If you have god forbid been injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in California, give me a call anytime 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x.1, to discuss your case.
I can get you medical treatment even if you do not have medical insurance,
I will send my investigators to you so you do not have to come into the office.
I will work to get your motorcycle fixed.
I will work to get you all the compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and more.
I am not some marketing scam that you have seen posting flyers all over motorcycle rallies, or biker rags nationwide. I am not “an association of lawyers” who has attorneys paying me money to advertise for them nationwide, and then farms cases out to them. I don’t pass out trinkets and goodies at motorcycle rallies to make you think that I am something I am not. I am not some generic non-riding personal injury attorney who has designed a fancy website to get you to think that they are biker lawyers, which they are not, I am a real deal biker like you. My firm and I handle the actual cases that come in. We say what we are, and are what we say, experts in motorcycle accident cases.
Read my blog below. I am an expert in motorcycle accidents. Like you I am a real biker who rides, and I am an expert in personal injury cases.
Don’t be suckered into signing up with a firm because of fancy advertising, or who do not ride motorcycles, who says they ride just to get you to sign up with them. Don’t be fooled by fancy ads. I am a top rated attorney who rides in the wind just like you.
Enjoy my articles below, there are hundreds of them!
On March 30, 2013, Alvaro Horacio Arroyo, was enjoying a day with his family.
He is pictured here on the upper left with his mother just 20 minutes before he was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused due to a negligent elderly person who made a left turn in front of him.
He was the jovial father of four sons, Alvaro – age 13, Alessandro – age 9, Ali – age 7, and Alden – age 2.
He was a loving husband to a blind and disabled wife Rosa.
He was a loving brother to Marisa, Nancy, Hector, Elmer, and Jesse.
He was a loving son to mother Agripina.
Alvaro was known as a kind and jovial person; the kind of person who made friends with everyone. He was the kind of person who made everyone laugh, and who everyone wanted to be around.
He was a role model to his children, and never balked at lending a helping hand to anyone that needed it, most of all his family.
On March 30, 2013, Alvaro decided to take his niece Bianca, for a ride around the block on his 2012, Yamaha YZF R6 motorcycle.
Bianca happened to be the primary caregiver for Alvaro’s disabled wife Rosa, and is herself also married with kids.
On that fateful day on March 30, 2013 as Alvaro and Bianca went for a short ride around the block where they lived, a car driven by a careless and negligent elderly person turned left directly in front of them.
Having no time to react or maneuver or stop, they hit the vehicle.
Alvaro suffered massive head trauma and died of his injuries on April 5, 2013.
Bianca suffered severe injuries to her right leg, and the right side of her face which required multiple surgeries to both.
Her recovery will be slow and painful and she will need much more medical treatment and therapy to recover.
Rosa and Bianca now both need help living day to day, as well as their children.
The children of Alvaro and Bianca are suffering untold emotional distress, and at their young age do not really full comprehend the tragedy that has happened to the family simply because a negligent driver was not paying attention to what they were doing while driving.
Alvaro was a registered organ and tissue donor. With his wife’s approval, Alvaro’s organs were donated in an attempt to save other people’s lives. One Legacy he leaves is that he has helped other people to live by donating his organs.
This tragedy has left Alvaro’s family with no money to live.
They are in extreme need of help. The family is accepting donations through their PayPal account at:
Here it is March 13, 2013, and it has been a while since I posted my last article here on the Biker Law Blog.
I have moved to Huntington Beach, and my new law firm “The Moy & Fernandez Law Group,” is fully operational.
Our phone number and fax number are the same, 800-816-1529, but we have consolidated all our California pre-litigation operations into one location in Irvine, California.
So whether your case originates in San Francisco, Eureka, Redding, Sacramento, or San Diego, the pre-litigation will be handled by our competent staff in the Irvine office, while our field staff continues to come to you anywhere in the nation.
We handle the entire State of California. We welcome all of our new and existing clients to the new law firm. We look forward to kicking ass for you on your cases.
My partner Lawrence A. Moy, who has been a friend and brother since 2002 has merged his firm with mine to create a premier California Personal Injury Law firm. Together we have handled thousands of cases, and settled millions of dollars for our clients. We have many years of combined experience.
I feel sorry for the poor bastards who oppose us on cases, I give no quarter. Some lawyers say they will fight for you, we will kick ass for you.
I think we have what most would call one of the most high tech law firms in the nation. The technology we have employed at our firm is mind blowing.
