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Spokane Construction Accident Attorneys

Serving Residents in Washington and Idaho

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    Construction Accident - Paukert & Troppman

    Spokane Construction Accident Attorneys

    Do you need legal help?

    Contact us for a legal consultation.


      Spokane Construction Accident Attorneys

      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 Construction Accident Attorneys

        Construction sites are a perfect illustration of the continuous pressure to get more done with less. An ever-increasing pace combined with hazardous equipment makes construction sites among the most dangerous places to work. If you’ve been seriously injured in a construction accident, you owe it to yourself to find out if you should pursue compensation beyond a standard workers’ compensation claim.

        If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been injured on or around a construction site. You may be in pain, and you’ve probably lost income due to missing work. You’re probably worried about paying your bills. You may be hoping to find someone who can give you information about a construction accident claim.

        We are here to help. We offer free legal advice. Call our Spokane construction accident attorneys today.

        Don’t put it off because you worry you might need cash up-front to pay for a lawyer’s time. Just give us a call and schedule your free legal consultation as soon as possible.

        Am I Eligible to File a Construction Accident Claim?

        As you might expect, the most vulnerable employees on construction sites are the workers handling the tools and climbing the scaffolds: the builders, electricians, and all manner of subcontractors.

        Examples of common construction site accidents include:

        • Falls from heights
        • Malfunctioning equipment
        • Toxic waste exposure
        • Repetitive motion injuries
        • Being hit by falling objects
        • Back injuries
        • Electrical accidents
        • Crushing accidents
        • Vehicle collisions
        • Burns
        • Wrongful death

        Workers’ Comp or Construction Accident Claim?

        When an injury occurs, most workers will have the option to file for workers’ compensation to cover their medical bills and missed pay. For some injured workers, this is a good solution, as it’s a straightforward process that doesn’t require the employee to prove the employer’s responsibility for the injury. It also provides the injured party relatively quick compensation.

        There’s a limitation for those who go the workers’ comp route, however, as it removes the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit — even if your employer’s negligence caused your injury. It also eliminates the possibility of collecting for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

        If the Accident Caused the Death of a Loved One

        Non-economic damages are something you would want to be sure is included if a construction accident caused the death of your loved one. In such a case, the family may file a wrongful death claim for compensation not only for lost income, but all the intangibles lost in such a tragedy. Our Spokane construction accident attorneys have a successful history of winning wrongful death claims in addition to claims involving construction accidents. If you are reading this page because you’ve lost a loved one to a construction accident, please contact us to learn how we can help you.

        If you’re unsure whether you’ve got grounds for filing a construction accident claim, please contact our Spokane construction accident attorneys for a free legal consultation.

        What if I Was Injured Because of the Construction, But I’m Not a Construction Worker?

        You may consider filing a construction accident if you are not a construction worker but have been injured on or near a construction site. You fall into this category if you were injured passing by the site as a pedestrian, or as a bystander working or playing near the site. Drivers maneuvering through construction zones are vulnerable to this type of accident, as are small children who wander onto a construction site.

        If you fall into such a category, you won’t qualify for workers’ comp. Filing a construction accident claim is going to be your only option to recover compensation for your injuries. Give us a call to learn about your options in your specific situation.

        When you file a construction accident claim instead of a workers’ compensation claim, your claim will need to meet one of the criteria below to qualify:

        • You were injured in an accident resulting from your employer’s intentional misconduct
        • A workers’ compensation claim was denied in bad faith
        • Your injury I was caused by gross negligence on the part of your employer
        • You were injured due to the liability of a third party, such as an equipment manufacturer or a general contractor who subcontracted your services
        • Your employer did not offer worker’s compensation
        • The worker’s compensation your employer offered was inadequate

        You may also be eligible to bring a construction accident claim on grounds of product liability. This involves connecting the following elements:

        • A product used on the construction site was defective
        • You were using the product is it was intended to be used
        • The defect in that product caused the accident
        • The accident injured you

        The need for making your case when filing a construction accident claim instead of a workers’ compensation claim makes it important to retain the assistance of an experienced construction accident attorney. Contact us as soon as you’re able to discuss your claim in a free legal consultation.

