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

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

How can you protect yourself financially if you have a Motorcycle Accident?

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

I am a Motorcycle Accident Attorney who handles motorcycle accident cases all over the State of California. Unlike all of the other lawyers out there advertising for motorcycle accident cases, I actually ride motorcycles.

I have a unique incite above all other lawyers who do not ride motorcycles because I am actually a biker like you.

I cannot tell you how sick and tired I am of getting a new motorcycle accident case, where my client has suffered catastrophic injuries, and the person at fault has minimum $15,000 coverage, no coverage, or coverage nowhere close to covering the damages in the accident.

Look let’s face it, we motorcycle riders are far more likely to be seriously injured or even killed in a motorcycle accident, then those who ride 4 wheel cars or trucks. Unlike the person in a car who has a metal cage around them, all we have is the helmet and clothes on our body to protect us. When we hit the ground at speed we tend to suffer more serious injuries.

It is smart and prudent for those of us who ride motorcycles to protect ourselves financially in case we are in an accident.

So you may ask how we protect ourselves financially in case we are in a motorcycle accident.

It is simple; we buy enough insurance to cover the risk of catastrophic injury in case we are in a motorcycle accident.

How do we buy the right insurance? It is simple, in California, most uninsured motorist coverage policies also cover under insured motorist as well. In other states or even California, you want to make sure you have uninsured motorist and under insured motorist coverage in an amount of no less than $500,000 dollars. I suggest that you have at least one million dollar uninsured motorist and under insured motorist coverage for motorcycle accidents.

Uninsured motorist coverage will cover you in case a person who is at fault in an accident has no insurance.

Under insured coverage, covers the difference between what the at fault driver insurance policy limits are and your coverage. It gives you the option of deciding how much coverage you will need.

I also suggest that you maintain high liability coverage limits as well (In case you are at fault) for your passenger in case you are in an accident where you are at fault.

Finally how do you cover yourself for an accident that you are at fault in? You can get comprehensive and collision coverage to cover your motorcycle, rental car coverage to cover your loss of use of your motorcycle, and medical payment coverage to cover your medical bills.

Most policies that I have seen only cover medical payments up to $10,000; however I am sure you can get more coverage depending upon how much you are willing to pay.

So there it is there are no more excuses for not enough insurance coverage to cover you in case you are in a motorcycle accident. Call your insurance agent and get yourself covered.

I do not want to find myself one day trying to explain to you why after you have suffered a million dollar injury, you will only get $15,000 in your motorcycle accident, because the person who is at fault only has minimal coverage, and no assets to pay you a million dollar judgment.

Besides, if you do get a million dollar judgment against an at fault driver, all they have do to is go bankrupt to get rid of the debt to you. The right insurance is almost always the only way to protect yourself financially in a motorcycle accident case.

If you or your family have been the victim of a motorcycle crash, truck crash, car crash, or other motor vehicle accident anywhere in California call us for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or go to http://www.thepersonalinjury.com.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © September 18, 2011

Are There Any Real Biker Lawyers out there Beside Myself?

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

Are there any real biker lawyers out there beside myself?

When I look at the Internet I see a bunch of pasty face lawyers and attorneys in suits claiming that they are motorcycle injury attorneys. Some are well known so-called motorcycle attorneys who advertise in a bunch of motorcycle publications, and even set up booths at events.

I know one up and coming so-called motorcycle attorney outfit that is nothing more than a marketing franchise scheme aimed at bikers and motorcyclist like you.

Hell, they advertise on TV, and they are all over the Internet representing themselves as biker lawyers.

When I contacted them to find out what they were about, they sent me marketing literature. Basically if you join their outfit and pay a fee, you too will be a real biker lawyer. They have a nationwide marketing campaign going right now which is targeted at bikers and motorcyclist. What a joke!

Let me ask you a question. Would you really want to hire a motorcycle injury attorney from an outfit that is nothing more than a marketing scheme directed at you?

Some months ago a few of us so-called “biker lawyers” were in an article in the Los Angeles Times discussing what is what like to be a biker lawyer.

One of my competitors admitted in the article, that he did not ride “because he wanted to grow old to see his grandchildren.” There was another attorney mentioned in the article, who I have never heard of before the article, who had recently starting working for the same firm of the guy who admitted that he did not ride, stating that he recently actually started riding, and that he recently started doing motorcycle accident cases; isn’t that grand.

Hell at least I give them a little credit for having an employee attorney who actually started riding a Harley Davidson Sportster right before the article came out.

