Category Archives: Off Road Vehicle Accidents

Questions to inquire about prior to hiring an Attorney or Lawyer

California Attorney at Law Norman Gregory Fernandez

California Attorney at Law Norman Gregory Fernandez

Chatsworth – California April 8, 2012

How can you know you have hired the ideal attorney for your legal matter? Exactly what are your legal rights when it comes to a given situation? Are you protected, guided properly, and will all the things involved in your matter be considered before decisions or actions are undertaken? Finding legal help right now can certainly be challenging, further, finding the right legal assistance can certainly be costly.

A part most typically associated with the initial challenge to locate a good attorney is a result of simply not understanding where to begin your actual search. Worse, the expense problem makes this process actually more daunting, presented with the probability of high retainer fees as well as hourly fees, and in the event that you will be looking out for your individual or your family’s needs, here are some thoughts to assist you.

A. Keep family as well as friends away from the legal advice area. I love the phrase “you don’t understand what you don’t understand.” Friends and family don’t understand what they don’t understand. Supplying you with imperfect or outright incorrect information and facts might be dangerous. Your circle of family and friends might be perfect for socializing and receiving everyday views on some things, but not for legal counsel. The majority of people do not know the actual law, how to legally resolve a legal matter, as well as the consequences of measures or omissions in the legal process.

Everyone has an opinion; however, when it comes to protecting you legally, in addition to guiding yourself, one’s family, or perhaps your business, you need more than a family member’s opinion. Family member’s advice may be well intended. But their advice may turn out to be very harmful to your legal case or issue. You should retain a completely independent attorney to deal with your actual legal issue, whether trivial or major, so you can actually obtain the proper legal guidance you need.

B. Stay far away from the ever increasing on-line document preparation solutions on the internet. These normally do not allow for a complete exchange of information and additionally may result in imperfect outcomes which may not fulfill ones actual needs. Documents produced in this manner might address your specifications. But if you have not really been asked proper inquiries, or if you don’t know everything involved, what is produced will be incomplete and could result in complications later because something crucial was not considered.

An example might be a simple Partnership Contract for the organization of a small business. Without terms within the Contract regarding what takes place if a Partner dies, you might have significant problems should that event arise. If you do not know to include a “death involving partner” provision in the contract, the actual on-line preparation service’s questionnaire may not either. Then, you might be devoid of an important part associated with the Contract, causing potential problems for you later on.

There is no way an online document preparation service can replace an experienced attorney.

Having an attorney can cost you more than using the on-line system, but the cost is well worth it. Just like you would never operate on yourself, you should never represent yourself. It is said that only a fool has himself for a client.

C. Find an attorney with a specialization or concentration within the area of law in which you need advice or legal assistance. Attorneys specialize similarly to doctors. You wouldn’t speak to a foot doctor about heart problems or a pediatrician about your aging parent’s memory difficulties. As plainly obvious as these examples appear, you actually might be undertaking the legal equivalent by talking to the incorrect attorney. Find an attorney that practices in the area you need help in.

D. When searching for an attorney, request family and friends (now is the time to involve them) if they know someone good. Go to your computer or smart phone and use the internet to search for a lawyer. For example to find a biker lawyer, type into the search engine “Biker Lawyer,” or if you are looking for a car accident attorney in Chatsworth, California, type in “car accident lawyer in Chatsworth, California. The more specific you type in your search the better.

A word of caution, major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo usually reserve the first 3 spots on the top of the search engine results for sponsored listings or paid advertisements. This means that the first three results on any search you do are paid advertisements. Further, all of the listings on the right hand part of the screen are usually also paid listings and paid advertisements.

There are also major directories that pop up in the search results that contain nothing but attorneys and lawyers who pay for listings.

Just because a lawyer pays for a sponsored listing or advertisement, does not mean they are the best attorney for you. As a matter of fact I recommend that you stay away from the hacks that pay for sponsored listings or advertisements all over the search engines.

Instead you want to find attorneys who are experienced and who you can speak to. A fancy ad does not make a good lawyer.

Yes, attorneys can certainly be expensive. Ask the attorney before you hire him or her how they will charge you. Ask for an estimate of the actual total costs that will most likely be involved. Ask if the lawyer will allow a few minutes for a free of charge consultation. Ask the attorney about their experience. Notice if you get through to the lawyer or if staff members block your actual access. There is nothing wrong with staff addressing your routine questions, however if you want to talk to the actual attorney, you should be allowed to do so.

Types of Fees.

Flat fees tend to be routine for “one-time” legal services, such as representation in a courtroom for a traffic or certain criminal offenses, as well as for the preparation of papers, such as a contract or perhaps a will.

