Spokane Lawyers | Spokane Car Accident Lawyers

Spokane Car Accident Lawyers

Serving Residents in Washington and Idaho

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    Car Accident - Paukert & Troppmann

    Spokane Car Accident Lawyers

    Serving Residents in Washington and Idaho

    Do you need legal help?

    Contact us for a legal consultation.


      Helping You Through Your Legal Problems

      Our Spokane, WA attorney's are here to guide you. Reach out today if you need legal help.

      Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.
       

      - Christine Weaver

      I have worked with Paukert and Troppmann now for nearly 15 years. This is a professional and successful legal team. I highly recommend this proficient legal group and encourage you to explore how they can support you.
       

      - Herzog Family Center

      Client Testimonials

      Learn what the community has to say about our law firm and the people who are a part of it.

      Read more reviews ➜

      Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.
       

      - Christine Weaver

      I have worked with Paukert and Troppmann now for nearly 15 years. This is a professional and successful legal team. I highly recommend this proficient legal group and encourage you to explore how they can support you.
       

      - Herzog Family Center

      Read more reviews ➜

      Client Testimonials

      Learn what the community has to say about our law firm and the people who are a part of it.

      Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.
       

      - Christine Weaver

      I have worked with Paukert and Troppmann now for nearly 15 years. This is a professional and successful legal team. I highly recommend this proficient legal group and encourage you to explore how they can support you.
       

      - Herzog Family Center

      Client Testimonials

      Learn what the community has to say about our law firm and the people who are a part of it.

      Read more reviews ➜

      Download our free injury guide!

      Learn what you should and shouldn't be doing for your personal injury case. 

      Download our free injury guide!

      Learn what you should and shouldn't be doing for your personal injury case. 

      Spokane Car Accident Lawyers

      If you’ve been injured in a car accident whether major or minor, you know how traumatic it can be. When the injuries you suffer are serious, however, it’s important to find out if you are owed compensation.

      If you’re reading this, you’ve likely been seriously injured in a car accident. You may be in pain. You’ve probably missed enough work to worry about whether you’ll be able to keep paying your bills. And it’s likely you are stressed about finding the right person to help you with a car accident claim.

      We are here to help. Our firm offers free legal advice. Give our Spokane car accident lawyers a call today.

      Don’t procrastinate in reaching out because you’re worried about the cost. Contact us any time to set up your free legal consultation.

      Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

      There are several ways retaining a car accident lawyer can help you. One is by getting you much higher compensation that you could get on your own. Many people don’t realize that rather than saving money, people who handle their claims without a lawyer almost always awarded many times less than those with legal representation. There are a few great reasons for this.

      An experienced personal injury lawyer knows the tactics the insurance company is going to employ to weed out false claims. Unfortunately, a person unfamiliar with the complexities of insurance claims often unwittingly knocks down the value of a legitimate claim by making errors a lawyer would avoid.

      For instance, allowing the insurance company to record your statement is risky. Lawyers know how to communicate with insurance companies on your behalf to confirm the legitimacy of your claim without putting your claim’s value at risk. If you consent to making this statement on your own, you may use wording that causes the insurance adjuster to incorrectly believe you were somehow partially or even completely at fault for the accident. Delegating communications with the insurance company to your lawyer is one of the best ways to help preserve the value of your claim.

      Another way a lawyer can help you is by simply having the ability to sue the insurance company in court if they refuse to offer a fair settlement. Not only are lawyers excellent negotiators, but they also have the legal leverage to sue if necessary. And if you hire a trial lawyer with a scary-good track record, the insurance company may just decide to settle to avoid a court battle.

      A third reason it’s best to hire a lawyer to help with your claim is that you are injured. Even if you’re a master negotiator on your best day, this is not your best day. You have filed a claim for compensation because the accident has rendered you physically injured, and possibly emotionally and/or psychologically injured as well. You’re going to need time to recover. This is not the time to learn how to take on an insurance company. Hiring skilled legal representation gives you the gift of time to devote to recovery.