I am a Southern California native, but I have lived in many places during my life. I would say that the move to Orange County for me will be permanent, in that I cannot see living anywhere else.
I love Huntington Beach. I have taken up walking on the pier each night around sunset, the people are great, the lifestyle is fantastic, and the motorcycle riding is good as well.
When I was younger, I used to surf. As a matter of fact, as a teenager I lived at the beach. I learned to surf at Topanga, my home beach was Zuma. Back then, the wave break was much different at Zuma and Point Dume, then it is now.
Believe it or not, I just bought a brand new 9’ Greco Longboard surfboard. It will be delivered this Friday. I got a new full wetsuit to go along with it. Hell, at 49 who says you are too old to start surfing again. I figure a longboard, will help me to ease back into it, and on those days with a small surf, I will be catching waves while the guys on short boards will be watching me ride. I figure if I start surfing each morning at 5am, I can still get to the office easily by 9am.
I wonder if they make a surfboard rack for a Harley Davidson. Once I get used to surfing again, I will have a custom Harley Davidson themed surfboard made for me.
So there it is. As you can imagine, I am swamped with work right now. As I type this article, I have spent the last 4 days out of 5 days in Court. I am still at the office catching up. Nonetheless I wanted to let you all know what is going on.
Looking forward to the Laughlin Biker Rally coming up next month. This will first year I take “Bessie,” my motorhome, (the same one I rode around the country with) to a major motorcycle rally this year.
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.
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!
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 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
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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.
Sandy DeSoto, 48, of Marina Del Rey, was fatally injured May 7 and taken off life support Thursday.
Santa Monica police are investigating the accident in which a 74-year-old New Jersey man was booked on suspicion of drunken driving and released pending any charges.
The former Ford model, who worked out of Gold’s Gym in Venice, divided her time between her boat, a house in Palm Springs and a cabin in Big Bear.
A lifelong athlete and avid motorcycle rider, she reportedly was headed toward home after watching a Friday night boxing match when a tourist made an illegal U-turn in front of her, and her southbound BMW GS 1100R struck the side of his car in the 1700 block of Ocean Avenue.
The Minnesota-born beauty, who spoke fluent Spanish and German, spent her early years in Los Angeles, then moved to Guatemala with her parents, where she attended high school and college. She was an Olympic hopeful in track and field but sidelined due to a knee injury, according to a bio on her website.
She is survived by her mother and a brother, both of whom in live in Southern California.
Police stated they may turn their case over to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of charges next week.
Funeral plans were pending today for a well-known personal trainer fatally injured in a motorcycle accident on Santa Monica’s Ocean Avenue.
What I cannot understand is why the idiot that killed Sandy was released pending any charges. If he was booked for suspicion of drunk driving, why was he not charged with drunk driving murder or at the minimum manslaughter for making an illegal U turn.
I ride my motorcycle almost every day. The way I look at this situation is that it could have been any one of us motorcycle riders who could have been the victim of this fool who made the illegal left turn.
I was riding with some bro’s yesterday, and some idiot who was illegally holding a cell phone to his head almost switched into my lane. Luckily I have a loud mini-beast air horn. When I opened up my Mini Beast the guy jumped. That is why I got the damm thing.
I send my prayers and condolences to the family of Sandy DeSoto; she did not deserve to go out this way.
The chump who killed her needs to have the book thrown at him.
As a California Biker Lawyer, I handle horrific motorcycle accident all over the State of California on a daily basis.
Hell, I was just talking to one of my investigator’s yesterday, as we discussed a fatal motorcycle accident that happened on the 5 freeway yesterday just north of the 14 interchange in Valencia, CA, that everytime I handle a motorcycle accident it kind of makes me think long and hard about continuing to ride a motorcycle. (At least for a second)
My investigator Scott rides just like I do.
He always says the same thing to me, “you will never quit riding motorcycles.” He is right, unless I am physically unable, I will always ride motorcycles. I cannot imagine not riding motorcycles. Anyway, getting back to the subject of this article…
I just watched a video of a horrific rear ender motorcycle accident that occurred in the State of Texas.
This video demonstrates quite literally, the dangers that we as motorcycle riders face by drivers of cars who are not paying attention.
The driver of the car that hit the motorcyclist in this instance did not even have a driver’s license. In the video it is stated that the driver of the car was only given 3 tickets.
I think he should have been given more than that! You watch the video and decide for yourself.
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.
