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In the Eye of the Storm: Karns & Karns Provide Empathetic Legal Support in Tragic Crane Accident

Navigating the complex realm of personal injury law can be overwhelming for many, particularly when the case involves a devastating event like a fatal industrial accident. When caught in the eye of such a storm, an advocate who not only understands the law but also appreciates the intricacies of human relationships is invaluable. This is where Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys excel.

One case that exemplifies their relentless pursuit of justice is one of a dedicated worker who tragically lost his life due to a negligently operated crane. His death left a void in the lives of his family members and friends, a tragic circumstance that necessitated a firm yet empathetic legal approach.

“His death was more than a statistic in an industrial accident. This man was a beloved son, a brother, and a father,” says Darren McBratney, an attorney at Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys, reflecting the firm’s ethos. “The challenge was not only to navigate the legal system but also to honor his memory by ensuring his loved ones received the justice they deserved.”

The legal complexities presented by the case were formidable. They required dealing with a third-party civil action intersecting with workers’ compensation laws. The delicate task was further complicated by the distribution of the $9,807,000 settlement among multiple plaintiffs who were not all represented by Karns & Karns, a process demanding utmost impartiality to ensure no one’s interest was placed above another’s.

“The process was painstaking, but we were steadfast in our mission,” Mia Hong, the co-attorney on the case shares. “This wasn’t just about a settlement. It was about upholding the principles of justice and fairness.”

Reflecting on the hurdles the case presented, Hong explains that in many places, including California, individuals can’t directly sue their employees for injuries sustained at work, meaning that the exclusive remedy against the employer is the right to recover workers’ compensation benefits.

A third party can be liable and be sued for ‘pain and suffering’ damages, but there’s a twist – the workers’ compensation insurance often seeks to recover some of the payout if the money comes from the third party.

“This is where attorneys must step into negotiation and ensure that more of the recovered money stays with the worker or their family. But, negotiations in this case were much more difficult since there was more than one plaintiff.”

Owing to the complexities of the case, the litigation journey spanned four years. While lengthy, it underscores Karns & Karns’ perseverance to secure maximum compensation for their clients, allowing the victim’s family to find at least some comfort amid their loss.

Although the firm’s success in the case is undeniably impressive, the human dimension remains paramount. Darren states that industrial accidents resulting in death are unfortunately commonplace, but for them to have been witnessed by friends or coworkers, as was the situation here, is rare.

“Such terrible images are forever forged in our clients’ minds, and no amount of money can erase that,” McBratney says. “That said, our culture no longer accepts ‘eye for an eye’ justice, which is for the best, but it means that money damages are the best we can do, and while not perfect, they do provide those left behind with some peace.”