2023 was the best year ever in terms of settling cases, our best year in terms of coming together as a team to face obstacles, and our best year in terms of our community and social impact commitments. We faced some challenges individually and collectively, but what really makes this the best year is how we rallied together for each other; not just to make it through the year but to thrive and grow professionally and as a team. We are very proud of that.
As we look back, we also want to acknowledge and express our appreciation for the role that others played in our “best year ever”. It would be impossible to fight for justice on behalf of injured victims without our relationships with committed law firms and colleagues, dedicated doctors and their teams, our favorite private investigator, the best court reporter in town and all the people behind the scenes that come together to make each case a success.
And to you, our client, THANK YOU. Thank you for choosing us and trusting us with your case. Thank you for sending your friends and family to us. We are proud to be your law firm of choice.
Now, let’s take a look back at 2023!! We asked each person on our team what was their proudest moment of 2023:
Bruce Hagen – Founder, The Boss, and Super Lawyer for 19 consecutive years
There are so many things I’m proud of. From a Big Picture standpoint, I’m proud of the team that we have put together at the firm. We have assembled a great group of people that not only are a joy to be around, but who do an amazing job for our clients. Everyone who comes in contact with our office, whether they’re clients, vendors, physicians or our employees, benefits as a result of the amazing work that we do.
Alicia S. Harry – Attorney
The thing I am most proud of this year is settling my first six-figure case as a first-year associate. I am proud of this because I fought hard for our client and did not settle when the adjuster said it was not a six-figure case. I could have quickly given in, given the fact as a first-year associate, I had little knowledge about case value. However, I fought because regardless of what the adjuster thought about the value of the case, I knew I had to protect our client and be her voice, and I did just that. I will always cherish this memory.
This year has been a great learning experience. I wouldn't have wanted to spend my first year as an associate anywhere else.
Kimberly Hart – Pre-litigation Case Manager
This year I’ve have enjoyed using investigative skills on so many cases. A little patience and determination brought forth insurance monies that the client would have never seen. Having a boss who isn’t chasing numbers but making sure we take care of our clients has allowed me to spend the extra time needed to 110% follow through on our cases. And seeing my clients come in to pick up their checks always makes me smile!
Iamme Staton – Pre-Litigation Case Manager
The best of 2023 was joining a law firm that is intent on having a consistently positive impact on their community and clients.
Jamie High – Office Manager
I am most proud of the team we have built this year. I am beyond grateful to be part of this firm family and have thoroughly enjoyed watching each person grow and thrive in their positions. Each person genuinely cares, not only for our clients, but for each other. It does take a village and it’s nice to know that we have such a wonderful and dependable team.
Amie Risley – Negotiations & Settlement
As we wrap up 2023 and reflect on it, I have so much to be grateful for. It’s been my honor to help our clients. I have laughed and cried with many of them. I have gotten to know many of our clients on a more personal basis. The favorite part of my job is putting a check in our clients’ hands and even more rewarding when they ask me for a hug.
Besides working at the office, it is always fun to represent our firm as a sponsor at the Annual 680 the Fan Classic Golf Tournament benefiting CHOA. And this year, it was a very cool experience to record a radio commercial for Hagen Rosskopf. I am very fortunate to honestly say, I love my job and our firm.
Matt R. Hagen – Attorney
In July of this year, we took a case to trial that had been with the firm for 5 years. We represented the mother of a six-year-old boy who had been killed in a car accident in 2018. After years of hard work, we tried the case to a jury in Dekalb County that returned a verdict of $14 million. Our fight continues to recover every penny that our client deserves, but the trial and verdict represent the culmination of years of determination and fight from our client and attorneys in our office. Achieving such a great verdict for such a deserving client is the thing that I am most proud of in my career.
Cynthia Reyes – Litigation Paralegal
I’m proud to have joined a firm that is so determined to work hard for their clients. Although I recently joined this firm, I’m already looking forward to the work we are going to do in 2024.
Lory Gustave – Litigation Paralegal
This year, I was proud to find ways to communicate more frequently throughout the litigation process with our clients and I created templates and software reminders to facilitate regular updates.
The part I played in settling Ms. George’s case is something I am proud of this year. I fought tooth and nail to obtain a workable narrative from a dentist since this narrative was the ONLY thing holding up more authority on a settlement. After 5 months of working on it every day, we received it and settled the case. It made me happy to see that our client was happy.
Kendrick K. McWilliams – Attorney
I am most proud of being a small party of securing a 10-million-dollar judgment for a deserving family, and for helping another family recover 3 million dollars in a negotiated settlement for an incident involving a child struck by a truck.
Dan Pruitt – Litigation Support
It was rewarding to ride a bike in a city we sued and fought with for 7 years after Mrs. P. tripped and fell on a displaced section of a city sidewalk. Following a $1,000,000.00 settlement, the City of Suwanee is doing a much better job maintaining infrastructure now.
Joseph Longo – Law Intern
I am most proud to have sat-in and assisted with one of the firm’s wrongful death cases and our most recent case to go to trial. I believe the extensive pre-litigation prep and passion our attorneys gave throughout the litigation process allowed for a larger recovery for our clients than they could have been awarded through the settlement process. I am proud that we had such a successful recovery for our clients and, in any small way, to have helped throughout the process.
