legal name change

How do I Change My Name or My Child’s Name

Wondering how to change your name? Or maybe you’ve decided to change your child’s legal name? The good news is these processes are not too difficult, and we can help you with both. However, keep in mind there are a few differences between changing your own name as an adult and changing your child’s name.

Let’s start by talking about changing your child’s name.

How to Change Your Child’s Name

The first and most important step is to make sure both parents are in agreement with the name change. This generally makes the process go smoother. If they aren’t in agreement, other things may come into play such as who is the primary guardian of the child. 

Assuming both parents agree to a name change, the next step is to submit a Petition for Change of Name for the child, which we can help you with. Once submitted, you will be given a court date between 6 and 12 weeks after the submission. 

If the court approves the name change, it will issue a “decree.” The decree changes your child’s name. 

So to summarize:

  1. Parents fill out the forms together
  2. Have a lawyer review your forms
  3. Make 3 or more copies of the forms
  4. Submit the forms to the court clerk
  5. Publish the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name
  6. Go to the court hearing
  7. Receive the Decree Changing Name from the court

To change your own name, the process is a little different, but still very similar. 

How to Change Your Own Name

At a high level, there are 3 main reasons why people change their names. They:

  1.  Get married
  2. Get divorced and want to revert back to their maiden name
  3.  Just want a new legal name

Start the process by submitting several documents with the court clerk:

  • A name change form
  • The order to show cause to change your name
  • A decree to change your name

Similar to changing the name of a child, we recommend having us review your documents before you submit. You don’t want to waste your time and money submitting something that has errors or missing information. 

Assuming everything is correct, the judge will usually grant you the new legal name. 

So the process isn’t too difficult, but it is time-consuming between filling out the paperwork, submitting to the court and waiting for a decision. 

Before submitting, keep a few things in mind. 

Things to Keep in Mind Before You Change Your Name

You can’t change it to anything  – Don’t plan on changing your name to a celebrity, using numbers, punctuation marks, a trademarked name or something offensive. Those won’t be approved, plus you’d probably regret it down the road anyway. 

Divorce and marriage are the easiest times to get a name change– This change is almost expected during these events in your life. If you are choosing to change your name without one of these events supporting it, the process may take a little longer and will probably involve more paperwork. 

Ready to get started on the name change form for you or your child? We’re here for you, just click here to contact Von Esch Law today.

Courtesy of Cuselleration

Rights of Construction Workers in California

Rights of Construction Workers in California

What are the rights of construction workers in California? At a high level, here is what the law says. 

Construction Workers Have the Right to Safe Work

The construction industry is a dangerous one. Heavy equipment, heights, and big pieces of raw materials all add up to an environment that requires caution. 

Given this environment, employers are required to give their employees a safe place to work. That could mean several things:

  • Equipment should be properly maintained to help avoid failure. 
  • Workers should have sufficient safety equipment for their tasks such as hard hats, safety harnesses, and brightly colored vests. 
  • Signs indicating dangers around the worksite. 

While obvious dangers don’t need to be pointed out by the owner, it’s usually better for them to be safe than sorry.

Who Can Sue for Construction Accidents?

The first thing to know is that if the employer has worker’s compensation insurance, a general contractor’s employee can’t sue their employer under the Worker’s Compensation law. The best way for them is to submit a claim to their worker’s compensation benefits. 

This is called the Exclusive Remedy Doctrine. There are a few exceptions, but this is the general rule. The benefit to the employee is they only have to prove they were injured on-site, and not prove fault to recover benefits. 

There is a downside though. Construction workers only receive a fraction of earnings in workers’ compensation benefits and cannot recover damages due to pain and emotional distress under the law. 

This doesn’t apply to just general contractor employees. Employees of the owner cannot sue the employer for the same reasons – the Exclusive Remedy Doctrine.

Types of Damages in Construction Accident Cases

The most common types of damages recovered by the plaintiff include

  • Medical expenses
  • Estimated future medical expenses
  • Estimated future loss of wages
  • Loss of wages already incurred

Usually, experts in these fields will be brought in to estimate these values. For example, health care professionals will testify to determine estimated medical expenses. An expert in the industry or economist may be brought in to estimate the future loss of wages. 

Another type of damage, which is often seen as the most important, includes pain, suffering, and emotional distress. This is more difficult to estimate compared to lost wages or medical expenses, so each case is different. 

Punitive damages also come into play. If the plaintiff can prove the wrongdoer was malicious, fraudulent or despicable they can get punitive damages. This is meant to set an example in society and punish the wrongdoer. 

Loss of consortium is another type of damage, which can be claimed by the plaintiff’s spouse. This is to recover damages due to the loss of factors that occurred due to the injured spouse’s non-availability due to the injury. The negative experience of seeing the plaintiff suffer is also part of the loss of consortium. 

Construction accident law can get messy. While we’ve tried to cover a few of the basics here, there is a lot more to it. If you have specific questions, give us a call at 714.456.9118 or send us an email at We look forward to hearing from you.