Hell this firm advertises nationwide in many prominent biker rags. If you were to read their advertisements you would think that these guys are the baddest biker lawyers in town. I challenge them to ride with me sometime here in California. It would be nice to actually meet another attorney who rides motorcycles.

Geez would you want an attorney who is great at advertising, but who does not ride because “they want to grow old to see their grandchildren” representing you in your motorcycle accident case? Do you think that this guy actually respects you and your right to ride?

The reporter from the Times gave me a sentence or two credit in the article, notwithstanding the fact that she interviewed me for about an hour.

I thought it was amusing that the majority of the article was spent giving lip service to attorneys who don’t actually ride motorcycles, except for the one junior associate I mentioned above, who had just started riding motorcycles.

I challenge any of the so-called local California Biker Lawyers and Motorcycle Accident Attorneys who advertise anywhere in California to join me on a ride. The reason why I am issuing this challenge is because I believe that maybe only a few of them actually ride motorcycles if any do at all.

I do know of some lawyers nationwide who do actually ride motorcycles. One of them from Southern California who rides, does not do motorcycle injury accident cases.

There was an actual Superior Court Judge based in San Bernardino who actually rides motorcycles. He is, or was a Judge, I am not sure of his status now, but he does not advertise as a biker lawyer who handles motorcycle accident cases.

There is an attorney; his name is Jeff who lives in Korea, who rides. I met him through this Blog, the Biker Law Blog.

I know that there are lawyers out their sprinkled around the good old USA that ride motorcycle, but believe you me; they are the exception and not the rule.

In my personal opinion, I think that a law firm, or someone who advertises that they are “the best” motorcycle accident attorney,” or that they are “attorneys who ride,” or that they are “motorcycle accident experts,” etcetera, etcetera, should put their proof where there mouths are, or stop the false and misleading advertising.

I put my proof on the road on a daily basis. I do not make untrue claims about being a lawyer who rides; I am a lawyer who rides.

My firm has helped many bikers and motorcyclist in their time of need after a motorcycle accident. My client’s know I am a biker and motorcyclist just like them. When they talk to me, they are talking to a fellow biker and motorcyclist, not some attorney who advertises to them like they are a niche market.

Do not fall prey to slick advertising campaigns, or firms that are flat out misleading you into thinking that they are real bikers and motorcyclist only to get your business, when they are not bikers and motorcyclist who actually ride.

It is one thing to be a generic personal injury attorney who handles motorcycle accident cases, and another thing to flat out lie about being a biker and motorcycle rider only to get business, and to get real bikers and motorcyclist like you to sign up with them.

As I have stated many times, a generic personal injury attorney is at a severe disadvantage handling motorcycle accident cases, because they do not know the intricacies of riding a motorcycle, the very real dangers that bikers and motorcyclist face on the road when they ride, or how to deal with the prejudice that bikers and motorcyclist sometimes face, because they themselves have never had to personally deal with them.

You would not want to go to a general doctor for an orthopedic operation would you? So why would you go to a generic personal injury attorney instead of a real biker and motorcycle accident attorney to handle your motorcycle accident case?

So there it is. If you are a motorcycle accident victim, you need to do your due diligence when picking an attorney and lawyer to handle your motorcycle accident case.

If you see a slick advertisement from someone claiming to be a biker who rides, or who claims that they are the best motorcycle accident attorney, or that they are attorneys who ride, or someone who poses next to a motorcycle in a picture or advertisement, ask them a few questions about riding, particularly, when was the last time they rode!

You should know after a few questions whether they are bullshitting you our not.

My name is Norman Gregory Fernandez, and I am a real California Biker Lawyer, who handles motorcycle accident cases. Yes, I actually ride.

Then again, if you are anywhere in California, you can just call me. I will take care of you if you have a good case. Call me 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

If I agree to take your case, and you decide to retain me, I will send my people out to sign you up, so that you do not have to come into our offices.

We will handle your motorcycle property damage claim part of your case for free, unlike other attorneys who may charge you an administrative fee, or even a percentage of the amount of property damage.

I know attorneys who charge a fixed administrative fee to handle property damage. I will never take a dime of money to help you get your motorcycle repaired or totaled, if you retain me for your injury case.

We not only do not do that, but we think that it is wrong for a lawyer and attorney to take any part of the property damage claim in a motorcycle injury case.

If you are one of our clients, we will not only do the property damage part of your case for free; we will also do the following;

We will arrange to get you medical care, even if you do not have medical insurance, as part of your overall case.

We will help you to get a rental car if you are stuck without transportation.