        What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered?

        We mentioned that in addition to compensation for economic damages such as lost income and medical bills, those filing construction accident claims can pursue compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. There is also the possibility of collecting punitive damages when filing a construction accident claim, should it meet certain criteria.

        Punitive damages are intended to get the attention of the defendant and make an example of them to prevent similar occurrences in the future. An example of a situation in which punitive damages might be awarded is a construction site contaminating a nearby water source, causing residents and domestic animals to fall ill or die.

        Winning punitive damages requires proof the defendant is guilty of malice or fraud, and thereby breached their duty of care to the local community. The term “duty of care” refers to the expectation that the owner or manager of the site will take reasonable measures to prevent the site from causing harm to those on and around it.

        The pursuit of punitive damages can be difficult as the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff. If you believe your claim involves punitive damages, please contact our Spokane construction accident attorneys as soon as possible. We have the experience and knowledge to help you accurately assess your damages. If your claim is eligible for the pursuit of punitive damages, our skilled attorneys have what it takes to help you make your case.

        How Can a Spokane Construction Accident Attorney Help My Claim?

        Hiring a Spokane construction accident attorney provide benefits in three areas:

        • Preserving your claim’s value
        • Bringing you successful results as efficiently as possible
        • Taking all the details of handling your claim off your shoulders so you can focus on rest and recovery

        Protecting the Value of Your Claim

        People who skip the lawyer because they think taking on their claim themselves will save them money typically receive many times less than the compensation awarded to people with attorneys.

        Much of this has to do with the many ways hiring an attorney can protect your claim’s value.

        Your Spokane construction accident attorney will advise you every step of the way and handle communications with the insurance company to prevent damage the value of your claim. Any direct communications between the insurance company and the plaintiff gives the insurance company an opportunity to try and chip away at your claim’s value.

        People who handle their claims alone are vulnerable to having their claims delayed and denied by the insurance company, because there is very little likelihood they will successfully sue if the insurance company does not make a fair settlement offer.

        An experienced personal injury attorney will assist you in accurately determining the value of your construction accident claim. They will also advise you on whether settlement offers are worth considering or if it’s better to pass them up. Without an attorney by your side advising you, it’s likely you’ll accept a lowball offer because you’re worried you may not get a better one.

        Resolving Your Claim Efficiently

        Everything your attorney does will be geared toward getting your claim successfully resolved in the most efficient manner possible. They know what is necessary for success as well as how not to waste time. They also know how to conduct an efficient accident investigation to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim.

        The Gift of Recovery

        In addition to the many ways your construction lawyer can help you efficiently conduct your claim while preserving its value, turning your claim over to an attorney will give you the gift of time to recover. The last thing you need after a serious injury is the stress of trying to figure out how to win a construction accident claim on your own.

        Mistakes to Avoid in Your Construction Accident Claim

        Your Spokane construction accident attorney can guide you in ways you can help to protect the value of your construction accident claim. We’ve listed some of them below.

        Get to a Doctor as Quickly as Possible

        Don’t try to minimize or ignore your injuries after you’ve been hurt on or around a construction site. You may not be sure whether you’re seriously injured at the time, but this is all the more reason to find out.

        After any traumatic event, the human body produces an overabundance of stress hormones. These were originally intended to assist with survival, back when people needed to be able to fight or flee from predators, even while injured. As a result, the function of those hormones is providing temporary strength and energy while suppressing pain. So don’t go by how you feel immediately after the accident. Get a medical opinion about your injuries to protect your health.

        Going to the doctor will also protect the value of a construction accident claim by giving you official proof you sought medical assistance at the time of the accident. It will also provide the doctor’s assessment of your injuries. The sooner you get examined after the accident, the better the proof that the accident caused your injuries.

        Stick to Your Doctor’s Treatment Plan

        If you don’t follow your treatment plan once you’re discharged from the hospital, you’re getting in the way of your own recovery. Doing this is also likely to damage a construction accident claim.

