle in the back, investigators said Thursday.
Just before 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Luis Armando Molina, 33, of Salinas, was driving a 2000 Chevrolet Suburban sport utility vehicle on Highway 101 when he spotted a motorcycle in the back of a pickup truck, investigators said.
Believing the motorcycle was his stolen bike, Luis Molina chased after the gray truck, California Highway Patrol Officer Robert Lehman said. Luis Molina’s wife, three daughters aged 2, 5, and 6, and 10-year-old son were all riding in the SUV.
Dispatchers received 911 calls from motorists reporting two vehicles speeding recklessly on northbound Highway 101, Lehman said.
To catch up with the speeding truck, Luis Molina attempted to pass slower traffic by driving more than 60 miles-per-hour on the northbound shoulder, the CHP said.
He lost control and the SUV flipped near the Laurel Drive exit.
Xitlali Molina, 6, was thrown from the SUV.
Emergency responders who were first on the scene whisked the 6-year-old to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, Monterey Sheriff Detective Kevin Gardepie said.
Despite surgeons’ attempts to save her, Xitlali Molina’s injuries proved lethal. The 6-year-old was pronounced dead at 5:07 p.m. in the emergency room, Gardepie said.
At the crash scene, a rumpled pink child car seat lay next to the wrecked black SUV Wednesday evening.
Xitlali Molina had been riding in the back seat of her father’s SUV, the CHP said.
Investigators are focusing on determining if she was properly buckled in a child restraining seat before the collision, Lehman said.
Her 2-year-old and 5-year-old sisters were both properly buckled in child safety seats, and her older brother and parents had seat belts on, Lehman said. California law requires all children younger than 6, or weighing less than 60 pounds, to be secured in a child safety car seat.
Immediately after the crash, all lanes on Highway 101 northbound in North Salinas were shut down during the evening rush hour commute and traffic snarled for miles. The lanes were closed so that a CalStar ambulance helicopter could land on the highway.
The helicopter airlifted the driver’s wife, Maria Molina, 32, of Salinas, to a Bay Area trauma center to be treated for moderate injuries.
Luis Molina and his other three children escaped the crash with minor injuries.
The pickup truck driver fled the scene. On Thursday afternoon, CHP officers were still searching for the driver and the gray Chevrolet pickup truck with tinted windows.
Xitali Molina would still be alive playing with her favorite princess dollhouse and riding her pink scooter if her father had not chased the truck, neighbors said.
“It’s just sad. Especially if it’s a little girl and she has her whole future ahead of her,” neighbor Nick Mederos said Thursday. “One tragic incident and it’s all over.”
The father could be charged with reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter for the fatal crash. The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office will make that decision once the CHP concludes their investigation.
Luis Molina has a criminal history, including five convictions for driving with a suspended license. He has also been arrested for past reckless driving and burglary.
Chasing another vehicle on the highway, no matter what the reason, is not a smart course of action, Lehman said.
“The best thing to do is be a good witness. What’s most helpful to us is a license plate number, we can do a lot with that,” Lehman said. 911 dispatchers will alert nearby officers so that trained emergency officials can track down and pullover the suspected vehicle safely.
I got a call today from my Brother Slider who went down today on his motorcycle.
It seems that a woman who was not paying attention, decided to make a right turn directly in front of my brother who had no chance to stop or get out of the way. He then laid his bike down and slammed into the car that turned in front of him.
Although I do many motorcycle accident cases every week, this one hit me real hard. Hell, I just rode with Slider and his old lady this past weekend up to Angeles Crest. Slider is my brother, and he is a friend.
As usual, when Slider called me today, he acted cool as if nothing was wrong. He told me about someone who had a motorcycle accident, and asked me if I could help. I said of course brother. He then told me it was him that went down. I could not believe it.
Here my brother is sitting in the E.R. at a major hospital with a broken and torn knee, road rash, and in major pain, and here he is talking as though everything was normal.
You have to know Slider to understand his coolness even while he is in extreme pain.
