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New Draft Regulation Would Restrict Green Card Availability

Topics: Immigration

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]There are many qualifications and restrictions for immigrants applying for a green card.  One such restriction is that potential green card recipients must not be considered a 'public charge'.  To be considered a public charge, the immigrant would have to be accepting cash welfare under programs like the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Social Security Insurance (SSI) programs.  The Trump administration is seeking to expand the definition of 'public charge' in order to restrict immigration. The proposed regulation issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeks to give United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) more leeway to reject more green card applications.  In addition to cash welfare, applications could be denied if an immigrant has used benefits from Medicaid, the Medicare prescription drug program, food stamps, or the Section 8 housing program.  The change does not appear to be retroactive, and only benefits used after the new regulation has taken affect will be considered. Making the entire process more complicated is that using the aforementioned programs does not automatically label an immigrant a public charge.  There appears to be a formula that takes into consideration what kind of benefits are used and how long those benefits were used.  The formula also takes into consideration the green card applicant's household income, personal health, family size, age, and whether or not he or she has health insurance.  Applicants may also be able to pay the government to overlook them as public charges.  The new regulations have been whispered about for a while and have caused many immigrants to stop using public assistance programs. Immigration law is already complicated.  Changing the standards by which immigrants apply for a green card will only make things more complicated.  The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth offers expert legal advice to immigrants who wish to live and work legally in the United States.  We offer free initial consultations at 888-517-9888.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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Uber, Lyft, and Liability

Topics: Auto Accident

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Uber and Lyft have changed the way we travel.  Rideshares, however, are still just cars on the road, susceptible to auto accidents.  After an accident in an Uber or Lyft happens, the question of liability arises.  If you have been injured in an Uber or Lyft, whether as a passenger or driver, you probably want to know who is responsible for your injuries. Passengers are covered by an insurance policy, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.  Both Lyft and Uber provide liability coverage to its drivers with a minimum coverage limit of $1,000,000 per accident.  If a passenger is injured in an Uber and it was the Uber driver's fault, the passenger can pursue an insurance claim for medical bills and pain and suffering.  If it was not the Uber driver's fault, the company provides underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage at the same $1,000,000 per accident level.  Bystanders, called third parties, are also covered.  If a bicyclist, pedestrian, or another driver is injured in a crash, they too are covered by Uber's insurance policy. For drivers, the insurance rules are a bit more complicated.  Lyft summarizes their coverage for drivers in a helpful graphic.  If a Lyft driver is not using the app, the driver is covered by his or her own personal insurance policy.  If the driver has the Lyft app open and is waiting for a passenger, they are covered by reduced-level liability only insurance of up to $100,000 per accident.  If the driver is picking up a passenger or has a passenger in the vehicle, they are covered by the $1,000,000 liability insurance, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and contingent collision and contingent comprehensive coverage.  Uber insurance has a similar structure to Lyft, with similar coverage limits. Even with the Uber and Lyft insurance coverage explained it can be confusing.  If you have been injured in an accident involving a Lyft or Uber, car accident attorneys can help make sense of the situation.  The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth provides expert legal guidance to the victims of car accidents and can help you recover from your injuries physically and financially.  For a free consultation, call 888-517-9888 today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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Marijuana-related Arrests Down 56 Percent After Prop 64

Topics: Criminal Defense

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Proposition 64, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative, was on the 2016 ballot in California.  The purpose of the ballot proposition was to allow the legal recreational use of marijuana under California state law.  The ballot initiative passed with 57 percent of voters in favor.  Prop 64 completely decriminalized possession of a small amount of marijuana and small levels of cultivation for adults aged 21 and older.  While Prop 64 did not eliminate all crimes associated with marijuana, it has significantly decreased the number of arrests. According to the 2017 crime report released by the State of California Department of Justice, marijuana arrests dropped by 56 percent, with felony marijuana arrests dropping 74 percent.  Because of Prop 64, many marijuana-related charges were dropped from felony to misdemeanor.  NORML, a cannabis legalization advocacy group, has a helpful breakdown of what is and is not currently legal under California marijuana law. Under California law, individuals can possess up to one ounce of marijuana legally, but possessing more than one ounce is considered a misdemeanor.  Individuals can also cultivate as many as five plants without breaking the law.  Having six or more marijuana plants is a misdemeanor.  The sale or delivery of any amount of marijuana or drug paraphernalia to adults is still a misdemeanor, and sale of any amount of cannabis to a minor is still a felony.  Only dispensaries licensed by the State of California that also have local permits are allowed to sell recreational marijuana. It is still illegal to drive while high.  For your own safety and for the safety of others on the road, do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth offers a robust legal defense to people charged with violations of marijuana law, as well as driving under the influence of marijuana.  For a free legal consultation, call us today at 888-517-9888.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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Car Accident Injuries Not Always Immediately Apparent