        The insurance company is going to be on the lookout for fraudulent claims. This is how they survive as a business. If you are discovered to be out engaging in activities your doctor has not yet cleared you for, the insurance company can challenge whether you are injured as seriously as you claim. In addition, if you fail to completely recover from your injuries after neglecting your treatment plan, the insurance company is likely to blame you rather than the severity of your injuries.

        Protect your health and your construction accident claim. Be diligent about adhering to your doctor’s treatment plan after the accident.

        Don’t Agree to Giving the Insurance Company a Recorded Statement

        You can expect the insurance company to call after your injury asking to record your statement about the accident. Don’t agree to this. If you do, you’ll be putting the value of your claim in jeopardy.

        Remember the note above about the benefit of having an attorney handle your communications? This is crucial to protecting your claim. Your attorney knows the ways insurance companies try to save money and will communicate effectively on your behalf to protect your claim’s value.

        Hire a Construction Accident Attorney as Quickly as Possible

        Waiting to hire an attorney only robs that attorney of time to prepare a strong case on your behalf. It also hinders the attorney’s ability to locate witnesses and collect evidence. The sooner you retain a lawyer, the more quickly they can begin building your claim.

        If you’re not up to searching for an attorney, this is an excellent job to delegate to a loved one. These days, it’s easy to review attorney qualifications, reviews, and ratings online, and the people that care about you will probably be more than happy to have something they can do to help you after the accident.

        Make Sure the Attorney You Hire is the Right Fit for Your Claim

        Be sure you don’t make the mistake of assuming all lawyers have equal abilities to help with your claim. This is a mistake many people make that they would never make when searching for a surgeon. If you needed eye surgery, would you hire a cardiac surgeon? Make sure the lawyer you hire is a personal injury trial attorney with experience winning construction accident claims.

        When you search, the importance of trial skills cannot be overstated. If your trial attorney’s reputation doesn’t convince the insurance company to settle — which it often does — you’ll need a lawyer who can make your case in front of a jury.

        Spokane Construction Accident Client Story

        We are sharing the client story below to give you an idea of what to expect in a construction accident claim. As you may expect, the names and details have been changed to protect the privacy of our client, but the value of the story remains. Please read it through, then give us a call to discuss your specific claim in a free legal consultation.

        On a July Day in Spokane not very long ago, Lawrence “Larry” Brown left his home in Spokane Valley and drove to the University District where his employer was helping to complete a new restaurant build. It was smooth sailing westbound at 6:00 a.m. on the I-90, and Larry lowered the window as he drove. He decided the stunning sunrise held the makings of a perfect day. He hoped it wouldn’t get too hot.

        Larry arrived early and grabbed a cup of coffee at a food truck a building away. He refilled his travel mug and went to the crew tent to gear up. He and the rest of his crew were laying reclaimed bricks on the exterior, and today he’d be up on the scaffolding.

        He was fishing a harness from a large plastic supply bin when his buddy Jon pulled up beside him with his own coffee in hand.

        “Hey how’s Tina?” He asked. “That little girl ready to be born yet?”

        “Tina’s good! I don’t know about little Ada Louise, but I can tell you Momma’s ready for that baby to come. She’s so big, she can barely sleep.”

        “Hey man, maybe you’re having twins!” Jon said enthusiastically, slapping Larry on the back before walking away.

        “Naw, man, they’d’ve told us…” said Larry uncertainly. Being a new dad was awesomely terrifying. But being a new dad to twins — Larry thought that might be just terrifying.

        “Wouldn’t they have told us?” He called after Jon, anxious to hear his friend say he was joking. The doctors would tell you something like that… Right?

        He was still shaking off his anxiety as he strapped on his harness. He checked and double checked his gear as he donned the rest of the safety equipment. Satisfied, he left the tent and crossed the lot to the scaffolding he and Jon would work on. As with every day that week, he saw new faces.

        The project had been behind schedule when the general contractor had brought Larry’s employer in to help. It seemed as though new people were coming onto the site every day. He wondered where they were getting them.

