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.

How will the insurance company evaluate my San Diego car accident claim?

July 30th, 2020

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

Insurance companies use a system to evaluate claims. This system is based on the data that is inputed into it. Once the data is inputed into the system it give the insurance adjuster claim evaluator a range of which what your case may be worth.

Here are some factors that the system takes into account:

  1. The extent of the injuries (whether they are life long such as if you have been limited to a wheelchair or if you have had a broken bone).

  2. The type of injury (Spinal injuries vs. Brain injury).

  3. Past settlements

  4. Attorney handling the claim and the firms reputation on going to trial (this is an important factor***

  5. Loss wages

  6. Medical bills

  7. The venue where the incident took place (San Diego versus Los Angles)

  8. Did you receive treatment right away

  9. Your age

  10. Any previous claims

  11. Prior similar injuries to the same body part as you are claiming injury to in this claim

  12. Their insured potential exposure should the case go to trial

These are only some of the factors that go into how the insurance company adjusters evaluate your case. As you can see there are many variables. Amongst the one's that we see being argued most of the time by insurance company representatives to not pay full value for your claim are: 1) your injury was pre-existing and 2) you did not seek treatment for your injury right away.

Of course both of these arguments are bogus arguments. The facts that your injury is pre-existing although relevant is not a deal breaker. This is because even if you had a pre-existing injury and that injury got worse as a result of the current San Diego car accident, then you would still be entitled to recover damages for the harms you suffered.

There are many reasons why a you may not have sought treatment for your injuries right away. It could be that you did not have health insurance and you did not want to have to pay out of pocket; or initially you thought that the pain would go away on its own, but unfortunately it did not and so you chose to go to the doctor.

These are some of the factors insurance companies take into account to evaluate you San Diego car accident case. It is never a good idea to try to settle your case with the insurance company on your own. I am happy to evaluate your case and give you my opinion. If you need to talk to me, you can reach me by texting 619-485-6313 or calling 619-887-4148 or by filling out our form here and I will get back with you.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope this was helpful to you.

Why does a lawsuit need to be filed in my San Diego car accident case?

July 29th, 2020

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

There are many reasons why a lawsuit may need to be filed in your San Diego accident case. Here are some of the most common reasons.

1) The insurance company is refusing to accept responsibility

One of the most common reasons why you may need to file a lawsuit is because the insurance company is denying to accept responsibility. This is the most frustrating thing we see in our client's cases. Insurance companies are in the business in denying claims. The longer they drag a case out, the more money they make on the money that they have already had to set aside. Unfortunately, this is a tactic they use to force you to file a lawsuit.

2) The insurance company is not offering what you or your attorney think is fair

Many times insurance companies come up with excuses for not wanting to pay full value for your injuries. For example, they will try to pay for some of the medical bills necessitated our of the car accident, but not want to pay for some of the other ones. When this happens they usually argue that the medical treatment that you received was not "reasonable or necessary." On top of that even if they do accept the medical bills they want to get a discount on the amount of the bills that you owe to your doctors and they caused. Issues such as this lead to a standstill in the negotiation process and can lead to your attorney recommending filing a lawsuit.

3) You believe that the value of your case is worth more than the insurance company is offering you

We see this a lot. Clients coming to us from other firms wanting us to review their case to see if they are getting full value for their injuries. If you suspect that this is happening it is always a good idea to consult with other San Diego personal injury lawyers to see if you are getting the full value for you car accident case.

There they are. These are some of the reasons why a lawsuit needs to be filed.

Thank you for reading my blog. Remember if you have any questions, feel free to call me at 619-887-4148 or text at 619-485-6313. I am happy to answer any of your questions.

What is a medical lien?

July 23rd, 2020

By Omid Rejali Esq.

A medical lien is a contract.

Many times we have clients who either do not have health insurance; don't have the best health insurance or for a variety of other reasons do not want to use their own health insurance when they are involved in a San Diego car accident.

When faced with situations such as the ones mentioned we can provide our clients with options to treat with the best health care providers without having to pay any money upfront. These doctors are willing to treat the client, but will have a lien on the case.

What that means is that, once the case is settled either through mediation (I will discuss this in a different blog) or trial, the doctors will then collect their fee for the services they have provided.

So, there it is. A lien put simply is nothing more than a contract between you and the health care provider who has cared for you to be able to get paid for the services rendered at some time in the future.

Hope this information helps you.

We are always here to help or answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for reading my blog.