Hourly fees are normal for matters which will entail continuing services, including representation in a divorce or child custody matter, or for business lawsuits. Often attorneys may ask for a “retainer” in advance; this allows them to acquire their fee while they do the work, and it safeguards them in case you decide to not pay them. As the retainer is used up, the lawyer will ask for another retainer.

Contingency fees are often charged for personal injury matters, such as automobile accident cases, or slip and falls, wherein the attorney will receive a percentage of the total recovery when, and only if there is a recovery for you.

Understanding how fees will be charged and collected is an integral part associated with the attorney selection process. Possessing this information will enable you to compare attorneys and then make an informed decision. Note that the least expensive attorney is not always the best. Per hour fees tend to increase with the attorney’s degree of experience. My advice is to take your time with a selection and ask questions. Shelling out money for legal matters may not be fun, but the results should be better than not hiring an attorney to safeguard you, and will most likely in the end save you money.

Norman Gregory Fernandez is an attorney at law licensed throughout the great State of California, and has been practicing law since 1997. He represents personal injury victims and routinely fights insurance companies and big businesses that won’t accept total responsibility for the harms and losses that they cause. He can be reached anytime by calling 800-816-1Law (800-816-1529), via email, or through his website. He’s also available to talk to your group about numerous legal topics.

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

California Personal Injury Attorney Website

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Typical Injuries Resulting from Car and Motor Vehicle Accidents

Graphic showing shoulder injury in a car crash

Graphic showing shoulder injury in a car crash

Motor vehicle accident injuries affect differing parts of the body. Head, neck and back injuries are certainly the most frequent, but motor vehicle collisions also frequently affect internal organs, and upper and lower limbs. The following are among the most common injuries, symptoms and treatment for motor vehicle accident injuries:

Head & Neck injuries

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an extremely serious injury that may result in a car accident. Such a brain injury occurs when the external force of a motor vehicle accident traumatizes the brain. Brain injury may result in permanent or temporary impairment of the brain’s functions. Skull fractures, bruises of the brain (hematoma), and nerve damage in many cases are associated with such brain injury.

Brain injuries are more common in side impact motor vehicle collisions compared to rear-end vehicle accidents. Brain damage in a vehicle accident is frequently associated with the quick acceleration and deceleration of the brain, which causes injury to the point of impact and it is opposite point or contrecoup. Diagnosis of a brain injury can be difficult. Concussions are associated with traumatic brain injury as well as seizures, headaches, dizziness, deficiency of concentration, memory loss, depression or anxiety. CT scans and MRI scans can be used to diagnosis brain injury.

Neck injuries vary from whiplash, probably the most common and annoying injuries caused by car accidents, to disk injuries. Whiplash is an injury frequently related to rear-end impacts. Whiplash injures the soft tissues comprised of nerves, ligaments and muscles. It causes neck pain and limitation of head and neck movement effecting rotation and peripheral vision. It may be temporary or permanent and can affect all aspects of life. If whiplash lasts for more than a few days after a motor vehicle accident physicians will prescribe medications and often refer patients to physical therapists or chiropractors for rehabilitative therapy.

Temporalmandibular joint (TMJ) injury is an injury to the joint and ligaments that allow the jaw to move. Similar to whiplash, the TMJ joint is injured in the acceleration and deceleration of a motor vehicle accident. This may occur with direct or indirect damage to the jaw and effects chewing, eating and speech.

Intervertebral discs make up the spine. The disks lie between each bone (vertebrae) within the spine and form joints giving spines flexibility. Discs are made up of an outer skin called an annulus that surround the interior nucleus, a jelly like substance. If the annulus is torn, a disc may herniate and need surgery. Disks in the neck and spine may bulge, slip or rupture, hence the phrases bulging disc, slipped disc, and ruptured disc. CT scans and MRI scans are often used to diagnosis disc injuries and since such tests are costly doctors will not likely order them immediately after a vehicle accident. It frequently occurs where a disk injury or herniated disc isn’t diagnosed until months following a motor vehicle accident.

Back Injuries

Intervertebral disks in the neck, cervical discs, aren’t the only discs injured in car accidents. Thoracic, mid-back, disks and lumbar, lower back, disks may also be injured in car accidents. Compression fractures may be caused in such accidents causing permanent disability. Also, herniations or bulges may cause spinal-cord compression. Symptoms of spinal injuries include arm and/or leg weakness, paralysis, difficulty breathing, numbness, tingling, and abnormal bowel or bladder control. Disc injuries causing those symptoms may require surgery to eliminate disc material or spinal fusion.

In the same way whiplash injures soft tissues involving the neck, the back nerves, ligaments and muscles may be traumatized by a car accident causing inflammation and pain. Prescriptive medications in many cases are used initially but for continuing pain and inflammation, patients are sent to physical therapists or chiropractors for rehabilitative therapy. Such therapy generally includes infrared heat, hot packs, paraffin bath, hydrotherapy, diathermy, cold packs, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, muscle strengthening, traction, massage, or acupuncture. Another common treatment is steroid injection.

