The dangers of following too close while riding a motorcycle

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Sturgis 2015
Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Sturgis 2015

I have been a personal injury attorney for almost 20 years. I have been riding motorcycles over 40 years. The one thing I can say for certain is that a motorcycle with 2 wheels, has much less traction than a car with 4 wheels.

Further, a motorcycle wheel has much less traction than a car wheel, because the motorcycle wheel is rounded, whereas a car tire l is flatter and has more area of rubber on the pavement.

With that being said, it’s very important for motorcycle riders to not tailgate, and to keep a safe distance and speed from the car in front of them, so they can stop in case the car comes to a sudden and unexpected stop.

I know of many instances where individual riders, groups of riders, and even motorcycle clubs have had mass accidents, because the people in the front are tailgating or riding to close to the cars in front, the car suddenly braked, causing a chain reaction crash.

I just gave a consultation to a gentleman who in his mind thought he was not at fault, when he had to lay his motorcycle down on a freeway on-ramp because the car in front of him came to a sudden stop.

Apparently there was a crosswalk on the on-ramp, and a pedestrian was within 20 feet of the crosswalk when the car stopped. In the biker’s mind, the car should not have stopped for the pedestrian. It never occurred to him that he should have kept a safe distance from the car in front of him so that in case the car stopped he could stop.

I had to tell him that it was he, the motorcycle rider, that was at fault in that instance.

Not only do motorcycles take more time to stop in an emergency situation than a car because of less traction area on the pavement, but the consequences of crashing can be catastrophic to motorcycle riders.

Basically it’s not worth your life. I know guys who tailgate when they ride. It drives me crazy to ride with these guys, and I absolutely will not stay with them, I will stay back so that in case the cars brake they’re going to eat the back of the car not me.

Ensure that you keep a safe distance and speed from the car in front of you, and anticipate that the car may slow down or suddenly stop. If you ride with this in mind you will be a safer motorcycle rider.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © February 2, 2016

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

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

California Highway Patrol to crack down on bikers and motorcyclist along Ortega Highway in Riverside County

Overhead Image of the Ortega Highway in Riverside County
Overhead Image of the Ortega Highway in Riverside County

Riverside County – California

Motorcyclists committing traffic violations on the Ortega Highway in Riverside County will be the target of a six-month enforcement campaign by the California Highway Patrol, it was announced Monday.

From April through the end of September, the CHP’s Temecula office will ramp up patrols on a 33-mile stretch of state Route 74 to catch unsafe motorcyclists, according to Officer Ron Thatcher.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “Motorcycle Safety Coalitions” grant will provide the funds necessary for overtime and special operations geared to motorcycle riders, Thatcher said.

CHP data from January 2007 to December 2008 indicate there were 75 motorcycle collisions from where the Ortega Highway begins in San Juan Capistrano to Green Avenue in southwest Riverside County. Twenty-five of the accidents resulted in injuries, and all were connected to speeding.

“Taking a turn too fast, a motorcyclist is likely to find himself in over his head,” said Capt. Ernie Sanchez, commander of the agency’s Temecula office.

“This stretch of highway demands concentration and caution on the part of the rider,” he said. “With this grant, we’re hoping to not only raise awareness and educate motorcyclists, but ultimately save lives and reduce the number of riders injured every year.”

The Temecula CHP will coordinate with local law enforcement agencies to conduct enforcement operations and advance public awareness efforts, according to Thatcher.

I am very concerned when I hear that law enforcement is going to single out bikers and motorcyclist for selective enforcement, especially in California.

I would like to hear from anyone who is the subject of harassment as a result of this announced policy by the CHP.

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.

Ortega Highway Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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

Truck Driver Charged in Fatal Arizona Motorcycle Crash

3 Phoenix Arizona Motorcycle riders mowed down and killed After Being Rear Ended in a Horrible Crash.
Motorcycles on the ground after horrible motorcycle accident in Arizona

The dump truck driver responsible for the deaths of four motorcyclists in a horrendous rear ender crash in Arizona has been arrested after toxicology results found methamphetamine was in his system on the day of the crash.

46-year-old Michael Jakscht is being charged with 4 counts of manslaughter, 5 counts of aggravated assault, and 7 counts of endangerment. He is being booked into the Maricopa County Jail.

Phoenix Police say that Jakscht was driving the truck that plowed through a group of eight motorcycles stopped at a red light at Carefree Hwy and 27th Ave back on March 25.

Three men caught under the truck and dragged were killed almost instantly. They were 67-year-old Clyde R. Nachand, 35-year-old Daniel L. Butler, and 52-year-old Stephen Punch. A female driver, 47-year-old Dayle Veronica Downs-Totonchi, died the next day from her injuries.

Phoenix Fire Captain Ernie Lizarraga was also one of the several victims seriously injured.

Officers arrested Jakscht Tuesday in the area of Highland and State Route 51.

