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

Defense Attorneys May Find Weaknesses Adjusters Overlook

Posted Monday, April 22, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle motorcycle accident attorneyContacting a Seattle motorcycle accident attorney shortly after your accident is important for many reasons. Unfortunately, many accident victims do irreparable damage to their claims by communicating with an insurance adjuster without proper legal representation.

Having your personal injury attorney communicate directly with the insurance adjuster puts you in a position of power. This is because your attorney controls the information that is available to the adjuster.

Your attorney will not lie to the adjuster, of course, but he or she will be sure to emphasize your claim’s strengths and downplay or explain its weaknesses. Your attorney is also likely to know exactly what information the adjuster will find convincing or unconvincing.

Formal Discovery Is Less Forgiving

If your Seattle motorcycle accident attorney cannot reach a settlement agreement with the insurance adjuster, your file will be handed off to a defense attorney employed by the insurance company.

At this point, discovery becomes much more formal, and the defense attorney has various legal procedures at his or her disposal. For example, you may need to respond to interrogatories or produce various documents such as medical records.

As your case gets closer to trial, you may have to participate in a process known as “deposition.” In a deposition, as in a trial, you will need to testify under oath. Though a deposition does not take place in a courtroom, it is something you should take very seriously.

Much of your pre-trial preparation will revolve around getting ready for your deposition. Your Seattle motorcycle accident attorney will let you know what kinds of questions to expect and how to answer them in a way that is helpful for your case.

Weaknesses Make Settlement Less Likely

Any weaknesses in your motorcycle accident case will result in a lower settlement offer. Your attorney must strike a delicate balance between trying for an early settlement and seeming too eager to settle.


If you have been injured, you need to make sure your rights are protected and your case is presented in the best possible light. Contact Seattle motorcycle accident attorney Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008 for a free evaluation of your claim.

Three Kinds of Proof Insurance Companies Like Most

Posted Monday, April 22, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle truck accident attorneyWhen preparing to negotiate with the insurance company, your Seattle truck accident attorney may seem unconcerned with some evidence you consider very relevant. This is because the things that insurance companies consider important are not necessarily the same things ordinary people care about.

For example, if you were telling your friend about your truck accident, you’re likely to mention the extreme pain you’ve had to endure or the emotional toll it has taken on you. You’re unlikely to mention what specific medications you’re taking or the dates of your medical appointments.

As a general rule of thumb, insurance companies are much more concerned with the things you can prove—either with medical evidence or with financial documentation. They are far less concerned with intangible damages like pain and suffering.

Although testimony from family and friends may be useful to establish what your life was like before and after the accident, you would do well to focus on the following areas when gathering evidence.

Medical Bills

Provide your Seattle truck accident attorney with medical bills, no matter how minor they may seem. Even if they don’t add up to a lot of money, just showing that you have been obtaining regular care for your injuries helps to demonstrate that your injuries are real.

Keep detailed notes about doctor’s appointments and the different medical professionals you have seen. This information may become important if you need to testify at trial or in a deposition. Also consider saving empty prescription bottles.

Lost Income

Being seriously injured in a truck accident can hurt your finances in two ways. On one hand, you may be facing substantial medical costs, especially if you don’t have good health insurance. On the other hand, you may have lost your primary source of income if you’ve been forced to miss work.

Your employer may be able to provide you with a letter detailing how much work you have missed because of your accident. Also be sure to provide proof of how much you were paid when you were still working.


For more information about gathering evidence for your personal injury case, call Seattle truck accident attorney Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.

Why Don't Defense Attorneys Settle?

Posted Monday, April 22, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Car accident attorney in SeattleIf you and your car accident attorney in Seattle don’t reach a settlement with the insurance adjuster, your claim will be handed off to an insurance defense attorney. It is still possible that your case will settle at this stage, but you may find it is more difficult.

Most attorneys settle more cases than they take to court, but attorneys on the insurance company payroll don’t have a strong incentive to avoid trial. In fact, they may be more inclined to go to trial because that is how they make most of their money.

Insurance defense attorneys simply bill the insurer for their hourly work. They don’t get paid based on how much or how little your case settles for.

Preparing for trial takes time, and while you and your car accident attorney in Seattle may want to avoid trial, the defense attorney probably doesn’t care one way or the other.

How Can I Get a Fair Settlement?