We will help you to get a handicap placard for your vehicle so you can park in handicapped spaces while you are recovering.

We will help you to get a cash advance on your case with a 3rd party company if you are unable to work.

We will fight to get you everything that you are entitled to in your case such as loss of income and future income, medical expenses and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, loss of use of your motorcycle, and any other out of pocket expenses related to your accident.

We will also fight to get your spouse a recovery for the loss of consortium related to your motorcycle injury accident.

Hell, we even make ourselves available to our clients after hours and on the weekends when necessary.

We are not bankers and do not keep bankers hours. We work when necessary, not by arbitrary hours like some other attorneys!

We will go that extra mile for you in your case.

There is a reason why many bikers, motorcyclist, motorcycle club members, and others come to me for representation on their California cases; and it sure is not because of my slick advertisements.

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

A Horrible 30 Motorcycle Pile Up Accident in Oregon Injures Many Bikers.

massive 30 motorcycle accident in Oregon
scene of massive 30 motorcycle accident in Oregon

Yes you heard that right. On Saturday there was a massive accident involving almost 30 motorcycles on the I-5 in the State of Oregon. I read about this accident just before I was about to ride my motorcycle to Lompoc, California for a Karate tournament.

The injured bikers were members of a motorcycle club who were riding together in standard two column (side by side) or “coffin” formation.

From the news reports that I have read and watched, it appears that one or two SUV’s in front of the motorcyclist either intentionally hit their brakes with no traffic in front of the SUV, or suddenly hit their brakes because of slowing traffic in front of them.

This caused a chain reaction pile up accident, or domino effect as the bikers apparently had no time to stop or get out of the way.

Many of the bikers were injured, and two were critically injured and were airlifted out.

From the news reports that I read, there were motorcycles scattered all over the freeway.

I have ridden in many packs of motorcycles, and what happened in this accident is everyone’s nightmare scenario. If the witness reports turn out to be true, and the SUV intentionally hit its brakes, then this would be attempted murder as far as I am concerned.

Some of you may be thinking that stuff like this does not happen, well it does. I had a client report to me today that a car load of what looked to him like street gang thugs, tried to hit him in the head with a baseball bat as he was riding his motorcycle in Los Angeles a few days ago. They were in a truck.

Hell, as I was riding yesterday, splitting lanes just before Santa Barbara going north on the 101, some asshole big rig truck driver must have saw me riding up, and purposefully moved his rig left to close off the center lane just so I could not pass. Had I been next to him, he would have taken me out. Other motorist saw what he did because they honked and one guy flipped off the big rig truck driver. It took me about 30 seconds before I could finally pass the guy. He was glaring at me as I looked up at his rig. What was this asshole thinking?

For some reason, some motorist do not think that bikers and motorcyclist have the right to ride on the roads, as everyone else, and they seem to get off on trying to take us out.

Now I do not know why the SUV’s braked in the case of the 30 motorcycle vehicle accident which is the subject of this article and op. ed. , but if it was on purpose to cause an accident, the drivers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

What can be done to ensure safety while riding your motorcycle in a pack like this? The main thing that can be done is to ensure that the Road Captain, or the one leading the ride, makes sure that there is enough distance between the pack, and traffic in front of the pack to stop in case the vehicles in front suddenly stop. I wrote an article on group riding which you can read by clicking here now. My main rule is that the lead riders should not under any circumstances tailgate cars or other vehicles in front of the pack. There needs to be ample room. I have been in packs where the Road Captain was tailgating, and I just sat there waiting for the car to hit their brakes. I hate to be in the middle of a pack, I would rather be in the front, or rear, preferably the rear!

In a tight pack, everyone must use hand signals so that the people in back know what is going on to prevent just this type of scenario.

I am not saying that this accident could have been prevented, especially if the SUV purposefully hit the brakes to cause this accident, but there are things that can be done to make rides safer for riders in a group.

If you want to read a story about this accident that does not seem to be biased about the club members in this accident you may click here now to read it and watch a video about the accident.

May god be with the injured bikers and motorcyclist who were involved in this accident, and their family members. Bikers and Motorcyclist are human beings and deserve respect just like anyone else.

By Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © 2009

Indian Motorcycles Cash for Clunkers Program.

Indian Motorcycle
Indian Motorcycle

Just when you thought the infamous cash for clunkers program was dead, Indian Motorcycle has just announced their own version of the cash for clunkers program. Indian will offer $3,000 for your old clunker when you trade-in an old bike towards a new 2009 Indian Chief.

