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

What to Know About Personal Injury Claims After an Accident in Bellevue

Posted Friday, September 29, 2023 by Chris Thayer

Car crashes and collisions can happen on just about every road in King County. If you are not familiar with the scope of legal issues after an accident, you may not realize your options for justice.

Not every car incident is identical. If you have had an injury in a Bellevue accident, an attorney can provide understanding to navigate the legal landscape.

According to an article on the Bellevue Beat Blog, a Bellevue motorcycle is in critical condition and in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center. The officer sustained multiple injuries after an incident where he was ejected off his motorcycle while riding as part of the Vice President’s motorcade during her visit to Seattle. The Washington State Patrol is continuing its investigation.

While we often think of accidents in terms of personal and vehicle damage, there are many unique circumstances.

*Statute of Limitations in Bellevue, Washington*The statute of limitations in Washington is typically three years from the date of the injury. According to the Revised Code of Washington, Section 4.16.080, actions are listed that fall within the limit of a three-year guideline. The sections spell out in detail the actions that are covered within the three-year limit.

The wording clearly states that “an action for taking, detaining, or injuring personal property, including an action for the specific recovery thereof, or for any other injury to the person or rights of another not hereinafter enumerated” falls within the three-year timeframe.

However, the statute of limitations does have variations for different situations. For example, in medical malpractice, an injured party has one year from the date of the discovery of the injury to file a legal claim.

In contemplating suing for personal injury, it is essential to understand this time frame. Cases may be dismissed if they are not filed within the time specified.

*Comparative Fault Rules in Bellevue Accidents*Every personal injury case is unique. In some cases, an injured person may be considered partially at fault. For instance, in a car accident, if both drivers are found to be at fault, this may be viewed in terms of percentage contributions.

The rules in Washington use what is known as “pure comparative negligence.” This means that the percentage of fault attributed to you is used to reduce the amount that you recover. For example, if you recover $20,000 and the judge or jury determines you to be 20% at fault, your recovery would be reduced to $18,000.

If your case goes to trial, the judge or jury is required to use this rule. It is also possible that an insurance adjuster may employ this guideline in injury settlement negotiations.

*Understanding the Terms: Personal Injury in Bellevue*Personal injury refers to physical, emotional, and mental damage as the result of an injury. This is typically the type of injury that is dealt with in civil courts. In addition to personal injury, there may be other aspects of injury as a result of an accident.

For example, there could be financial impacts such as the costs of medical treatment, loss of the ability to work, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

*Talk to a Dedicated King County Personal Injury Attorney*If you have been involved in an accident, it can be extremely stressful to navigate all the legal and medical issues regarding your case. A personal injury attorney may be able to provide legal insights related to your injury.

Discussing Evidence in Injury Claims in Renton, Washington

Posted Friday, September 22, 2023 by Chris Thayer

What qualifies as ’good’ evidence? If you have been involved in a personal injury, car crash, or other accident, you may be wondering what kinds of evidence are ’good’ in your case.

Talking with a personal injury lawyer in Renton can help you gather the evidence you need to support your case.

Two separate car crashes in Renton were reported on KIRO 7, leaving five people dead and one critically injured. The crashes happened within 45 minutes of each other, and both cars reportedly caught fire.

In the first incident, one person was found dead in the car. In the second, four people were found dead on the scene, and one person was transported to Harborview Hospital in critical condition.

Sadly, tragic accidents such as these are all too common an occurrence in Renton.You have seen wrecks along the highway but never thought it could happen to you or your loved ones. If you have been in a car crash, you most likely have heard a lot about ’evidence.’

*Focus on Gathering Evidence in Washington*In the days, weeks, or months after your accident, it can help to focus on what you can do to move your case forward. Naturally, it is vital to get the medical care you need. As you seek medical care, keep track of your appointments, treatments, or prescriptions.

Keep a journal of all medical care you receive. Many people find it easier to recall appointments and how they were treated when capturing details close to the time of the event.

*Gather Evidence in Your Renton Personal Injury Case*Evidence refers to tangible items that may help prove your case. It may not seem significant, yet every document adds up to paint a clear picture of your experience. Gather evidence such as medical bills, parking receipts, treatment invoices, and prescriptions. Take photographs to document damage to your body or physical property.

