Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

The Seattle Personal Injury Blog

Little-Known Facts About Case Evaluation

Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2015 by Chris Thayer

When an insurance adjuster is reviewing a personal injury claim to determine the initial settlement strategy, there are certain factors that an accident lawyer Seattle WA knows that they specifically look for.

Some of these are not surprising, such as the claimant’s past medical bills related to the injury or the claimant’s lost wages from having to take time off to recover. Most claimants would expect the insurance adjuster to take these into account. However, there are some more obscure factors that you might not assume would be taken into account.

It’s important to understand that personal injury claims are complex, and any piece of information might be relevant to the insurer’s strategy.

  • Amount of time between the accident and injury report. This might seem irrelevant to you, but adjusters (and often juries) care about how long it took a claimant to report to a hospital after sustaining an injury. A gap of a few days or longer will be scrutinized closely.
  • Your prior medical history: Yes, even your medical records and claim history from before the current incident might be looked at.

Adjusters are on the lookout for serial claimants who have a habit of filing expensive personal injury claims and demanding large settlements. If the insurer suspects it is dealing with such a claimant, it may arrange to have surveillance done on you to determine if you are as affected by your injuries as your claim. Many insurers even have in-house investigation units for just this purpose. Make sure you can explain any prior injuries you have sustained or personal injury claims you have filed.

Talk to an Accident Lawyer Seattle WA

Finding out what is important in a personal injury claim and what is irrelevant can be difficult. Talk to an accident lawyer at Chris Thayer for any questions you have about making an injury claim.

Our Seattle Slip and Fall Attorney Addresses Proving Your Case

Posted Friday, October 23, 2015 by Chris Thayer

Our Seattle slip and fall attorney is sometimes questioned about the criteria needed to prove a case. Here are some of the requirements.

  1. Duty of ordinary reasonable care. Did the business neglect their responsibility?
  2. Notice. Did the business post a sign about the hazard?
  3. Danger. Did the condition pose a danger?
  4. Victim. Are you credible?
  5. Direct link. Did the hazard directly cause your injury?
  6. Breach. Did the business breach their responsibility?
  7. Injury. Is your injury consistent with your version of the accident?

To find out if your case meets these criteria, call Chris Thayer, our Seattle slip and fall attorney, at (866) 884-2417.

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Mediation and Your Case

Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2015 by Chris Thayer

Clients sometimes ask our auto accident lawyer Seattle about the pros and cons of mediation.

Mediation offers several advantages as it is quicker, less expensive and less risky than taking a case to trial. In addition, the mediator can point out the strengths and weaknesses of both parties, and they have the opportunity to work out creative solutions outside the confines of court. However, the parties might waste time or even fight if one of them is antagonistic toward the other. Some facts are better disclosed at a trial instead of in a mediation discussion.

Call Chris Thayer, a knowledgeable auto accident lawyer Seattle, at (866) 884-2417 if you have questions about mediation.

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Negotiating With Carriers

Posted Wednesday, October 7, 2015 by Chris Thayer

Washington personal injury attorneys know that when it comes to dealing with insurance carriers, one tactic does not fit all. Some insurance carriers rely on mass marketing and a large customer base to stay profitable, which allows them to take a rather frugal approach to settling claims. Other carriers take a smaller, more regional approach, which often makes them more amenable to reasonable settlement offers. Discuss with your attorney what approach might work best for your insurer.

Carriers that are smaller and do not rely as much on advertising often are more likely to resolve cases out of court or through mediation. This can be beneficial because your attorney might be able to approach the insurer with that knowledge in mind instead of assuming they are always going to play hardball.

It is usually in your best interest to try to extract a reasonable settlement offer from the carrier instead of going through the expense and trouble of going to court. Lawsuits are expensive, time-consuming, and by no means a sure thing, no matter how good of a case you think you have. This is why larger carriers are often reticent to settle and instead prefer to take questionable claims to court – because they can afford to lose. If you are dealing with a larger national carrier, you may have to adjust your expectations as to what you will be offered.

Keep in mind that an insurance carrier that is unresponsive might not necessarily be doing so to play hardball. In some cases, adjusters from mid-size carriers are overworked or constantly behind and it may be difficult to get a timely response from them. However, if your attorney approaches them in good faith with this in mind, they may be more likely to make a reasonable offer.

Contact Washington personal injury attorneys

For more information on how settlement negotiations might go, contact Washington state personal injury lawyers. Call Chris Thayer at (866) 884-2417.

Other Fees

Posted Sunday, October 4, 2015 by Chris Thayer

Expenses That Aren’t Included in Your Attorney’s Fees

If you’re working with a personal injury attorney in Seattle, you have probably made arrangements to cover the legal fees. You must also agree to pay additional costs that your attorney incurs. Here are some of the most common expenses.

Medical Records

Doctors and hospitals charge to print and mail medical records. Some agencies will bill you by the page. Reports and medical opinions can cost more than $100 if they need to be written by your doctor.

Photocopies

Insurance companies and courts require multiple copies of important documents, including medical records, bills, police reports, pay stubs and witness statements. Your lawyer will invoice you for each page that needs to be printed or photocopied. Photographs Photos are invaluable evidence in a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney may charge you to reprint and enlarge photos.

Telephone Calls

You must reimburse your attorney for telephone bills as well as time spent on calls. If long-distance communication is required, you will be charged by the minute.

Expert Witnesses

Medical professionals, accident reconstructionists and other experts can be paid to present their opinions. If an expert is required, you will pay for reports, travel time and other expenses.

Court Costs

You must pay actual filing fees and court costs if your case goes to trial. These fees are determined by the court system. When do I pay out-of-pocket expenses? Even if your attorney accepted your case on contingency and you don’t receive a settlement, you must pay for out-of-pocket expenses and disbursements. Usually, your attorney will ask you to stay current on ancillary expenses as the case progresses.

Contact a Seattle Injury Lawyer

If you have questions, an attorney can assess your case and advise you on the best way to proceed. To speak with a qualified personal injury attorney in Seattle, contact Chris Thayer at 866-884-2417.