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

A Seattle Injury Lawyer Discusses Colossus and How It Can Negatively Impact Your Personal Injury Claim

Posted Thursday, May 30, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle injury lawyerMost personal injury victims are unaware of what Colossus is or how it works. Colossus is a widely used computer programming system that assists insurance adjusters in placing a value on your personal injury claim. Most Seattle injury lawyers do not believe that insurance adjusters can accurately gauge the extent of an accident victim’s injuries through the use of Colossus alone. For this reason, a Seattle injury lawyer will challenge the use of this system, especially if the case is valued well below what he estimates it is actually worth.

When employing a Seattle injury attorney, make sure that you find one who understands how the Colossus system works and how it is used by insurance adjusters. This knowledge will be vital determining whether or not a proposed settlement is worth considering.

Common Problems With Colossus

It is not surprising that most personal injury claims evaluated using Colossus are valued well below what they are worth. As your Seattle injury lawyer can tell you, one problem is that Colossus allows insurance adjusters to use their judgment to determine what medical expenses are necessary and reasonable. If an insurance adjuster believes that a certain treatment or procedure is not necessary given the nature of the victim’s injury, he or she will recommend that the insurance company not cover that medical expense.

While the use of Colossus can create a number of valuation errors in personal injury cases, the biggest problem that most Seattle injury lawyers have with the system is that it is just a computer, and a computer can never take the place of a human being. The law permits recovery in personal injury cases not only for injuries sustained as a result of the accident, but also for the emotional and mental suffering that many accident victims must endure. It is not possible for a computer system to measure the full extent of such injuries.

Contact a Seattle Injury Attorney

If you have been the victim of an accident, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. Contact Seattle injury lawyer Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008 to schedule an initial consultation. We will evaluate the details of your case and inform you of your rights under the law.

Insurance Adjuster Tactic: Trying to Convince Accident Victims They Don’t Need a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney

Posted Tuesday, May 28, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle personal injury attorneyInsurance adjusters will often try to convince accident victims that they do not need to hire a Seattle personal injury attorney. After all, the insurance company can provide the accident victim with all of the assistance needed—right? This claim is absolutely false. In order to ensure that your case is properly handled by the insurance adjusters, it is imperative that you retain a Seattle personal injury attorney who has experience negotiating with insurance companies. An experienced lawyer can make sure adjusters do not use manipulation tactics to convince you to settle for a settlement offer that is significantly lower than what you are entitled to under law.

Why Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Retain an Attorney

There are a number of reasons why insurance adjusters do not want accident victims to retain the services of a Seattle personal injury attorney. One main reason is that once the insurance company learns that you are represented by counsel, they can no longer contact you directly. Any communication from that point forward must be made through your attorney. Also, once an insurance company learns that you are represented by a lawyer, they know that the value of your case automatically increases and it will be highly unlikely that they will be able to manipulate you out of money that you deserve.

Insurance companies also do not like for accident victims to be represented by counsel because it interferes with their ability to quickly work through cases. An experienced Seattle personal injury attorney will ensure that any offer made by the insurance company is fair and just under the law. If the amount offered is substantially lower than what the client is entitled to under the law, the Seattle personal injury attorney will likely recommend that the client refuse the settlement offer or take the case to litigation. This increases the amount of time that the insurance adjuster will be forced to spend on your case.

Contact Seattle Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been the victim of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact Seattle personal injury lawyer Chris Thayer today at (206) 340-2008 to discuss the details of your case.

A Seattle Slip and Fall Attorney Explains How to Avoid Common Insurance Adjuster Tricks

Posted Tuesday, May 28, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle Slip and Fall AttorneyInsurance adjusters engage in a number of deceitful practices designed to weasel accident victims out of money they rightfully deserve. Insurance adjusters will often attempt to convince you that they are trying to be helpful and sympathize with our plight. The truth is that most insurance adjusters are not at all concerned about you or any hardships you may have faced as a result of your accident. They have one goal and one goal only: to find a way to pay you as little money as possible. An experienced Seattle slip and fall attorney will have experience working with insurance adjusters in the past and will know how to help shield clients from such deceitful practices.

How to Shield Yourself From Insurance Adjuster Tricks

In order to ensure that you do not become a victim of a deceitful insurance adjuster, it is in your best interests to hire an experienced Seattle slip and fall lawyer to represent you. In most jurisdictions, after an accident victim retains counsel, the insurance company will no longer be able to contact the victim directly, and will be forced to conduct all communications through the victim’s attorney. Insurance adjusters will be less likely to try to manipulate a seasoned lawyer. If you choose to retain the services of a Seattle slip and fall attorney, you can be confident that you will have a knowledgeable advocate on your side that will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.