What to do following your san diego car accident case if there is no police report?

July 23rd, 2020

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

Many times when you are involved in a minor san diego car accident the police are not called or you may feel that a police report is not required because you were rear ended.

Unfortunately, I have seen time and time again when even when you have been rear-ended the insurance company for the at-fault party will come up with the wildest theories to put you at fault. For example, they may say that you backed into their insured.

Here are my suggestions when a police report has not been obtained.

1) Document everything immediately:

As soon as you get to a safe place, perhaps that night or the next day, document everything that happened on a piece of paper, on your phone, or on your computer. This information is critical because the closer to the time of the accident that you documents the events, the more fresh it is in your mind.

2) Contact your local police agency and make a police report

Based on the information that you have documented, you can then contact your nearest police agency and make a traffic collision report. They will take your information down and based on what you have provided to them will create a traffic collision police report.

3) If possible, have the driver of the other vehicle draw on a piece of paper how the accident took place

To record how the accident happened from the at-fault parties view point have them draw on a piece of paper and explain how they believe the incident took place.

4) If there are any witnesses make sure you get their information

If any witnesses witnessed the san diego car accident take place, make sure you get their name, phone number, and email address. The witnesses can be critical to proving how the events took place.

Insurance companies will go to great lengths to not pay money for the harm they have caused, including placing their own insured in harms way by exposing them to an excess verdict (more on this in a different blog). In a recent case, the insurance company for the at-fault party took 100% responsibility for the San Diego car accident initially, and once they found out that our client has life-long injuries chose to change their story.

Keep these points in mind and if you have any questions, feel free to call us. We are happy to help.

Thank you for reading my blog.


November 8th, 2019

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

On October 23, 2019, a San Diego Jury awarded my client $145,000 for injuries she suffered when a McDonald's employee failed to securely fasten the lid on a cup of coffee at the drive through window.

This is one of the more enjoyable trials that I've had so far because McDonald's was refusing to accept any responsibility for their conduct and was blaming my client. The truth is, they thought because of all of the propaganda that they had created surrounding the infamous McDonald's hot coffee spill case back in the 90's, that they were going to be able to play into people's bias. As we know now, that did not work. Here's my interpretation of why it did not work.

Our jury system is the BEST system that we have in the world. No other countries system of justice comes even close to the jury system we have developed. The jury collectively has a lot of power when making a decision on behalf of other members of our community, and when our jury members come together and serve on a jury they are there to do what is RIGHT and JUST.

On October 23, 2019, they did exactly that. The essence of each verdict comes from our fundamental need to feel connected to something bigger and to help one another. As human beings, we all want to feel connected with one another and help each other. When someone has done something wrong, as McDonald's had done in this case, when the truth is revealed, our jury members ALWAYS do the right thing.

The unfortunate thing is, wrongdoers, many times don't want to accept responsibility. And that is why, I do what I do. When someone has committed a wrong, they should accept FULL responsibility for their conduct, or they should face a jury of their peers and explain themselves. Reality is, most the times, it's not the wrongdoer that is refusing to accept responsibility, it is the insurance company and their attorneys who are trying to protect their MONEY coffins.

Justice was served on October 23, 2019 and I am happy to have been part of it.

Thank you for reading my blog.


June 16th, 2019

Omid Rejali, Esq.


Why not?

Insurance companies are in the business of making money and increasing the profits of their shareholders. To that end, they are only looking at their own interests and not of that of an injured party.

If the insurance company is offering to settle your claim for $10,000 you need to be asking yourself several questions.

1) What stage of the process is the claim at? meaning has a lawsuit been filed, or is the offer given before a lawsuit has been filed?

2) What is my attorneys reputation in the community?

3) What are my injuries?

4) What is the property damages amount?

Let's look at this questions from two angles. First, let's assume that you have received this offer prior to filing of a lawsuit.

If this is the case, your claim is at a minimum worth $30,000 to $40,000. Why? Because one of the factors among many others the insurance company looks at when making its offer is its insureds exposure, and the farther away they are from a trial the smaller their exposure is. By the same token, the closer they get to trial the larger their exposure becomes.

Now let's assume a lawsuit has been filed. Once a lawsuit has been filed the time starts ticking. Generally, once a lawsuit has been filed the courts require that a case be tried between 18 to 24 months after filing. So, following that same logic, as the case gets closer to trial, absent any bad facts, meaning you had hid something from your attorney, the offer will increase as the case gets closer to trial.

