Personal Injury Attorneys Have Hearts Too

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July 16, 2010 – The greedy, sleazy lawyer stereotype gets kicked to the curb once more as a group of South Florida lawyers and other helpful folk come forth to help an out-of-work and carless mother of 4 cope with a bizarre car accident.

Mekesia Jenkins, 35, was traveling on Southern Blvd. in Loxahatchee during the early morning hours of October 14, 2009 when she collided with a young calf that had darted into the road, totaling the car and killing the calf. Luckily Jenkins was not injured, but her 1993 Buick LeSabre sustained more than $2,000 in damages.

The next day, a Loxahatchee woman called animal control to report a missing calf; the same one that had totaled Jenkins’ car. Jenkins contacted the calf’s owner, Christy Morrow, to report the damage the stray calf had done to her vehicle, but Morrow denied liability.

Morrow hired a lawyer and forced Jenkins to bring a lawsuit forth to recover damages for her car. Unable to afford legal representation of her own, Jenkins was up against Morrow’s attorney and ended with a one-day mistrial. She now has to wait until December for another trial date.

Meanwhile, her car was sitting in a tow yard costing her daily storage fees. Eventually she had to release storage rights and the car was crushed. She didn’t have collision insurance to pay for the damages.

Things were looking bleak for the mother of 4 who was relying on city transportation and friends to get around town. She was unable to attend the high school GED course she was taking to reach the next step in her career goals – a corrections officer. She was also limited to searching for work, or even getting her old job back as a security guard.

After a Palm Beach Post writer, Frank Cerabino, wrote a story on Jenkins’ tale, he received a flood of emails, letters and phone calls from helpful locals offering help to the woman and her family. Many auto body shops even offered to fix the car, not realizing it had already been crushed. But the best help of all came from several attorneys who offered to represent her without compensation.

This month, Jenkins was given a ride to visit the first of the lawyers who offered to handle her case pro bono. After the initial consultation, Jenkins said it will be nice to have someone act as her voice in court. Knowing there are others out there that are empathizing with her story has been a comfort.

When your law firm is involved with the community in stories such as these, you need to let your clients know! Philanthropy is one of the best things a law firm can do to help market themselves in their local community, and you’re helping a cause while helping your own business at the same time.

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