      What to Watch Out For

      To build a strong case and preserve its value, there are some common errors you need to avoid.

      Don’t Play It Tough

      It’s not uncommon for people to be riding an adrenaline high immediately after a car accident. Sometimes this leads them to “feel silly” about going to the hospital or doctor to get an exam. This is a dangerous mistake that can cause you to go untreated for an injury you may be unaware of until hours or even days later. It can also deprive you of important information to support your injury claim. So go to the doctor as quickly as possible after the accident.

      Keep in mind that the insurance company may doubt how badly you’re injured if you don’t seek treatment right after the accident. Going to the doctor right away creates a record that connects the time of your treatment to the time of the accident. Fair or not, without this documentation, your claim is likely to be lowered. Take the time to get examined to protect yourself physically and financially.

      Follow Doctor’s Orders

      It’s extremely important to follow the instructions your doctor gives you for taking care of yourself after you are discharged from the hospital. This is your path to healing as efficiently as possible; it’s also another way to preserve the value of your claim.

      If you are witnessed doing too much too soon after being injured, the insurance company may again decide you aren’t hurt as seriously as you claim. The same is true if they discover you are skipping physical therapy appointments. Wondering how this is relevant to the value of your claim? Let’s look at an example.

      Imagine that you’re injured in a car accident and the doctors hope you will make a specific recovery milestone at the six-week mark, such as walking without the aid of a walker. Only, by the seven-week mark, you’re still nowhere near being able to walk with only the use of a cane. If the insurance company can show you haven’t been following your treatment plan, they can blame you for the lack of progress instead of the severity of your injuries. If they are successful, they’ll probably lower the value of your claim. Preserve your claim’s value and protect your health by following doctor’s orders.

      Don’t Wait to Find an Attorney

      We’ve already mentioned reasons you are better off pursuing a claim with the help of our Spokane car accident lawyers rather than going it alone. In addition, it’s important not to put off finding that lawyer.

      When you’ve been badly hurt, it’s understandable to wait a few days or even weeks before addressing a car accident claim. But make sure you do get to it. You may want to ask a loved one to begin the process of doing some online research about car accident attorneys for you. Make sure the search includes reading client reviews on attorney websites and looking at ratings on attorney directories like Avvo.com.

      The sooner you get one of our experienced Spokane car accident lawyers started on your claim, the stronger that claim will be. Don’t wait months or more because you’ve got a couple of years to file. The sooner your attorney begins the accident investigation, the more evidence they will be able to gather. This is also true with witnesses, as they’re likely to forget details with the passage of time.

      Hire the Right Lawyer

      There are many specializations within the law. When choosing an attorney to represent your car accident claim, it’s vital to hire someone who specializes in personal injury law and has a record of winning car accident claims. You also need someone who’s a trial lawyer.

      Remember, a successful trial lawyer can get the insurance company to take notice and consider offering a solid settlement. And if a settlement is not possible, you’ll need a lawyer capable of successfully making your case to a jury.

      Car Accident Client Story

      The story below is intended to give you a good idea of what to expect in the car accident claims process. Even though we’ve changed names and details to preserve the privacy of our client, the informational value remains. Please read to the end to learn as much as you can. When you’re through, please contact us to schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your specific claim.

      On a sunny June day in Spokane not too long ago, Lauren Thomas wrapped up work and left the office on a very important errand. Saturday was her mom Ellen’s retirement party, and she was about to pick up the perfect gift.

      Lauren had wracked her brain over a meaningful present that would embody the depth of her and her siblings’ gratitude and love for her mother. Their father had died at the age of 39, leaving Ellen to raise three teenagers on her own. She had done an admirable job as a mother and discovered a lucrative career as a sales representative in the process. She was a rockstar and her kids adore her.

      The kids divvied up jobs to plan their mom’s party. Big brother Tom was responsible for locating, communicating with, and coordinating the guests and helping shuttle food and supplies to the party site. Little sister Maci would host the party in her back yard and was on supplies, decorating, and appetizers. Lauren was in charge of cooking four trays of her “famous” lasagna as well as coming up with and acquiring the perfect gift. The siblings pitched in to cover the rest of the expenses, and Ellen’s coworkers contributed an enormous sheet cake.

