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!
Articles related to Personal Injury Law, such as motorcycle accidents, car accidents, other motor vehicle accidents, Premises Liability, slip and fall / trip and fall, excessive use of force, assault and battery, and other torts
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.
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.
There are few things I enjoy in life more than jumping on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra and riding my motorcycle on the open road, especially with my brothers.
To be frank, it really is hard for me to express how much I enjoy riding motorcycles. The good thing is that I really do not have to explain it to those of you who already ride motorcycles, because you already know what I am talking about.
One of the reasons I bring this subject up is that last Friday night, I was on my home from a gathering of motorcycle club brothers in Tehachapi, California, when I stopped in Palmdale, California for some gas.
A fat guy dressed in what appeared to me to be medical scrubs of the type that doctors and nurses wear at a hospital, made it a point to walk up to me as I was gassing up my motorcycle to say “You really should not ride motorcycles around here because of all of the illegal aliens and unlicensed drivers.”
I looked at the guy who thought he was giving me genuine advice that would make me stop riding motorcycles after 40 some years, and said “dude, life in general is dangerous, I am not going to live my life here in America, worried about getting hit by an illegal alien or an unlicensed driver. Further, life itself is a fatal illness.”
The guy gave me a puzzled look and walked away.
This guy must be out of his fucking mind thinking that I would quit riding because I was afraid of illegal aliens and unlicensed drivers.
Riding motorcycles is one of the important pleasures that I have in my life.
This guy was not giving advice to a novice. I have literally handled many motorcycle accident cases all over the State of California. Everytime I handle such a case, I think about “what if that were to happen to me.” Yes it kind of freaks you out, but then again, flu season is coming up, am I supposed to hide in my estate afraid of getting swine flu? Hell no.
There is one unalienable fact of life; those who are alive today, will someday die. You cannot live your in fear of what could happen, all you can do is just live.
I am not cavalier about riding motorcycles. I am about as safe of a rider that there is out there, although I could improve my riding attire somewhat. I am thinking about adding an armored riding suit to my repertoire.
This weekend I will be on my new motorcycle. I cannot wait to test out the intercom and the CB that came standard on my Ultra. I have installed the speakers and mic inside Liz’s helmet and mine.
I hope we all have a safe riding weekend everyone; keep both wheels on the road.
Also just a reminder, My 02 Harley Davidson Electra Glide is still for sale. She is sitting in my garage waiting for you to come pick her up. You can check it out here at http://www.galaxystorm.com/bike.
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.
A man and woman died Sunday when they lost control of their Harley-Davidson motorcycle, cut across the 405 freeway, hit a car and were launched head first into a cement wall, California Highway Patrol officials said.
The man, 60, and woman, 57, were wearing full helmets, but the blunt-force trauma was too strong, said Officer Stacey Willits, who was at the scene.
The accident occurred at 11:18 a.m. on the northbound 405 near the Seal Beach Blvd. exit. The two were taken to Long Beach Memorial Hospital with massive head wounds. They were pronounced dead at 12:07 p.m. and 12:25 p.m. Their identities have not been released.
The man was driving, and the woman was his passenger, Willits said.
Witnesses said the pair was driving in the first or second lane of the northbound 405 freeway at about 65 mph when the motorcycle started fish-tailing, Willits said. The bike then made an almost 90-degree turn and cut across the freeway to the sixth (slow) lane. It hit the left-rear corner of a Honda Accord and ejected the riders into a concrete road-construction divider.
The investigation is still open and officers do not yet know what caused the couple to lose control of the motorcycle. Willits asked that anyone who saw the bike lose control call the California Highway Patrol office in Westminster at 714-892-4262.
Law enforcement officers shut down the third through sixth lanes of the freeway for about an hour while CHP investigated the accident.
This accident is a horrible tragedy. I send my prayers and condolences out to the friends and family of the victims of this accident.
Based on the witness reports from this accident regarding the motorcycle’s rear end beginning to fishtail, it is possible that the victims suffered from a rear tire blow out, or a loose and unstable swing arm, or something to that effect. They could have even locked up the rear end braking too heavy. However there is no evidence based on the witness reports that the motorcycle was braking at the time of the accident.