I went to the ER with a couple of brothers on Thursday evening to see Slider and his old lady. He is in pain, but I think he will live.
I ride with a lot of hardcore bikers, and Slider is no different, however, due to my experience in dealing with these types of cases, I know once Slider gets past the physical issues, he will have to get past the mental issues as well. Most riders that I know who have gone down, end up being much more careful and cautious riders as a result.
God please be with my brother Slider and his old lady and give him a speedy recovery.
A California Highway Patrol officer was hospitalized with major injuries Tuesday afternoon after he was knocked off his motorcycle by another driver during an attempted traffic stop on the 134 Freeway, according to a CHP traffic report.
Officer J.D Fields, 59, an Altadena resident, suffered a broken femur and wrist after the accident, which occurred around 1:40 p.m. near the intersection of the 134 and 2 freeways in Glendale.
Fields had seen a vehicle pulled over on the side of the road and moved into the right lane, put on his lights, and slowed down to approach the car.
A woman driving a 2010 Nissan vehicle was behind him and failed to see him slow down, according to the report. She veered quickly out of the lane and then “for unknown reasons,” moved back into the right lane and hit Fields’ motorcycle, the report states.
Fields was thrown from the motorcycle and onto the road. He was transported to the Huntington Hospital shortly after the accident.
The cause of the collision is still under investigation, according to the report.
This crash brings to mind a safety feature for motorcycles that I think should be implemented; a brake light that triggers with sudden deceleration of a motorcycle.
Let me explain. We, who ride motorcycles, tend to downshift to decrease our speed on most if not all occasions, before we hit the brakes.
If a car traveling fast behind us, does not see brake lights when we downshift to slow down, they do not know we are slowing down, and they rear end us.
I think that is exactly what happened in this rear ender of Officer Fields.
I have been on rides and seen motorcycle on motorcycle rear end collisions due to the same reason.
If there was a sudden decoration device on our motorcycles that triggered the brake light, I think we could save many a biker and motorcyclist lives.
For you inventers out there, maybe you can come up with something. Maybe a device like this should be mandatory for motorcycles.
It would appear that Officer Fields in the accident mentioned above, not only has a Workers Compensation case against the California Highway Patrol, and a separate Personal Injury case against the woman who hit him from behind.
The law in California is that a person driving behind another person, has a duty to maintain a safe distance from the car or motorcycle in front of them, so they can stop in case the vehicle in front of them stops. It appears that the woman is at fault in this case.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of California, call the real California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.
A motorcyclist hit three vehicles Thursday morning in a major crash on Highway 74 south of Palm Desert, stated officers from the California Highway Patrol.
The motorcyclist sideswiped a BMW sport utility vehicle that was headed in the opposite direction, while riding around a curve, said the CHP at the scene.
The motorcycle then collided with a GMC pickup and a Mini Cooper.
The motorcycle and Mini Cooper both caught fire.
The 78-year-old man who was riding the motorcycle, was thrown from his motorcycle and suffered major injuries, He was airlifted to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.
No other injuries were reported, officials said. There was no immediate word on any arrests or citations at the scene.
The crash, reported to the highway patrol just before 10 a.m., blocked both sides of the highway, and officials stopped southbound traffic near the southern edge of Palm Desert.
San Mateo – California
A motorcyclist was killed in a crash on northbound U.S. Highway 101 in San Mateo early this morning, a California Highway Patrol officer said.
The motorcyclist was involved in the second of two collisions that occurred within minutes of each other just south of Dore Avenue, CHP Officer Curtis Glace said.
In the first crash, reported at 5:12 a.m., the driver of a silver Toyota Corolla apparently fell asleep at the wheel and veered left, crashing into the center divider, Glace said.
A short time later, a second collision occurred that involved the motorcyclist, a Honda CR-V and possibly a big-rig, Glace said.
The motorcyclist was ejected from his bike and died at the scene, Glace said.
The driver of the Toyota was taken to a hospital as a precaution, he said. No one else was injured.
It is not yet clear how the second accident happened, but Glace said the motorists involved might have lost control while trying to avoid the first crash.
