Tag Archive: california car accident attorney

A Simple Friday after work Motorcycle Ride to the San Andreas Fault, California

San Andreas Fault California

San Andreas Fault California

I am sure all of you bikers and motorcycle riders know what it is like to get a bug up your ass to take a ride after work at the end of the week.

Well on Friday, June 18, 2010, 2 days before my 47th birthday, I decided to take my Harley Davidson Electra Glide out for a little ride after work, to the world famous and infamous San Andreas Fault.

If you do not know what the San Andreas Fault is, it is basically an earthquake fault that runs the length of California. They say that in a few million years, Los Angeles will pass San Francisco on this fault. The experts also predict “the big one;” a catastrophic earthquake that is overdue on this fault, that could destroy Los Angeles. Anyway…

Being a native Southern California boy, I know places to ride where I can literally be alone in or near a geographic area where millions of people live.

That is what I decided to do after work on June 18, 2010.

I am sure that many of you in all over the United States can also find great places to secret yourself for a little solo motorcycling without any other traffic interfering with your ride, however, if you are in Los Angeles County, you better know where you are going, otherwise you are not going to find solitude, that is for sure.

San Andreas Fault 2 California

San Andreas Fault California

Now I do not mean to brag, but I will anyway. I literally have some of the best motorcycle riding roads in the world right in my back yard. I can go from desert, to sea, to alpine mountains with a flick of my throttle wrist.

My motorcycle ride on Friday took me from the foothills, to the desert floor, to the base of the north side of the Angeles Forest. It was one hell of a nice Friday after work little ride.

No women, no friends, just me, myself, and I, and my Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

As you can see by the videos here, I wore my Gopro helmet cam for the ride.

Since I did not even get to Pearblossum Highway until 7:30pm or so, it was already just after sunset when I started filming. However, I still got some good video.

Since Youtube.com only allows up to ten minute videos, I had to drastically edit the videos down to 3 clips, but you can still get the effect of the ride I am sure.

Video 1 and 2 are shot with my helmet camera, except for a surprise just past the middle of video 2, and video 3 was shot by me with a standard HD camcorder at the actual San Andreas Fault.

You will notice on this ride going from the Mohave desert floor to the foothills of the Angeles Forest, Joshua Trees and cactus, turning into chaparral and scrub brush.

It was dark by the time I finished the ride.

You will notice when I am leaving the San Andreas Fault in video 2 of 3, that I got on my motorcycle quite quickly. Well up in the area where I was riding there are animals such as Rattlesnakes, Brown Bears, Mountain Lions, Coyotes, etc. As it was getting dark, and I was parked next to the San Andreas Fault sign, I heard a big animal stirring up the brush behind me. Hell I have camped in these parts and had nothing with me on this ride except for a 3.5 inch folding pocket knife.

I could sense that I needed to get the hell out of there. I am not stupid enough to wait around until a mountain lion pounces on my ass. It is amazing how sometimes you can sense danger. Only a stupid man waits around to see what is going to happen when he senses danger, has no weapons so to say, and you just know a big animal is in the brush behind you as it is getting dark. Get the picture?

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I got my ass out of there, and pulled over about a couple of hundred yards down the road so I could put my gloves on and zip up my hoodie.

All in all it was a great after work Friday ride. I only wish I got there earlier so the video would have had more sunlight.

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

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It looks like those Rip-Off Red Light Photo Tickets in California Might Not be Enforceable After All; Thank Goodness.

red light camera

A red light camera affixed to a pole

Some of you out there may have received a notice in the mail that you ran through a red light, and that the evidence or proof was obtained through a photograph.

Some of you may have simply heard of red light photo tickets.

Along with the notice, you probably also received notice of a hefty fine of between $400 and $500 dollars for the infraction.

Welcome to the automated world of governmental entities ripping you off to pay off their budget deficits, under the guise of public safety.

