Debbie’s Story

Debbie’s elderly mother had always taken pride in being self-reliant. Even in her late eighties, she refused to let age slow her down, as committed to her own independence as she was to the family and community she loved and served. In so many ways, she embodied what we all admire in The Greatest Generation. That all changed the day she was broadsided in an intersection by a driver who ran a red light. Her clavicle was broken in the accident, requiring surgery and then rehab. As a result of weakness caused by inactivity and inability to function on her own, Debbie’s mother subsequently broke her ankle, which created more stress, trauma, and difficulty for her, leaving her anxious, shaky, unable to drive, and dependent on others for help. That single event had irrevocably changed her life, having set in motion a cascade of events which proved difficult from which to recover.

After the accident, Debbie and her mother were advised by friends and family to seek legal counsel and pursue damages. A family member had a friend in the legal industry who highly recommended them to Jamie Moncus at Hare Wynn. Debbie describes her first meeting with Jamie: “When we met with Jamie, my mother was still in the rehab unit. Jamie had asked to see her. She was lying in bed and in terrible shape, but she was able to speak with him. He was just so gracious, kind, compassionate, and wonderful that my mother immediately trusted him, and we knew we had made the right decision in selecting him as her attorney.”

As litigation progressed, Jamie, his co-counsel Tempe Smith, and Karen his assistant, went to great lengths to make sure the case was prepared to go to court. However, shortly after depositions, they were approached by the defense attorneys with an offer of mediation, which Debbie, as her mother’s legal representative, accepted.

The only way a lawyer can know the true value of a case is by having a great deal of experience in a courtroom trying cases with real juries. Jamie is a trial lawyer. He thrives in a courtroom and has successfully tried a great number of cases. Therefore, he was uniquely positioned and qualified to best advise Debbie as to what her mother’s case was worth and what would be a fair settlement for her. This knowledge and experience proved invaluable for Debbie who attended the mediation with her husband. Debbie explains:

Debbie's Story 1

“When we went into the mediation, we had no idea neither what to expect nor what was reasonable to ask for, but we trusted Jamie and Tempe to lead us and guide us—which they did. Throughout the day, the defense attorneys kept coming to us with one lowball offer after another—which we kept rejecting. Finally, they made an offer Jamie considered fair and acceptable. Then it came down to, ‘If we go to court, what could we potentially expect?’ Jamie’s the type of guy you can look in the eye and ask for a straight answer—knowing he will give you one, and his expertise in court I understand is legendary. He said, ‘Going to court is a gamble. You do not know whom you are going to draw on your jury. I can advise you that this is a good offer. It is within the range of what I would have expected for this case. If you go to court in a rural Alabama county, with a jury of unknown peers, they could come back with an amount that is less.’ His words really gave us great peace, and we trusted and valued his insight and experience, so we decided to accept the offer and the case settled that day.”

Debbie describes her experience with Hare Wynn:

“They have a fantastic team approach at Hare Wynn, and they were in frequent communication with us. They let us know what to expect, what we needed to provide, and what the firm would be doing for us. All of that was clearly explained. Hare Wynn—above their professionalism in providing legal counsel—excels at communication, compassion, and concern. And that is so important when you are dealing with someone who is quite elderly, as my mother is. They also repeatedly reached out and took the time to email me and ask how she was doing. That meant a lot to us. What attorneys do that? That is compassion and caring, and that is a whole lot more than someone’s prowess in knowing the law. You can have a lawyer graduate from any law school, but if he does not have compassion, that is not whom you want for an elderly victim and Jamie understands the elderly. Furthermore, seeking legal representation is much more than just hiring a lawyer, and being a great lawyer involves more than just knowing the law. You want somebody who is on your side, one who understands what you are going through, and who will not only do the very best for you but will do it with caring. And so, we could not be more pleased with the firm or the settlement. There is no one who, I believe, could have represented my mother in a better fashion than Jamie, Tempe and the team at Hare Wynn. They were a great fit for our family.”

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