      Lauren discovered the perfect gift unexpectedly one Sunday as was walking past Violin Works with her husband Adam. One minute they were holding hands strolling along and talking, and the next, she was rooted in place with her mouth open. There in the window was the most beautiful cello she’d ever seen.

      Lauren recalled her mom’s years playing cello in school. When she entered college, she’d decided to focus on her communications degree, reluctantly opting for the “practical” major over her love for music. Lauren had seen videos of her mom playing on stage back in high school and college and knew how much she loved it.

      Over the years, Ellen sometimes spoke of getting a cello of her own. She hadn’t really played since college but thought it would be nice to be able to just play for enjoyment, “someday.”

      Lauren herself had come to appreciate just how haunting the sound of cello music could be when she got hooked on the Game of Thrones series. She remembered asking her mom about it as they watched together after their weekly family dinner, and Ellen confirming that yes, in much of the music, the cello carried the melody. This was exciting to her, as she told Lauren, the cello was often relegated to setting up a strong base over which the violin would lay the melody.

      “Gosh, if I could play like that, I just might learn cello myself,” Lauren had said, closing her eyes as she listened. When she opened them, she caught her mom wiping a tear.

      “One day, I’m going to get that cello,” Ellen said before bustling into the kitchen up to make everyone popcorn.

      It all came together in Lauren’s mind that day looking in the window of the music store. After that, it was a matter of financial and logistical coordination. It was beyond expensive, but the siblings decided it was worth it, and all three families pitched in.

      The salesman had tried to sell her on the hard case, but she’d refused. She’d spent plenty already, she’d told him, she wasn’t ready to lay down over $500 more for the case. Besides, Ellen wasn’t going to be playing with a traveling orchestra. What could happen?

      Now Lauren was gently sliding the gorgeous 3/4 DZ Strad into the hatchback of her beloved little Nissan Versa. She kept thinking it wasn’t going to fit, but then, it did. “I should never have doubted you,” said Lauren, patting the tailgate. She carefully secured the cello’s soft case with bungee cords to prevent it from sliding around and pulled out to head south on Monroe to the I-90. Time to stash the cello at Maci’s house until it was time to present it.

      Traffic was heavy on the interstate but moving well, and Lauren quickly arrived at the exit onto US-2. She was cruising through the intersection at Spotted Road when a drunk driver ran the stop sign and collided with her car.

      Lauren woke up in the hospital with a broken hip. Her husband was at her side and told her that her brother was on his way from Coeur D’Alene and he, Ellen, and Maci would be there the next afternoon if she was up for a visit.

      Lauren was in pain, but her biggest concern was for the very expensive musical “passenger” she’d been transporting. Adam gently told her that unfortunately, the cello didn’t make it.

      We met Lauren and Adam two weeks later as she was settling in at a rehabilitation facility after being discharged from the hospital.

      How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?

      When Spokane Car Accident Lawyer Douglas C. McDermott sat down with Lauren, she was concerned whether they could afford to meet with us before we got too far into starting a case. It all came out in a rush.

      “I’ve missed two weeks of work and will miss more before I can start working again, and that’s likely to be part time from home for a while. I’m concerned about the bills. I mean, I just started this job and I don’t have any paid time off accrued. It’s going to be a scary ride.” said Lauren as she stopped to catch her breath.

      Attorney McDermott assured Lauren that there would be no upfront cost. “Don’t worry about the cost, Lauren,” he said. “Our fee structure is based on a contingency model. This legal consultation is free. Should you retain our firm, we cover all expenses for your case from start to finish.”

      “What about the accident investigation?” Lauren asked, skeptical.

      “Covered.”

      “And administrative fees?” She asked, giving him the side-eye.

      “Covered.”

      “And what if my case goes to court?” She asked, lifting her chin suspiciously.

