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Don't Let these Insurance Company Traps Prevent You From Getting Full Justice for Your Injury Claim

September 30th, 2020

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

The insurance companies and their attorneys are masters of their craft. The attorneys have been hired to do one thing-save the insurance company money at all cost.

Here are three ways the insurance companies and their attorneys try to not pay you what the real value of your case is worth and, it begins from the moment you make your claim.

1) Deny

Depending on the facts of your case, the insurance company in consultation with their attorneys will determine if there is any chance at trying to create a defense. If so, your claim will be denied.

All they need to create a defense, is a reasonable belief that they can manipulate the facts and use bias to try to create an entirely new story about how the events took place. This can include speaking to their client and, believe it or not telling them to lie to make the narrative "fit" into their defense.

2) Delay

Once they have denied your claim, the case falls into the second and more frustrating part of the process-the delay game.

On average pre-covid lawsuits would take between 18 to 24 months to get resolved. During this time, the insurance company attorneys will try to dig up anything to cast doubt on your credibility and picture you as a liar, a cheat and a fraud. They resort to this because they know through studies there are many jurors that are weary of personal injury lawyers and, personal injury lawsuits.

Another reason, why they do this is to try to tire you out so you will settle your case for cheap. This is where having a personal injury lawyer that is willing to go the distance and knows the full value of your case, including trial value is extremely important.

3) Distract

Once the insurance company representatives realize that you are not backing down and, the case is likely headed towards trial, they start hiring their biased experts including doctors, which they pay millions of dollars, to come into court and, using the facts and narrative that the insurance company defense lawyers created try and fool the members of our jury system.

Don't let these insurance company traps prevent you from getting the money that you need and deserve for the injuries caused by the hands of someone else.

I hope this blog helps you.

If you would like to discuss your case, feel free to contact my office at 619-887-4148 or send me an email at omid@rejalilawfirm.com; or send us a text at 619-485-6313 or reach us here and we will get back to you.

Born to get you justice.

Settlement vs. Trial value of Your San Diego Car Accident Claim

September 24th, 2020

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

I get many people asking me how much can I get if I go to trial? The answer is: I can't exactly tell you how much you will be able to get, because ethically we as attorneys cannot guarantee or predict an outcome.

So, the question then becomes whether it would be in your best interest to move forward to trial versus settling for a sum certain that an insurance company is offering you.

This question requires an analysis of many variables. Lets take a look.

1) How much money is the insurance company offering you?

For sake of discussion lets assume that the insurance company is offering you $15,000 to settle your case.

2) What are your injuries?

Lets assume that you had a neck injury in your accident.

3) How old are you?

35

4) Do you require any future care?

Yes. My doctor has told me that I will require future pain management for my neck and, if that does not help I may ultimately require a surgery.

5) Where in the claims process is your case?

What I mean by this is whether a lawsuit has been filed or not.

6) Is the injury still impacting your life?

Lets assume yes.

If you answer the questions above the way I have answered them, the answer is you should not accept the insurance companies $15,000 settlement offer. There is one caveat to this answer and that is, what is the total amount of insurance policy that the person who caused the accident has? If they only have $15,000, a separate analysis is required. Mainly, whether the insurance company representatives accepted your offer to settle for $15,000 when that demand was made. If the answer is: Yes, then you do not have any further recourse. If the answer is no: You may proceed to obtaining money beyond the policy limits. I have included the article where I talk about this issue below if you are interested.

I am a big proponent of trials. That is because I strongly believe that only 12 people from the community can understand and put a value on your injury and pain, not insurance companies that are only looking at their bottom line.

That being said however, there are some considerations that also need to take place when deciding whether you settle your case or proceed to trial. A big consideration is costs. When you choose to go to trial the costs will increase substantially. And so, what you need to look at is whether the benefits (i.e. the ultimate outcome) will outweigh the costs.

If you do win your case certain ordinary costs are recoverable and, if you or your attorney had sent a specific statutory offer (known as a 998 offer to compromise) you may be entitled to your expert fee costs, which are the bulk of the costs in any trial.

Ultimately, there are many questions that take place before trying a case. That being said however, it never hurts to get a second opinion about your case if you have a feeling that your injury is worth more money.

I have tried many cases where the insurance company offers were very low and a jury awarded the client much more money than the insurance companies offered. Each case needs to be assessed individually.

If you want to discuss your case feel free to reach out to my office at 619-887-4148; send me a direct email at omid@rejalilawfirm.com; reach us via text at 619-485-6313; or write to us here and, we will get back to you.

Don't let the insurance company bully you into a settlement.

Born to get you justice.

