Tag Archive: california personal injury attorney

A Video montage of Photos I took at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2013

As you all know, I drove my RV alone from Huntington Beach, CA to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2013, in Sturgis, SD from July 31, 2013 to August 16, 2013. I also drove to Custer, Montana, and to Cody and Yellowstone, WY.

This marked my first big trip since becoming a single man again.

Once at my destination, I rode my motorcycle over 1000 miles. Below is a video montage of the pictures I took at the Sturgis 2013 Motorcycle Rally. A couple of pics had to be edited to add pasties so Youtube would not delete the video. Look for my big write-up on the trip, and actual video footage taken from my various cameras to be published soon. Enjoy the video. Pictures were taken at Sturgis, SD, Full Throttle Saloon, Glencoe Campground, and all over the rally.

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California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, December 29, 2013

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Alvaro Horacio Arroyo, killed in a motorcycle accident; Rest in Peace.

Alvaro Horacio Arroyo

Alvaro Horacio Arroyo on right, pictured with his mother 20 minutes before he was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident

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:

lupiruz@msn.com

To make a donation simply go to PayPal by clicking here, and send your donation to email address:

lupiruz@msn.com

You can also send donations to the family at:

Alvaro Arroyo Family Trust Fund
The Moy & Fernandez Law Group
2102 Business Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92612

Services for Alvaro will be held at:

Forest Lawn Cemetery
1500 E. San Antonio Dr.
Long Beach, CA 90807

Visitation service and viewing will be:

Friday, April 19, 2013 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Memorial and Funeral will be: Saturday, April 20, 2013 2:00 pm

Rest in Peace Alvaro…………..

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

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A ride to the Gettysburg Battlefield from College Park, Maryland; a Great Day

Battle of Gettysburg; The High Water Mark

Battle of Gettysburg; The High Water Mark

On Tuesday, August 7, 2012, Liz and I rode from College Park, Maryland to the Gettysburg Battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

To put what this ride meant to me into perspective, when I was a teenager, I read the Civil War Almanac. I have been an amateur civil war buff ever since. To me the Battle of Gettysburg signifies the point where the South lost the war.

If you read the historical as well as firsthand accounts of those who fought the battle you will come to realize that this battle, the bloodiest in American history with over 50,000 casualties in 3 days, was a great and horrific event in American history.

Now I can say that I walked the ground where all of the great fighting took place between July 1 – July 3, 1863.

I walked Little Round Top, Big Round Top, The Peach Orchard, Devils Den, Slaughter Pen, The Wheat Field, Cemetery Ridge, Culp’s Hill, The Bloody Angle, The High Watermark, the Place where Pickett’s Charge began, and the field not only where Pickett’s Charge happened, but also the ground beyond the breastworks at the Bloody Angle where the Southerners advanced toward certain death. I stood where General Armistead fell, and where General Reynolds fell.

I now know the ground of Gettysburg. When I stood at the Bloody Angle I could look at the field and imagine what the bloody and vicious hand to hand combat between Americans must have been like.

The ride from College Park, MA to Gettysburg, PA was to be frank, a nightmare on the Maryland side. Let me tell you, I have been around half of the circumference of the United States now. We have seen road construction going on in every single state. I suppose those are our stimulus dollars in action, I do not know. What I do know is so far, Floridians, and Marylanders are the worst drivers I have seen for motorcyclist so far in my travels.

Maryland drivers are by far the most aggressive drivers I have ever seen. Where there was a speed limit of 55 due to construction, these idiots were doing 70 and passing me half way in my lane. I can honestly say that after riding my Harley Davidson Electra Glide thousands of miles with no fear, I felt fear on Tuesday. It was almost as if the cagers in Maryland did not see me, it was if I was invisible. If was a ride of terror on the Maryland side. The Pennsylvania side was great except on the way to Confederate Blvd. a Doe (female Deer) ran out in front of us about 50 yards ahead, then on the way back, a young Deer ran out in front of us as well. I will tell a Deer story in a future article.

I highly recommend that if anyone wants to tour the Gettysburg Battlefield that you only do it on a motorcycle. We owned the battlefield on Tuesday. In many places, Liz and I were the only ones there. Imagine being at a historic part of the battlefield with no one there with you to interfere. On the motorcycle, we could stop at will and park at will.

Unfortunatly it appears I will not be able to post any video while on the road. My laptop cannot handle the huge HD video I took at the battlefiled, and the unedited file takes too long to upload to Youtube. Therefore I will not upload any video until I get back

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, August 10, 2012

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Day 17; Touring Washington D.C. on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide (4300 miles)

map of the united statesIt has been over a week since I have given an update of my “trip of a lifetime,” wherein I am traveling around the United States in my RV with my Harley Davidson Electra Glide in tow.

I have video and pictures of my trip but have been unable to get them off of the memory cards. Tomorrow I will hit a Best Buy so I can post a few.

My last update had me in New Orleans having a great time. A lot has happened since then. I ended up staying in New Orleans for 2 days and nights.

On my first evening in New Orleans after having fun on Bourbon Street, while typing my last article, I noticed that I was starting to itch on my ankles and on my forearm.  By the time I finished the article I realized that I was being, or had already been eaten alive by bugs. I suffered over 10 bites. I think the bites were a combination of chiggers and mosquitos, or “no see um’s” and mosquitos. Suffice is to say it sucked!

Turns out with this year’s massive heat wave in the Panhandle states, there are a ton of bugs. I did not put on my insect repellant in time. I have been caking it on ever since. Elizabeth thinks the bites came from Kinder, Louisiana, I am not so sure. She had a bunch of bites on her arm as well.