Jakscht was being watched at his residence in Scottsdale. The surveillance team saw him leave and he was stopped by officers who observed impaired driving behavior.

Jakscht has been under surveillance ever since the fatal crash, as police waited for toxicology test results. The test results were completed in record time and illegal drugs — methamphetamine — were found present in Jakscht’s system, according to police.

Crime lab tests usually take between 4 to 6 weeks, but police made this test a priority and it was completed in two.

There are possible charges pending for impaired driving.

The accident is still under investigation.

I cannot believe that Arizona waited so long to arrest this guy.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Website

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

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

Some Simple Motorcycle Safety Tips – They Can Be Life Savers!

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

Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable motorist on the road. A motorcyclist who is involved in a collision with a four wheeled motor vehicle such as a car, pickup truck, etc., it at a severe disadvantage.

Often times motorcycle accidents result in the death or disability of the motorcyclist. It is not hard to lose a limb, seriously damage internal organs, or to become paralyzed in a motorcycle crash if you are not careful.

Therefore unlike with other motor vehicles, bikers and motorcyclist must adhere to strict safety measures to prevent motorcycle accidents, and to ensure survival if they are in fact in a motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle Safety Tip # 1: Wear a DOT Helmet

I know, I know, many in the biker community say “bullshit” I am not wearing a helmet, yada yada yada. Others wear toy novelty helmets in States where helmets are mandatory.

Research has clearly shown that serious brain injuries and death can be avoided by wearing a good helmet. A very common motorcycle accident scenario is that a rider is thrown off of the motorcycle, landing on, or hitting his or her head. For those wearing a good helmet, a serious head injury can be avoided by simply wearing a helmet. Hell you might have a severe headache if you land on your head in a motorcycle accident, but at least you are still alive!

Low impact head injuries can also be fatal. A recent case was reported when a stationary motorcyclist lost his balance in the driveway, his motorcycle fell over; he struck his head on the concrete driveway, and later died of his injuries a few days later. He died because he did not have a helmet on. The result was tragic and could have been easily averted by simply strapping on a helmet.

A helmet is certainly not an iron clad guarantee that an accident or serious injury won’t happen. However, wearing a motorcycle helmet will certainly improve the chances of survival in a motorcycle accident.

Tip 2: Wear Proper Protective Motorcycle Clothing

Motorcyclists should always wear the proper equipment while riding their motorcycles for protection. The goal is that you not only want a protective layer between you and the elements, but you also want to be clearly visible to other motorist.

Motorcycle accidents can be quite horrendous on the skin. Bikers and motorcyclist can be thrown off of their motorcycles and skid or slide along the pavement. Without protective clothing or footwear, your body can slide unprotected against pavement, concrete, stone, glass, and other dirt and debris on the road, which will literally peel off your flesh, or embed into your flesh. This can have disastrous consequences for you, and cause severe pain and suffering that could have easily have been avoided.

I will admit, in the old days I was not so smart. I would wear a t-shirt with a vest. Now, I am not willing to take a chance simply because I was too stubborn or egotistical to wear proper riding attire.

Tip 3: Stay Sober and Well Rested

Dahhhh. If you are too tired or shit faced drunk, and/or on other mind altering substances, your reflexes and ability to react while riding your motorcycle can be severely impaired.

Motorcyclist should avoid riding when very tired, and regularly take short breaks. Alcohol and Other Drugs can also seriously affect your ability to ride, and should be avoided when riding a motorcycle.

If you think drunk driving in a car is dangerous, drunk riding is at least ten times more dangerous for you on a motorcycle. At least in a car you have some protection. On a motorcycle, there are no second chances. You need to be on your game.

Stay off of the mind altering substances while riding a motorcycle, even one beer can impair you on a motorcycle. Also take frequent breaks to avoid fatigue.

Tip 4: Adhere to Traffic Laws

A significant number of motorcyclists involved in motorcycle accidents are riding without a proper motorcycle license or endorsement. Motorcyclists should ensure that they are properly licensed, and always up to date on their knowledge of local traffic laws. You should obey all traffic laws whenever possible.

Tip 5: Motorcycle Equipment Safety Check and Planning

Motorcyclists should inspect their motorcycles before each ride for loose screws or bolts, tire wear, etc. Motorcycle accidents often occur as a result of mechanical problems.

Plan ahead when riding in a group. Determine your route in advance and ensure that it agreed with the other riders. Review group hand signals, formations, etc.

Tip 6: Continuous Learning and Improvement

A large percentage of motorcyclists involved in motorcycle accidents have had no formal motorcycle rider training. Enrollment in a certified motorcycle training class is a good way to develop basic riding.

Once the basic techniques have been acquired, motorcyclists can improve accident-avoidance skills by taking an advanced motorcycle rider course or advanced program for motorcyclists that teaches defensive riding on your particular motorcycle.

Motorcyclists and bikers have the responsibility to protect themselves as much as possible.

