MacElree Harvey Personal Injury attorney Tim Rayne successfully resolved a motor vehicle accident case for a local American hero. To respect his wish for anonymity, we will refer to him only as Larry. The settlement ended a year and a half of legal battles which arose out of injuries Larry suffered in a May 2007 car accident and provided Larry and his family with financial security to help rebuild their lives.

“Larry has the most intriguing life story of any client I have had in my 13 years as an attorney,” says Tim Rayne.

Larry graduated from Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, PA and was accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy. After earning his Bachelor’s Degree from the Academy, Larry served in the Marine Corps. Thereafter, Larry continued service to his country in the Secret Service before beginning his 21-year career with the United States Customs Service (now the Department of Homeland Security). Larry’s duties included chasing drug dealers in cigarette boats and hunting down and deporting violent illegal aliens and gang members.

In 2003 and 2004, Larry was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and was badly injured (fractured both elbows) during a mortar attack. After his recovery, Larry returned to his job as a Supervisor of Agents with the Department of Homeland Security and was regularly involved in surveillances, arrests and searches involving illegal aliens, drug dealers, gang members and convicted sex offenders.

The Accident

On May 6, 2007, while headed to work on Route One in his prized possession, a 2004 Corvette, Larry fell victim to the careless driver of a Ford Explorer who failed to yield and turned left directly in front of him. Larry slammed on his brakes, but a broadside collision at high speed was unavoidable.

Larry’s Injuries

Larry sustained a serious left mid-foot fracture which required surgery and the insertion of two screws to repair. After therapy, Larry returned to work but, unfortunately, the repair failed and the screws broke. Due to chronic pain, Larry was forced to undergo another surgery in which five screws were needed to repair his foot.

Despite these multiple surgeries, Larry was forced into retirement three years early due to his inability to run or engage in other vigorous physical activities needed for his federal law enforcement position.

The Case

Because the driver of the Ford Explorer was negligent in failing to yield and turning left in front of Larry, he and his family had legal claims against her to attempt to compensate him for his injuries and damages. Fortunately, Larry also had the foresight to purchase substantial Underinsured Motorist Coverage (“UIM coverage”) on his own automobile insurance policy. UIM coverage protects you when you are injured due to the fault of another driver who, although insured, does not have enough coverage to pay for all of the injuries and damages caused by an accident. UIM coverage is available to make up the difference between the responsible driver’s insurance coverage and the full amount of injuries and damages.

Shortly after his accident, Larry retained Tim to handle all of his legal claims. Tim began the legal battles by focusing on the other driver’s automobile insurance with State Farm. Persistent pressure and the production of compelling evidence regarding Larry’s injuries and damages resulted in the tender of the driver’s entire policy limits. Tim next turned to Larry’s own UIM coverage with USAA to attempt to close the gap between the compensation he received from State Farm and the full extent of his injuries and damages. Settlement numbers will be kept confidential, but, at the end of the representation, Tim and his assistant, Cheryl McCarthy, were proud to receive a “Thank You” letter which said:

September 25, 2008
Mr. Timothy F. Rayne, Esquire
211 East State Street
Kennett Square, PA 19348

Dear Mr. Rayne:
On behalf of my family and myself, I want to thank you, Ms. McCarthy and your firm for your support, tenacity and thoroughness in pursuing our claims. From the time you came on board until now, you made us feel we truly had an assertive and competent advocate. You formulated a strategy and set benchmarks. You achieved every goal and, in the end, exceeded everyone’s expectations. I particularly noted your negotiation with the insurance company. After receiving and rejecting a substantial offer, you called on them to explain why the case should not be settled at our initial demand. You further challenged them to justify their offer by specifying how they arrived at their figure. Perhaps this response was commonplace to you, but I saw it as a brilliant play. The resulting response certainly validated the efficacy of your plan. You demonstrated the value of patience and carefully considered each step before taking it. Throughout the process you exhibited the highest sense of ethics and honesty. I felt my case was presented fairly and truthfully. You kept me informed of my options and offered valuable advice on how to proceed. Perhaps most importantly, I felt that you truly cared about me and my family. I believed that I could call on you at any time to get an update or just some encouragement along the way. Your staff was always gracious when I called or visited the office. I thank all of you for your efforts. I shall certainly consider you first should I ever again have need of an attorney.


From Tim’s perspective, this was also a satisfying experience. “I think the world of Larry. What he has done with his life in terms of service to this country is remarkable. It was truly a shame that this accident ended his career and had a negative impact on the quality of his life. I am glad that I was able to guide him through the legal system and ensure that he and his family were treated fairly by the insurance companies so that they can rebuild their lives.”


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