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

11 Questions An Attorney May Ask Before Accepting Your Personal Injury Case

Posted Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Chris Thayer

Your Seattle personal injury attorney Chris Thayer will not accept your personal case without inquiring about the facts of your case first. If you need immediate legal representation, then you should come prepared by finding the answers to these 11 potential questions. Make sure to give your lawyer honest, clear answers, which will enhance your credibility.

The Documents and Evidence a Lawyer Will Collect in a Personal Injury Case

Posted Thursday, May 29, 2014 by Chris Thayer

A Seattle personal injury attorney will collect physical exhibits, photographs and documents in preparation of a personal injury lawsuit. Following are examples of the kinds of evidence alt textthat an attorney may collect along with procedures for preparing the case and working with the opposing side’s legal counsel.

Evidence for the case

A Seattle personal injury lawyer may ask for or collect the following evidence:

• Physical evidence• Photos of the accident scene, vehicles, products, property damage and injuries• Any photos, information or documents in the plaintiff’s possession• Documentation regarding the loss of income from the plaintiff’s accountant or employer• Plaintiff’s tax returns• Documentation of loss of profits for plaintiffs who are self-employed or are business owners• Medical records• Hospital records• Other medical expenses such as medical equipment and prescription medication• Documentation of property damage• Electronically stored evidence (ESI• Any special damages• If the case involves a vehicle, the information from its electronic data recorder

Working with the opposing attorney

Through a process known as discovery, both sides must share any evidence, documents and witnesses that they are planning to present in court. This is done to allow both sides to prepare and to prevent any surprises.

The defendant’s lawyer may send a letter to the plaintiff’s lawyer requesting ESI or other evidence. In addition, the lawyers for both sides may meet to agree on how to preserve ESI and exchange information.

Additional preparations

A Seattle personal injury attorney may also request evidence from the defendant’s attorney and subpoena any witnesses. In addition, the lawyer will prepare the witnesses for trial and organize all documentation and evidence. The lawyer will work with the plaintiff to collect and turn over any evidence requested by the defendant’s attorney.

The process of filing a personal injury suit can be complex and confusing. A Seattle personal injury attorney can answer questions, manage evidence and provide legal representation for a plaintiff who has been injured in a car accident or by a defective product. Chris Thayer is a Seattle personal injury lawyer and can be reached at (206) 340-2008.

Five Tips for Dealing with Difficult Insurance Companies

Posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 by Chris Thayer

Five Tips for Dealing with Difficult Insurance CompaniesAn experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer will have dealt with insurance companies ranging from small regional ones willing to negotiate to large, national carriers who are very conservative about settlements. Here are some tips that might help you understand how they work.alt text

-Your Seattle personal injury attorney should know not only about how the insurance companies operate, but also about the law firms that they usually hire to defend them in lawsuits. More reasonable insurance carriers tend to hire retain law firms that are similarly reasonable. Large conservative carriers tend to hire top-dollar firms who are aggressive in their tactics and are likely to be difficult to negotiate with.

-The majority of the insurance adjuster workforce in the country is women. They are experienced in the negotiation process and do not react well to threats and offensive behavior, especially if that behavior comes with the veneer of sexism. An experienced Seattle personal injury attorney will understand and know not to condescend to them or to wish for the “good old boy days.”

-If you are dealing with a more reasonable carrier, your attorney will make efforts to establish a good working relationship built on trust and honesty with them. This will make negotiations more fluid and save time and trouble.

-Keep in mind that adjusters have a job to do and they are doing it under the supervision of a manager. If you disagree with something they are doing, do not get angry or take it out on the adjuster. That will just make it more difficult to reach a settlement.

-Negotiation is much like sales: People respond well to people they like and have things in common with. Your attorney might try to keep track of the hobbies or past-times of various adjusters to have something to converse about during negotiations and keep a friendly relationship going. The more your Seattle personal injury lawyer is interested in them or something that they are talking about, the more agreeable they will be.

These are only some things your attorney might keep in mind during negotiations. For more help with your personal injury claim, contact Seattle personal injury lawyer Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.

What to Do When Presented with an Extremely Low Settlement Counteroffer

Posted Thursday, May 15, 2014 by Chris Thayer

One of the figures that a Seattle personal injury law firm might interact with most often alt textthroughout a client’s personal injury case is an insurance adjuster. Adjusters are in charge of negotiating settlement offers with a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney and are sometimes known for presenting ludicrously minimal settlement offers.

An Example of a Low Offer

Settlement negotiations involve two parties—an insurance adjuster and a qualified Seattle personal injury lawyer. After a personal injury attorney presents a settlement figure, the insurance adjuster can either accept the figure or present a counteroffer. Typically, adjusters try to negotiate the settlement amount down.

For instance, if a Seattle personal injury law firm examines a client’s case and believes the value to fall somewhere between $20,000 and $25,000, the personal injury attorney might demand $38,000. An adjuster can respond in several ways including:

• Agree to pay the $38,000 settlement amount• Offer a reasonable counteroffer such as $20,000• Present an extremely low counteroffer such as $5,000

Possible Explanations for an Unexpectedly Small Counteroffer

Although it can be impossible to know exactly why an insurance adjuster presents a low counteroffer, in general, there are a few possible explanations.

  1. The insurance adjuster would prefer that the case go to trial.
  2. The plaintiff and attorneys’ expectations are unreasonable.
  3. The adjuster’s supervisors are pushing for a small settlement figure.

How a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Might Respond to an Absurd Counteroffer

If an insurance adjuster responds to a personal injury lawyer’s initial demand for settlement with an obviously absurd counteroffer, the plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer could pursue any of the following actions.

• Extend a second offer that is smaller than the original demand• Ask to speak with the insurance adjuster’s manager• Work with the insurance adjuster to alter the counteroffer to a more reasonable figure• Choose to pursue a trial

An Experienced Attorney Knows When to Fight a Counteroffer

A knowledgeable Seattle personal injury law firm knows how to respond to absurdly low counteroffers and when it’s best to go to trial. If you’re wondering about the potential value of your personal injury case, don’t wait to call attorney Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.

Pros and Cons of Arbitration

Posted Thursday, May 8, 2014 by Chris Thayer

Although it sounds like a quick fix, arbitration is not for everyone. There are many reasons why your Seattle accident attorney would recommend moving forward with a trial to settle your claim. On the other hand, with a less complicated claim you might find that arbitration could be a huge benefit. Discuss with your lawyer all the pros and cons before making a final decision.

alt text