What is the catch? The trade in must be street legal, 100cc or larger motorcycle in running and ride-able condition; NO mopeds, scooters, or dirt bikes are eligible. Trade-in must have a clear title.

This program cannot be used in conjunction with any other program. Indian Motorcycle reserves the right to alter or terminate this program at anytime at their sole discretion and without notice.

All I can say about this program is wow! Imagine getting $3,000.00 for your old motorcycle on a new Indian Chief!

Head to the nearest Indian dealer and check out the Chief.

By Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © 2009

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Rides the Recently Re-Opened Angeles Crest Highway.

 One June 13, 2009, one week before my 46th birthday, my fiancé drove me to my house to pick up my Harley Davidson Electra Glide so that I could ride it to our new home. Well, I decided to take a major detour so to say…… You know how it is 🙂

I heard that the Angeles Crest Highway to Wrightwood, which has been closed for basically the past 4-5 years was recently repaired and finally reopened.

This is one of my favorite runs of all time, and it is local. I thought that with the budget crisis in California, and the severity of how the road was washed out during storms many moons ago, that there was a possibility of never being able to do this run again in my lifetime. I have heard people spouting off about roads with twisties; well let them ride the Angeles Crest and tell me what they think!

I shot the below first person perspective video with my cell phone camera, a Samsung Memoir, in one hand, and holding on to the throttle with the other. I do not ever recommend anyone ever trying this or doing this at home. Although I am a motorcycle accident attorney and a biker lawyer, I have been riding motorcycles for over 30 years and let’s just say that I think I am a decent rider.

The beginning of the video shows some video of the staging area, a traditional stop before Newcomb’s Ranch, Newcomb’s Ranch, my secret spot at 8,000 feet above sea level, and then some kick ass first person riding footage. The end of the movie is kind of a surprise.

Tell me what you think!

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009

Off Road Motorcycle, Dirt Bikes, Dune Buggies, Golf Cart, Snowmobiles, and ATV (standard, sport and utility) Insurance and Safety; Some Important Tips.

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses Off Road vehicle insurance and safetyI was reading a story whereby a 14-year-old girl from Woodacre, California was airlifted to an Oakland hospital Sunday afternoon after a collision between two off-road motorcycles in Novato.

The girl suffered head and internal injuries in an undeveloped lot near the junction of highways 101 and 37 and was flown to Oakland Children’s Hospital by helicopter, said Novato police Lt. Dave Jeffries. Her name has not been released because she is a minor.

The dirt bikes collided on a relatively flat trail at about 1 p.m., and Novato fire personnel arrived a few minutes later.

A 15-year-old male was on the other motorcycle and suffered a minor hand injury, He was not transported to a hospital, Jeffries said.

Fire Capt. Jeff Whittet said the girl was wearing a helmet but suffered moderate to severe injuries. She was conscious when rescuers treated her at the site.

“I would say they didn’t hit head-on but they crossed up their handlebars,” Whittet said.

The undeveloped Hanna Ranch site, about 4 1/2 acres just south of the Vintage Oaks shopping center, is popular with off-road motorcyclists. A 62,000-square-foot office complex has been approved there but construction has not begun.

The story got me thinking about some cases I have had involving off road motorcycles and other off road sports vehicles. It also got me thinking about a story my friend Scott told me about his son having multiple bad accidents on dirt bikes.

Most people do not realize that you can purchase insurance to protect yourself and your loved ones while they are riding off road vehicles such as dirt bikes, dune buggies, golf carts, snowmobiles, and all terrain vehicles. (ATV’s) as a matter of fact it would be dumb to engage in off road motor vehicle activities without insurance because to be frank, there are many off road motor vehicle accidents, but you never hear about them because they go unreported.

Most off road motor vehicle insurance policies cover: Collision, Liability, Medical, Safety Apparel Coverage for damage to any clothing designed to minimize damage from an accident, including helmets and goggles, Optional Equipment Coverage including towable trailers or sleds made for use with an ATV or snowmobile, and more. You pay to cover yourself in your street car, truck, or motorcycle; it only makes sense to protect yourself and your loved ones with off road vehicle insurance. You can find insurance companies providing this type of insurance all over the Internet. Do a search on Google, MSN Live, or Yahoo to find them.

Here are some basic off road safety tips. When You Ride the Trail, Put Safety First!

Think ahead.
Ask your local dealer about the laws and regulations in your area. Do your best to preserve the areas where you ride, and be sure that you only ride where off-road vehicles are permitted. Read your owner’s manual. Then make sure you take your manual, a small tool kit and essential spare parts with you whenever you ride.