Internal Organs

Internal injuries from a motor vehicle accident include injuries to bowels, kidneys, the spleen, liver, lungs, heart or aorta. Fractured ribs are quite common and could also puncture lungs along with other body organs. Torn spleens are also a frequent injury and may require extensive hospitalization.

Upper limbs

Hands, forearms, arms, shoulders, wrists and fingers in many cases are injured in car accidents as well. Fractures are typical and treatment generally involves splints and casts. Occasionally, such injuries will demand surgery together with splinting and casting. Therapy may also be required for increasing reduced strength and range of flexibility.

Rotator cuff injuries are frequently a result of automobile accidents. MRI scans are often used to diagnosis rotator cuff tears but since these tests are costly doctors will typically not order them immediately after a car accident and will wait for completion of physical rehabilitation before ordering an MRI. Severe shoulder injuries will require shoulder reconstruction.

Lower limbs

Hips, legs, knees, heels, ankles, and feet are also commonly damaged in car accidents. Achilles tendon injuries, ankle sprains, collateral ligament injuries and stress fractures are normal. Fractures in the pelvis, femur, patella, tibia, and ankle may require casting or surgery. For serious hip and knee injuries, total hip replacements or total knee arthroplasty might be necessary following a car accident.

It is very important that you select an experienced personal injury attorney if you have had a car crash or other motor vehicle accident, one who is not only familiar with the injuries you have sustained in the accident, but also the treatment and prognosis as well.

You should be able to tell during a consultation with a reputable personal injury attorney right away, whether they know what they are talking about or not.

Also look at their ratings; Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez has been rated 10 out of 10, the highest rating possible by Avvo.

Our law firm handles car accident cases all over the state of California. You can read about these cases at http://www.thepersonalinjury.com . If you want to discuss your case, you may call me for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

California Car and Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney Website

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To Retain a Lawyer or to Not Retain a Lawyer, What Should You Do?

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

As a California Personal Injury Lawyer, I give free consultations to injury victims throughout the State of California almost every day.

Inevitably about 5% of the people I talk to have either tried handling their California personal injury matter on their own, or are very reluctant to “get lawyers” involved because of what they heard about lawyers, or are clueless about how the legal system works.

Ultimately, out of the 5% of the people mentioned above, about 1% or 1 out of 100 people I talk to decide to handle the matter on their own.

To me, an experienced California Personal Injury Attorney, it is inexplicable why someone would choose not to retain an attorney to handle their personal injury case. Let me tell you why.

Firstly, most people have no clue that they are entitled to recover the following damages in a typical personal injury matter:

Out of Pocket Expenses: All out of pocket expenses flowing out of the personal injury matter such as: loss of wages, medical cost, prescription cost, cost of travel to and from the doctor, prescriptions, loss of use of vehicle, either the repair cost of a damaged vehicle, or the fair market value of a damaged vehicle when the repair cost exceeds the fair market value, rental car, loss of future wages, future medical expenses, etc.

Non Economic Expenses: Pain & Suffering, Emotional Distress, Loss of Enjoyment of life (loss of enjoyment of life consists of compensation to a person for not being able to do things that they used to do, while they are injured. Such as cleaning, cooking, walking, dancing, going out, etc.)

In a nutshell a typical person has no clue that they are entitled to the things mentioned above, how to value such things even if they know about it, and most importantly, how to get it.

Going further, if an injured person is married, they typically do not know that their spouse also has a cause of action against the person who injured them for loss of consortium. Hell most personal injury lawyers in California do not even go for loss of consortium.

Loss of consortium in a nutshell is damages that a spouse of an injured party are entitled to, for the loss of the things that their spouse used to do with and for them in the marriage, because of their injury. In many cases loss of consortium can amount to a substantial amount of money.

I have just touched the tip of the iceberg with this article. Ultimately, only a fool has themselves for an attorney.

I can assure you that in 99% of cases, a person without an attorney will get less than a person with an attorney in a California Personal Injury case.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a California Personal Injury matter you may call my personal injury hotline 7 days a week, 24 hours a day for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 extension 1. You may also check out my personal injury website at http://www.thepersonalinjury.com.

By California Personal Injury Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © February 10, 2011

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8 People are Killed at an Off-Road Racing Event in Lucerne Valley; What are the Legal Ramifications?

Many of you have heard by now that 8 people died in the Lucerne Valley, at an off road racing event, when a truck went out of control during the event. Many of you may not know that 39 other people were injured; 10 seriously.

I personally send my heartfelt condolences to all of the family and friends of the victims of this tragic accident, and wish those injured a speedy recovery.