By following these basic safety tips things can and will go a whole lot better for you if you ever go down!

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

Motorcycle Crash northeast of Bakersfield leaves the Motorcycle Passenger Dead

Bakersfield fatal motorcycle accident Christmas 2009A suspected dui-related motorcycle crash northeast of Bakersfield has killed one person on this Christmas 2009.

The Highway Patrol says the person killed was a passenger on the motorcycle, and was airlifted to Kern Medical Center. However, that person did not survive the injuries from the motorcycle accident.

It happened just after 4:30 p-m on Granite Road at Round Mountain Road. Investigators say the driver of the motorcycle was heading east on Granite Road and lost control. Both the driver and the passenger were thrown from the bike. The driver of the motorcycle hit a fence, the passenger hit a pole. “The passenger sustained fatal injuries and the driver sustained moderate injuries. In the early stages of the investigation it appears that alcohol is related,” said Sgt. Jeff Crosswhite, California Highway Patrol.

The Highway Patrol says both were wearing helmets. The driver was also taken to Kern Medical Center with moderate injuries. Officers say the driver may have felony dui as well as manslaughter charges.

This is a horrible accident that did not have to happen. I will say this very clearly; IF YOU HAVE HAD ALCOHOL DO NOT RIDE A MOTORCYCLE PERIOD. IF YOU ARE A PASSENGER, DO NOT GET ON A MOTORCYCLE WITH A RIDER WHO HAS BEEN DRINKING PERIOD.

Alcohol and motorcycles flat out do not mix. Hell you need to be on your game sober to ride safely. Can you imagine how dangerous it is to ride after drinking?

If you or a family member have been the victim of a motorcycle accident, or you were a passenger injured in a motorcycle, or you have had a family member killed in an accident call my law firm ASAP for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1 or check out my website at http://www.bikerlawyer.net .

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

A Holiday Season of Suffering for Some.

Happy Holidays from the Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

As I type this article I am thinking about the many motorcycle accident victims, the motorcycle passenger accident victims, the car accident victims, the truck accident victims, the slip and fall victims, and other personal injury victims whom I represent all over the State of California.

The life of a personal injury attorney is not easy, especially when you care about your clients.

I just got back from Redding, California where the deposition of one of my motorcycle accident clients took place. His life has been utterly devastated by a rear ender motorcycle accident. As a fellow biker I truly feel for him. I saw the tears well up in his eyes as he described how the motorcycle accident ruined his life in the deposition.

In the San Francisco airport on the way home, I spoke to the brother in law of a man who was killed while riding his Honda Goldwing, when a woman decided to turn right in front of him. His family is devastated. All he was doing was riding his motorcycle.

As I got in my car at the Los Angeles International Airport, I was informed by my staff that we finalized a very large settlement for a client who suffered massive injuries when a cager turned in front of his motorcycle in the San Fernando Valley.

While sitting in traffic on the way home after hours, I consoled a client who was massively injured in another motorcycle accident in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In my firm the above is the tip of the iceberg and only describes a little about what I do on a daily basis.

My job and my career as a personal injury attorney is to help those who are injured, and those whose family members have suffered a wrongful death. I help people on a daily basis.

While most people celebrate the holiday’s and are oblivious to the suffering of some, there are many out there who are not so fortunate.

I would like to send prayers out to all of my personal injury clients during this holiday season. This may sound corny, but I feel your pain, I suffer with you, I will endeavor to see that you get the very best medical attention; I will do everything in my power to get you the compensation you deserve. You are not alone.

Happy Holidays from the Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates

Bad weather in California causing hundreds of Car, Truck and Other Motor Vehicle Accidents; Be Careful.

California Personal Injury Attorney and Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Personal Injury Attorney and Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

As all you Californians know, we have had a series of bad storms over the past week. Now this is nothing new to Northern Californians, but Southern Californians are definitely not used to the rain and snow.

There have literally been hundreds of car, truck and other motor vehicle accidents over the past week all over the State of California. Everybody is blaming the bad weather, but in 99% of all cases, the fault is on drivers who were not being careful while driving in the bad weather.

Everyone needs to be careful out there on the roads. I flew in to Los Angeles International Airport last night from San Francisco. Although it was not raining in Los Angeles, the traffic was horrible because of the rain earlier in the day. There were still your ubiquitous assholes on the road, not letting people switch lanes, tailgating, driving recklessly, you name it.

To protect yourself against the bad drivers you need to make sure that you have uninsured motorist coverage and under insured motorist coverage in a decent amount to protect yourself against these bad drivers with bad insurance.

If you are hit, the first thing you need to do is make sure you get a police report, go to the emergency room if you need it, and call me for a free consultation on your car, truck, or any other motor vehicle accident, anywhere in California, at 800-816-1529 x. 1. As all of my clients all over the State of California know; I am an attorney that cares about my clients. I will do what I can to take care of you.

By California Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2009

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

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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