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Whittier Personal Injury Lawyer

Whittier Personal Injury Lawyer

Whittier Personal Injury Attorney

Personal injury law was created to ensure that anyone suffering injuries caused by the actions of another person can formally hold them accountable. They can do so by filing a claim and quantifying the damages to request a certain amount of compensation that will help relieve some of the financial toll. If you have been injured in Whittier and need legal representation to begin this process, a Whittier personal injury lawyer can help you.

At Heimanson & Wolf, LLP, we have spent years representing those who are wrongly injured and in need of compensation. Our team of accident and injury lawyers has a thorough understanding of personal injury law. We can help ensure that no one is able to take advantage of your rights or try to minimize the extent of the damage in question. If you or someone else in your family has been injured in Whittier, contact us as soon as possible for relief.

Whittier Personal Injury Lawyer

What Elements Are Required in a Personal Injury Case?

A personal injury case is generally classified as any instance in which one person suffers harm from an accident or injury that was the direct result of someone else’s malicious act or negligence. While each case is unique and can be evaluated as such by a personal injury attorney, the following elements are commonly found in the majority of cases.
These include:

  • Negligence and Duty of Care. The most central concept in a personal injury case is often negligence. It’s based on the idea that every member of society should act in a responsible manner to avoid putting other individuals at risk. For example, someone driving a vehicle on public roads has a duty to obey traffic laws and avoid reckless behavior that could cause a car accident. This is a “duty of care” that applies to everyone.
  • Breach of Duty. After a duty of care has been established, it then must be shown that it was breached by the defendant. When someone breaches their duty of care, they have acted negligently in a situation in which any other reasonable individual would have acted differently. For example, a scenario in which a surgeon operated on an individual while under the influence of alcohol would be a breach of duty, as any other reasonable surgeon would agree this is not appropriate.
  • Causation. It’s not enough to show that someone acted negligently. Their negligence must also be directly connected to the reported injuries in the case. Proving causation will require an attorney to collect enough evidence to prove that the injury was foreseeable and would not have happened if it weren’t for the defendant’s negligent actions. Some common evidence used to make this link includes medical records, expert testimony, and statements from eyewitnesses.
  • Damages. For a plaintiff to receive compensation, the actual harm sustained from the event needs to be proven. Economic damages are one of the most common elements to quantify, as doing so simply requires an individual to share their hospital bills, missed paychecks, or other documents that report expenses incurred or financial loss as a result of the negligent act. Non-economic damages can also be brought forth for consideration. These damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment in life, are more subjective in nature. Although harder to quantify, an experienced attorney can help and make a strong case for their value.

What Questions Should I Ask My Personal Injury Attorney?

During a first consultation with a personal injury attorney, you’ll want to gain a clear understanding of their capabilities. This will involve discussing their experience, the specifics of your own case, and how they anticipate managing it after making their own assessment of the details. This will help you gauge how relevant their skill sets are to your own case.

During initial discussions, you’ll want to ask about their track record with past cases. While it’s important to know they have taken on the same types of cases before, you’ll also want to make sure they’ve had considerable success. This insight into their success rate can help make you feel more comfortable in their ability to repeat the same level of success in your own case.

While it’s comforting to hear they feel confident in winning your case, it’s important to ask them what challenges they see as well. You’ll want an attorney who is realistic in their approach and has a contingency plan in place. Hearing their strategy to mitigate anticipated risks can help you to understand if their thought process is aligned with your own.

As you are conversing on these details, take notice of their communication style. You should feel like they are explaining things to you in a manner that is easy to comprehend. If you struggle to understand and connect with your attorney during a single meeting, you will likely continue to have these experiences throughout the duration of your case. This can make you feel uncomfortable with approaching them when needed, which could jeopardize your case.

Finally, ensure you are aligned with their expected timeline for your case. Ask what factors they think could help the case reach a faster resolution if that’s something you are seeking. You’ll also want to make sure you understand your own personal responsibilities at each step in their timeline. You should establish what those responsibilities are and determine if the attorney is organized enough to share those expectations.

Are Personal Injury Attorneys Expensive?

The cost of hiring an attorney is not universal. This makes it difficult to pre-determine an exact cost. However, there are a combination of different factors that may help you get a better sense of the range to expect.

Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which is when an attorney takes a certain percentage of their client’s final settlement award as payment for their services. This percentage typically ranges from 30% to 40% or even higher for more seasoned attorneys with a high success rate.

Many people prefer these arrangements because they don’t require upfront costs. This is especially valuable in personal injury cases in which clients were not expecting to be involved in an accident and, therefore, did not have any funds set aside for a legal case.

If an attorney doesn’t operate on a contingency fee payment structure, they may charge by the hour. This hourly rate can range from $100 to $1,000 or more depending on how experienced the attorney is, where they are located, and how many clients they already are working with.

It’s important to ask your attorney about their pay expectations during the initial consultation, as this can be a dealbreaker for those who might only be able to accommodate one specific payment method. You’ll also want to ask if there are any fees that will accumulate during the case, such as a filing fee, to ensure you set aside money to handle those costs when they arise.

FAQs About Whittier, CA Personal Injury Law

How Long Do Most Personal Injury Claims Take to Resolve?

The more complicated a case is to understand and collect evidence for, the longer it will take to resolve. An uncooperative defendant can also significantly extend the case’s timeline. While some smaller cases with clear evidence of liability may only take a few months to resolve, others could go on for years to ensure the final verdict is well-supported and fair. Ask your attorney about their timeline expectations to avoid conflicts.

How Much Money Should I Ask for in a Settlement?

The total amount of money requested for a settlement will depend on many different factors, including the severity of your injuries and what impact they have had on your life. For example, you could ask for a significant amount of money if you are an artist and lose movement in your hand, which prevents you from being able to make a living. If you recover quickly and can return back to your job, your attorney may suggest asking for a smaller amount.

Can I Handle a Personal Injury Claim on My Own Without an Attorney?

While some become tempted to represent themselves and save on legal costs, it is generally advised to hire an attorney to mitigate unnecessary risks. Personal injury law and the legal procedures that will ensue can be extremely overwhelming to those who don’t have experience in the field. Representing yourself could result in missed opportunities for a higher compensation package or not being able to defend yourself against inaccurate allegations.

Do I Need to Go to Court for a Personal Injury Claim?

Court is not always necessary in personal injury claims in Whittier, CA, as most of them are settled without advancing to a trial. This is only possible if both parties are able to come to an agreement and settle on a final compensation number. This can make the entire case much less time-consuming and costly. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, there will be no choice but to finalize the settlement details in front of a judge and jury.

Reach Out to the Personal Injury Lawyers of Heimanson & Wolf, LLP, Today

If you are in need of a personal injury attorney in Whittier, connect with the legal team at Heimanson & Wolf, LLP. We understand how overwhelming it can feel to balance your recovery period with advancing a claim. Let us take on the bulk of the legal work to give you more time to rest and recover from your injuries. We look forward to meeting you and learning more about how we can help as soon as possible.

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