These Red Light Photo tickets have been controversial in California for a few reasons, including but not limited to; (a) most attorney’s have always known that this type of evidence of violative of our hearsay rules of evidence here in California; (b) studies have found that red light cameras actually create more accidents; and (c) with the budget crisis here in California, State and local governments have tacked on so many surcharges onto these types of infractions, that the fine is between $420 and $480 which is absolutely outrageous under the circumstances.

Basically government is using these fines to offset their deficits, rather than making the fine fit the infraction. This is a dirty underhanded method of taxing the public by ticket so to say. This issue is more about governmental entities filling their coffers than public safety.

Anyway, getting back on topic, guess what, the Appellate Court Division of the Orange County Superior Court has ruled in the case of People v. Khaled, 30-2009-304893 (Orange Super. Ct., Ap. Div., filed May 25, 2010) that a Court Commissioner was wrong to admit photos and a declaration seeming to show that Tarek Khaled ran a red light in Santa Ana on August 2, 2008. Without those pieces of evidence, Khaled should not have been convicted of violating the Vehicle Code, the Court said.

In its opinion, the Court added; the case “involves an issue far too often presented in this Court, namely the admissibility of evidence and the statutory compliance with the procedures employed by several municipalities in the County in what have come to be known as “photo enforcement” citations.”

The Court threw out the automated photo evidence because it is hearsay and violates that California Evidence Code.

If this opinion stays on the books or is upheld by the State Appeals Court, Red Light Tickets will not be enforceable in the State of California.

The attorney who fought these tickets stated that he became very frustrated that the Courts were not applying the California Evidence Code to these types of tickets.

Of course the City Attorney Joseph W. Fletcher believes that the ruling is wrong, intends to ask the 4th District Court of Appeal to take up the decision and to order it depublised.

My opinion is such; Photo Tickets are inadmissible hearsay if the California Evidence Code is applied thereto. Pursuant to California Rules of Evidence with respect to photo evidence, it has long been established that to admit photo’s into evidence, that the person taking the photo must testify that the photograph is a reasonable representation of what it is alleged to portray, otherwise it is hearsay.

With red light tickets, there is no one to testify that the actual photographs reasonably depict that which is being shown; they lack foundation and are hearsay.

The California Evidence Code has long established the principal that photographs must be supported by adequate foundational testimony.

Now with the advent of digital photography and programs that allow photographs to be easily altered with the click of a mouse, it is even more important that an adequate foundation be established for photographs that are admitted into evidence, and that the person testifying to the same be available for cross examination.

It has simply been too easy for the government to set up red light cameras and introduce their photographs without following the rules of evidence.

In my opinion, maybe it is time to initiate a voter ballot initiative to take this issue out of the legislative hands, and ban red light cameras in California because they cause more harm than benefit, and the potential for abuse does not justify their use in society.

I would go even further; I would limit the amount of fines that can be imposed for infractions. It does not make sense that general damages have been limited in medical malpractice cases to $250k since the 1970’s yet the government has without justification raised the cost of infractions a few hundred percent since the 1970’s.

It is time we make the government work for us and not against us.

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

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New California State Laws for the Second Decade of the 21st Century; The Year 2010; I think our State Legislatures have too much time on their hands! Read Below.

A Summary of California Laws for the year 2010Below is a summary of new laws for the State of California for 2010. Most will be going into effect on Friday morning.

Remember you are deemed to know the law; ignorance of the law is no excuse for violating it.

AB 9 (J. Perez) – Political Reform Act: FPPC – this law clarifies what constitutes improper campaign activity by a local government or agency during an election for a candidate or initiative.

AB 14 A motor vehicle can be declared be a public nuisance and impounded for up to 30 days when the motor vehicle is used in the commission of specified crimes related to prostitution.

AB 58 Now an Infraction to participate in a betting pool with less than $2,500 at stake.

AB 91 New “Ignition Interlock Device” Law requires first-time DUI offenders to install a device in their vehicles in a test program in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties.