*Collect Common Evidence in Personal Injury Claim*In addition to personal records, a legal expert may be able to investigate and collect critical details. This may include interviewing involved parties and gathering witness statements. It may include consulting with and hiring experts.

Common evidence also refers to police reports, statements made by witnesses and parties, as well as documents kept by parties.

Who Makes th*e Determination of Liability?*Evidence is essential In personal injury claims because the question of fault is a key issue. Once fault is established, the liable party is responsible for paying compensation.

In many cases, a personal injury attorney can provide the most comprehensive collection of evidence. A thorough investigation of the case includes discovering all potential at-fault parties, gathering evidence, making a liability determination, and presenting your case to the other side or a court.

*Talk to a Dedicated King County Personal Injury Attorney*If you have been involved in an accident. An experienced attorney may be able to provide legal insights related to your injury.

Tips for Settling Out of Court in Issaquah

Posted Friday, September 15, 2023 by Chris Thayer

“Do I have to go to court?” This question may be haunting you as you consider your options after an injury or car crash. Going to court is scary for most people who are not in the legal profession.

If you have been injured and are stressed about going to court, consider talking with a personal injury lawyer about your options. Your legal counsel can evaluate whether you need to go to court in a personal injury claim and, if so, how to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Often Settle Out of Court in Issaquah

One of the most important things to understand about personal injury claims is that they are often settled out of court - before a lawsuit is filed.

This can be a huge relief, especially if you have been feeling stressed about going to court.

Many cases are settled during trial preparation. Others are resolved on the steps of the courthouse. However, a few cases do continue and go all the way through a formal trial.

*Litigation is Costly for the Plaintiff in Issaquah*One of the big reasons why personal injury lawsuits settle out of court is cost. Typically, the injured person who is called the plaintiff has a contingency fee arrangement with their lawyer.

A contingency fee means that you only pay after a trial is settled. A typical fee agreement is that the attorney receives about 33% of any pre-trial settlement and approximately 40% of a settlement made after trial begins.

This difference is one more reason why it is highly motivating to settle before trial.

*Litigation is Expensive for the Defendant in Washington*However, the plaintiff is not the only one who benefits. The defendant typically pays attorneys by the hour. This can add up to a considerable cost. In addition to paying legal fees, the defendant is also paying for expert witnesses, court costs, and most likely time from work.

The earlier a case settles, the less expensive litigation can be.

*Trials are Stressful and Labor Intensive in Issaquah*The process of going to trial is commonly considered extremely stressful. Trials involve public statements, speaking under oath, and being examined and cross-examined by skilled litigators.

The days and weeks leading up to a trial can be highly stressful and involve hours of intensive preparation. Both sides may prefer to avoid public scrutiny, stress, and pressure.

*Settlements are Private *In rare cases, a judge may order trial records to be sealed. However, in personal injury cases, this is rarely the case. This means that all the trial details are a matter of public record.

Witness testimony, evidence, and settlement amounts are all available for any member of the public to see.

*Talk to a Dedicated King County Personal Injury Attorney*If you have been involved in an accident, it can be extremely stressful to navigate all the legal and medical issues regarding your case. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to provide legal insights related to your injury.

Understanding Comparative Negligence in Burien Personal Injury Cases

Posted Friday, September 8, 2023 by Chris Thayer

Contributory negligence is an important legal principle in personal injury cases. What is the law in Washington? If contributory negligence may seem mysterious, but now it is time to lift the veil. Find out how Washington law could affect your claim in a Burien personal injury case.

If you have been injured and want to talk with a Burien personal injury lawyer, you may realize that you are within your rights to pursue legal action.

*Basics of Negligence in Personal Injury Cases in Burien*What does negligence mean in terms of Washington law? The simplest way to understand negligence is as failure to exercise an expected degree of care, leading to another’s injuries.

Consider a simple example. A motorist is required by their driver’s license to wear glasses—but fails to wear them. When this motorist causes an accident, they may be found liable for the other party’s injuries. If the driver had been wearing the required glasses, the accident may have been prevented.