Witnesses told the CHP that a big-rig was involved in the second crash, but that driver did not stop at the scene, Glace said.
“We’re not sure if the big-rig knows they’re involved,” he said.
Fairfield – California
A 24-year-old man died Monday night of injuries he suffered in a motorcycle accident in Fairfield on Saturday, a Sacramento County coroner’s office spokeswoman said this morning.
Cameron Arana, who lived at Travis Air Force Base, died at 11:16 p.m. at the University of California Davis Medical Center, according to Mary Her, a senior office assistant at the coroner’s office.
Arana was speeding north on Peabody Road on his motorcycle when he crashed near Waterworks Lane around 1:10 a.m., Fairfield police Sgt. Kevin Carella said.
He might have been racing a silver Acura before he lost control of his motorcycle and struck a signpost, Carella said. The other vehicle did not stop.
Arana was taken to Vaca Valley Medical Center in Vacaville and then transferred by helicopter to the UC Davis Medical Center, Carella said.
Chula Vista – California
A 63-year-old Chula Vista man died Thursday after he sustained critical injuries in a motorcycle crash in the 8900 block of Campo Road.
The man, who has yet to be identified pending next-of-kin notification, was traveling westbound on Campo Road into Casa de Oro when he struck a Jeep Grand Cherokee that was attempting to turn left into a driveway at 8944 Campo Rd., according to CHP officer Brian Pennings.
Pennings said that the rider applied his breaks and laid down the 2009 Kawasaki Concourse motorcycle on its side before sliding into the right rear tire of the Jeep, which was being driven by Wendy Antisdel, 48, of Spring Valley.
Campo Road was closed in both directions while emergency medical personnel attended to the rider, and law enforcement officers investigated the scene. He was transferred to a local hospital, where he eventually succumbed to his injuries and died.
Antisdel was not injured. There is no evidence at this time that alcohol was a factor in the crash, according to Pennings.
Bakersfield – California
A motorist died Wednesday evening after his motorcycle collided with an SUV.
The person’s name and age had not been released as of Thursday morning.
The SUV was traveling southbound on Sequoia Drive approaching Belle Avenue at 5:18 p.m., according to a California Highway Patrol news release. The motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed southbound on Sequoia Drive and was behind the SUV.
The driver of the motorcycle tried to pass the SUV on its left as the SUV began a left turn onto Belle Avenue, the news release said. The motorcycle struck the left side of the SUV and the driver was thrown from the motorcycle.
The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at Kern Medical Center about a half hour after the crash.
I send my heartfelt prayers and condolences to the family and friends of all of the victims in all of the motorcycle accidents that have occurred this week throughout the State of California.
With the warm weather expected this weekend here in California, I know that all of the bikers and motorcyclist will be out riding their motorcycles.
Many of you may not know that you can recover damages if a dangerous or defective road causes you to crash in your vehicle.
I have dealt with all sorts of defective and dangerous road cases. Some cases involve holes, bumps, debris, rocks, gravel, poorly maintained roads, defectively designed roads, curves, intersections, signals, guard rails, etc.
Some of these types of cases are utterly devastating to the victims.
I recently saw a TV news special where it was flat out stated that many defective roads are known about, but are not being repaired due to budget deficits related to the recession.
The recession and the economy do not excuse anyone from maintaining a dangerous or defective road.
If you are on a public road in California, and the road caused you to crash and become injured, you will need to file a governmental claim with the appropriate governmental agency within 6 months from the day you had your accident.
If the governmental entity rejects your claim within 45 days of receipt of claim, you have 6 months from the date of the rejection to file a lawsuit against the governmental entity.
If they do not reject the claim, you have 2 years to sue from the date of the accident.
If you are on a private road on private property, you have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
Defective and Dangerous road cases are very complex to such an extent that many personal injury attorneys do not do these types of cases.
I handle these types of cases. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a dangerous or defective road, give me a call for a free consultation 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529, ext. 1, or you may submit your case to us through the blog by clicking here.
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.
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.