Trench and Retaining Wall Collapse Accidents in Washington

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a trench digging and collapsing retaining wall accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries from the company responsible for the collapse. That is especially true if a third party failed to abide by applicable laws and regulations, resulting in injuries or death to a construction worker.

Trenching and Collapse Injuries

One cubic yard of soil weighs as much as 3,000 pounds (the weight of a car or small truck). The sheer mass of soil in a collapse often results in severe injury or death. Trenching accidents cause many different types of injuries:

  • Crush injuries to soft tissue and bones
  • Suffocation from collapsing soil
  • Asphyxiation from improper ventilation
  • Drowning in a water-filled trench
  • Electrocution through contact with underground utilities
  • Brain injury from toxic fumes in a confined space

If a worker survives a trench collapse, injuries often cause life-altering permanent disabilities.

If You’re Injured in a Trench Digging Accident

If you suffer injuries in a trenching accident, the first and most important thing to do immediately is get proper medical attention. That includes getting a full medical evaluation of the extent of your injuries, some of which may not be immediately apparent, such as brain injuries.

Then, contact an experienced personal injury attorney and/or workers compensation attorney as soon as possible. You may want to ask an immediate family member to talk with a lawyer on your behalf.

The best time to start collecting evidence relating to the accident is immediately after it occurs. As time passes, evidence and witnesses can disappear or become hard to locate. Construction projects involve a lot of workers who may not be on the site permanently. Finding anyone who saw the accident happen is critical.

While you recover, let your lawyer do all the work to prepare your case. Do not talk with insurance companies that contact you. Their main interest at the beginning of a claim is to get you to say things that can hurt your case.

Identifying witnesses and the companies who may be responsible is just part of the work that needs to be done.

  • Every aspect of the trenching operation should be analyzed.
  • Applicable regulations should be identified, both in the RCW’s and the WAC’s
  • All the facts must be evaluated to find violations of those regulations.
  • Detailed information about your injuries will be obtained and reviewed.
  • The full amount of a fair settlement must be calculated.

Your lawyer will do all that work and more, while you focus on getting better.

You don’t have to hire an attorney to talk with one, just contact us.

To learn more about how to file an L&I claim see: L&I Claims- A Beginners’ Complete Guide to Job Injuries

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Chris Sharpe

Meet Chris Sharpe

Christopher Sharpe is the go to attorney for injured persons. His law firm is helpful, honest, and knowledgeable about workers' compensation and personal injury law in the State of Washington. Chris has been helping injured Washington State workers for over 40 years. He has built a successful law practice by thoroughly educating, honestly helping, and successfully representing workers throughout Washington State.

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