      “Covered. We pay for all case expenses from investigation all the way through. In the end, we only receive compensation when we successfully resolve your car accident claim.”

      “Huh,” said Lauren. “You mustn’t lose too many cases.”

      “We have a solid record of success,” McDermott smiled.

      What is my claim worth?

      “Okay, so any idea how much my claim is worth?” she asked, warming to the idea of having the help of a law firm.

      “The value of your case is not something I can guess at up-front, Lauren, because it would be irresponsible for me to do so. The amount is going to depend on two factors. The first is what the accident investigation turns up, and the second is your damages.

      “We can get an investigation started right away, going through police reports, medical reports, and gathering evidence, including witness testimony. Determining your damages will have to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement. The term means the point when your doctors agree you’ve recovered to your previous level of health.

      “If you can’t get all the way back to your pre-accident health, then you will reach maximum medical improvement when you’ve recovered as much as is possible, given your injuries. This is not going to happen until you’re done with surgeries and your doctors feel they know what the future care of your injuries is going to involve,” said McDermott.

      “When you reach maximum medical improvement, we’ll know what your damages are and can accurately tell you what your case is worth. In the meantime, keep doing what you’re doing. Get as much rest as possible, take your meds, do your physical therapy. Sticking to your treatment plan and resting is your full-time job until you’ve achieved maximum medical improvement.”

      How long will my claim take?

      “Wait, so how long exactly is all of this expected to take?” Lauren asked, more than a little discouraged.

      “That’s a fair question, Lauren, and one that we get all the time. As you have probably guessed by now, your timeline will definitely depend on how long it takes you to reach maximum medical improvement, because we can’t determine the value of your case until we know your damages.

      “But there’s a second element to your timeline. Once we know your damages, we’ll send a demand letter to the insurance companies. From that point on, the timeline of your case will hinge on how they respond. If they are fair and willing to hammer out the settlements you deserve, we’ll tie up your case quickly. If they refuse to settle, however, we’ll sue and take your case to a jury.

      “With a drunk driver involved, the insurance companies are not likely to want to risk a trial,” said McDermott, “But either way, we’ll be ready to fight for your right to full compensation.”

      “The important thing is that you don’t rush it. Sticking to your treatment plan will enable you to recover as efficiently as possible. Go as fast as you can and as slow as you have to, Lauren; don’t get out over your skis. If you push it, your recovery could end up backsliding and you’ll likely damage your case at the same time.”

      “Wait, you said ‘insurance companies,’ plural?” asked Lauren’s husband, Adam.

      “Yes, with a drunk driving case, it’s possible we may have a claim against the establishment that served the driver alcohol in addition to the claim against the driver’s insurance company. Again, we’ll be conducting a thorough investigation to clarify every detail, but it’s quite possible.

      Lauren nodded as she processed all that they’d been told. Then she seemed to focus on something in the middle of the room without really seeing anything at all and asked, “I don’t suppose you can tell me if I can recover damages to the property that was inside the vehicle?”

      Adam added, “We lost a $4,500 cello in the crash.”

      Attorney McDermott whistled. “Yikes. Well, damage to the property in your vehicle involves a separate claims process from your injury claim. The good news is you can address that through homeowner’s insurance.”

      “Oh, thank the good Lord!” Lauren exclaimed, and then she laughed for the first time since the meeting began. The sound was joyous and filled with relief, and it wasn’t long before everyone was laughing with her.

      Lauren and Adam were satisfied with the answers they received to their car accident claim questions. They retained the firm of Paukert and Troppmann, and Attorney McDermott succeeded in getting Lauren eight times the amount the insurance companies initially offered.

      Call Our Spokane Car Accident Lawyers Today

      We hope this information has given you a better idea of how hiring one of our Spokane car accident lawyers to handle your claim can make a big difference in what you can recover in compensation. Every case is unique, so please contact us as soon as you’re able and schedule your free legal consultation. We have the skill and tenacity to fight for your right to be made whole again.

      Client Reviews

      Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.

      Christine Weaver

      Read More Reviews