Gear up.
For optimum protection in case of an accident, always wear a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet, eye protection, a sturdy jacket, long pants, over-the-ankle boots and gloves.

Practice.
Find a safe place to practice braking, turning and improving your reaction time to help improve your skills and make you a better – and safer – rider.

Learn more.
Improve your riding skills by taking a training course. Make sure your vehicle is properly licensed or registered. Choose a vehicle that is appropriate for your age and ability.

Stay off paved roads.
Remember that off-road vehicles are meant for operation off pavement and public roads. These surfaces may not only be illegal, but dangerous. Your off-road vehicle may be difficult to control on pavement, which could result in an accident.

Maintain control and stay sharp.
Keep your speed right for the conditions and your experience. Be aware of current terrain, visibility and weather conditions, potential hazards or obstacles. Ride only when your senses are sharp. Never do drugs or drink and then ride.

Check it out.
Be sure to check that your off-road vehicle is running properly before hitting the trail. Always check controls, lights, fuel and oil levels, switches, chain, driveshaft, tires and chassis before you head out. Follow the recommended service schedule for your off-road vehicle and be sure an authorized service provider makes all repairs.

Go it alone.
Never carry a passenger on your off-road vehicle unless the vehicle is designed with an appropriate passenger seat. Additional weight can greatly affect the handling of your off-road vehicle and potentially cause loss of control. It’s a good idea to take a buddy along, only on their own vehicle.

Know you’re protected>
Be sure you have proper insurance coverage to protect your vehicle and provide liability coverage in case someone gets injured or property is damaged during the use of your vehicle.

Off road motor sports can be very fun and exciting for the whole family. Exercising proper safety and insuring yourself against loss will make it that much better!

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009
www.thepersonalinjury.com

California Minimum Insurance Requirements

Norman Gregory Fernandez

Pursuant to California State Law, (Proposition 213) you must have minimum liability insurance coverage of $10,000 Property Damage, $15,000 bodily injury per person, and $30,000 per incident while you are driving on California Roads.

If you do not have minimum liability insurance coverage, you will NOT BE ENTITLED TO GENERAL DAMAGES (pain & suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.), and you may lose your drivers license, and a fine. Even if the accident was not your fault!

Most personal injury attorneys will not represent you on a contingency basis unless you had liability insurance at the time of accident, because the value of your case is limited to out of pocket losses only such as: Property Damage, Medical Expenses, Medication Expenses, Loss of Wages, etc.

Beware, recent changes in the law now require your insurance company to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles if your insurance is terminated. If your insurance is terminated your registration can be revoked, you can lose your drivers license, and face substantial fines.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. , Copyright 2006

NEVER LEAVE THE SCENE OF ACCIDENT; THE REQUIREMENT OF THE EXCHANGE INFORMATION

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.California Law requires that all persons involved in a motor vehicle accident to exchange drivers license, Vehicle Registration, and insurance information with each other at the scene of an accident.

If you are physically able, you must also provide your drivers license, vehicle registration, and insurance information to any other persons involved in the accident.

Never leave the scene of an accident without exchanging information. You could be charged with hit and run which is a felony and a crime in the State of California.

Do not ride down the street and then stop. We highly recommend that you leave your motorcycle where it is until the police arrive so that they can observe the position of the motorcycle and do their report. I recommend moving your motorcycle out of traffic only if you must, to the side of the road or medium of a freeway. ONLY MOVE YOUR MOTORCYCLE IF YOU HAVE TO FOR SAFETY REASONS! In any case, never move your motorcycle to a location where it can be construed by someone that you fled from the scene of an accident!

Unfortunately many persons in the State of California drive illegally without automobile or motor vehicle insurance. It is for this reason that we always tell our clients to carry uninsured motorist bodily injury, and uninsured motorist property damage insurance coverage.

Continue reading “NEVER LEAVE THE SCENE OF ACCIDENT; THE REQUIREMENT OF THE EXCHANGE INFORMATION”

Welcome to the Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer Blog

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. at Cooks CornerAs a lawyer who is a real biker, I wish to welcome you to this blog which was created by me on August 31, 2006.

My purpose in creating this blog was to educate bikers and motorcyclist on the legal issues related to riding motorcycles.

I am one of the few lawyers that I know of in California that actually practices what he preaches. In other words I ride, and I handle motorcycle accident cases, and other biker related cases.

I hope you read through the various articles that I post from time to time. I hope you find them helpful.
Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.
Biker and Lawyer
Visit My Biker Lawyer Website

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