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

Should I Contact the Person Who Caused My Injury?

Posted Thursday, February 28, 2013 by Chris Thayer

alt textAfter your accident, you will spend time waiting for your insurance company and the other person’s insurance company to work on your case. You will probably not receive a lot of communication about this, so you may wonder what is going on with your case. It may be tempting to reach out and contact the person who caused your injury (also known as a “tortfeasor”) for more information or to ask questions. But your Seattle auto accident attorney will advise you against doing this.

What Happens to the Responsible Party?

After your accident, the other party will be contacted by his or her insurance company, and will give a recorded statement and report about what happened. The insurance company will use this statement, as well as statements from other involved witnesses, to conduct an investigation. During the investigation, there will be little to no contact between the insurer and their insured (the tortfeasor). In other words, neither you nor the tortfeasor will be kept in the loop about the day-to-day progress of your case; it is largely handled by the insurance companies, although your Seattle auto accident attorney might try to send them requests for information. While it may be frustrating to consider, the person who caused your injury is probably going about his or her normal life, hoping that the insurance company decides to settle the case without any more involvement from him or her.

What Happens if the Case Does Not Settle?

However, your case might not settle after all. Sometimes, the tortfeasor’s insurance company insists that you or someone else was mostly at fault, and that their client was not liable for what happened. If this happens, you and your Seattle auto accident attorney will file a lawsuit against the insurance company, who will retain counsel to defend and represent their insured, the tortfeasor. The tortfeasor will be required to take part in the litigation proceedings and sit for depositions, give further testimony, etc. The lawsuit will name the tortfeasor as the defendant, although the defendant’s insurance company will be the one to pay out a settlement or verdict if awarded.

We Can Help

Dealing with the fallout from an auto accident is a frustrating and aggravating process. Talk to an experienced Seattle auto accident attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.

Will I Have to Pay for Any of My Attorney’s Expenses?

Posted Thursday, February 28, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle serious injury attorneyWhen pursuing a personal injury claim, your Seattle serious injury attorney will expect to be paid for his work, time, experience, and effort. The fee also covers administrative overhead, such as secretaries, office rent, files, and other typical costs of running a law firm. There are also some out-of-pocket expenses that might be incurred specifically because of your case, listed below:

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

• Fees to obtain medical reports from doctors and hospitals. These reports may cost just a few dollars to make copies, or they may cost up to $100 or more if they have to be specially prepared by your physician.

• Copying charges. Insurance companies will demand copies of all your medical bills, reports, police reports, lost wage statements, and other relevant documentation. Your law firm has to pay to make these copies, and this cost might be added onto your final bill for each page.

• Photograph reproduction: If you have photographic evidence you plan to use in your case, having them prepared and enlarged (especially if you plan to use them at trial) will cost a certain amount.• Long-distance calls. If your case requires your Seattle serious injury attorney to make long-distance phone calls, the cost for those calls might be included on your bill.

• Other expert reports: Experts other than your treating physician may be asked to give a statement or testify in your case, and if so, they will charge your attorney a certain fee for their services, which will be included in your attorney bill.

• Litigation costs: The process of filing litigation incurs certain court costs and filing fees, which your attorney might include on your bill.

One thing that’s important to understand is that, while you may have a contingency fee agreement with your Seattle serious injury attorney (meaning their fee is contingent upon winning a settlement or court award), the out-of-pocket costs outlined above will not be contingent upon you winning your case. Your attorney might ask you to reimburse some of these costs as your case moves along prior to the settlement. Attorneys do not usually want to be in the business of financing all their clients’ cases out of their own company’s funds.

Contact UsIf you have been involved in a serious accident, you will need the help of an experienced Seattle serious injury attorney to get the compensation you deserve. Call Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.

How to Handle Your Medical Bills After Your Injury

Posted Thursday, February 28, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle truck accident attorneyAfter you have been in a truck accident, you may be wondering how you are going to handle the medical bills that are piling up. There is no need to be overly anxious, however; your Seattle truck accident attorney can advise you regarding possible payment options that might be available to you.

What if I Can’t Pay My Bills as They Are Incurred?A common question that arises is whether doctors, hospitals and other medical facilities will wait for payment if you cannot pay the bills that you incur. In most cases, if there is no need to pay the bills immediately, many medical providers will agree to wait to be paid for their services until the case is ultimately resolved with a settlement or judgment in court. You will want to let your medical providers know as early as possible if you do not have health insurance or another means to take care of the bills, so that they will know what to expect.