While loading my Electra Glide back on to the trailer I had a bit of a mishap with the trailer. There are three motorcycle positions on the trailer. I did not hit the center position correctly and it slightly bent the diamond plate where it was not reinforced. Most would not notice it, but I am a stickler for detail so I noticed it. Putting the 4 straps on and ratcheting the motorcycle down was no big deal at all.

From New Orleans, we got back on the road and spent the next night in Tallahassee, Florida. On the way to Tallahassee, Florida we drove through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Let me tell you the deep southern USA is amongst the most beautiful and green land in the world.  I only wish I had months to explore these states instead of just driving through.

We hit some rain in Tallahassee which was no big deal. We also stopped off at the local Camping World to dump the folding bicycles; we decided to get full size bikes instead.

After spending the night in a nice RV park in Tallahassee, (I went out at night to have an O’Doul’s and a cigar and thought I saw a friggen Alligator) we hit a Wal-Mart the next day and got two full size Schwinn 22 speed mountain bikes to replace the folding bikes.

We decided to do a grind so we could get to Key West that night/morning, where we planned on staying a few days. We had a long but excellent ride all the way from Tallahassee to Key West. I was a little disappointed that I could not see the scenery while driving to Key West due to the fact that it was dark, but I figured it would be no big deal since I would see it on the way back.

We got to Key West at around 3am, and we were tired as hell. They had more security than we were used to, plus to top it off our RV space was the first one to not be a pull through. A pull through allows you to simply drive in to your space without having to back in. Since I have a motorcycle trailer on the back of a 35 foot motorhome, backing up is a big problem especially at night since the infra-red night vision on my camera reflects off the glass rendering it useless. When I get back home I will take it back to Camping World to have that problem fixed, since they installed the new camera.

Suffice is to say after a couple of attempts the Security Guard allowed us to park in the registration area. We closed the blinds and curtains, I fired up the generator from inside, and no big deal, and everything worked as though we were hooked up in a space. We crashed out until around 10am. We registered, took the motorcycle off of the trailer, folded the trailer, backed into our space, hooked up, took the new Schwinn bikes off of the ladder rack, and we were ready to have a great time for the next 4 days and 3 nights!

We stayed in a resort which was the last island before the actual island of Key West, 1 mile away. Due to its location, they charged us $100 a day for the privilege of staying so close to Key West.

On the first day, we peddled our bikes all over the island, swam in their salt water pool, and then set out for Key West on the Harley.

Key West is the southernmost part of the USA. I heard it was like 20 miles or so from the Bahamas and for all intents and purposes, it was a Caribbean island in the USA. There were a lot of foreigners there with various accents.

We toured the island on my Harley. There were tons of scooters on this island. Everyone was wearing shorts, tank tops, and no helmets. I was in shorts, wife beater shirt, and modular helmet.

Yea yea I know that driving on a Harley Davidson with shorts is crazy, but the speed limit on the entire island was 30mph and the heat and humidity was so bad that after a few minutes you are soaking wet anyway. This kind of weather takes time to get used to.

The weather throughout our entire trip heretofore was basically hotter than hell, with horrible humidity. This night was no different. I was soaking wet in no time but it was OK. I am sure in due time if I decided to move to Key West I would acclimate to the weather.

Now let me tell you, Key West is off of the charts. There were a ton of people on the main drag walking, biking, shopping, taking carriage rides, you name it.

I love beautiful women, and the fine looking gals in Key West rival that of Southern California. It was fantastic. I could get used to this place real quick. We walked around for a while and then cruised the strip on my Harley. We had a great second night!

The rest of the stay in Key West consisted of swimming, lounging in the sun, bicycle riding, and tooling around Key West.

On the night before we were about to leave, we took the Harley back in to Key West; it started to rain. We went to this restaurant that was right on the beach. We had a nice Mediterranean style meal and it appeared the rain stopped, so we decided to go back to the main drag to walk around.

All of a sudden it seemed like the sky opened up. It was pouring rain the likes of which I have not seen since around 8 years ago in San Francisco. The difference in Key West was that it was still very hot, and I was luckily in shorts. The bad news was that we were on a Harley dressed for 30mph touring, and it was pouring rain. One wrong move and we would slide out. I took it real easy. We were literally soaking wet from head to foot. We decided to head back to the RV to call it a night. The next morning after 4 nights and 4 days, we were off again. The ride back to the mainland was great with nice views of the ocean and the Florida Keys. I would actually consider moving to Key West one day.

We decided to head to Miami Beach for a day. Once we got to the Southern Tip of Florida, we headed east. It seemed like the whole southern part of Florida was gated up for the super-rich with no public access to the beaches. Unlike in California where there is no such thing as a private beach, Florida has the exact opposite. They have literally gated up miles and miles of beaches for the super wealthy. It sucks and I was pissed off.

When we got to Miami Beach, it was sure a site to see. The development was off of the charts compared to Southern California where I am from. I hope Southern California never gets like Miami Beach at least in my lifetime.

We drove through South Beach, North Beach, and all through Miami Beach in my 35 foot motorhome with motorcycle trailer attached. We got some real curious looks along with way from the valet parking guys who were all along the street we were on. It was tough to navigate the Miami Beach jungle in my huge rig. Thank god we did not get stuck somewhere.

After going north for some time we found a public parking place where it looked like they had room for my rig and we pulled in. They charged me 15 bucks because they said I had a bus. We pulled in, pulled the blinds and the curtains, fired up the generator, and changed into our swim suits. We then went down to the beach.