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How the Coronavirus Has Limited Your Right to Justice

September 18th, 2020

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

It has now been over 6 months since the coronavirus pandemic hit our nation and swept all of us from the life we once knew. But how is it impacting your right to petition the courts for your grievances and obtain justice? How has it impacted your right to a jury trial? Who is the virus benefitting? and why at least have we here in San Diego been so slow to move our cases forward?

These are all questions that normally as a trial lawyer I have been thinking about for the past six months.

Right to Jury Trial

The right to a jury trial comes from the 7th Amendment of the constitution. The founders knew that the government and corporations do have a lot of power and wanted to make sure that there was a forum where the common man would be able to be seen as equal to them and be judged by the members of his or her peers. The coronavirus however has taken all of that away from us.

This is an extremely dangerous state to be in and the longer we remain here without putting mechanisms in place to move forward, the more our justice system will be eroding and the more the insurance companies, and the greedy corporations are winning and becoming richer and richer, which also in turn is widening the income inequality gap.

The Coronavirus

I am not denying in any way that the coronavirus is a global pandemic and we certainly need to be cautious and take measures to prevent its spread. But, shutting down our courthouses for the past six months, and cancelling jury trials until most likely late 2021, was not and is not the proper way of going about it.

Recently I have also been hearing the idea of a zoom jury trial being thrown around. I cannot imagine having zoom jury trials. The entire idea of having a trial is so we can be able to look witnesses in the eye and get a feel of whether they are telling the truth. I find it hard to believe that the same feeling will be able to be conveyed through a video camera.

Proposed Solution

To prevent the spread of the virus and balance the right to a civil jury trial, our courts can and should immediately begin summoning jurors. Understanding that some jurors may not feel comfortable serving, the court should give them an option to state as such on their summons and, return the summons; or call into the courthouse and notify the clerk; or create an online system where jurors may state their willingness or unwillingness to serve as a juror.

The jurors that are willing to serve can then come to court and be spread in different courtrooms and in the jury lounge and, be called up to each respective court room where a trial is to take place.

Bottom Line

By preventing you from exercising your right to jury trial the courts and the insurance companies and corporations are the one's benefitting. It is bothersome to me that our courts have not been able to move quickly enough to put precautions in place to move our trials forward. There are talks that in San Diego County we may not see jury trials for another year and, that is certainly not fair to all of those people who had been waiting for years to have their matters heard.

Justice delayed is justice denied and, we as a people can and should do better.

How to Get Money Beyond the Defendant's Policy Limits in Your Car Accident Case?

September 9th, 2020

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

Insurance companies are greedy and have only one objective in mind when it comes time to pay for your injuries-pay as little as possible.

The Problem

Here's a common scenario I see all the time. A potential client has devastating injuries, but unfortunately the defendant's (person causing the car accident or injury) only has a minimum policy-which in California for car insurance is currently at $15,000.

The Solution

Here's what we do to maximize your outcome in cases like this. If you are in such a predicament it is best to try and represent yourself in the beginning. Here's a sample of what you can write to the insurance company and send a copy to the defendant driver to give them an opportunity to pay you their policy limits (i.e. $15,000).

Dear Driver;

I am writing you about the collision that happened between us on (Date). Since then, my life has not been the same.

I am hurt. My doctors have told me that I (describe the nature of your injury) . My (body part) has been hurting since the date of the collision and I have done everything to be able to get better. But it seems like a surgery is inevitable.

I also have not been doing well mentally and emotionally. From the date of the collision I have been in a lot of pain and have been unable to do a lot of the things I used to be able to do before the accident.

I have attached all of my medical records and medical bills all of which were sent to the insurance company here for your review.

The reason why I am writing you is because I am not a litigious person and do not want to have to file a lawsuit against you. However, I have been trying to resolve my claim with your insurance company, specifically (name of adjuster) , which may be reached by phone at ___________ for two years with no luck.  

I would have hoped to be better by now, but I am not. I am not a sue-happy person. As a long-time insurance policyholder, I do know that insurance policy limits often limit what a person can recover when negligently injured and damaged by another, unless the injured person decides to pursue the case beyond the limits of available insurance coverage.

I am not, by nature, the type of person who would ask for more than what the policy limits are. And in this case am asking for ($ full amount of policy limits) to cover my medical care and pain and suffering. This number is well within your policy limits of ($amount of policy limit). Because of that, the personal assets and wealth of the person who hurt me aren’t things I want to think about or try to pursue.

I know that you had purchased more than enough insurance coverage to cover all of my injuries. This is why I am writing this letter. I just want all of this to be done and over with.

Therefore, I am willing, right now, without having to file a lawsuit, to settle everything and sign a release, in exchange for payment ($ amount of policy limit).