*Contributory Negligence in Washington State*State negligence laws tend to have some similarities from state to state. Some states allow for what is known as ’contributory negligence.’ The concept is that fault can be assigned percentages, and this percentage affects the amount a plaintiff can recover. Consider the example of a car accident. A driver is found to be 20% responsible for an incident. Under the contributory negligence theory, they may only claim 80% of their damages for their injuries. In effect, they were partially responsible for the accident, and this affects the amount of rewards they are entitled to claim.

A few states do not allow recovery at all if the plaintiff is partially responsible. Washington State, however, does recognize degrees of contributory fault.

*Elements Needed to Prove Negligence in Burien Personal Injuries*To prove negligence, a plaintiff must prove five elements. These are terms that you will hear frequently in a court case. Getting familiar with the terms can help you understand how a jury or judge evaluates negligence and how this may affect your case.

  • Duty: The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. Think of our earlier example of eyeglasses. The defendant owed the plaintiff the reasonable duty of wearing the required eyewear.
  • Breach of Duty: The defendant acted or failed to act contrary to their duty. In this example, the driver did not wear the glasses.
  • Cause in Fact: This is legal terminology that means the defendant’s breach of duty resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. In other words, by not wearing glasses, the driver could not see properly, and this resulted in injuries.
  • Proximate Cause: This is a complicated term that means the defendant should have known that their actions or inactions were risky and could cause an injury. If the driver was, for instance, legally blind, they should have known the risks.
  • Damages: The plaintiff suffered injuries. These injuries could be physical, emotional, mental, or other as a result of the defendant’s negligence.

*Talk to a Dedicated King County Personal Injury Attorney*If you have been involved in an accident, it can be extremely stressful to navigate all the legal and medical issues regarding your case. A dedicated attorney may be able to provide legal insights related to your injury.

Filing a Claim After an Accident in Kent

Posted Friday, September 1, 2023 by Chris Thayer

“What do I do if I’ve been in an accident?” When someone else’s negligent behavior causes you a personal injury, you have options. In Washington, you have a couple of options for getting compensation.

*Getting Compensation After an Accident in Kent*In simple terms, getting compensated for damages boils down to two options. First, you can bring an insurance claim or file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Second, if you have coverage, you can file a claim against your own insurance company. Being involved in an accident in Kent can be challenging both physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. Knowing the steps of how to file a claim can help you to proceed with more peace of mind.

If you have been injured and are unclear about how to file a claim against someone who is responsible, consider talking with a personal injury lawyer. Your legal counsel can help you understand Washington state laws about filing an insurance claim or lawsuit.

*Filing an Insurance Claim in Kent*A key thing to understand about Washington law is the concept of negligence. Under Washington law, you can bring an insurance claim against a person, business, and, in some cases, a government entity you believe to be responsible for your personal injury.

*What Kind of Damages are You Allowed to Collect in Kent?*When you prove negligence, you are proving that the other party is responsible for your personal injury. This is a complex legal concept that is important to understand before proceeding. You may want to talk with a legal expert to gain a deeper understanding of how to prove negligence.

If you can prove that the other party is responsible, in Washington state, you are allowed to collect damages. Damages may include obvious bills such as medical bills and lost wages. Damages may also be towards other types of loss, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.

*How to File an Insurance Claim in Kent*To start an insurance claim, you will want to know the basics. You may be able to simply send the responsible party a claim notification letter. If you know the insurance company of the responsible party, you can start the claim online. This may be via the insurer’s online claims page or with a mobile claims app.

*How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Kent*If you are not able to settle a personal injury case with the insurer, you may be considering filing a lawsuit. If thinking about filing a lawsuit is something you are considering, it is wise to consult with an experienced Washington personal injury attorney first.

Even if the case seems straightforward, personal injury lawsuits may be expensive, time-consuming, complex, and stressful. An experienced attorney can help you evaluate your case, identify the strength of evidence, and explain your options.

*Talk to a Diligent King County Personal Injury Attorney*If you have been involved in an accident and are worried about filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, you may have questions and concerns about the process. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to provide legal insights for moving forward.