Miami Beach is a trip compared to where I am from; there are high rise condos all along the beach, and tons of people on the beach. There were two things that totally blew me away; (1) There were no waves whatsoever, and (2) The water was like a hot tub.

As we walked to the beach I did not hear any waves crashing like what we have on the Pacific side of the nation. I thought something was wrong. The ocean was basically like a big pond, no waves whatsoever.

We laid out our blanket and sat for a bit. I decided to check out the water. When my foot hit the water, I expected it to be cold like the Pacific Ocean, boy was I surprised. The water was actually warm like a bath tub. I jumped right in.

I noticed that no one was going out too far. In the Pacific, we like to ride waves and we go out far. In the Atlantic, I have heard there are many sharks. Hell with the warm water and the lack of anyone going out too far, I decided to hang out close to shore. I had a blast swimming in the warm waters of Miami Beach. After a couple of hours, we went back to the RV, took showers, and hit the road again.

After driving a bit, we noticed a Hometown Buffet and decided to partake. They had steak, roast beef and a bunch of other stuff. I overate and had a great meal. Afterwards, we got on the road to head north to Washington DC.

Once on the road we realized that we did not reserve a campground for the night. We were both tired from a very long day, and we could not find a park close by off of the 95. To top things off, it started to rain a bit. While looking for RV parks I got stuck in two separate places where I had to back up before I could get out, which was real fun in the rain.

After some time, we were burnt out. At around 11pm we found a Wal-Mart with a security guard and decided to park the RV on the Wal-Mart parking lot and spend the night. Wal-Mart allows RV’ers to park in their parking lot and sleep overnight because they sell RV gear in their store. I prefer an actual RV park but this particular night we had really no choice. After parking, I fired up the generator, we turned on our satellite TV and it was just like home. RV’s are basically a home on wheels. Anywhere will do!

The next day we woke up around 9am, had some breakfast in the RV, and we were off again. We had an excellent drive through Florida all the way to a great RV park in South Carolina where we spent the night. South Carolina is a truly beautiful state. I could live there! The RV Park was like something out of a movie, perfect green lawns, trees, pond, etc. I have pictures but cannot get to them right now.

Once I set up camp I enjoyed a nice cigar and an O’Doul’s, then watched some Satellite TV and Redbox videos in the RV. I went to sleep early.

I woke up early, broke camp, and got back on the road with our next stop being Washington D.C.  We decided to do the ride to D.C. in one swoop which was around 500 miles or so.

There is one thing about the ride from Georgia to DC that I should tell; Interstate 95 was lined with beautiful tall green trees on both sides of the Interstate the entire way. We are talking millions of trees. It is much more beautiful than anything Los Angeles has to offer. However, in a way it was disappointing as well. Traveling around the nation is what I am doing so I can see the nation. With trees lining the entire Interstate from Georgia to D.C. with little breaks in between, we could not really see anything but trees; it gets old after a while.

Again in the future, I will visit the Deep South again and spend some time actually seeing it instead of just driving through it or taking breaks here and there like I did on this trip.

During the trip to DC, we hit a massive thunderstorm in North Carolina. The rain was coming down so hard I could not see in front of me even with my wipers on full blast. To top it off the wind all of a sudden felt like it was going to tip my RV over. Luckily there was a rest stop a mile away. It was around 3pm but it was almost dark, that is how bad this storm was. I guess the south does not get its green grass and trees from lack of rain.

There were truckers and a bunch of cars at the rest stop. Believe you me; if you cannot see with your windshield wipers set to the fastest setting, you need to pull it over. I kind of felt bad for everyone else at the truck stop, because we had our house with us and they did not. I started up the generator from inside, Liz made us a good lunch, and we sat at the table and had a good meal while everyone else was hunkered down in their vehicles. After about a half hour to 45 minutes it stopped raining enough to where I thought we would be ok and we got back on the road.

I knew it would be a long grind to Washington DC, but it was worth it to me to just get there instead of stopping somewhere for another night. We stopped at a Waffle House at around 9pm and had dinner.

When we finally got to the DC area I thought I would give Liz a little treat and drive my RV/Motorcycle Trailer setup through the streets of the capital. Boy was that a mistake. There are turnoffs which are hard enough to handle in a car let alone a 35 foot RV with a motorcycle trailer. We almost got stuck in the Union Station roundabout.

It finally got to the point where my exhaustion, coupled with the size of the rig I was driving made me set the GPS to the RV resort where we were going to stay instead of playing around the Capitol with my RV. I was so tired that I missed several freeway options so we ended up taking the streets. Our RV resort is about 10 miles from DC.

The RV resort is a place where you really do not need to leave to leave. There are people that live here full time. Heck I could get used to it as well. I love resorts! They have multiple pools, a hot tub, gym, restaurant, store, and a bunch of great people.

When we got to the resort on Thursday night/Friday morning we pulled into our space, I set up camp and we crashed for the night. On Friday we had a blast touring the capitol on my Harley. We were the only Harley Davidson in town yesterday. It was a great time.

Today we decided to sleep in, lounge around the pool and hit DC in the evening.

So there it is, a brief update on how the trip is going so far.

We will be staying in DC until at least Tuesday maybe Wednesday. The next stop will be New York City.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, August 4, 2012

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Memorial Day 2012

memorial day 2012I wrote an extensive article about Memorial Day in 2007 that you can read by clicking here.

As I write this article, our troops are fighting and dying in Afghanistan in the longest war in our nation’s history.

They are scheduled to cease combat operations in 2014.

I myself am a veteran of the United States Air Force; many of my family have served in many different wars.

There is no greater sacrifice than a person giving their life in the service of the country that they love.

