Tag Archive: Motorcycle Accidents

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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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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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

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California Highway Patrol Officer Injured in Motorcycle Collision at the 134 and 2 Freeway Junction in Glendale; Maybe the Accident could have been avoided with a Safety Device.

Glendale CHP Motorcycle Accident

Scene of Glendale CHP Motorcycle Accident

A California Highway Patrol officer was hospitalized with major injuries Tuesday afternoon after he was knocked off his motorcycle by another driver during an attempted traffic stop on the 134 Freeway, according to a CHP traffic report.

Officer J.D Fields, 59, an Altadena resident, suffered a broken femur and wrist after the accident, which occurred around 1:40 p.m. near the intersection of the 134 and 2 freeways in Glendale.

Fields had seen a vehicle pulled over on the side of the road and moved into the right lane, put on his lights, and slowed down to approach the car.

A woman driving a 2010 Nissan vehicle was behind him and failed to see him slow down, according to the report. She veered quickly out of the lane and then “for unknown reasons,” moved back into the right lane and hit Fields’ motorcycle, the report states.

Fields was thrown from the motorcycle and onto the road. He was transported to the Huntington Hospital shortly after the accident.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation, according to the report.

This crash brings to mind a safety feature for motorcycles that I think should be implemented; a brake light that triggers with sudden deceleration of a motorcycle.

Let me explain. We, who ride motorcycles, tend to downshift to decrease our speed on most if not all occasions, before we hit the brakes.

If a car traveling fast behind us, does not see brake lights when we downshift to slow down, they do not know we are slowing down, and they rear end us.

I think that is exactly what happened in this rear ender of Officer Fields.

I have been on rides and seen motorcycle on motorcycle rear end collisions due to the same reason.

If there was a sudden decoration device on our motorcycles that triggered the brake light, I think we could save many a biker and motorcyclist lives.

For you inventers out there, maybe you can come up with something. Maybe a device like this should be mandatory for motorcycles.

It would appear that Officer Fields in the accident mentioned above, not only has a Workers Compensation case against the California Highway Patrol, and a separate Personal Injury case against the woman who hit him from behind.

The law in California is that a person driving behind another person, has a duty to maintain a safe distance from the car or motorcycle in front of them, so they can stop in case the vehicle in front of them stops. It appears that the woman is at fault in this case.

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.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This girl ruined his life.

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

WOULD YOU TRUST THE FUTURE OF YOU OR YOUR FAMILY TO HOW MUCH LIABILITY INSURANCE A TEENAGE GIRL DECIDES TO BUY?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is just common sense.

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

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What is Causing the recent Rise in Motorcycle Accident Deaths?

Researchers will Study Motorcycle Crash Causes and Prevention.The U.S. Department of Transportation has recorded a 150 percent jump in motorcyclist fatalities in the past decade. This huge rise in motorcycle fatalities has researchers perplexed.

Even though I do not want it to be so because I myself am a biker and motorcycle rider, Motorcyclists are considered the highest risk motorist group, accounting for 14 percent of all fatal traffic incidents.

Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System recorded 5,290 crash deaths among motorcyclists in 2008 and 96,000 injuries.

The traffic fatality rate for motorcycle riders has steadily increased since 1997, while other motor vehicle-related deaths declined.

The greatest number of motorcycle deaths on the road (36.4%) involves front-end crashes with other vehicles.

Collisions with motor vehicles overall are responsible for slightly less than half of the annual death toll among motorcyclists, according to the federal data.

The Federal Highway Administration will fund a study by Oklahoma State University’s Oklahoma Transportation Center designed to pinpoint causes of the increasing fatality rate among motorcyclists and identify prospective interventions. Researchers will study commonalities among motorcycle crashes ranging from road configurations and environmental conditions to rider experience in assessing the reasons for the high rate of fatalities among motorcyclists.

The Oklahoma Transportation Center research follows a 1981 NHTSA-sponsored study as well as a study conducted by the Association of European Motorcycle Manufacturers from 1999 to 2000 and one conducted in Thailand in 2001. The 1981 study found several factors contributing to motorcycle fatalities, including auto driver failure to detect motorcyclists and lack of safety equipment such as helmets. The study recommended improved licensing and training, as well as measures to make motorcyclists more conspicuous on the roads.

The European study again cited driver error, attributing 50 percent of crashes to auto drivers and 37 percent to motorcycle operators. Significantly, more motorcycle crashes occurred on straight roadways and minor roads than on curved roads or major highways.