*** November 16, 2010, Update – The driver of the Dodge Avenger is not going to be charged with drunk driving because no alcohol was found in his system. It was originally reported by the C.H.P. that they smelled alcohol on his breath.
A group of riders from the Saddle Tramps Motorcycle Club, a San Diego County club, were riding on Saturday, November 13, 2010, on Route 98, which is a rural freeway, about 80 miles east of San Diego, to celebrate their 10th anniversary, when there was a horrific accident that killed 4 of them including a husband and wife on one motorcycle.
The riders were in a group, when an idiot in a Gold Honda revved up behind them and repeatedly tried to pass the group of motorcycles by crossing over into the lane of oncoming traffic to the left of the motorcycles.
The Gold Honda then caused a Dodge Avenger that was in the opposing lane, to crash into the group of motorcycles as he attempted to swerve out the way of the idiot in the Gold Honda who was trying to pass the pack of motorcycles.
The Avenger then plowed into the group of motorcycles, killing 4 of them. A passenger in the Dodge Avenger was also killed.
The idiot in the Gold Honda who caused the crash by speeding in the wrong lane of traffic, then kept on going and got away for now.
The California Highway Patrol is looking for the guy in the Honda, which did not suffer any damage in the accident.
Witnesses said that the driver of the Honda was wearing a baseball cap. If anyone has any information, they are requested to call the California Highway Patrol.
The C.H.P., arrested the driver of the Dodge Avenger on suspicion of drunk driving because he had alcohol on his breath, however officials do not consider him to be at fault in the accident, because he was forced off of the road by the idiot in the Honda.
Several other bikers who were injured in the accident were airlifted to hospitals.
What lessons can be learned by this day of carnage? There are two; (1) Live each day as though it is going to be your last, because you never know when your number will come up; and (2) if a car comes up behind you very fast, and tries to pass you, yield if you can do so safely. Put your turn signal on, and move to the right, or even get off if you can.
I am not saying this accident could have been prevented, I am saying that when it is car against motorcycle, the car will always win no matter how tough you are, or how in the right you are.
My prayers and condolences go out to the members and the families of the Saddle Tramps Motorcycle Club.
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.
Yes you read the headline of this article correctly; I am sick and tired of ambulance chasers who give ethical personal injury attorneys such as me, a bad name.
An ambulance chaser has been defined by an online dictionary as:
“A lawyer or entrepreneur who hurries to the scene of an accident to try to get the business of any injured persons.”
First of all let me tell all of you something right now, lawyers or their representatives are prohibited from soliciting your business at the scene of an accident in the State of California.
Any attorney who engages in such conduct can face disciplinary proceedings.
If someone is coming up to you at the scene of an accident and recommending an attorney to you; chances are they are engaging in prohibited conduct.
You should never select an attorney based upon a solicitation at the scene of an accident, at your doctor’s office, by the tow truck driver, by a body shop, etc.
Always select someone based upon your own research.
My good friend who is an ex NICB agent, and who now runs an investigative corporation, has told me stories of unethical attorneys illegally paying runners, cappers, doctors, tow truck drivers, body shops, to refer cases to them.
He has also told me stories of personal injury attorneys who are in illegal partnerships with non attorneys to get business.
No attorney can fee share or be in a partnership with a non attorney to get your business.
To be frank, I am absolutely shocked to hear such stories. It is beyond my belief that some unethical attorneys are engaging in such behavior. It is to be frank, despicable.
For attorneys such as me who play by the rules, it is outrageous to think of the poor victims of this type of illegal activity.
Going one step further, you may have recently heard about the explosion in San Bruno and the horrible aftermath.
Sure enough, there are some bottom feeder law firms putting out press releases trying to scavenge business from those poor souls in San Bruno.
Historically in the State of California, attorney advertising was prohibited. In the last several decades attorneys have been allowed to advertise. Some have taken it too far.
I am not against attorneys being allowed to advertise, but I am against what I consider to be ambulance chasing in advertising.
The same thing happened after the Chatsworth Metrorail crash, and many other disasters.
As for me, I am no ambulance chaser. I do not need to be because I am good at what I do.
All of my past and present clients know this to be true. To be good at what you do, you need to actually care about your clients, and get them the money that they deserve.
Ask yourself a question; have you ever heard any other personal injury attorney discussing the topic of this article? Heck No. Do you wonder why? It is the dirty little secret that no one wants to talk about.
Well I am talking about it.
I would like to hear any comments you have. You may comment by clicking the comment link below.
The Moy & Fernandez Law Group 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.