As you look at the beautiful day today, enjoy your family, your freedom, and your food, try to remember those brave souls who can no longer enjoy the things in life that you take for granted.

Maybe can look up at the sky and say a prayer for them, and thank them for giving it their all so you can live in this land of the free.

It is all Americans duty to defend freedom.

I recently had a debate on Facebook with an ultra-right wing religious zealot based here in the United States of America. He attempted to couch his advocacy of turning our nation into a nation based only on his religious views, into a Constitutional argument.

This zealot and his kind seek to take away our individual rights and liberties by pushing their religious agenda on all of us, kind of like the same way the Taliban force their views on the people of Afghanistan, kind of like how the Iranians push their Muslim views on their society, kind of like all nations based on a certain religion have repressed their citizens for thousands of years.

Our founding fathers were smart guys, they purposefully kept a separation of religion and state so that all people would be free to do their own thing in this nation.

This Memorial Day remember the men and women who have fought and died for a nation where all people are able to practice their individual religious views however they want.

Right now there are subversives amongst us who seek to pervert our constitution by taking away our individual freedoms in many States as I speak, as well as at the national level.

In order to do our veterans justice we must all take a deep breath and vote, protest, and do everything legally necessary to ensure that our domestic enemies are stopped, just like our fallen military heroes stopped our foreign enemies.

Anytime you see someone advocate for taking away our liberty and freedom you are seeing an enemy of the USA, even if they are waving an American Flag.

We owe it to our fallen heroes. Vote well this upcoming election. Do not vote for a party that would subvert our individual freedoms and liberties.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

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BEWARE; You take your life in your hands at most California Indian Casinos

indian casino personal injury problems

Taking your life in your hands at California Indian Casinos

As a California Personal Injury Lawyer I feel I have a duty to inform all about California consumers lack of any real legal remedy if you suffer a Personal Injury at anyone of California’s numerous Indian Casinos.

If you have been the victim of a Personal Injury, or if you suffer a Slip and fall at an Indian Casino, you may have a potential court case, you may have a claim that will be headed to the tribal council, you may have a case that will go to private arbitration, you may have a case that will be determined by a private insurance company claims adjuster, or maybe you have a case that will literally give you no legal remedy.

Just 14 years after Gov. Pete Wilson signed the first compact with a tribe allowing Las Vegas-style slot machines in California, personal injury and property damage consumer protections in Indian casinos are all over the place respect to consumer rights and remedies in personal injury cases.

Every one of the 56 Class III gaming tribes within the State of California features its own specific tort liability ordinance spelling out how it will process personal injury cases.

The California State Bureau of Gambling Control states that many tribes authorize risk managers or their insurance companies to decide a claim’s validity. Some allow patrons to appeal case denials to tribal courts or to councils of tribal elders. Some others will take disputes to arbitration. Almost all do not recognize a role for California’s trial courts.

Each Indian Tribe is basic its own sovereign government. They do not have to follow California law on personal injury and most if not all don’t.

Due to this problem there are very few of us California Personal Injury Lawyers that will take on Personal Injury cases that occur on Indian Casinos.

I myself reject the vast majority of cases that come to me involving Indian Casinos, because without a standardized arbitration ordinance or something to that affect, they are too much of a hassle to deal with.

I have heard stories of Indian Casino cases taking many months or even years to get resolved, much longer than cases in the normal California court system. Many of the elderly victims who are claimants in these cases either give up or die before having their cases resolved.

Another issue with Indian Casino cases is that the people being sued are also the ones who are deciding the merits of the case. It is analogous to suing a Judge and then having that same Judge determine the outcome of the case in which he is being sued. How you do think that is going to turn out?

Appeals Courts have rejected Indian Casinos being sued in State Court stating that sovereign immunity precluded it from being sued in State Court.

What is bizarre to me is that the State of California negotiated compacts with the Indian Casinos allowing them to place Las Vegas style slot machines in the casinos, yet they did not provide a standard legal path for patrons of these casinos to take if they are injured within the Indian Casino.

I myself think it is time to either re-negotiate these compacts, or boycott the Casinos until the Indian Tribes themselves agree to standardized legal remedies for persons injured at their casinos.

I am calling on all California Indian Casinos to come sit at a table and discuss this situation so that a resolution can be reached to ensure California consumers that they are safe at your establishments.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © May 18, 2012

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Make Sure you Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles if You Sell or Give Away your Car, Motorcycle, or other Motor Vehicle or You could Los Big Time

California Pink slip and tear off change of ownership form sample

California Pink slip and tear off change of ownership form sample

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.

If for some reason you lost the sheet that is attached to the Pink Slip, the DMV has an online system that is available here, to notify them of the change in ownership.

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.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © April 25, 2012

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Techniques and Tips for New and Experienced Motorcycle Passengers

California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez North of the Golden Gate Bridge

California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez North of the Golden Gate Bridge

Riding on a motorcycle with a friend is one of the most fun things you can do. It could be a much more enjoyable experience if the passenger understands and follows quick and easy rules. To become the kind of passenger riders wish to ride with, try to remember the advice given below:

Wear clothing that will give you some protection in the unlikely event of crash or accident. At the minimum, you should wear the following to safeguard yourself:

Footwear that protects your feet and your ankles (hiking boots are excellent).

Durable pants–leather is most beneficial; if you don’t have or cannot get leather, you will need to get by with jeans, work pants, or something like that. An abrasion resistant jacket that zips or buttons in close proximity to the neck (again, leather is advisable should you have it; a nylon flight jacket or parka are satisfactory, and a Levis-type jacket will do in a pinch).