Unlike the American and European studies, the Thailand study found rider error to be the major contributor to motorcyclist fatalities, with alcohol implicated in 40 percent of crashes. The most common type of crash was the motorcyclist rear-ending an auto. In the Thai research, only a single motorcyclist acknowledged receiving any training in operating motorcycles; the study concluded that the absence of training led to the high rider error rate.

The upcoming study in Oklahoma will build on the knowledge attained in earlier studies, establishing which crash causes remain of concern and which interventions undertaken in response to earlier studies have proven effective, as well as identifying new contributors to the high incidence of motorcycle crashes.

Look folks, according to the data we have so far, many motorcycle accident deaths can be avoided by having proper training, proper safety equipment such as full leathers and helmets, making yourself more conspicuous (seen) while riding, and not using mind altering drugs or alcohol when riding.

The sad fact is the data shows that a majority of motorcycle related accidents and deaths are due to other motor vehicles such as cars, SUVs’, trucks, bus’s etc., running into the motorcyclist, or cutting them off. Therefore you must have the proper skill and clarity of mind to be constantly looking out for these idiots.

If you or a loved one has had a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of California, or you were a passenger on a motorcycle that has had an accident in California, you may call me for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x.1. I ride just like you!

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

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4 Phoenix Arizona Motorcycle riders mowed down and killed After Being Rear Ended in a Horrible Crash.

3 Phoenix Arizona Motorcycle riders mowed down and killed After Being Rear Ended in a Horrible Crash.

Scene of horrendous motorcycle accident in Arizona.

PHOENIX — Arizona

**** 3-29-10 Update: There was a big turnout of bikers to pay homage to the downed bikers who were killed and injured in the horrible accident. You can see a video by clicking here.

**** 3-27-10 Update: 4th person died in this crash. I have modified the title to reflect this fact. The victims, and the person who caused this crash are also identified. You can read about it, and see a video by clicking here.

**** 3-26-10 Update: Here is a link to another article on this horrible crash and a video. Click Here

A group of eight motorcycles stopped at a red light in north Phoenix were mowed down from behind by a dump truck early Thursday afternoon, killing three riders and injuring six others, at least one critically, authorities said.

The most seriously injured was an off-duty Phoenix Fire Department captain who was in very critical condition Thursday evening, said Phoenix police spokesman Detective James Holmes.

The motorcyclists were stopped behind a pickup and a small SUV at the red light when the truck driver rammed them from behind, he said. The truck ran over the motorcyclists and continued into the small SUV in front of them, Holmes said.

There was no sign the truck driver was impaired.

Some of the motorcycles burst into flames under the dump truck, while others ended up scattered behind the truck. Television images of the crash site showed a horrifying collection of mangled chrome Harley-Davidson bikes and scattered personal belongings, including pairs of riders’ boots laying in the roadway.

“It’s a horrific scene,” Phoenix Fire Deputy Chief Frank Salomon said.

Some of the injured were airlifted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Salomon said.

The crash occurred about 1 p.m. at the intersection of 27th Avenue and the Carefree Highway. Holmes said at least one of the victims was a woman, but most were men.

Jarrod Cook, a worker at the nearby Ketzal Mexican Grill, said he saw several motorcycles wedged underneath the garbage truck, which caught fire.

“The first thing we saw was a big puff of smoke when the truck lit on fire,” he said.
Cook said he walked over and witnessed a chaotic scene with some of the injured lying on the ground.

Dozens of police and rescue personnel responded to the crash.

Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Jonathan Jacobs told KNXV-TV that witnesses reported seeing several of the motorcycle riders dragged 50 to 75 yards after impact. The three bikers killed were trapped under the truck, Jacobs said.

The 50-year-old driver of the truck was not injured and was being questioned by police. Those in the pickup and SUV also were not hurt.

The Carefree Highway was expected to be closed for several hours as police investigate the crash.

Although I am a California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer, I ride through Arizona all of the time. As a matter of fact, I will be riding through Arizona in a couple of weeks. I am absolutely appalled by this accident.

You tell me how a truck driver could not see 8 motorcycles parked at a red light, let alone the red light itself. Absent some catastrophic equipment failure that can be proven, the truck driver in this accident needs to be taken down by the man for murder or vehicular manslaughter.

This accident is absolutely atrocious and horrible.