        One of the guys in his crew said the GC was hiring from a temp agency. He thought that might be right, because throughout the day, he’d see small clots of people watching a supervisor as they explained what needed to be done. It seemed as if the newcomers had very little experience and there was an ongoing orientation process.

        “None of my business,” Larry muttered as he climbed the scaffolding. He wasn’t thrilled to see there was no guardrail at the top, but heights had never bothered him much. While he’d never go free climbing the way he’d seen guys do out in Utah, give him robes and carabiners and he was good to go. When he got to the platform, he clipped his safety line to the rail blow the platform and got to work.

        The morning passed uneventfully, and the crew stopped for lunch and shade. Thankfully, though the temperature had climbed, it stopped shy of cresting 80 degrees and a mild breeze kicked in.

        After lunch, Larry climbed back up the scaffold to resume working while Jon checked in with their foreman. They hadn’t yet received a new load of bricks, and only half a dozen or so remained on the platform.

        As Larry prepared to use the bricks he had left, he heard yelling below as the GC’s foreman barked at a new guy struggling with a forklift. The poor kid, Larry thought; it looked as if he was learning to use the machine on the fly while being yelled at. He looked terrified.

        “You can operate a forklift, can’t you? I need this pile moved yesterday, man, we are way behind, here!” The new kid nodded, hit reverse, and sped backward, right into Larry’s scaffolding.

        The platform rocked wildly as Larry was knocked off and everything on it came down after him. It happened so fast; he didn’t even have time to get out of the way. He jolted to a stop at the end of his tether as the bricks rained down around him, slamming into his hardhat, collarbone, and right arm.

        Larry woke up in the hospital with a broken clavicle and humorous. The real problem, however, was his neck. The hard hat had protected his head, thanks to the chinstrap. But one of the bricks came down as Larry swung forward on the tether, exposing the back of his neck. He had a cervical vertebra fracture.

        In the immediate aftermath, the swelling had rendered Larry unable to move from the neck down. The doctors were hopeful that with time and healing, he might regain feeling below the injury, but in the early days it would be a waiting game.

        Tina, her parents, and Larry’s parents were by his side in the weeks that followed. He had a private room, and Tina was allowed sleep in a bed beside him when she stayed through the night as her pregnancy progressed. He’d been in the hospital two weeks when Spokane construction accident attorney Douglas C. McDermott walked in with Tina’s father, Ted on his heels.

        Ted and Larry’s dad Walt had been friends since college, and their kids Tina and Larry had practically grown up together. When Larry was injured, the dads teamed up, deciding that helping the couple find a good lawyer was the best way they could help. They’d told the couple about the law firm of Paukert and Troppmann, but Larry had only been half listening and Tina was even less enthusiastic, already overwhelmed by the situation.

        When Attorney McDermott arrived, it was clear Tina was surprised and had probably forgotten giving Ted the “okay” to schedule the free legal consultation. But here they were. She sighed heavily.

        How much will it cost to hire an attorney?

        “I’m sorry,” Tina told McDermott by way of greeting, “But I’m not really certain of anything right now. I mean, Larry will be out of work for months at best, and I’m due in ten days. How much does it cost to retain a lawyer from your firm?”

        Attorney McDermott completely understood how overwhelming construction accident injuries often are. He explained that the firm utilizes a contingency fee model, so there would be no upfront cost.

        “None?” Asked Tina skeptically.

        “None. The firm will cover all case expenses, starting with an accident investigation and any necessary research, then building the claim and negotiating with the insurance company. If necessary, we’ll also cover litigation expenses, should your case need to go to trial.”

        “And you get paid how?” Tina asked.

        “We only receive compensation when we’ve successfully resolved your claim,” McDermott answered.

        How much is my personal injury claim worth?

        Larry had been listening to the conversation, and now asked, “What do you think a claim like this is worth?”

        “Unfortunately, we can’t reliably guess at case value up-front,” McDermott answered. “It would be irresponsible because it wouldn’t be based on anything. Please remember that as you interview attorneys. I strongly urge you to be suspicious of any lawyer who gives you a case value out of thin air. What I can do is tell you what your claim’s value will be based upon.

