QUESTION: I want to see all three of my credit reports with scores and fix some things on there that could be in error. What site do you recommend to get all three with scores?
ANSWER: You have a federally mandated right to see your credit reports once a year, and you can access those reports at http://www.annualcreditreport.com/. That is the one and only federally authorized site. There are plenty of look-alikes, so make sure you get to the right place. Each of your three reports will include links that will allow you to dispute errors. When you access your reports, you may be offered credit scores either for a fee or as an inducement to sign up for credit monitoring. Typically, these scores are not the FICO scores that most lenders use. If the word “FICO” is not in the name of the credit score being offered, it’s not an actual FICO score. To get your FICOs, you’ll need to go to MyFico.com. Currently, you can buy two of your three FICOs — the ones from Equifax and TransUnion — for $19.95 each. Experian has announced it will soon offer FICOs through MyFico.com as well.
QUESTION: Can my employer ask me to take a drug test?
ANSWER: Yes, if you are a job applicant, but if you are already an employee, your employer usually must have some legitimate interest in requiring a drug test, such as a reasonable suspicion that you are using drugs. If your job involves safety issues, such as handling motorized equipment, your employer has greater rights to drug test you, even without advance notice.
QUESTION: Does employment and labor laws apply to all workers?
ANSWER: No. The law depends on whether the worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Employment laws generally don’t apply to independent contractors. Under California law, it is your job or service you provide, not your job title, that determines your status as an employee or independent contractor. It does not matter even if you agree in writing that you are one or the other.
A worker who controls their own work, buys their own materials, subcontracts and is paid by the job, rather than by the hour, is more likely to be considered an independent contractor.
QUESTION: My mother was recently dropped by nurse at her retirement facility, hit her head and was bruised very badly. The facility is saying she fell out of her wheel chair on her own. Do you have any advice?
ANSWER: The nursing home is liable for all medical bills and pain and suffering your mother sustained. the home’s insurance will cover the claim. you should pursue it especially if she has ongoing medical problems from the fall.
QUESTION: I was just in a car accident now I am being sued, what should I do?
ANSWER: Contact your insurance company and call a lawyer right away. Normally, your insurance company will assign a lawyer to the case. If you are sued for more money than your policy covers, or if your insurance company tells you that it does not cover everything, you may also need to hire your own attorney.
QUESTION: What if I want to make a claim for my own auto injuries?
ANSWER: If the other driver was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your personal injuries and other expenses, such as car damage, lost wages or the cost of a hospital after the accident. You may also be able to sue for pain and suffering. You should make a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. But, if you are not satisfied with their settlement offer, then you may want to sue.
If you were in a car accident and plan to sue, do not delay. There are time limits for filing various types of legal claims. It is important to act quickly after any kind of car accident.