Ultimately, the decision to settle a case is always the claimant's. However, you want to make sure that you have someone that has your best interest in mind when settling your claim. Make sure that you actually feel comfortable with your attorney.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope I have been able to give you useful information.

In my following blogs, I will discuss some of the other factors insurance companies consider in making their offers.


May 29th, 2019

By Omid Rejali, Esq.

You've been injured, you hire an attorney, you seek treatment, and now its time to settle your claim with the insurance company. Are you getting the full value of your claim? Here are three reasons why you should speak with a trial lawyer prior to accepting a settlement.

1) Trial lawyers have a better understanding of the value of your claim

Trial lawyers are story tellers. To be able to tell your story, trial lawyers have to get to know you inside and out. What trial lawyers understand and the law also recognizes is that we are all unique humans, and for that reason no one has a right to take away from us our health, and cause us pain, suffering, disfigurement and loss of enjoyment of life. And if they do, they will have to pay for it. Remember, no amount of money will replace that, however, a jurors job is to put a valuation on that. A trial lawyer knows that, and by getting to know you, will be able to better assess the value of your personal injury claim.

2) A fresh set of eyes always adds a different perspective

As trial lawyers, we usually come into the case when the case is ready to go to trial. Having come in later, it allows the trial lawyer to take a look at all of the facts from an outsiders view, and based on his experience, and training and prior trial results give a better prediction on how much the value of your claim may be.

3) Trial lawyers care

Trial lawyers care. This is not to say your own attorney does not care. Trial lawyers however have a burning desire to make sure the insurance company pays what has been rightfully taken from you. This also is not to say that every case should go to trial. What trial lawyers care about however is to make sure that the insurance company pays for all the harms and losses you have suffered.

In conclusion, prior to accepting a settlement offer it would not hurt to speak to a trial lawyer to make sure you are receiving the full value of your claim. Thank you for reading my blog.


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

3 Reasons Why You Should Delay Settling Your San Diego Car Accident Claim

How Will the Insurance Company Evaluate my San Diego Car Accident Claim


September 25th, 2018

By S.J. Walker

Sell your damages to the jury, and sell them well. It is easy enough to grab different witnesses who have some relation to the case and ask them to testify. However, if not done properly this will likely become a one-way ticket to an objection based on cumulative evidence. Many times, it is easiest to put the plaintiff on the stand because the plaintiff is the person who is best qualified to testify about their damages or their loss of enjoyment in their life. This easily can lead to a pitfall, a Catch-22 if you will. If the plaintiff testifies truthfully of their injuries, they are likely to come off as whiners to the jury. It is not likely that a jury takes well to whiners. Secondly, jury’s likely expect plaintiff’s to exaggerate their suffering. Thus putting your plaintiff on the stand may not be your best choice, right away.

Avoiding the “Whiner” Dilemma:

There is no doubt that the injured person has the most information on their pain and suffering. In most cases, it would be a great idea to put them on the stand, but maybe not right away. Instead, ask the injured party about people they may know who could testify to their damages. Make a list of these witness including names, phone numbers, emails, and possibly what they will testify. Then contact the potential witness.

An article by John F. Denove provides some questions to ask yourself when you are contacting a potential witness:

“1.) Do I believe this witness?”

If you do not believe the witness, it is almost a sure thing that the jury will not believe the witness either. If they aren’t credible, get rid of them.

“2.) How often did the witness interact with the plaintiff before the injury?"

"3.) How often has the witness interacted with the plaintiff after the injury?”

These two questions go hand in hand. This is establishing a foundation for the evidence. If the witness can testify to the plaintiff enjoying life to the fullest, then it will become a compare and contrast situation; people who knew the plaintiff before the accident vs. people who knew the plaintiff after the accident. These two different witnesses (or possibly the same witness) will likely tell a shockingly different before and after story that will stick with the jury.

“4.) Does the witness have personal knowledge of the substance to support the testimony? “

Under the Federal Rules of Evidence 602 and 603, personal knowledge and an oath or affirmation to tell the truth determine the competency of a witness. If the witness fails to have personal knowledge or fails to affirm or take an oath to tell the truth, they will be deemed incompetent to testify. If your jurisdiction does not follow the Federal Rules of Evidence, it is likely that the same if not similar rules that apply. Make sure the witness has personal knowledge of the substance to support the testimony.

“5.) Does the witness have any “story” to tell about the plaintiff, either before or after the injury?”