Common Trick: Getting an Accident Victim to Sign a Medical Authorization Form

One common trick that insurance adjusters use to minimize the amount of payment to accident victims is to try to manipulate accident victims into signing an open-ended medical authorization form. These forms will give the insurance adjuster the right to look through your entire medical history. Many accident victims have told their Seattle slip and fall attorneys that they do not see a problem with signing this type of document. Most accident victims do not see the problem because they do not understand the underlying purpose of the document.

Once an accident victim signs an open-ended medical authorization form, the insurance adjuster will immediately start combing through their medical history attempting to find evidence of pre-existing medical conditions. While pre-existing medical conditions do not serve as a complete bar to recovery, they can lower the amount of money that an accident victim can receive. An experienced Seattle slip and fall attorney will immediately recognize this trick and will advise the client against signing a medical authorization form whose terms have not been examined by legal counsel.

Contact Us

If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or careless actions, call Seattle slip and fall lawyer Chris Thayer today to discuss what compensation you may be entitled to: (206) 340-2008.

Seattle Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Explains the Settlement Negotiation Process

Posted Tuesday, May 7, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle spinal cord injury attorneyOnce a Seattle spinal cord injury attorney agrees to represent you in your personal injury case, your attorney will begin taking steps to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. It is critical that you retain the services of an experienced and knowledgeable Seattle spinal cord injury attorney to represent you in your personal injury matter. Your personal injury attorney will need to know how to successfully negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.

Placing a Value on Your Personal Injury Case

After evaluating your case and conducting any further investigation that may be necessary, your Seattle spinal cord injury lawyer will place a value on your case. While it is not possible for your attorney to place an exact value on your case, an experienced Seattle spinal cord injury lawyer can usually estimate the range in which the insurance company should agree to settle. If the insurance company refuses to settle within that range, then your Seattle spinal cord injury attorney may advise you to not take the settlement offer.

What If I Want to Settle Anyway

In some cases, when the insurance company offers a settlement amount that is well below the value of the case, the client will be tempted to accept the settlement offer. Sometimes clients simply do not want to deal with the stress of litigation or they would rather collect some money rather than no money at all.

Whenever your Seattle spinal cord injury attorney receives a settlement offer from the insurance company, they are ethically obligated to inform you of the offer. Your Seattle spinal cord injury attorney will advise you as to how to handle the offer but the decision to either accept or decline the offer is ultimately yours. However, when considering whether to accept or decline an offer, keep in mind that your Seattle spinal cord injury lawyer has a wealth of experience and knowledge regarding the settlement negotiation process and you should place a high value on any advice that you are given by your attorney.

Contact Us

If you have been injured in an accident through little or no fault of your own, call experienced Seattle spinal cord injury attorney Chris Thayer today at (206) 340-2008 to schedule an initial case consultation.

How Much Authority Do Insurance Adjusters Have?

Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Personal injury attorney Seattle, WAIf you try to negotiate with an insurance adjuster without a personal injury attorney in Seattle, WA, you will likely hear the excuse that the adjuster doesn’t have appropriate authority to approve a settlement in the amount you deserve.Most attorneys will tell you this is not true, and merely a negotiation tactic adjusters use to avoid paying you a fair settlement.

It is important to consult with a personal injury attorney sooner rather than later to ensure that your rights are protected. An experienced personal attorney may not know the exact amount an adjuster is authorized to pay, but he will be able to come up with a rough guess based on the adjuster’s demeanor and the strengths and weaknesses of your case.

Often, the first offer from the insurance adjuster will be less than half the amount he is authorized to pay. An adjuster’s job performance is judged, in part, on his ability to settle cases for less than this amount, so don’t expect an adjuster to truly give you his best offer.

Factors Affecting Settlement Value

There are many factors that affect the value of your claim. Your personal injury attorney in Seattle, WA will look at the specific merits of your case, but some of the more general things to consider are the following:

  • Medical expenses.
  • Lost wages.
  • Permanent disability.
  • Medical proof of your injury.
  • List item.

Most Cases Settle

As your case gets closer to trial, the defense attorney may make an offer that more closely approaches the insurer’s true bottom line. It is important that your attorney be prepared to go to court, but don’t be surprised if your case settles on the eve of trial.

In small injury cases especially, it doesn’t make much sense for the insurer to take your case to trial. Their legal costs will be higher if their attorney needs to prepare for court, and the insurer wants to guard against the outside chance that you receive a large verdict.

For a free evaluation of your claim and what to expect, contact Chris Thayer, a personal injury attorney in Seattle, WA, at (206) 340-2008.