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

How to Start Your Personal Injury Claim in Issaquah

Posted Friday, October 13, 2023 by Chris Thayer

If you have not been involved in an accident before, you may not be aware of the steps to take. Should you decide to file a personal injury claim, the steps start with step one.

*Step One: The Notification Letter*Giving notice of an accident and your injury starts with what is known as “the notification letter.”

This letter notifies the responsible party of their potential liability. It is considered ’step one’ and is essential if you should decide to file a personal injury claim.

If you have been injured and are feeling stressed about the steps to take, consider talking with a personal injury attorney about your options. Your legal counsel can explain how to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.

*Consider Whom to Notify in an Issaquah Accident*If you’ve been injured in an accident, first identify every person or business that might be responsible.

This may mean that you will need to send more than one letter.

For example, if you slipped and fell in a building, you may need to send a letter to the business and to the owner of the property where the slip and fall accident occurred.

If you were involved in a vehicle accident, you may need to contact the insurance company as well as your own insurance company.

*Contact Insurance Companies for an Issaquah Injury*It is important to write a letter of notification even if others assure you that they will notify their insurance company.

If you know the other party’s insurance company, you can send a copy of the notification letter to their claims department. Be sure to include the other party’s insurance number if you have that information.

*What is Not Included for Issaquah Claims?*The key thing to keep in mind is that a notification letter provides basic information and asks for a written response.

This is not a letter to discuss fault, expand on the extent of your injuries, or discuss responsibility. These are put in a letter called a formal demand letter. This is a document that is sent later in the process.

*What is Included in an Issaquah Notification Letter?*Within your initial letter, provide your name and address. You may want to include a phone number for ease of contact. However, you can state specific guidelines such as only contacting during work hours or only at work, but not at home. You are not required to include a phone number.

Include the general details of the accident, such as the approximate time and date and general location. You only need to state the general descriptors, such as: “at your store on Main Street.”

*Keep Copies for Your Records of an Issaquah Claim*Before you mail your letter, date each one and make a copy for your file. You may want to send a second letter by certified or registered mail if you do not get a response within two weeks.

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

How to Prevent a Traffic Accident in Bellevue

Posted Friday, October 6, 2023 by Chris Thayer

Car crashes and traffic accidents occur all over King County, and Bellevue is no exception. During peak afternoon rush, between the hours of 3 pm and 5 pm, the city sees more than 40% of its total traffic volume.

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

*Bellevue’s Vision Zero Strategic Plan *Bellevue is a city with a mission to become a safer place to drive and live. Bellevue has a Vision Zero Initiative to prevent unnecessary traffic accidents. The vision was inspired by a similar plan in Sweden.

The ultimate goal is to eliminate serious injury crashes and traffic deaths by 2030.

*Causes of Traffic Accidents and Deaths in Bellevue*According to the Traffic Collision Data for Bellevue, from 2012 to 2021, 196 people were seriously injured in traffic collisions in Bellevue. During the same time frame, 24 were killed.

In 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission, more than 38,600 people were killed in crashes across the United States. The potential for saving lives is great, and Bellevue is committed to eliminating traffic deaths and serious injury collisions.

Bellevue city officials determined five behaviors that contributed to the majority of accidents. Distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, failing to yield to a pedestrian, and not granting right-of-way were the behaviors contributing to 67% of all severe and fatal injuries.

*Safe System Approach in Bellevue*Bellevue Safe System is a holistic approach that combines four pillars of safety with four supportive elements. The pillars are safe speeds, safe people, safe vehicles, and safe streets. The supportive elements include data, leadership, partnerships, and culture.

In Bellevue, the community is taking a holistic approach to ensure that serious injuries or fatalities do not define the city. Bellevue has developed a collision dashboard that allows for interactive searching to help determine locations of collisions over 10 years.

*Prevent an Accident With Safe Driving in Bellevue*To prevent traffic accidents in Bellevue, Washington, motorists can take these guidelines into daily practice.

Focused driving is the antidote to distracted driving. When operating a motor vehicle, give your full attention to driving. Stay off the phone, and avoid being distracted by other passengers. Safe driving behaviors include avoiding grooming, petting animals, or getting distracted by children. A single moment of attention away from the road can result in dangerous or deadly incidents.

Driving while sober is the antidote to impaired or drunk driving. If you’ve been drinking alcohol, let someone else go behind the wheel. This is not only smart, it can save your life and the lives of those around you.

Driving within the speed limits is the opposite of speeding. Staying at safe speeds may help you respond with agility if an unexpected obstacle is on the road or if road and weather conditions change suddenly.

*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.

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.