How Will My Lawyer Ensure That These Medical Expenses Are Paid?Keep in mind that in many cases, your Seattle truck accident attorney will have the task of making sure your doctors and medical providers receive payment. Most lawyers will have money withheld from your settlement or court verdict; these funds will then be used to pay off the medical bills you have incurred. Many doctors and medical facilities will have you sign a form (called a subrogation or lien form) that allows the attorney to withhold a certain amount of money from the insurance settlement in order to pay off medical bills.

Why Doesn’t the Insurance Company of the Responsibly Party Pay the Medical Bills for My Injuries?Contrary to what you might expect, most insurance companies will not do this. For one thing, most insurers do not want to pay a large amount for current medical bills and then be faced with a remarkably large demand in the final settlement negotiations. Also, most insurers would prefer to conclude the claim with a single sum of money instead of an ongoing series of payments.

Contact UsA Seattle truck accident attorney can help you get the settlement you deserve for your injuries. Call Chris Thayer today at (206) 340-2008.

What Should I Do After Being Injured?

Posted Thursday, February 28, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle brain injury attorneyThe most crucial thing your Seattle brain injury attorney will tell you to do after you have been injured is to simply recover. You are required by law to mitigate your damages—meaning that by law, you must make sure to do everything necessary to recover from the injury and improve your condition.

This may require you to follow the steps that follow:

  1. Keep every doctor’s appointment. Your Seattle brain injury attorney will advise to maintain close contact with your physician and not to miss a single appointment. If it becomes absolutely necessary to cancel an appointment, call the doctor’s office as soon as possible. Your attorney knows that doctor’s records that reveal a “no show” may be detrimental to your case at trial or settlement time.
  2. Keep prescribed physical therapy sessions. For many injuries, such as sprains, strains and other soft tissue injuries, physical therapy often proves helpful. If your physician has prescribed physical therapy, attend every session and actively participate. Once again, if it becomes necessary to cancel a session, call ahead to give ample notice. However do everything in your power to avoid missing an appointment.
  3. Do everything your physician tells you to do. Follow your physician’s orders when he or she prescribes therapy exercises or specific medications, or places limits on your activities. When settlement negotiations begin or your case has proceeded to court, any failure on your part to follow your physician’s advice may be used against you.
  4. Follow your physician’s advice regarding leisure and work activities. If your doctor prescribes rest, limits particular activities, or recommends you not to work, you should do just that. Failure to follow your physician’s advice will not only delay your recovery, but may also be detrimental to the legal aspects of your case. Despite the negative financial impact caused by stay home from work, it is crucial that you heed medical advice in order to enhance your recovery. Your Seattle brain injury attorney will make every attempt to recover the earnings you may lose from not working.

Contact Us

If you have been injured and would like to discuss your case with an experienced and knowledgeable Seattle brain injury attorney, please contact Chris Thayer by calling (206) 340-2008.

The Importance of Medical Documentation in Your Brain Injury Claim

Posted Friday, February 1, 2013 by Chris Thayer

A claimant who suffers a brain injury in an accident stands to have a substantial settlement. As is true in personal injury claims generally, the quality of medical documentation will be a strong determiner in how strong a case a Seattle brain injury attorney can make for the valuation of your claim.

What Is Reflected in Medical Bills

alt textInsurance adjusters are interested in the bills for your medical treatment above all other documents. This is in part because medical costs usually account for the lion’s share of a claim. But medical bills also provide evidence of the legitimacy of your brain injuries. For this reason, your Seattle brain injury attorney will ask you to provide him/her with copies of all such bills.

That said, not all medical bills are given high regard by insurance adjusters. The source of the bills and nature of the treatment/testing they reflect are important. Bills for X-rays, CAT scans, and MRI tests are good, but if their results do not support your brain injury they will actually weaken your claim. Indeed, if the bills submitted to the insurance company reflect treatment that seems unrelated to your injury, this can cause the adjuster to suspect even more clearly related bills. Much stronger bills are those that reflect a lengthy hospital stay and physical therapy.

Quality Medical Information

Second to medical bills in importance to your brain injury claim is information from such sources as:

• Emergency room records.

• Medical reports.

• Physical therapist reports.

• Diagnoses from doctors.

Your Seattle brain injury attorney will ask you to obtain narrative reports from treating physicians who are well-regarded. These are superior in value to the often illegible handwritten notes of a doctor. It is important that the reports do not contain vague or qualifying terms such as “maybe” or “slight possibility.” These suggest that the doctor is unsure of his diagnosis of your brain injury, and the insurance adjuster will lower the valuation of your claim accordingly.

If You Have Been Injured

Given the nature and seriousness of brain injuries, if you are hurt in an accident due to the negligence of someone else it may be in your best interests to hire a Seattle brain injury attorney. Call Chris Thayer to arrange a free consultation today at (206) 340-2008.