Jayla’s Story: Injustice, Hope & Recovery


Meet Jayla O.

Cases or matters referenced do not represent the law firm’s entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s or law firm’s past results.

Child hit by car in Warren County remains in coma at Duke: it’s a gut-wrenching headline to read, especially as a parent. We try to keep our children out of harm’s way, but we never expect the unthinkable to happen to our own children…until it does.

The headline above involved our young client and her family. Jayla Owens was just nine years old and in fourth grade when she was struck by a car and suffered severe and traumatic injuries. In the blink of an eye, she was fighting for her young life. This is Jayla’s story.

They Were Told to Prepare for the Worst.

On November 13, 2014, Jayla got off the school bus, allowed the school bus to continue on, looked both ways, and then crossed the street to check their mailbox.

Latrenta, Jayla’s mother, was inside the house. It seemed like a normal evening of homework, dinner, and bedtime.

Then, every parent’s nightmare happened – a car crashed into Jayla at full speed.

Three witnesses saw the car driving really fast and noted that it didn’t slow down before impact. The driver was on the phone before (and after!) hitting Jayla.

In the police report, the defendant stated that she was swerving to try to avoid Jayla, but she still ended up hitting the child. The witnesses also stated that the driver got out of her car still on the phone, crossed the street, and waited under a tree until first responders arrived.

Meanwhile, Jayla coded. Witnesses performed CPR until first responders arrived and revived her. Jayla was then airlifted to Duke University Hospital, and she coded again while in transit. She was revived a second time, and upon arriving at the hospital, she was put on life support with a severe brain injury.

Latrenta was told to prepare for the worst. The doctors told her they weren’t sure that her daughter  would ever be able to walk or speak again because her injuries were so severe. There were no assurances that she would even survive the night.

Help Was on the Way.

“I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do. We didn’t have insurance. How was I going to pay these bills? Her doctor’s bills were in the millions,” Latrenta said.

Then our legal team took charge.

They advocated tirelessly for Jayla in depositions, mediations, and negotiations with the insurance company. The first offer received was a low-ball offer, a tactic some insurance companies can employ to try to avoid paying full liability.

But our team refused to relent. And the numbers the insurance company put on the table just kept going up and up. Days before the start of the trial, the case settled for much more than what the Owens were expecting. It was a hard-fought battle, but we didn’t back down until the insurance company accepted a structured settlement that would set Jayla up for the rest of her life.1

Jayla continued to surpass her doctors’ expectations and participate in her school’s track and step teams.

Like Our Clients, Our Legal Team Is Tough.

At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, paralegals, attorneys, and staff work together to try to help clients like Jayla and her family get through some of the toughest times in their lives. Our mission is to help as many people as we can find some peace of mind through the legal process. If you or someone you know has been injured, please call 1-866-900-7078, chat with us, or leave us a message here.

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