Durable gloves.

Eye protection–ideally, the helmet you borrow or own needs to have a face shield for comfort in addition to eye and face protection. If it does not, goggles are excellent, and glasses (dark or prescription) will do.

It’s also wise to make an effort to dress appropriately for any weather.

If you have not ridden as a motorcycle passenger very much, you probably do not realize how hot or how cold it can be on a motorcycle ride. If it is hot, it will feel a lot hotter when you are riding; when it is cold, it will feel a lot colder when you are riding. Ask the rider for assistance or tips on dressing for any anticipated weather conditions. When choosing comfortable attire, try not to compromise your minimum level of protection as described above.

On hot sunny days, one trick would be to wear an extra-large white shirt over your jacket. It’s going to reflect a great deal of heat and help keep you cool. (This is not one of my tips, but it is recommended by other riders) In general, it really is easier to dress safely and comfortably for just a cool day compared to a hot one. Lastly, don’t wear anything loose and floppy (like a long scarf or bell bottom pants) which could get caught in the rear wheel, sprockets, drive chain or belt, or any other moving area of the motorcycle. You could injure yourself, and might cause an accident.

Wear a securely fastened helmet which fits properly. Most riders have extra helmets and will also be glad to loan you one.

A helmet should be a snug fit; it shouldn’t be possible to twist it around on your head. The strap should be pulled as tight as you can get it without choking yourself out. You can try for fit, and also to find out if the strap is tight, by holding the chin bar of your full face helmet, or the side edge of an open face helmet, directly over your forehead, and attempt to pull the helmet backwards off top of your head. In the event the helmet ends up on the back of your head, tighten the strap or get a helmet which fits.

Under no circumstances should you ride with a helmet that will slip easily over your head with the strap on. The rider can instruct you on the best way to put on your helmet properly. If you ride often, you will eventually want to buy your own personal helmet. Just about any motorcycle shop will help you choose a suitable helmet which fits you correctly.

Before you decide to attempt to get onto the motorcycle, make sure that the passenger foot pegs are down. (They fold when not being used, and it is easy for the rider to forget to put them down for you.) If you do not know where the foot pegs are, have the rider point them out to you.

Also, beware of the exhaust pipes. Make sure you know where they are, and do not let your leg or any area of your body touch them when you get on or off of the motorcycle. They can and will give you a severe burn all the way through the heaviest pants if you touch them with your legs or another part of your body.

It is actually customary to get on or off the motorcycle from the left side. Always wait for the rider to inform you its okay to mount or dismount. Should you begin to clamber on (or off) when the rider does not expect it, the sudden motion of the motorcycle can and may be disconcerting to the rider. You might even pull the motorcycle over.

The best way to get on a motorcycle and the method almost all passengers should use is to extend your right leg over the rider’s portion of the seat, and then slide gently up onto the passenger part of the seat. Put your feet on the foot pegs and that’s it.

If you aren’t able to do that because you are a small person or perhaps a child, this method may work: put your left foot on the left passenger foot peg, lean your whole body all the way over the motorcycle, and gently step-up until you can swing your right leg over the seat and ease yourself down. You need to keep yourself low and lean over the center of the motorcycle as much as possible when you jump on, to help the rider keep the motorcycle balanced. The extra weight of your body, if it’s too far out of line with the weight of the motorcycle, could pull the bike over.

A person reasonably in close proximity to a normal size (man or woman) should never need to use this method to mount a motorcycle, and a heavy person should not attempt it under any circumstances.

It’s all a matter of balance; the rider may not be sufficiently strong enough to hold a large motorcycle upright should you cause it to get out of balance.

To dismount, just reverse the process you utilized to jump on. After some practice, getting on and off will become second nature.

Once you are on the motorcycle, plant your feet on the passenger foot pegs and keep them there under all circumstances. You do not want to bring your foot into contact with the ground, rear wheel, drive chain, belt, or the hot muffler.

Never make an attempt to assist the rider to hold the bike upright when it’s stopped by putting your foot down. Keep the feet safe by keeping them on the foot pegs at all times.

Place your hands on the rider’s hips. This is the best way to keep hold of the rider, and it keeps you in touch with the rider’s movements. Keep your weight centered over the motorcycle. Try not to move around any more than is necessary, particularly when the motorcycle is stopped, because it affects the balance of the motorcycle.

Motorcycles turn by leaning (banking like an airplane), not by steering like a car. So don’t be alarmed when the motorcycle leans over to go around a corner.

To set yourself into the right position perfectly for any turn, just look over the rider’s shoulder towards the turn. When the motorcycle is turning right, look over the rider’s right shoulder; when it is turning left, look over the rider’s left shoulder. You don’t have to do anything else; looking naturally over the rider’s inside shoulder will automatically put your weight exactly where it belongs in a turn. Keep your body in line with the rider’s body to prevent the motorcycle from leaning greater than the rider intends. (When going straight, it does not matter which shoulder you gaze over.)

Never lean beyond a turn; you could cause a crash that way.

When the rider applies the brakes, it creates a forward weight transfer on the motorcycle. In the event the rider is forced to brake hard, as in an emergency, this forward weight transfer will be very apparent to you; you’ll be forced up against the rider, and you will begin to slide forward on the seat.

Don’t panic. Try to keep back, off of the rider. Resist sliding forward by pressing your feet up against the foot pegs; make use of your thigh muscles to manage your position on the seat. Should you slide forward, you may force the rider forward, decreasing the rider’s control of the motorcycle. Additionally, it moves the weight distribution of the motorcycle forward, reducing the weight on the rear tire and therefore the traction of the rear tire, which makes it much more likely that the back tire will begin to skid. Obviously, none of this is desirable. Try to keep yourself from jamming up into the rider by using your foot pegs and your thighs.