Topics: Auto Accident

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Car accident victims may not feel pain immediately after the crash and incorrectly assume they have not been injured.  Only after a few days do these victims begin to feel a pain in their neck or back.  This situation is fairly common. If you begin to experience aches or pains a few days after a car a crash, you should visit a doctor immediately, even If you told the insurance company that you were not injured.  Neck strain resulting from whiplash can be an expensive and painful injury.  If you do not receive medical treatment within a couple of weeks, it will become difficult to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident. Just as important as seeking medical treatment is to notify your insurance company of your injuries in a timely manner.  The insurance companies follow standard criteria to evaluate the type and severity of every injury, and one of those criteria is how quickly you sought and received medical treatment after the accident occurred.  If you have legal representation, your attorney will notify the insurance company on your behalf. Insurance adjusters will want updates on your medical treatment.  Adjusters will contact victims who have not hired an attorney directly.  If you have not obtained representation, be sure to avoid contradictory actions and statements that appear to contradict your injury claim.  Those actions include missing doctors’ appointments and saying that you’ve completely recovered. If you do not have an attorney, it’s also important to keep track of all your medical records and lost income.  You will be able to seek compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and possible future damages.  Experienced attorneys will be able to handle your medical records and documents while negotiating compensation on your behalf, making the insurance claim process easier. If you've suffered an injury in an car crash, call the auto accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth today at 888-517-9888.  We offer free initial consultations and contingency fees, so you will only be charged attorneys fess after we win your case.  We can answer any questions you may have about your car accident case.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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Bird is the Word (at the Emergency Room)

Topics: Auto Accident, Personal Injury

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Dockless electric scooters such as Bird, Lime, and Razor have taken over city streets in California, much to many city's dismay.  So much so that Beverly Hills and West Hollywood outright banned the devices.  Several other cities have enacted restrictions until e-scooter regulations can be put into place.  Much of the conversation about electric scooters has been about the clutter left after riders complete their journey.  Not enough of the conversation has been about safety. The risk of personal injury to riders and pedestrians is significant.  Hospitals have been reporting scooter-related injuries almost immediately after the devices hit the streets.  These injuries have ranged from scrapes and bruises to concussions and other serious head injuries.  While riders are required by law to wear helmets, few do.  And should a rider suffer injury, there may be minimal recourse in pursuing damages.  Users of e-scooters are required to agree to terms severely restricting their ability to hold the e-scooter companies liable.  Even if the scooter itself malfunctions, it may be difficult to obtain legal damages. Injured pedestrians would have legal recourse.  For example, if you are walking down the sidewalk and are struck by an electric scooter, the person on the scooter would be liable for your injuries.  However, identifying the person who ran into you could be difficult, as scooters don't have easily identifiable markers or license plates.  If you are injured by a dockless scooter, attempt to obtain as much contact information as possible.  Scooter riders who are following all the rules of the road and are struck by a car would also have legal recourse, much the same as if the scooter operator was a bicyclist or pedestrian. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury related to a Bird, Razor, or Lime electric scooter, call the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth today at 888-517-9888.  We can tell you if you have a potential personal injury legal case.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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Gwyneth Paltrow’s Company Goop Settles False Advertising Lawsuit

Topics: Consumer Law

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Goop, a wellness company founded by actress Gwyneth Paltrow, has quickly settled a lawsuit filed last week by several California counties over advertising claims deemed suspect.  The lawsuit alleged that the company advertised its products using claims that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that the claims themselves were not supported by any legitimate evidence.  The lawsuit was seeking remedy for false and misleading advertising as well as unfair competition. Goop was marketing a blend of essential oils, Inner Judge Flower Essence Blend (Floracopeia), as a treatment for depression.  It was also marketing 'vaginal eggs', egg-shaped stones inserted into the vagina, as a treatment for hormonal imbalance, uterine prolapse, menstrual cycle regulation, and incontinence.  There is no scientific evidence that either product provides any of these purported benefits. The lawsuit was settled for $145,000 in civil fines and an agreement to no longer make claims about Goop products without reliable and competent scientific evidence.  Under the agreement, the essential oils and vaginal egg products can still be sold.  However, many doctors would recommend avoiding the latter product altogether, as a vaginal egg could be detrimental to your health. Read the lawsuit here. False and misleading advertising claims can put the public at risk of injury, illness, or worse.  Consumer protection laws exist to deter companies from making dangerous claims about their products, and to punish companies who do.  The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth helps clients who have been harmed by the false or misleading claims made by manufacturers and advertisers.  For a free legal consultation, call 888-517-9888 today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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Congressional Candidate Gil Cisneros Campaign Event

Topics: From Our Office

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Yesterday, the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth hosted a campaign outreach event for California's 39th district Congressional candidate Gil Cisneros.  The event took place at our City of Industry office, where candidate Cisneros met with voters and discussed his vision for the district. We took some photos of the event, which you can find below.  For more information about Gil Cisneros and his vision for the 39th district, please visit the Gil Cisneros For Congress website.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="3198" img_size="full" add_caption="yes" alignment="center"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="3199" img_size="full" add_caption="yes" alignment="center"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="3200" img_size="full" add_caption="yes" alignment="center"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="3201" img_size="full" add_caption="yes" alignment="center"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="3202" img_size="full" add_caption="yes" alignment="center"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="3203" img_size="full" add_caption="yes" alignment="center"][/vc_column][/vc_row]