The everyday world is rife with potential hazards. They’ll often hide in plain sight, somewhere where it’s easy for people to overlook them as they go through their usual routines. And no matter how mundane these dangers seem, their potential consequences can be grave.

Parking lots can be particularly problematic in terms of safety. They are places where cars and pedestrians mix more than anywhere else, leading to potentially dangerous situations. But accidents can happen in parking lots even when cars are not involved.

A recent case settled by Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys shows how damaging a simple negligence case can be. Led by the astute attorney Mia Hong, it cost the defendant a $1.2 million settlement in a premises liability case. It’s a great example of the importance of paying attention to detail and personal injury and accident attorneys’ vital role in keeping those at fault in check and making society safer.

The incident at heart occurred under unique circumstances after a metal post, placed initially in a parking lot, was removed. The absence of a post might not have been a big deal if a two-inch metal bracket, whose purpose was to support the post, hadn’t been left behind. A two-inch immovable piece of metal is a trip hazard that’s much more difficult to see than a whole post. Leaving it without the post was not a good idea.

image003 1
Photo by Bradford Rogne Photography 2023

The only way to make things worse would be to make the bracket, already a trip hazard, even more difficult to see. The metal bracket in question was painted white, which allowed it to merge indistinguishably with the line marking of the parking spaces. The bracket was camouflaged and turned into a concealed hazard, waiting for someone to trip over it.

Eventually, someone did. The plaintiff, represented by the tenacious Mia Hong, tripped over the bracket. Not expecting any danger, the plaintiff not only fell suddenly but also fell particularly violently, striking her face against a nearby parked car and collapsing to the ground.

The injuries the plaintiff suffered were extensive. There was significant damage to her face; she fractured her right arm and was left with severe neck and back complaints. The plaintiff also needed serious medical interventions – two surgeries to take care of the fracture in the right arm. The situation wasn’t looking good.

Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys, known for their aggressive advocacy for their clients and victims of negligence in general, took the case on with a deep understanding of both the legal and emotional complexities involved. The strategy didn’t focus on the negligence alone but also on the profound impact the injuries will have on their client’s life.

Under the guidance of Mia Hong, the firm pushed for a settlement that did justice to the client and sent a message to people whose negligence could harm others. The case is emblematic of the firm’s policy that negligence is a public safety issue and should be attacked wherever possible. The resolution of the case might have been a significant victory for the plaintiff, but it was also a big win for safety in general.

Written in partnership with Tom White.