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

Negotiation Tactics

Posted Wednesday, April 9, 2014 by Chris Thayer

A good attorney can help you deal with insurance companies regarding your personal injury claim.alt text

Even though you have insurance, your claim will initially not be handled by your insurance carrier. Instead, your claim will initially be handled by adjustment companies. These companies are either local or national and are very conservative with their claims. They rarely, if ever, have full authority to authorize settlements. If you feel you have been presented with an unusually low offer, a Seattle personal injury law office can request to negotiate directly with your insurance carrier. If that request is denied, then a suit can be filed. Then your insurance carrier may be more willing to negotiate directly with your attorney.

One common technique your insurance carrier may use is known as “the one and only offer.” When your letter of demand is received, often the insurance adjuster will contact your lawyer and say that they do not want to waste time with any back and forth negotiating, and their offer will be their one and only. A good attorney will reply that if their one and only offer is the same as what was demanded, then you and your lawyer will happily agree. However, your attorney may remind the insurance carrier that the settlement process requires a give and take, and “the one and only offer” is not a sign of good faith negotiating. Also, your attorney may say that you are not amenable to “the one and only offer” and will need room for movement.

Another technique that Seattle personal injury law office notices that insurance carriers use is known as the “bounce back double low-ball.” Here is an example: let’s say your attorney expects $20,000 in your case. Your attorney will demand $40,000 from the carrier, who counters with a very low $5,000. Then your attorney counters with $30,000 and hopes for a reasonable response, but your carrier only increased their offer to $5,500. This is what they call the “bounce back double low-ball.”

Your attorney will most likely deal with this tactic by filing suit. A low-ball offer from your carrier sends the message that they have no intention to settle yet. At this time, they expect your lawyer to either accept or litigate.

For more information on insurance negotiating tactics, contact Seattle personal injury attorney Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.

Cross-Examination Tips

Posted Wednesday, April 2, 2014 by Chris Thayer

You will likely encounter some difficult questions during cross examination. What’s more, your Seattle accident attorney may not object by mistake or out of strategic reasons, or the judge may instruct you to answer. Fortunately, your attorney will prepare you by going over the following common cross-examination questions and the best ways to address them.

Seattle Accident Attorney

How Your Personal Injury Claim Will Be Investigated by the Insurer

Posted Thursday, March 27, 2014 by Chris Thayer

Once you file a personal injury claim with the help of a Seattle personal injury lawyer and it has been given to an insurance adjuster to handle, the adjuster will commence an investigation into your claim. The goal of the investigation will be to answer the question of coverage: Who was responsible for the accident, are they properly covered under their insurance policy and might there be reasons to deny coverage?alt text

The exact course of the investigation will depend on the facts of your claim, but the adjuster will likely contact you and your Seattle personal injury attorney. For insurance companies, the carrier will closely examine the case for red flags that could be signs of an exaggerated or fraudulent claim, such as pre-existing injuries, frequent chiropractic treatment and complaints of soft-tissue injuries without matching evidence. The adjuster will also probably check the “claims index” to see if you have a history of filing personal injury claims.

For normal cases, the adjuster will then inquire into the question of property damage and whether it is going to be paid, especially if there was damage to an automobile. The adjuster will contact their insured and ask them for a statement about what happened. As your Seattle personal injury lawyer will know, the insured often shapes their accounts in order to suit themselves and deflect responsibility. The insured will likely be worried about insurance rate hikes, a policy cancellation or other consequences of being found liable for the accident.

The adjuster will then want to obtain a statement from you. It is a good idea to wait until you have retained a Seattle personal injury attorney to give this statement. Your attorney will tell you that he should be present when you give your statement.

The insurance adjuster might choose to investigate the scene of the incident in person and take photo evidence and diagrams. These will be used along with police reports to try to make a determination of liability.

If you have more questions about how the investigation into your case will proceed, talk to an experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer. Call Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.

How Your Lawyer Decides How Much to Ask for in Your Case

Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 by Chris Thayer

A client of a Seattle personal injury accident attorney often asks how the amount of money requested as compensation will be determined.alt text

A Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Will Assess the Medical BillsThe medical bills will be recorded, and the lawyer will try to show that injuries like a broken arm, torn muscle in the knee or an injury that requires surgery deserve compensation that multiplies the medical bills. This can be from between two to five times what the bills cost. It is contingent on how long it takes for the claimant to return to full health. It also depends on the medical documents and if there were symptoms exhibited to the injured body part before the injury.

If there were injuries to the same area of the body before, it will reduce the multiplication amount. If there were no injuries before and it took significant time to heal, the multiplication amount will be higher.

Income Lost Due to the InjuryA claimant who loses income because of the injury will also have that factored in by the attorney. This has to be documented fully so the opposing attorney cannot call it into question. The most effective way this is usually done is to calculate how much money will be lost for a specific amount of time. A poor way to do this is if the claimant is self-employed and has little or no documentation as to how much money he or she lost.

If the amount is logical and is in line with the medical issues, the amount can be multiplied by between two and four times of the lost pay.

Contact an Experienced Seattle Personal Injury LawyerIf you have questions about how your Seattle personal injury accident attorney comes to the conclusion as to how much money will be requested as compensation in your case, call Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008 today.

What You Must Prove to Win Your Slip and Fall Case

Posted Monday, March 17, 2014 by Chris Thayer

If you fell and hurt yourself on another person’s property, you must determine whether you have evidence which proves that you cannot be blamed for your injuries. A Seattle Slip and Fall Attorney can assist you in this endeavor by educating you on the 6 factors that may win your personal injury case.

alt text