I will only be willing to do this between now and (expiration date of offer). This is because your insurance company has had since (Date of Collision) to resolve my claim and, I have until (Date you have to file your lawsuit-in California 2 years from the date of collision) to file a lawsuit if need be, which I am hoping to avoid. After (expiration date of offer), I will not limit the compensation I am entitled to under the law to what the insurance policy limits might be.

I am enclosing the medical records that document all of my treatment so far, with every single medical provider. You have the photos of the vehicles available to you, and you know you were at fault for this collision, which caused me to suffer damages.

It has been close to two years, and I am still in bad pain. I have had to see multiple providers and have missed time from work. My doctors have said that I certainly will require surgery for my (body part). I am (age) years old, and that is scary. You have sufficient coverage to pay for everything that I have gone through and will continue to go through. Until (date offer expires), if the final offer is accepted everything can be done and over with, within your policy limits. I will then live with whatever medical treatment lies ahead and whatever residual problems I am left with after I go through rehabilitation, and surgery, to get as well as I possibly can.

 Respectfully yours,

(Your Name)

(Your Address)

Importance of the Letter

What the letter will do is it will set the insurance company up for you to be able to get more money should they choose not to pay the policy limits for your injuries, especially since they had all of the required information to make an informed decision on the value of the claim.

Once they chose not to pay you fair value for your injuries, there is ample case law that would allow you to recover above and beyond their policy limit.

Don't let the insurance companies belittle your injuries. It is not a daily or common occurrence where you get injured, and no one has a right to belittle your injuries and not pay full value for the life that was taken away from your through someone else's bad act.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope this blog helps you. I will certainly write more about this topic because it is a passion of mine to make sure that the insurance companies treat my clients, their families and their injuries fairly.

If you want to discuss your case further feel free to call my office at 619-887-4148, or send us a text at 619-485-6313, leave us a message here and we will contact you, or send me an email directly at omid@rejalilawfirm.com.

Born to get you justice.

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Can a trial attorney get you more money for your San Diego injury Claim?

September 3rd, 2020

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

The short answer is: probably yes.

Generally speaking trial attorneys are able to get you a higher settlement and know what the real value of cases are.

I say "real" value because there is a distinction between "insurance company" value, which looks at its interests and paying you as less money as possible versus jury value, which looks at you as their equivalent and based on the evidence will follow the law to provide you with what is just and fair.

A trial lawyer can also add value to your case because many attorneys do not try cases and insurance companies know that, and because of that offer them less money. As a trial attorney I generally don't get involved in the case until the case is very close to trial. Many times what also happens is the insurance company may have been playing games and low balling you and your attorney and it is not until the trial attorney steps in, when they choose to increase their offers.

If this has happened to you, there are ways to also even get you more money above and beyond what the insurance companies policy limits are (I will talk about this in further detail in a later blog). But suffice it to say, that the insurance companies don't have a right to belittle you, your injuries and throw you low ball offers in the hopes that they will tire you out in the process and wait till the last minute to provide you with everything they have. That conduct amounts to bad faith claim handling and can open the door to further liability on their part.

Trial attorneys are very familiar with these tactics and care deeply about their clients, the cause of justice, and holding the wrongdoers accountable. Trial lawyers strongly believe that they have been called to make the world a better and more just place and know that the only place that can be put on display is in a courtroom in front of 12 people of your peers.

If you are considering settling your case and you have already been dragged through the case for 2 or 3 years and are close to your trial date, I highly recommend that you speak with a trial attorney because they may be able to get you more money.

I hope this blog is helpful to you. If you have any questions please call my office at 619-887-4148, send me a text at 619-485-6313 or email me directly at omid@rejalilawfirm.com

Born to get you justice.

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What is a Trial Lawyer?

What is a trial lawyer?

August 28th, 2020

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

A trial attorney is an attorney that takes your case to trial if it is required to. Many lawyers do not practice in the area of trial law. Specifically, in the personal injury arena in San Diego there are a handful of attorneys that practice in this area. The greater majority do not and it is important for you to know the difference between them.

Trial attorneys are similar to surgeon's. They become needed when the parties have exhausted all other options, such as mediation to resolve their dispute. At that point, they become an integral part of your case, because they will guide you, your family, other witnesses and the team of experts in court to get you justice.

Trial attorneys believe in true justice and not compromises. If the insurance company is not giving you a fair settlement, it behooves you to at least consult with a trial attorney to get a re-evaluation of what your case may be worth. You could be missing on a substantial amount of money.