        “We’d need to start with a thorough accident investigation to confirm all liable parties. For instance, if an accident involves improper safety training or faulty equipment, those elements may point to more than one liable party. From what your father summarized on the phone, Ms. Brown, it sounds as if the platform was not secured against tipping, lacked the OSHA requirement of a guard rail, and many of the temporary hires were poorly trained. Now of courseI’ve only had a brief conversation with your dad, but on the face of it, the circumstances show the potential for numerous areas of liability. The accident investigation addresses all of this in detail.

        “The next thing we’ll need is for you, Mr. Brown to reach what is called ‘maximum medical improvement.’ This means recovering all the way back to the level of health you enjoyed before the accident — or as close to it as you can get. You’ll need to be done with surgeries for your doctors to declare you to have reached this point, and they’ll need a good idea of what the future of your care is going to look like,” said Attorney McDermott.

        “You mean whether I’ll remain paralyzed or recover some or all of the function below my neck?” Larry said stoically, looking McDermott in the eye.

        “Yes, that’s one of the things we’ll need to be clear on. We’re going to be making an accurate assessment of your damages. It will need to include all the ways your injury has, is, and will cause harm to your health, quality of life, and how it is going to affect your family. Your job is going to be channeling all of your energy into your recovery. We’ll take care of everything related to your claim.

        “I know everything probably seems overwhelming right now,” said McDermott, “But don’t worry about your case. We’ll do that. You heal.” Attorney McDermott turned to Tina, “That goes for you, as well. Naturally, you’re going to be there for your husband, but you also need to focus on taking care of you and that baby. Please let an experienced law firm handle your claim. It’s best for your family and your claim.

        “Once you reach maximum medical improvement, Mr. Brown, we’ll know what your damages are, both economic and non-economic, and that is when we can accurately tell you the value of your claim.”

        They sat digesting that for a moment, until Tina said, “You know, when our dads came in all proud of themselves telling us they’d called you, I thought, ‘Great, one more thing to deal with.’

        “But I’m actually feeling relieved listening to how it would go. It sounds like… like a weight being lifted,” Tina said, wiping a tear from her cheek and taking a ragged breath. Her dad was standing behind her chair and put a hand on her shoulder.

        How long will my claim take?

        “How long?” Larry’s voice drew their attention as he lay motionless in the bed. “How long does a claim take?” He repeated.

        “That’s going to depend on two factors,” said Attorney McDermott. The first is how long it takes you to reach maximum medical improvement. When you get there, we’ll know your damages and send a demand letter to the insurance companies involved. The rest will depend on how they respond.

        “If they’re agreeable and make a full and fair settlement offer, we’ll be able to wrap up your claim quickly,” said McDermott.

        “How likely is that? Asked Tina.

        “Every claim is different. Different circumstances, different liabilities, different injuries. It helps to have as much evidence behind you to support your request for compensation, so it’s good that you’re consulting with lawyers now rather than waiting. We’d get your investigation started right away — I’d love to get our own photos and video of the site and speak to your employer’s foreman and coworkers about their observations before they move on to another project and forget details.

        “To finish answer your question, Ms. Brown, there’s no telling how willing the insurance company will be to offer an adequate settlement, even if you have a righteous claim. So, I urge you to hire an experienced personal injury trial lawyer, whether you it’s our firm or another.

        “For one, it’s going to make them think twice about refusing to settle, because they’ll know if they don’t, we’ll sue. If they still refuse to settle, you’re going to need an aggressive trial lawyer who can win in court.

        “Naturally, a lawsuit can extend your claim’s timeline, but if it becomes necessary to get you the compensation your family deserves, that’s where we’ll go.”

        Larry and Tina were satisfied with the information they received during their free legal consultation. They retained Paukert and Troppmann, and Attorney McDermott got Larry over nine times the amount initially offered by the insurance company.

        Call Our Spokane Construction Accident Attorneys Today

        We hope this page has provided helpful information about construction accident claims. No two cases are alike, so please call our Spokane construction accident attorneys today to schedule a free legal consultation. Find out how we can help you with your specific construction accident claim.

        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