You will be an active participant in the ride by staying alert and being prepared. Help the rider search for potential danger, and stay prepared to hang on and hold yourself back in the event you anticipate a need for sudden braking.

Likewise, in the event the rider is forced to swerve the motorcycle in order to avoid a hazard in the road, you have to be prepared for a sudden lean and change of direction.

It’s also possible to assist the rider by scanning for animals that may run into the street. Dogs and deer are particularly unpredictable, and you might see a deer on a hillside above the road, or perhaps a dog in somebody’s yard, before the rider. (After all, the rider is concentrating primarily on the street.)

In the event you spot a hazard of any type that you think the rider is unaware of, rap the rider on the appropriate shoulder, and point at the hazard in a manner that brings it to the rider’s attention.

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.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Website

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Common Factors Behind Motorcycle Accidents

motorcycle accident sceneMotorcycle accidents can be tragic as well as upsetting events.

The stats speak for themselves. Serious bodily harm as well as death is often the result of a motorcycle accident. Of the actual motorcycle accidents that do occur, roughly one out of every five motorcycle riders is actually fortunate enough to come away from the experience with just minimal bumps, bruises and abrasions. The lack of a protective buffer around the biker and the road inevitably leaves bikers in a very vulnerable situation. Generally there tend to be many common causes of motorcycle accidents, of which the most frequent, and clearly the predominant cause, is definitely a consequence of other motor vehicle drivers to some extent not seeing and recognizing motorcycles within dense traffic.

A number of reports offer support to this particular claim because they advise that virtually 66 % of almost all accidents involving a motorcycle and another car or truck are a direct end result of the motorist in a vehicle turning into the lane of the motorcycle and violating the motorcyclist’s right of way. It has likewise been advised that motorcyclists are 27 times more prone to die in a collision than are people in the other car or truck and they are also five times more prone to sustain an injury. Anyone can see then, the disastrous effects of car-motorcycle accidents.

Additional causative factors

Generally there tend to be a wealth of additional factors behind motorcycle accidents that occur quite frequently. One in particular can be motorcyclists who are inexperienced and simply do not know the constraints of their machine These brand-new riders push their motorcycles to the limit, which, in many cases, far exceeds the speed limit. This brings about another major reason for motorcycle accidents. Needless to say, speeding is not only restricted to new and young motorcycle riders, as often older and more experienced motorcycle riders have been also guilty of operating their motorcycles past the speed limit. Many motorcyclists really like the feel of the wind blowing through their hair, the freedom associated with the open road and the thrill associated with riding fast just inches from the road however,, traveling over the speed limit can result in dire consequences. A quick slip of the handlebars or an unforeseen obstacle ahead of the motorcycle can easily send the motorcycle reeling out of control. Therefore, speeding can be extremely dangerous and it’s also frequently the reason for many motorcycle accidents.

An additional common cause of motorcycle accidents can be a consequence of the motorcyclist’s carelessness. In cases where the motorcycle accident does not include another car, truck, or vehicle, the failure of the motorcycle rider to reduce speed when making a turn or simply under-turning as well as over braking in the turn are causes of motorcycle accidentrs in some instances. There can to be many various other things that may cause physical harm to the motorcycle rider after the initial motorcycle accident. Fuel leakage and spills in the post-crash phase can introduce a fire hazard and are common within approximately 60 % of all accidents sites.

Be careful out there when riding your motorcycle.

Riding within 5 miles per hour of the speed limit and wearing proper protection as well as a good helmet can make your ride more enjoyable, and increase your odds of survival in the event you are in an accident.

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.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

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A Life Changed in an Instant, the anatomy of a Motorcycle Accident

northridge-motorcycle-accident ** December 19, 2011 Update: I regret to inform you that David Landowski the rider of  the motorcyle, age 53, died of his injuries Sunday night. May he rest in peace.

The following news was reported today as a short blurb in the press.

Northridge – California A motorcyclist suffered severe injuries during a two-vehicle crash in Northridge, California police said today.

The traffic accident occurred about 6 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Lindley Avenue and Rayen Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division.

According to police, Charles Giarratana, 62, driving a red Ford Explorer northbound on Lindley Avenue made a left turn onto Rayen Street where he struck David Landowski, 53, who was going southbound on Lindley Avenue on a white and purple-colored KTM 620SX motorcycle.

Landowski, a resident of Canyon Country, was transported to an area hospital with severe injuries. It was not immediately known if Giarratana, a resident of Reseda, was cited or arrested. Anyone who saw the traffic crash was asked to call the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division at (818) 644-8036.

The only people who would probably read and care about news such as this are people that ride motorcycles, their friends and family, and the people in the article.

It is doubtful that average people would even read let alone care about a man on a motorcycle being hit by a negligent idiot in an SUV.

For me, a California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and an actual motorcycle rider, this article brings forth many thoughts.

The vast majority of motorcycle accidents on city streets are caused by some idiot making left turns in front of or into a motorcycle rider because they do not look for motorcyclist, they do not see the motorcyclist, or they think they can beat the motorcyclist before they turn.

The innocent motorcyclist may not even see the negligent driver making the left turn until they are right in front of them, or not at all.

Their life is changed in an instant.

I wonder if David Landowski riding his KTM 620SX motorcycle saw Charles Giarratna turning before he hit him? I wonder if Charles Giarratna has any clue what damage he has caused to the life of David Landowski simply because he did not look before he made the turn, or tried to turn before David rode past him?

