(Photo: Ilan Heimanson)
By Ruksana Hussain, California Business Journal.
Ilan Heimanson met Jeff Wolf while working for a trial law firm, where they both did plaintiff work. With common goals and perspective, they branched out to create a firm with a different model — a referral-based business built on established relationships with other professionals such as business managers, advisers, CPAs and attorneys.
“People contact us when there has been a tragedy and they are having a difficult time,” Wolf says. “The situation is time sensitive and they are looking for someone they can trust. We know there is a need to act quickly.”
Professionals and trusted advisors call them for all kinds of resources and when their own clients have questions. “It is part of our job is to make sure whoever refers us a case looks good. Referral sources are putting their reputations on the line, connecting their clients to us. We focus on each matter to make certain the referral source looks good.”
Their track record of success is a commendable list of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, including a recent $6 million settlement involving an automobile collision involving serious brain injuries; a $5.6 million verdict for a client who was injured as a result of a dangerous road condition; a $4.5 million verdict in a midair collision case at a Torrance, Calif. airport and a $3.3 million verdict in a construction accident case.
“The nature of personal injury is such that it is the only time most clients will interact with the judicial system,” Wolf says. “We utilize all our firm’s resources to ensure our clients are made whole and we take a holistic approach to focus on moving our clients to a position where they are able to resume their lives.”
In one case, a client suffered a serious brain injury. She did not have the resources to get the help she needed. Heimanson & Wolf hired experts in neurology, neuroradiology and neuropsychology. They also helped her get the rehab she needed so that she could find a way to resume school and move forward in life.
In another case, a young man right out of the marine corps and in training to become a helicopter pilot, suffered devastating injuries in a midair collision with another helicopter that resulted in him fracturing nearly every bone from his waist down. Heimanson and Wolf had experts recreate the collision, put together the voice commands from air traffic control and flight data to provide a simulation of how the accident occurred to demonstrate their client was not at fault.
“Our job is to take the case, appreciate the importance, severity and complexity, and give it the attention and the resources it requires,” Heimanson says.
Relationships are nurtured over time with honesty, integrity and civility being the guiding principles to their work. This also shows in the storytelling involved in their role as trial lawyers, when sharing the clients’ life as well as the incident that they encountered.
Seeing clients through a difficult period in their lives to bring them to the other side of the process — whether by resolution informally or a jury verdict and judgment — “is the most fulfilling aspect of the job,” Wolf says.
For one client who sustained a bad ankle fracture in a skiing incident, the experience turned tragic and resulted in the young man losing his leg. Going through the legal process guided by Heimanson and Wolf gave the client the confidence to make a miraculous recovery. Previously a football player, he now participates in bodybuilding and strongman competitions, winning the World’s Strongest Disabled Man title.
“To see a client do so well for himself and move forward with his life, there’s nothing more fulfilling as an attorney,” Heimanson says.
Copyright © 2020 California Business Journal. All Rights Reserved.