Stories help jurors remember things. The more detail in a story, the more enthralled a juror will be; an enthralled juror will remember facts and details of the story. The side that tells the best story wins the case.

“6.) On Cross-Examination, will the witness be easily led or confused?”

If a witness is going to be easily led or confused, their credibility will be shot with the jury. This makes the testimony a waste of your time, their time, and the courts time. You can minimize this result by prepping the witness thoroughly before calling them to the stand.

“7.) Does the witness come across as an advocate?”

You want the witness on your client’s side. You want them fighting for your client. If they seem to dislike your client, a jury will know. They may wonder why that witness dislikes your client. What did your client do?

John F. Denvoe, The Advocate Magazine 85, (January 2017).

After you have found these witnesses, and they have passed the questions above to your satisfaction, call them to the stand before the plaintiff. If the jury hears testimony from a number of witnesses before the plaintiff, they are likely to view them as less of a whiner, and feel more sympathetic to their story. Have the plaintiff go last or close to last.

Avoiding an Objection Based on Cumulative Testimony:

Expect the defense will object that the testimony is cumulative if you plan on using multiple lay witnesses to testify on the issues of general damages. Be ready to provide a concise statement as to how the testimony will not be duplicative.

It is an easy enough explanation. CACI 3905A provides: “[Past] [and] [future] [physical pain / mental suffering / loss of enjoyment of life / disfigurement / physical impairment / inconvenience / grief / anxiety / humiliation / emotional distress / [insert other damages].” Use this as your guide. For example, advise the judge that witness 1 will testify about plaintiff’s physical impairment; witness 2 will testify about plaintiffs loss of enjoyment of life; Witness 3 will testify to plaintiff’s physical pain; witness 4 will testify about plaintiff’s family life; and another will testify about plaintiff’s social life. Although a judge will likely delay a pre-trial motion based on evidence being cumulative, they will caution you. As a San Diego, California personal injury attorney or elsewhere, put your best lay witnesses on first, rather than at the end when the judge may rule the testimony cumulative.

Avoiding an Objection Based on Cumulative Demonstrative Evidence:

Another useful way to sell your general damages to a jury is through the use of exhibits. There are a variety of demonstrative exhibits that can be used to show damages. Photos, videos, letters, anniversary cards, time-lines, animations, medical illustrations and medical records assist a jury in determining the extent or value of a plaintiff’s general damages. However, again, it is likely that the defense will object based on the cumulative evidence.

When you use photographs, some photographs of the plaintiff’s injuries will be useful to show, especially if the photo is helpful in forming an expert’s opinion about the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. Also, pre-injury photographs effectively compare life of the plaintiff before and after the accident. A defendant will object that the photographs are cumulative, but a quick response to this objection is that it would take the witness much longer to describe the testimony in detail than to make a brief statement describing a photograph. This is a policy argument that saves the courts time and money. Another tactic is similar to having different witnesses talk about different subjects as discussed above. With pictures, have 3 different witnesses discuss 3 pictures rather than one witness discussing 9 pictures.

For example, have one witness discuss the plaintiff’s love of skiing and only use skiing photographs with that witness. Use another witness to speak about the plaintiff’s activities with their family by showing photographs of these activities. Use another witness to speak about the plaintiff’s hobby of building furniture and only use photographs authenticating the furniture the plaintiff has built.

Pictures are powerful. Find them at the beginning of the case.

Get More from Medical Records

As a personal injury attorney in San Diego, California, or a small town in Pennsylvania, medical records become an essential tool to proving your damages to the jury. Many attorneys read only the physical records and only the records that are typed. Why? Well, attorneys are busy people and finding the gems that lie in the minute takes time.

Look for nursing notes and therapy notes that contain comments about how the plaintiff felt or what the plaintiff’s concerns were about the future. Look for pain drawings that the plaintiff filled out, such as a circle where the plaintiff’s pain was located. A referral from a physician for an MRI or EMG will likely contain a reason for the exam; “chronic back pain,” “burning in the back of the neck.” Bringing these notes to the attention of a jury is more effective than having your client verbally describe the pain when the records were prepared years earlier.

General damages require evidence. What evidence you decide to use is determined by the evidence you have obtained. Find as much evidence as possible because selling your damages to the jury will become much easier when you can choose only the best evidence to prove your point.

For more examples on Exhibits and Testimony see: John F. Denvoe, The Advocate Magazine 85, (January 2017).

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