Don't just settle your case because the insurance company is offering you a certain amount of money, and your attorney thinks that amount is fair. Unless your attorney has tried cases it is difficult for him/her to assess the true value of your case.

I hope this blog helps you. If you have any other questions, feel free to call my office at 619-887-4148 or text me at 619-485-6313 or send a direct email to: omid@rejalilawfirm.com

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3 Reasons Why You Should Not Speak to the Insurance Adjuster After Your San Diego Car Accident

August 25th, 2020

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

It's tempting to contact the insurance company representatives for the party who caused the crash following your San Diego car accident to try to explain to them what happened.

Here are three reasons why I do not recommend you ever discussing your matter with them on your own.

1) Anything you say can be used against you

Under California's evidence code anything you tell the insurance adjusters are considered admissions by you and can be used against you in later proceedings. The insurance company representatives for the party who caused the crash are not looking at your best interest. What they are looking for is to limit the amount of money they are going to have to pay you for your injuries. To that end, they will try to twist your words and use them against you. Not to mention, everything is being recorded. Also, keep in mind if your claim is not resolved and a lawsuit needs to be filed, during the discovery process of your lawsuit, the insurance companies and their lawyers will have another chance to ask you questions. Usually, two years could have gone by and you may not remember exactly what you told the insurance company representative, and they will try to use your words against you by trying to confuse you about what you said to them.

Insurance companies and their attorneys are masters at belittling claims and trying to get away with paying what is just and fair compensation. It's never a good idea to speak to them following your crash.

2) Reserves can be set low

Reserves are what the insurance companies set early on in the case based on the information they receive about the extent of your injuries. In other words, the amount of money they think ultimately they may have to pay on your claim. For example, if you tell them that you feel just a little soar in your neck, they will categorize your claim as a soft tissue minor impact type of case. Doing this, will then cause them to set their reserves at a low amount, for example $10,000. The problem with having low reserves set early on in the case is that, it becomes much more difficult for the insurance company to later increase those reserves because they would need to justify the need for increasing the reserves. Since early in the process, the full extent of your injuries are not known it is not a good idea to tell the insurance company representatives anything about your injuries.

3) Your claim can be denied

In the early stages of the claims process, especially if there is no police report, the insurance adjusters are trying to conduct their own investigations to see who is at fault. This process consists of them speaking with their own insured, with any witnesses if there were any and to you. In my experience, there have been times that their own insured has taken responsibility for the accident, but they have denied liability after they have spoke to the party making the claim. The insurance companies come up with the wildest theories to delay making payments. For example, in a recent case where my client was rear-ended, they claimed that my client made an unsafe lane changed and in fact she was the one who caused the accident.

Hope this blogs helps you. Remember, it is never a good idea to speak to the at fault parties insurance representative because they do not have your best insurance in mind. They only have one agenda-and that is to pay as little as possible on your claim, so they can put more and more money into the hands of their investors.

If you need any help feel free to call us at 619-887-4148, send us a text at 619-485-6313, or fill out our form here, and we will get back to you.

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3 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring Your San Diego Car Accident Lawyer

August 19th, 2020

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

You are most likely only going to hire a car accident or personal injury lawyer once in your lifetime. More importantly, depending on the extent of your injuries you are entrusting your future livelihood in the hands of this person. It is not a decision that should be taken lightly by any means because any mistake made could cost you a lot of money. Here are three questions your should ask your San Diego personal injury lawyer before hiring him or her.

1) Have they personally taken any cases to trial

This is one of the most important questions you should ask your lawyer. It's important because insurance companies and their representatives know which attorneys go to trial and which ones don't and make decisions on how much money they will give you partly based on that information. If the attorney you are hiring has a reputation for settling all of the cases and has not taken any of its cases to trial, you will certainly be getting less money than an attorney who has taken cases to trial and continuously does so.

2) Will the attorney be paying for all of the costs of your case

Many San Diego car accident and personal injury lawyers claim in their advertisings that they will not collect any fee unless they win. However, when the going gets tough, meaning once they know they have to start expending money out of their pocket, they try to do one of two things: 1) they either try to make you settle your claim or 2) they try to make you pay for the costs, knowing that you do not have the money, therefore forcing you to settle your case. To prevent this from happening, make sure you read the contract closely to make sure that they are paying for all of the costs. It is reasonable for them to recover those costs if they have advanced them. But, make sure the language does not say that should costs become due, that you would need to pay for those costs.

3) Have they handled any similar cases

Personal injury cases arise in a variety of situations. Depending on where and how you have been injured you want to make sure you ask your lawyer before hiring them whether they have handled a similar case. More importantly, you want to make sure that they have dealt with the type of injuries you are involved in. This is particularly true with brain injury cases. These injuries require extensive experience and you want to make sure that your attorney is familiar with them.