AB 144 (Ma) – Last year in San Francisco, law enforcement confiscated over 1,000 illegal disabled placards. The widespread abuse has not only taken away parking opportunities for people who really need them, but has also exacerbated the difficult parking environment in San Francisco. The current penalty is a $100 fine.

AB 144 not only increases the fine for fraudulent use to $1,000, but also gives parking control officers the ability to cite violators. Currently, only police officers have the ability to cite violators in many instances.

AB 166 (Lieu) – Creates a cost-effective solution to deal with the growing number of abandoned boats in California’s waterways. The bill will establish a vessel turn-in program that permits boat owners to transfer ownership of their dilapidated vessels before they become an environmental hazard.

AB 171 (Jones) – Establishes basic consumer protection standards governing credit cards and loan products that are arranged in dental offices. The law is designed to protect elderly, low-income or limited-English-speaking dental patients who unwittingly signed credit card applications. The new law prohibits arranging credit while patients are under anesthesia, requires notice in the patient’s primary language, and requires refunds if dental services have not been provided within 15 days.

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Beware of Accident Scammers and Con Artist; Don’t get Screwed out of a Recovery.

Watch out for accident scammers and con artist.You are driving alone in your car, you are thinking about the holiday season or some other event, you come to a stop, and then wham – some idiot has just rear ended you.

You neck jerks back, and then forward, your body hits the seatbelt going across your body. You are shocked. You did not imagine that a mild rear end car accident would sound so loud, or violently jerk your body like it did.

You heart starts racing as you realized what happened. You may not feel pain yet because your body is producing chemicals which mask pain, or your may feel mild pain or stiffness at this point.

You head feels light as you unbuckle your seat belt and get out of the car. The person who hit you is a nice clean cut guy or gal. They run over to you apologizing greatly about how sorry they are, and that they did not mean to hit you.

They offer to pay for the damage to your car, sometimes on the spot. They usually have the same story; they do not want to get their insurance involved because their rates will go up, or their spouse will get upset, etc.

You empathize with the person who hit you; you know that they are required to exchange insurance information with you, but they are so nice, and they are offering to pay, you actually feel bad for the person who hit you. They are talking a good game. They give you a $100 or $200. You go on your way; later that night you realize that you cannot turn your neck and you have the worst headache in history. It turns out that you are going to miss work for a couple of weeks recovering.

You find out later that you have $3,000 damage to the back of your car.

What have you done; you screwed yourself out of thousands of dollars in just compensation that you were entitled to because you let an accident scammer and con artist talk you out of doing what was right.

Make no mistake about it; there is no way to know right after a vehicle accident what your damages are. I have seen people who thought they were not injured after an accident, turn up with shooting pains a numbness hours later, they had nerve damage.

The California vehicle code requires all persons involved in a vehicle accident to stop after an accident, and to exchange identifying information and insurance information. You can be nice after an accident, but firm at the same time.

The first thing you should do is to call the police if you can, and then ask the other party to produce their driver’s license and insurance information. Ask them if the address on the license is current, and request their phone number.

If they try to play the same old con I discussed above simply tell them, look the law requires that we exchange information and I cannot take a chance on getting in trouble, can you please give me your drivers license and insurance information? If they refuse, tell them that you have already called the police.

Make sure that you note the model and make of their car along with the license plate information.

The vast majority of persons out there will comply with the law. However, there as those few asocial assholes that will try to scam and con their way out of not being responsible when they cause harm. Don’t let yourself be a double victim by being injured by them, and then turning around and letting them get off for a few hundred dollars.

If you have been the victim in a motor vehicle accident anywhere in California, call my firm ASAP for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x.1, or go to http://www.thepersonalinjury.com .

By California Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney and Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009

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If you have been in a Motorcycle Accident ANYWHERE in The State of California, call me now 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, for a free consultation at 800-816-1Law (800-816-1529), Extension 1

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