The best thing you can do to increase your chances of a favorable settlement is hiring an experienced car accident attorney in Seattle, preferably one who has trial experience. If the defense attorney thinks that you are legitimately prepared to go to trial and not just using the threat of court as a bargaining chip, you may find him or her more willing to settle.

Some factors that lead to successful settlements are out of your control. These include the insurer’s overall philosophy about settlements. Certain insurers have developed reputations for taking almost any claim to trial, no matter how small.

Insurers are especially unwilling to make fair settlement offers when it comes to soft tissue injury cases. It is important for you to keep careful records of your damages, including medical bills and lost wages from time off from work.

Insurance defense attorneys may think they can convince jurors you are faking or exaggerating your injuries, but this becomes harder the more concrete proof you are able to present.

We Can Help

If you have been injured and are not already represented by a car accident attorney in Seattle, please call Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008 for a free evaluation of your claim.

Will the Insurer Settle With My Personal Injury Attorney in Seattle?

Posted Monday, April 22, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Personal injury attorney in SeattleWhen you hire a personal injury attorney in Seattle, you may expect that the insurer will settle your case right away. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are many reasons why an insurer may prefer to take a claim to court rather than settling. Some of these have very little to do with the merits of your claim.

Building a Reputation

Insurers don’t want to be known for settling cases easily. Developing a reputation for settling claims to avoid court invites frivolous lawsuits. Insurance companies have to take claims to trial, at least occasionally.

Sometimes, an insurer may take a hard-line position against you just because you happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. If an insurer has just made a huge settlement, he or she may take your relatively small claim to trial just to assert that he or she can still try cases.

Money Isn’t Everything

Insurers are, ultimately, profit-driven, but sometimes giving up some money in the short term will lead to savings in the long term. Don’t think that just because your claim is not worth a lot of money, the insurer won’t take it to trial.

It is not unheard of for insurers to spend tens of thousands of dollars defending a claim when they could have settled with a personal injury attorney in Seattle for much less.

Chain of Command

As a personal injury attorney in Seattle will tell you, insurance adjusters aren’t paying your claim with their own money. So why do they seem so stingy with settlements? Insurance companies have a well-defined chain of command, and every adjuster will have his or her performance reviewed by someone higher up.

Just as the insurance company doesn’t want a reputation for paying out frivolous claims, the adjuster doesn’t want to be known for paying big settlements just to get files off of his or her desk. His or her ability to settle cases for small sums of money can factor into his or her next raise or promotion.

Increase Your Chances of a Favorable Settlement

One of the best things you can do to increase your chances of a favorable settlement is contact a personal injury attorney in Seattle. If you are not already represented, please call Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.

The Process for Filing a Lawsuit

Posted Monday, April 1, 2013 by Chris Thayer

alt textIf settling your personal injury case is not possible, then your Seattle, WA, personal injury attorney will most likely file a lawsuit. There are certain sequential steps common to all personal injury cases.

The Sequential Steps in a Lawsuit

Step 1. First, your lawyer will prepare a Complaint and Summons to be served upon the person, persons, or com¬pany that caused your injuries (the “defendants”). You are the “plaintiff” in the lawsuit.

Step 2. Once a copy of the complaint has been served to the defendant, the insurance company’s attorney will file a response to the Complaint (called an “Answer” to the Complaint). Typically, the Answer will:

•deny all responsibility for the injury, •deny the severity of your injuries, and •possibly seek to add other parties involved in the incident.

Step 3. Next, the process called “discovery” begins, wherein both sides request information from each other. Generally, discovery will involve the following procedures:

•Interrogatories. Questions (called “interrogatories”) will be exchanged between parties. Written answers to the interrogatories must be provided to the opposing party.•Depositions. Oral testimony may be taken at a “deposition.” Deposition testimony is taken down by a court reporter so that a transcript can be prepared.•Requests for production of documents. The lawyers will request certain documents, such as medical reports and bills, witness statements, and any other pertinent documents. •Requests for admissions. A request for admission narrows the issues. In this process, both parties admit certain facts that are not in dispute.

Step 4. Then you and your Seattle, WA, personal injury attorney will prepare for trial. This may include (among other things):

• interviewing witnesses,• preparing video depositions of your doctors, and• drafting briefs.

Step 5. Finally, the case will go to trial if it has not already been settled by this time.

An experienced Seattle, WA, personal injury attorney can further advise you of all of the procedures in a personal injury trial, as well as the likelihood of success in such a suit. If you have further questions about a personal injury claim, call attorney Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008 for an initial consultation.