Thank you for reading my blog.

I hope this information helps you. If you need help feel free to text me at 619-485-6313 or call my office at 619-887-4148 or fill out the form on our website here and we will contact you.

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3 Reasons why you should delay settling your San Diego car accident claim?

August 13th, 2020

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

More and more in my practice I see cases being settled by other lawyers early on when they shouldn't be. Although, each case is different and there sometimes may be good reasons to settle your case early, it is generally not a good idea to do so.

Here are three important reasons why you should not settle your San Diego car accident case early.

1) The full extent of your injuries could be unknown: Once your San Diego car accident case is settled, there is no coming back. That is a settlement of all time, and you can not come back and ask for more money, even if you later find out about an injury related to the same claim you settled. Depending on your injuries, it may take some time for the doctors to determine what the full extent of your injuries may be. Not to mention, you also want to make sure that you have seen the right specialists for your injuries. For example, the typical scenario in a San Diego car accident case would be you going to a chiropractor for a couple of sessions and that's it. However, you may still have pain in your neck that has not been fully resolved.

If that is your case, it is important for you to see a specialist like an orthopedic surgeon who can further look into your injuries and most likely order imaging studies such as MRIs to be able to fully understand the full extent of your injuries. So, make sure before you settle your case, that you fully understand the extent of your injuries so you can be able to get all the money that you are entitled to, not only for the past, but also for your future medical care, and pain and suffering.

2) An early settlement, although more appealing, generally yields in less money: Insurance companies and unfortunately some attorneys are looking to settle your claim as early as possible so that they can move onto the next claim. One factor that is being taken into consideration in an early settlement is the value of money. The way they are looking at it is less money to you right now, may be worth more to you, than more money down the line. Although that may be true in some situations, in my experience the later you settle your case, again depending on the extent of your injuries, the more money you will be able to get from the insurance company. It is your health after all, and you should not settle it for cheap.

3) Liability can shift: What I mean by liability is whether or not the person is accepting responsibility for their actions. Many times, when the insurance company knows that its potential exposure is high, they take unreasonable stances on purposes and deny responsibility for the claim, in the hopes that you will drop your case, or to accept less money. This is a tactic played all too often by the insurance companies and their attorneys. If this is your case, and you wholeheartedly believe that you have no fault for the accident, do not settle your case. Generally, the insurance company changes its position as it gets closer to the day it is facing a jury, and at that time decide to increase what they are offering you.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope this information has been helpful to you. Don't let the insurance company bully you around and frustrate you by their unreasonable and unfounded positions. If you need help feel free to text me at 619-485-6313 or call my office at 619-887-4148 or fill out the form on our website here and we will contact you.

The importance of getting an MRI immediately after your San Diego Car Accident

August 4th, 2020

by Omid Rejali, Esq.

Herniated disks are one of the most common injuries in car accidents in San Diego. Unfortunately, time and time again I receive a phone call by a potential client late in their claim after they have had another lawyer who wants me to review their case and realize that no MRI has been taken.

An MRI should be taken in nearly every case as soon as possible following your San Diego car accident.

Here are four reasons why its important to have an MRI taken within 4 to 6 weeks following the accident:

  • It takes approximately 4 weeks for any inflammation to subside

    • It generally takes approximately 4 weeks for any inflammation to subside. Once the inflammation is gone it is important to have an MRI taken to see what damage (if any) has been done to your spinal cord, vertebra and/or disks.

  • Prevent insurance companies from making unreasonable arguments

    • Insurance companies love to argue that anything related to the spine is "degenerative," which means it is as a result of the normal wear and tear of the body. The closer an MRI is taken to your San Diego car accident, the easier it is to prove that it is related to the accident and not something else.

  • Helps in proving your case

    • As part of your San Diego car accident case you need to prove that your injury were caused by the injury producing event or at least they contributed to them. An MRI can help you in your case to prove that the injury was caused by the accident.

  • Protect your claim from a subsequent injury producing incident

    • If after your initial injury you then get into a subsequent injury, it is always best to have an MRI from the first injury. This is because having an initial MRI will help prove that the injury was related to the first accident and not the second one. And also, it can help to show that if anything, the second accident actually made the initial injury worse, which you can still be compensated for.

Don't wait to get an MRI. Contact a San Diego personal injury lawyer immediately following your accident so they can guide you through your case. If you have any questions feel free to call us at 619-887-4148 or text us at 619-485-6313 or fill out our form here and we will contact you.

Thank you for reading my blog I hope this information helps you.

Rejali Law Firm

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