Debra A. Newby has represented hundreds of severely and fatally injured clients in Northern California. She has actively practiced law for over 35 years and is a member of the California, Texas, and Sonoma County Bar Associations. She represents clients in Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino and Marin counties.
Yes. You will be responsible for telling me the truth, in confidence, and for providing me any documents that may be in your possession. We advance all reasonable costs (such as court fees, copying, telephone calls, etc.) and when the case is settled or litigated, the costs will be deducted from the settlement or award, after you have reviewed and approved the costs.
It depends on several factors, for example, how long it will take for you to heal or recover from your injuries and the complexity of the case. It is ill-advised to settle any case before you are fully recovered, as settlements are final. Some insurance companies may try to encourage you to settle early; don’t do this without first consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
The best course of action is to consult with an attorney soon after the accident, and certainly before the insurance company starts calling you, so that you are advised of your rights and steps you should take to protect yourself. Personal injury law is complex and involves certain strategies, concepts and deadlines. For example, if you are injured, you should be aware of certain “deadlines” or “statutes of limitations.” If the party who caused the injury is a governmental entity, like the federal or state government, county or city, then you must file a claim with the governmental entity within six months of the injury. If you are injured by a “private party,” in California you have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit or you are forever barred. (A medical malpractice claim may have a shorter statute of limitations – one year from the discovery of the injury).
Some observers argue that testing for cannabis levels is unreliable, because THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, for my science-driven readers) is fat-soluble and can remain in the driver’s system for hours or even days. If the driver is a chronic cannabis user, then the THC can remain for 2-30 days, depending on what study you read. Lab testing methods include a blood test, urine test (less reliable), and saliva swab test. Given the challenges with testing for cannabis, Prop 64 also earmarked something like $15 million over five years to the Highway Patrol to determine “protocols and best practices” for determining if the driver is under the influence.
Generally, you have to first formulate the reason for the name change, as I assure you, the Judge will ask. Your request for a name change will likely be granted if your reason is to reconnect to your cultural heritage, to avoid embarrassment, to reclaim your maiden name (assuming it is not already ordered/granted in your divorce decree), or to realign your self-identity (think Muhammad Ali, who legally changed his name from Cassius Clay to honor his conversion to Sunni Islam).
Small claims court is a viable alternative for disputes that are valued at $10,000 or less. The process is a lot cheaper and quicker than a full-blown lawsuit. Often the dispute is resolved within 1-3 months after filing your small claims action. Your matter will be heard by a Judge or trained attorney sitting for the bench. The hearings are very quick—15 to 20 minutes. Preparation is key. The process can be intimidating for the “newbie’s,” but have no fear. Here in Sonoma County we are lucky to have a Free Small Claims Clinic staffed by 3rd and 4th year law students at Empire College School of Law.