Either way one thing is certain, David Landowski’s life will never be the same again.

The newspaper article stated that David Landowski was transported to the hospital with severe injuries. I pray for him and his family that he will survive. If he does survive he will probably suffer months or even years of excruciating pain, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress, not to mention loss of income, a career, or a job, tremendous medical bills, and maybe not ever being able to return to a normal life.

Some riders such as David will never be able to ride a motorcycle again, some lose limbs, some suffer permanent debilitating injuries, and some never recover.

So the next time you read a little news blurb about some idiot making a left hand turn in front of a motorcycle rider and hitting him or causing the motorcycle rider to hit the car or truck because the car turned in front of the motorcycle, think about the fact that the motorcycle rider’s life was changed in an instant.

There is tremendous human pain and suffering, support to family lost, and life’s irreparably harmed in such little news blurbs.

The next time you are out riding in your car, SUV, truck, etc., look for us motorcycle riders. You do not want to have the thought of destroying someone’s life on your conscious.

By Biker Lawyer and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © December 17, 2011

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Riding your Motorcycle around Curves and Turns without Killing Yourself

California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez riding around a curve on Mulholland Highway

California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez riding around a curve on Mulholland Highway

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.

Keep both wheels on the road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © October 19, 2011

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Long Distance Motorcycle Riding; how do you Carry What You Need?

One of California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez's motorcycles all packed up for trip to 4 corners rally in Durango Colorado

One of California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez's motorcycles all packed up for trip to 4 corners rally in Durango Colorado

I have been a serious long distance motorcycle rider for many years now. You may ask what is a long distance motorcycle rider. To me a long distance motorcycle rider is someone who rides 800 or more miles on a motorcycle trip multiple times a year.

So according to my definition, even a first time rider who does a few 800 mile or more motorcycle trips per year would qualify as a long distance motorcycle rider.

I regularly do trips of 1000 miles or more like they are no big deal.

I know many guys who are bikers, and what some would consider to be hardcore bikers, that literally do nothing but bar hop on their motorcycles. To them doing 300 miles in a day is unheard of. Further, many of these guys have motorcycles that are in no way set up to do any serious mileage.

Most of these guys do not have saddle bags, and brag about how they do not need wind screens.

I am not going to knock these guys that are basically local bikers, but they really have no clue what it is like to be a long distance biker.

There are also what I call your ubiquitous trailer queens. These are guys that trailer their motorcycle to events, and then unhook them and ride at the actual event, making it appear that they rode to the event. This article not about packing up your car, it is about packing up your motorcycle.

Unless you are doing an Iron Butt Ride which is 1000 miles in a 24 hour period, (basically nonstop riding except to stop for gas and quick meals) a 1000 mile or more motorcycle trip will be a trip that is at least a 2 days or more.

I have done runs that last a week or more.

The big issue for me on long distance motorcycle trips is; what should I carry on the trip, and how should I carry what I need on the trip.

For me what to carry with on long distance motorcycle runs is almost automatic. I carry:

Water
Sunscreen
Flashlight
Small Tool Kit
Knife
1 Quart of Oil
Flare
Lighter
Sunglasses, and clear night glasses
Warm weather and cold weather gloves.
Leather Jacket
Leather Chaps
Spare clothes
Tennis Shoes
Emergency Contact Form
Cell Phone
GPS
Fine cotton cloths
Spray Wax
Plexus windshield cleaner
And whatever else I may need.

When I go on long distance motorcycle runs at least for the past 11 years or so, Elizabeth has been with me. Therefore inevitably, I also have to carry her purse, gloves, jacket, chaps, and whatever else she might want to bring as well which always includes her makeup and cloths.

In the past when I just had a softail or regular large cruiser motorcycle and no bagger, (see the picture above, the motorcycle is packed up to the brim, with tents, chairs, and everything for a full motorcycle rally.) my solution to accommodate all of the stuff that I like to carry, was to first to buy soft saddlebags, or a locking rigid saddlebag system, install a luggage rack behind the sissy bar, and buy a T-Bag soft luggage system that sat on the luggage rack behind the sissy bar, and then secured around the sissy bar.

The locking saddlebag system, called Leatherlykes Bags, was better than soft saddle bags, because they were bigger, and  I could lock the bags and walk away without worrying about being ripped off.

I used the soft T-Bag motorcycle luggage system on a couple of my motorcycles. After a few years, I switched from the T-Bags, to something called the Kuryakyn Full Dresser Bag, when they first came out. This bag had a rigid plastic shelving system in it, held more stuff then the T-Bags, and actually looked better as well. Not only that, but it had a wheel system on it like conventional luggage so when I got to a destination, I could lift it off, and wheel it in.

I used this system a few times on my FLHT Electra Glide Standard when I got her, but once I put the removable Tour Pak on; there was no room for the Full Dresser Bag.

For 6 years with the Electra Glide we would use plastic bags to fill up the side hard Harley Davidson Saddle bags, and the Tour Pak. We would also utilize the luggage rack on top of the tour pak to bungee tie our leathers as necessary.

I eventually went back to T-Bags and got a Dakota bag which is specifically designed to fit the premium luggage rack on a Harley Davidson Electra Glide Tour Pak.

The Dakota Bag is so big, that it pretty much holds everything we need. Obviously there are some items that will not fit in the Dakota, so we continue to keep small plastic bags in the hard side saddle bags.

The Future

Liz and I are talking about riding cross country this summer. I figure on a cross country run we are not going to want to have to constantly lift the Dakota Bag off everytime we stop, and we are not going to want to have to park in a place where we can see the bike everytime we stop so someone does not rip off our Dakota bag.