California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, 2010

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Loose Gravel on the Road can be a Biker and Motorcyclist worst Nightmare; Beware.

motorcycle riding on gravel

Gravel and Motorcycles do not mix.

If you are a biker or a motorcyclist, and you actually ride your motorcycle, you have probably had a run in with loose gravel on the road or a parking lot at some point or another. It can be a real bitch to say the least.

Talking to a new client this evening brought up some bad memories I have had riding though gravel in the past myself, not to mention the many cases I have handled of motorcycle accidents caused by loose gravel.

My new client, who we will call Lucy for this article, was a passenger on a motorcycle that was being driven by her ex-boyfriend that went down when they hit a patch of gravel.

He was pinned underneath the motorcycle, she was thrown off and suffered severe injuries.

I am representing Lucy the passenger.

As she described it, they were not riding fast, and they turned into onto a familiar street, and then the bike (a Harley Davidson) just kind of slid out from underneath them for no apparent reason. Once they were down they realized that they hit a patch of gravel. Both were injured.

As we all know or should know, a motorcycle only has 2 wheels that we balance on when riding. Unlike a car or other cage vehicle, generally a motorcycle’s 2 wheels have a very small tread area that actually contacts with the ground when we are riding. Yea I know that some of you have 200’s on the rear, or fat racing slicks on your sport motorcycle, but that is not the norm.

Most of us have a very small amount of tread that contact with the ground when we are riding. If we ride over loose gravel, sand, or rocks on the road, it can very well cause your motorcycle to slide out from under you and ruin your whole day.

My worst experience with gravel happened on a very lonely unnamed off ramp on Highway 40 in Arizona between Flagstaff and Kingman in the middle of the night. My then fiancé and I got off to get some gas. It was pitch dark. No lights at all except for my headlight. The gas station was on the other side of the interstate under a bridge. There was no light from it at all when I got off.

As I turned left my motorcycle slid out from under me. I am no expert rider, but I managed to keep the motorcycle up. I was scared shitless. Had we gone down, we could have been run over by someone speeding down the off ramp due to no light, or we could have been laying there for quite some time. We were literally in the middle of no where, in the middle of the night. (Just the way Bikers like it.)

When we got to the gas station I told my fiancé what happened. She was so tired that she had no clue that we almost ate it.

Who is at fault if an Accident is caused by loose gravel, or on the Road?

Generally the person operating the motorcycle has a duty of due care to ride the motorcycle safely on all surfaces, therefore the rider is responsible.

However, it can also be argued that it is reasonably foreseeable to private persons, private property owners, or governmental entitles, that loose gravel or sand on hard pavement can create a dangerous condition to persons riding motorcycles because these vehicles balance on two wheels only, and loose gravel or sand can cause them to go out of control.

In other words, an experienced Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Attorney such as me can and will go after a person or entity that knowingly puts loose gravel or sand on a road that is used by motorcycle riders, because it creates a dangerous condition that they either know about, or should know about.

This is a very good reason why you do not want to go to a garden variety personal injury attorney who advertises that they do motorcycle accident cases, but has no clue what it is to actually ride a motorcycle. Only a real biker and rider of motorcycles understands the gravel or sand problem as it relates to motorcycle riders. I understand the problem because I have experienced it.

So there it is; if you go down due to loose gravel or sand on a public or private road, or even a parking lot anywhere in California, you should give me a call for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1. I will tell you over the phone if you have a good case.

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

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This just pissed me off; a 50-year-old man was killed in accident on Ortega Highway by another negligent cager.

Orange County fatal motorcycle accidentLake Elsinore – CA

Here we go again.

A 50-year-old man from Newport Beach was killed when a Toyota Corolla slammed head-on into his motorcycle and he was thrown, a CHP officer said today.

Robert Grice Jr. was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, reported about 8:45 a.m. Sunday on the Ortega Highway, about a mile east of the Orange County Line.

Grice was riding his Ducati Demosedici east on the Ortega when a Corolla traveling west swerved to the left and struck Grice’s motorcycle, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Ron Thatcher.

This is flat out negligent homicide. I am tired of hearing about cagers killing bikers and motorcyclist.

As many of you have read, another biker and motorcyclist Martin Allen Lacy was killed in a similar fashion by a girl who crossed into his lane.

I say it is time to start enforcing the laws that we have on the books regarding this wanton disregard for human life. These people need to be taught a lesson. Kill a biker, go to jail.