Mike Waits – Demand & Settlement Paralegal
For me, the case that stands out this year is Mr. Hawks. This was a premise liability case with questionable liability, and the insurance carrier had in fact previously denied their insured was at fault. We put together a good demand package showing the horrible lacerations on his ear; and Matt Hagen was able to negotiate a $150,000 settlement on $9,400 in medical expenses. We were able to put nearly $100,000.00 into the client’s pocket after receiving a liability denial!!!
Ken Rosskopf – Of Counsel
As I ease into retirement, I am proud to continue my association with the firm knowing that the bicyclists and their families will continue to be competently advised and represented when the cyclist is injured. I am happy knowing that Bruce shares my passions, and that Hagen Rosskopf/ Bike Law GA will continue to serve the cycling community.
I get extra satisfaction from: the diversity of our firm; from our support of Free Bikes 4 Kidz and Atlanta Streets Alive; and through our efforts to encourage safe street use; and educating law enforcement.
Maria Borowik – Quality Control, Marketing & Bike Law GA
I’m proud of the work we did representing the family of Allen Thompson in 2023. He was hit by a distracted driver and killed while riding his bicycle less than a quarter mile away from his home in Middle Georgia. The police blamed him for his own death and wrote a police report that would make it hard for any attorney to want to take the case. We were able to collect every penny of insurance coverage available and conducted our own investigation to help his family find closure.
This year we also collaborated with Bike Friendly ATL to bring back the Ride of Silence for the first time since the pandemic. I was touched by how our entire firm came together to make the ride and the remembrance event a success. Seeing how much our team members care about Atlanta’s bike community and our bicycle cases whether they ride a bike or not is something I’m personally proud of.
Pamela Woods Conley – Legal Intake Specialist
Although I’ve had plenty of most proud moments, the proudest moment of the year for me was being on 680 The Fan representing the firm and talking about why I’ve been working with Bruce for 22 years. Now I am a Star! My family and friends heard me on the radio…wow!
And, back to Bruce Hagen…
On an individual basis, I’m very proud of a couple of results we obtained this year.
- We represented a 17-year-old who was injured as a Pedestrian while crossing the street in a crosswalk on his way to school. The police blamed our client for causing the crash, as did the driver that hit him. From the beginning we believed in our client when nobody else did and we went to great lengths to demonstrate that he should not have been hit and that the crash would not have happened were it not for the negligence of the driver. After multiple depositions and extensive work, our belief in our client was validated when we were able to reach a six-figure settlement for him at mediation.
- We represented a teenager and a 10-year-old who were both seriously injured when they were hit by a commercial utility truck while the boys were riding an electric scooter. Based on the statements of the utility truck driver, his passenger, and two witnesses, the officer concluded that our clients had run a stop sign, causing the crash. We disagreed with the findings in the police report and believed in our clients instead. Through a lot of hard work by Dan Pruitt and Kendrick McWilliams, we were able to establish the fault of the utility truck driver and secure a seven - figure settlement for our clients at mediation.
- In 2018, I met with the parents of a 5-year-old boy who had been killed in a rear end crash while he was sitting in a booster set in the back seat of the family car. It was horrible and the family was devastated. Although the liability of the driver that rear ended our clients was crystal clear, I could not accept the fact that a rear end crash on a residential street could have caused so much damage to the car that it would kill the back seat passenger. Digging further, I found that the particular type of vehicle involved had a little bit of a history of performing poorly in these types of crashes. I consulted with a colleague at another firm who is experienced in product liability cases against car manufacturers. Working closely with that firm, we were able to secure a life changing settlement from the car manufacturer that will accomplish two goals: a) it empowers our wonderful clients to do something meaningful to commemorate the child they lost, and b) get the attention of the car manufacturer to make them do more to provide for the safety of rear passengers in their vehicles. Although we played a supporting role in the litigation, I am very proud to have been involved in helping this family.
- We were contacted by a local lawyer in Athens who represented a man that had been seriously injured in a bike crash with an Athens-Clark County public bus. The man had been riding his bike at night with no lights or reflectors on his bike and was headed the opposite direction of the bus when the bus driver made a left turn directly across his path. Miraculously, the bike rider was not killed, but he suffered some very serious injuries. The police put the blame on the bicyclist and Athens-Clark County denied the claim. After investigating the facts and visiting the scene, we took on the case because we believed in the client and believed that, despite the lack of lighting on the bike, he was visible and that the bus driver, had she been paying proper attention, should have seen him before beginning her left turn. After extensive litigation and discovery, we were able to obtain a great settlement for our client at mediation that will allow him to have some measure of financial independence as he continues to recover from his injuries.
- Perhaps I’m most proud of the work we did on behalf of the parents of a 6-year-old child who was killed in a car crash in 2018. I had the chance to bring the case to trial side by side with my son, Matt Hagen, and work together to help obtain justice for a family that suffered a devastating loss. We knew how important the case was to the family and the work that was put in by Matt, our paralegal Dan Pruitt, our co-counsel Bill Parker and I was a pure reflection of how seriously we took our responsibility to help them obtain the best result possible. After a 2-day trial in July, the jury awarded our clients $14,000,000. It was the largest jury verdict of my 37-year career. Beyond knowing that we did a great job for our client, I was and remain incredibly proud of the fact that we were able to do it working side by side as father & son. I’ll be proud of that until the day I die.
Even though 2023 was “the best year ever”, we can’t wait for 2024 to get here. Like Frank Sinatra sang, “it’s a real good bet, the best is yet to come”.
We wish you a wonderful Holiday Season and Happy New Year!
The Team at Hagen Rosskopf LLC