So after doing some research, I have found a motorcycle tow behind cargo trailer solution that I may purchase and use for our cross country trip on the Electra Glide.

I can get a cargo trailer that holds anywhere from 18 cubic feet of stuff, up to 25-26 cubic feet depending upon how much I want to spend, or how big I want the trailer to be.

I would need to install a motorcycle ball hitch onto my motorcycle for the trailer to hook onto, and rig up a wiring harness for brake and signal lights on the trailer.

It looks like there are many off the shelf trailer solutions for my Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

A cargo trailer at least to me would be the optimum way to travel cross country on a motorcycle, because we can just throw everything we want to take in the trailer, plus there will be room to store souvenirs if we decide to buy any along the way.

The trailer will take away the fun of trying to cram everything into a few small spaces on the motorcycle.

Even with a full Harley Davidson Electra Glide Custom Ultra, things can get tight real quick.

On a cross country trip I want to be able to enjoy the ride and the sights, without worrying about having to wash clothes every couple of days on the road.

There are many out there that say towing a cargo trailer behind a motorcycle is dangerous. Based upon my research, it can be done safely so long as you get used to it and take it easy just like anything else.

In closing, I have found that rigid saddlebags, a nice luggage rack mounted soft or rigid motorcycle luggage system, tour paks, and cargo trailers, all will allow you to carry the things you need on a long distance motorcycle run. What you do is really up to you.

Keep Both Wheels on the Road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © November 13, 2011

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My Two Prong Solution to End the Political Stalemate in Washington

idea go put millions of americans back to workLying in bed recovering from surgery has given me time to contemplate solutions to our nation’s woes.

You will find that I have previously wrote a short article on how to get millions of America back to work, while reducing our dependence of foreign oil. You can read it below or by clicking here.

I am now going to lay out my solution to end the political stalemate in Washington, and make congress more accountable to the people.

Before I begin let me start off by stating for the record that I think that there are some congressmen who have betrayed our nation by doing what is in their political parties best interest rather than our nation’s best interest.

Our nation’s credit rating was recently downgraded because of the actions of some of these congressmen; they should be ashamed and they should be ousted out of our government. They have done enough damage.

As an Air Force veteran, these congressmen make me sick to my stomach and are aberrant to everything I believe in.

With that being said, some may think my solutions are too simple, and that is because I have designed them that way, to be simple.

To end the political stalemate in Washington, we must first get special interests and corporations out of our government.

I firmly believe that our government is firmly in the control of special interest, corporations, and oligarchies right now. (An oligarchy is a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few. These would be the super-rich 1% who control most of the wealth in this nation.)

The Declaration of Independence says: “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” nowhere does the Declaration of Independence say by special interest, corporations, or oligarchy.

In order to flush the special interest and corporations out of our government toilet bowl, we need to enact campaign finance reform.

In other words, the way things work right now, someone who wants to run for congress or political office has to raise mega millions of dollars in order to do so. In order to win, a candidate either has to pay for the campaign out of their own money, or they have to go to special interest, corporations, or wealthy contributors for the money to do so.

Either way, these candidates end up being for the most part non representative of the people because they have to answer to those that gave them money to be elected.

Ultimately, these candidates end up owing favors to the special interest, corporations, and wealthy benefactors who contributed to their campaign.

How does this help our nation, it doesn’t, it is a system ripe for corruption.

In the end rather than doing what is in the best interest of the American people, you end up with candidates doing whatever they can to be re-elected, and to please whoever gave them money for their campaigns.

I say the Federal Government should give each candidate a set amount of money for their campaign, and that is it. No more money allowed!

No candidate should be allowed to use private money or special interest money again for their campaigns.

Each TV channel in return for being given a broadcast license in this nation should be mandated to give each candidate a set amount of time on the airwaves to campaign, and that is it. No more crappy political ads every commercial break.

This solution should get rid of the special interest control over our elections, corporate control of our elections, and the oligarchy control over our elections.

The Supreme Court made a horrible decision in Citizens United by allowing corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money towards political campaigns, because it took the voice of the people away and gave it to the corporations.

I know some may balk at the government financing campaigns, and putting limits on how much money each candidate may spend, but this is the only solution if we want to take our nation back from the special interest, corporations, and oligarchies.

Do we have the guts to take our nation back?

My second solution is term limits for all congressmen, just like we have for our president. 2 terms and then you are out of there.

There are congressmen who have been in office their entire careers. I do not think our founding fathers had this in mind when they set up our nation.

These career congressmen have learned how to game the system, and exert an undue influence on what they call junior congressmen.

Some of these career congressmen are so cavalier; they think they have an automatic entitlement to be re-elected. Therefore they do what they want instead of what is best for the people and their constituents.

Most if not all of these congressman are loyal to their political parties more than they are loyal to the American people.

It is time to flush these congressmen down the drain, and get people in there who care more about our nation than their political party.

Therefore let’s enact term limits for each congressman, 2 terms and that is it!

My solution to fixing our government is simple; (1) Campaign Finance Reform, and (2) Two Terms for each Congressman only.

We need to take our nation back before it is too late.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © November 7, 2011

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What is up with all these So-Called “Biker Lawyers” all of a Sudden showing up with Booths at All of the Motorcycle Events?

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

California Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Photo courtesy of the American Bar Association Journal, and photographer David Newhardt

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!

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2011

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A Rider and a Passenger Killed During Love Ride

Scene of fatal Love Ride accident on the 5 Freeway.

Scene of fatal Love Ride accident on the 5 Freeway.

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.

Pacoima California Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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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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