If you or a loved one has suffered a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another, anywhere in the State of California, feel free to call my firm 7 days a week, 24 hours a day for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

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

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When a Biker and Motorcycle Rider get Spooked after an Accident; Should they still Continue to Ride?

Getting Spooked after a motorcycle accident.I was talking to a new motorcycle accident client this weekend, who was riding a motorcycle, when he was taken out by a negligent cager who turned left in front of him, while he was riding on the street; or at least that is what he has been told. You see, he does not remember what happened to him, he was knocked unconscious in the accident. He was in a coma for a day, suffered a broken nose, and broken teeth among other injuries.

He retained my firm to handle his motorcycle accident case, and I am now his attorney. We have had several lengthy discussions about his case and riding motorcycles in general.

We were discussing the subject of him being entitled to recover for emotional distress in his case, and how motorcycle accident victims usually suffer from post traumatic stress after being involved in a motorcycle accident. He mentioned that because of this accident, he may not want to ride his motorcycle ever again. As a fellow biker and motorcycle rider, I can relate to what he was saying. Unlike some other poser attorneys and lawyers, I ride just like you do. I feel his pain.

In the end, bikers and motorcycle riders unlike people in cars are completely exposed to the elements when they are in a motorcycle accident. They do not have a car to protect them in an accident. All that stands between a biker and motorcycle rider and the pavement is what they are wearing, and maybe a helmet. An accident which might not cause injuries in a car can and sometimes are catastrophic on a motorcycle.

My new client learned this lesson first hand, the hard way. Many of my motorcycle accident clients report that they have serious thoughts of hanging it up and not riding anymore after their motorcycle accidents. I myself have even thought about hanging it up (for about a minute) after my minor motorcycle accidents.

There is an old saying; it is not a matter of whether you are going to go down, it is a matter of when. I myself have been very lucky with only a few minor accidents.

I will be frank; I deal with motorcycle accident cases on a daily basis. In some of these accidents, my client’s are totally messed up. It does kind of wear on me psychologically.

Sometimes while riding, I will think about my clients; it does sometimes make me nervous and more careful. However, luckily that feeling usually goes away after a few minutes in the wind.

I feel that my experience as a motorcycle accident lawyer and attorney, along with my own experiences riding motorcycles for many years make me a better and safer rider.

I myself could never imagine not riding my motorcycle.

However, with that being said, my client is seriously thinking about hanging it up. I have had many motorcycle accident clients decide to not ride motorcycles again, whether it was because of the emotional aspect of realizing that when the meat hits the pavement, the pavement always wins, or that they were physically unable to ride anymore because of their injuries, or that they did not want have to deal with a potential catastrophic injury if they did not have to. They are spooked.

Look, although I can never see myself ever not owing a motorcycle and not riding, my attitude is this; if you mentally feel like you should not be riding motorcycles, then you should not be riding motorcycles. It could happen to me and I will accept it if it does, reluctantly. There are many guys on the road right now that should not be riding motorcycles.

Every human being that has been involved in a motorcycle accident will always feel nervous the first time they get back on the motorcycle. If you say that you have had an accident, and were not nervous or more cautious when you got back on for the first time, you are full of shit.

Hell I had to lay a motorcycle down in Palm Springs, California because some idiot decided to cut right in front of me. It was low speed, but it was fast enough for sparks to come off of my bike and for me to suffer minor road rash on my side and feel a decent amount of pain. All of this happened in front of at least 50 or more riders on motorcycles. I was leading the pack.

I was able to get back on and continue to lead the ride even though I was in pain and injured. In my case, I was embarrassed, and hurt, but since my motorcycle was still rideable, (I had a broken mirror, bent handlebar, broken flood light, broken highway peg, bent crash bar, broken windscreen, etc.) it was a relatively low speed accident. During the ride after the accident, I was nervous as hell. It is kind of like getting back on a bucking bronco after being thrown.

I am no superman; far from it. Everyone is different. Riding a motorcycle is unlike riding a car; a motorcycle rider is connected to his or her motorcycle, not in it like a car. You have to be mentally there to be safe.

If you feel like you should not be riding motorcycles anymore, then you should not be riding. Maybe you should take a break for a while. I guarantee you that the urge to ride will come back to you. Whether you should ride again is another matter.

Your mind will usually tell you what the right thing to do is. Follow your gut, it is usually right. Do not let peer pressure influence your decision.

I will see you all on the road.

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

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

Welcome, my name is Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. I am a real biker, and a real California Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer. Click on the About Me Tab on Top to find out more about me

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