You can see by the raw video below that the spectators were standing way too close to the racing vehicles. Many have said that the reason why so many people were killed and injured was preciously because the fans were way too close to the action.

YouTube Preview Image

I have heard that there will be no charges filed against anyone having anything to do with the race, but that the national park service is going to do an investigation, since they were the ones that gave a permit for the race.

I have seen news reports that the promoters and organizers of this event put signs up stating that people should stay at least 150 feet away from the racing vehicles. I am sure they think that this warning is sufficient to protect them from being responsible for this horrible accident; I disagree.

As a Personal Injury Attorney, I deal with negligence cases in one form or another every day. The way I see it, the organizers and promoters of this event are legally responsible for the deaths of 8 spectators, and the injury of 39 others.

They owed a duty of due care, to provide a safe way for the spectators to watch the race. They should have had adequate security at the event to keep the spectators a safe distance from the race. The owed a duty of due care, to erect barriers, tape, or something so that spectators such as the ones who were killed and injured, would have known where to stand during the race.

They apparently did nothing but put signs up saying that spectators should stay 150 feet away from the action. Hell, I for one do not know how to measure 150 feet without some kind of tape measure.

Many might argue that the persons who were killed and injured assumed the risk of harm that they suffered at this event. I disagree. Spectators are not engaged in a dangerous sport, they are simply there to watch. With some minimal precautions from the organizers and promoters of this event, this tragedy could have been avoided.

If you or your family suffered through the wrongful death of a loved one at this event, or your or a loved one were injured at this event, all me now for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1. You may be entitled to substantial compensation for your loss.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © August 2010

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Tort Reform is a big Scam; Why Tort Reform will Hurt You and take away more of Your Freedom!

Tort Reform is a ScamWhen you hear the term “Tort Reform” realize they what you are really hearing is a call to take away your legal right to get compensation when you are injured due to the negligence of another, to protect big business, the insurance companies, the big pharmaceutical companies, and big medicine; as though they are not rich enough.

You will be the only one getting screwed with tort reform; mark my words.

 I hear a certain political party constantly preaching about tort reform this and tort reform that in a way to demonize personal injury attorneys as the fall guys for excessive costs of medical care, insurance, and everything else you can imagine.

You see they like to blame attorneys for taking on big business, the insurance companies, the big pharmaceutical companies, and big medicine, when they screw up and harm you.

Hell, 99.9% of the time, we are the only way you are going to be compensated when you are harmed due to the negligence of big business, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, or big insurance companies.

You don’t hear members of this political party telling you this do you?

One thing they don’t tell you is that since the 1970’s, there has already been a cap on general damages in medical malpractice cases of $250.000 in the State of California.

This means that if a doctor screws up and let’s say cuts out your only good kidney, or let’s say misdiagnosis an illness like cancer, you only get $250,000 for general damages in the State of California. Does this seem right to you? Hell no!

The laws of the State of California basically protect doctors from their negligence and the laws have done so since the 1970’s. States such as Texas have in the past couple of years, recently enacted their own tort reform laws. My understanding is that in Texas there is a $750.000 cap on general damages.

California is way behind the eight ball in this regard; we can only get $250,000 for general damages. It is time to either remove the cap in California or to increase it to reflect the inflation that has occurred since the 1970’s.

Look if you are the victim of medical malpractice, how much would the pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress be worth to you if let’s say a doctor screws up and cuts off the wrong leg, or even caused the death of a loved one?

Do you want some law to prevent you from recovering from your loss? This is tort reform. It is time to get educated folks and stop believing those talking heads who pocket big bucks from those who would save money with tort reform.

This is the essence of tort reform; it is taking away your legal rights, to protect a class of persons or corporations from the harm that they cause by limiting what you can get from them if they screw up your life.

You will see that one political party preaches about less government, and less regulation and intrusion, and they in the same breath will argue to regulate your legal right to obtain compensation as an individual when you are harmed. Who are they protecting? Big business, big medicine, insurance companies, everyone but you. These people are full of shit.

It does not matter what political party you are from when your life gets turned upside down in a personal injury case does it. In the end we are all the same; when we are sitting on our couch injured and hurting due to the negligence of another, all we want is to get better, to get compensated, and to get our lives back. Tort reform prevents this. This is what pundits do not tell you.

These are the same guys that are saying that providing medical coverage to millions of Americans, and prohibiting insurance companies from denying you coverage for pre-existing coverage is a bad thing. These guys are despicable.

It is time to expose the lies America. Tort reform is against your interest and your freedom as Americans.

This is another way to screw the little guy and protect those who are already making a fortune at your expense!

It is time to become educated folks. I am on the front lines of this fight on a daily basis. Any one of you could be sitting in my office looking for help for your personal injury case; you never know. What you should know is tort reform is bad for you; it is bad for all of us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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