Both victims were wearing full face helmets.
This accident should remind all bikers to check their tire tread and tire pressure before they ride their motorcycles. I am not saying that this is what caused the motorcycle accident, because I do not know, but it may have played a factor.
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.
As the California State Department of Transportation is poised Friday to re-open Angeles Crest Highway, a curvy mountain road beloved by bikers, the CHP will step up enforcement.
The Crest’s sweeping turns and steep cliffs demand motorcyclists navigate the road with care and at a controlled speed, and the California Highway Patrol plans to help folks remember this through the Motorcycle Safety Coalitions grant, the agency announced Wednesday. CHP Public Information Officer Ming-Yang Hsu declined to release the amount of the grant.
The grant, which provides enhanced enforcement effort by CHP officers through September 30, will focus on traffic violations made by motorcyclists, as well as other vehicle drivers that can lead to motorcycle collisions, injuries and fatalities, according to a CHP press release.
“Angeles Crest has one of the highest accident rates in the state,” Hsu said, adding the CHP waited to make the grant announcement until Caltrans’ announcement of reopening the road.
According to data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, 164 motorcycle-involved collisions occurred on Route 2 from Starlight Crest Drive to state Route 39 in Los Angeles County between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008. Among the collisions, eight were fatal, seven of which were the result of unsafe speed. Of those, speed was the primary collision factor for 98 of the accidents.
Therefore, in an effort to reduce the number of motorcycle-involved fatal and injury collisions along the 38-mile stretch of highway patrolled by the Altadena Area office, the CHP will establish a task force and develop and implement a public awareness campaign by working with local agencies and community members.
Funding for this grant was provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Basically what this grant does is give the CHP more money to put more officers on the Angeles Crest to roust motorcyclist and bikers.
I received the following letter via the Biker Law Blog contact page from a friend of Sandy Desoto on May 19, 2011. I am going to publish the entire letter below unedited, and then I will comment below.
From: Nobody [mailto:xxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of James R. Brennan
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2011 7:14 PM
Subject: From Biker Law Blog; Death of Sandy Desoto, May 7, 2011
From: James R. Brennan <xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Death of Sandy Desoto, May 7, 2011
I work out on a regular basis as Gold’s Gym Venice. Sandy Desoto was a regular there as both a personal trainer and to do her own routine. I was shocked to find out that she’d been killed on her motorcycle by a 74-year old New Jersey tourist making an illegal u-turn, while intoxicated. I was so interested in how this situation might play out, that I went to the Santa Monica police department and asked for a case number so that i might take it over to the DA’s office at the LAX courthouse in order to follow the courtroom proceedings as they unfolded. I was again shocked when investigator Detective Dawson told me, in no uncertain terms, that he would NEVER release ANY information about this case: not the driver of the car, not any of the finding of facts from the investigation, NOT ANYTHING – EVER! I asked him why this case was considered to be so special that he couldn’t even reveal the name of the driver of the car? His only response was that the family of Sandy had requested that no information be given out. I asked him if there was any way that I could force the issue in order to obtain the available information, and he told me that I’d have to obtain a “freedom of information” writ. This whole business stinks to high heaven and seems to me like some kind of a coverup. Was there something wrong with Sandy? Was the driver a high-profile individual that doesn’t want his name spread? Anyway, I believe that something should be done to pry this information out of the police. I thought that this kind of thing was a matter of public record. I would like to get your take on what I’ve said here. Also, I will make myself available to do whatever’s necessary to bring this case out of the shadows and into the light. Thank you! Jim
This mail is sent via contact form on Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer Blog
It does not take a rocket scientist to see that some kind of cover up is going on here. I think that the public has a right to know why a person was killed on city streets by another person, and why the person who did the killing seems to be protected.
I am going to make my own inquiries, but in the meantime, I would ask all of you to call the Santa Monica Police department and ask them why they are covering up what happened.
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.
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