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

California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Beach Ride
California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Beach Ride

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This girl ruined his life.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is just common sense.

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

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

  1. Norm that is a sad story. It is in a blink of an eye that ones life can change so drastically at the hand of another.
    Florida has the same low insurance requirements as California. the State laws prevents a lawsuit above the limits of your car insurance. Right now many folks are carrying the bare minimum required to be legal due to the sorry economy. A person can only purchase what they can afford.
    This is another great article. I hope that your readers heed this free advice.

    1. Thanks Sandie.

      We do not limit what amount a person can sue for. However, collecting is a whole different matter. If let’s say someone has a 15k policy, and you get a million dollar judgment against them, they can just go bankrupt and there goes your law suit. Now you will get less than 15k, because an attorney will have to go into bankruptcy court to get them to stay the automatic stay with respect to the insurance company paying limits.

      I know a person can only purchase what they can afford. That is why it is up to the biker to make sure they have protection.


      1. You are so very right. One needs to purchase enough insurance to cover their own butts. As the old saying goes “you can’t recover blood from a turnip”. In the State of Florida a home is protected under the Homestead Act. Florida is where everyone comes that files bankruptcy after purchasing a mansion to live in.
        Again, this is a great article for this blog. I am sure many folks are reading it. I just hope that they take this excellent free advise.

  2. Thanks for the great reminder Norm, I’m checking mine Monday morning. I suspect there are lots of non-insured & non-licensed driving around.

        1. No. Under insured covers the difference between the defendant’s insurance and what you want to cover. Let’s say defendant has 15k, you could insure for 1 million, so you could get the difference between 15k and 1 million if you have under insured coverage.


          1. Thanks Norm. I am going to call our agent and get under insured added to our policy.
            As always…learned something I did not know.

            Who is the blond in the picture with you? Is that a avatar or a human??

            Took a 125 mile ride today. Had a great ride. It was a hot one, we are in the mid 90’s!

  3. This particular guy will get free Medicare in 2 years, or Medicaid immediately for the rest of his life. Gotta watch out for those Death Panels though. He will get paid his full Social Security Disability pension immediately, or 1/2 price SSI.

    Maybe he can sue for a defective helmet, since SNELL has a defective test program?

    There is no requirement to buy an insurance contract from a private corporation that that pays out only 5% of revenues in claims, pays its executives $200,000 per week per person, up to $35-billion per year per person tax free (Warren Buffet at GEICO). The constitutions trump all unconstitutional laws.

    According to dozens of States’ attorney generals, no govt can require anyone to buy private insurance at $800/month (Obamacare). Unless you pass a law requiring all persons be paid $100,000 per year, whether they work or not.

    1. Dragonator there is not supposed to be death panels under the new law. Hell the way I see it now there are already death panels that private corporations control. You see your good friends at Blue Cross, Cigna, Healthnet, Kaiser, etc., all determine what will happen to you right now. Yea a bunch of bean counters who are only concerned with their profit.

      Without so-called Obamacare, you have NO rights. With Obamacare, you at least have some rights. They cannot terminate your insurance if you get sick.

      The States Attorney generals are wrong. Their lawsuits are frivolous and are a political ploy only to satisfy their constituents.

      The Supreme Court has already decided that the government can require you to get private insurance. Here in California we have mandatory auto insurance (prop. 213) which has been upheld. Social Security is mandatory and that has been upheld, State Disability Insurance and Unemployment Insurance is mandatory and that has been upheld.

      I myself support the new Health Care reforms. We are the only western power that does not provide medical care to all of its citizens.

      Unless you are rich, don’t ever have to worry about going to the doctor, or have guaranteed health insurance for life, that is guaranteed not to be terminated, I do not see how you could be against health care reform, unless your political point of view flat out prevents you from supporting it because Obama was the one who got this thing through, and not the other political party.

      I myself, and many people I know, have been screwed by health insurance companies. There must be some control over their control of our medical benefits.


  4. The provisions in NOBAMA CARE for increases in premiums are already hitting folks with insurance. The bill allowing costs to go up in this economy. I guess community organizers are good at finding money to tap. Norm, my friend, don’t fret…your premium increase notice will catch up with you. Looks like the Judge is not going to dismiss the 30 States who are going to court. The Attorney Generals for the States that are involved felt very good yesterday and pretty confident \their cases will not be dismissed.

    1. Getting a case dismissed at the outset is almost impossible in most situations. Most legal scholars agree that this suit has a bats ass chance in hell of succeeding. It was filed for political purposes to satisfy constituents who were against health care reform.

      With respect to premium increases, let me tell you, before health care reform Blue Shield here in California was about to jack up premiums by 30% percent or more. Before health care reform, premium increase have outpaced inflation for each of the last 20 years. The increases have and will continue to increase with or without health care reform. That is exactly why we need a public option to keep the for profit insurance companies in check!

      Sandy I don’t usually like to go into politics on this blog, but you are a valued member so I approved your comment and will respond; health care reform has nothing at all to do with premium increases at the present time because 90% of the bill won’t go into effect until 2014. This argument is a political fiction meant to bolster the republican cause and help get them elected.

      Any insurance company that says otherwise, is just trying to get the law repealed so they can continue to screw people and keep their profits high.

      I am not a member or any political party. I think the democrats have some good ideas, and I think the republicans have good ideas. With respect the health care reform, I am calling a spade a spade. The republicans had many years to try to get something passed that would help the American public. They are just pissed off that the democrats did it first.

      Being an independent, I just sit back and laugh at the whole spectacle. Each party only wants power, they could give a crap less about you or I. Once you realize that, you will start choosing based upon what is best for you and your family, rather than what some party tells you is right or wrong.


  5. That’s a horrible story and wish that on no one. That’s is why it is important to make sure and cover all you bases to protect you and your family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Legal Links

Motorcycle Events