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

Negligence in Slip & Fall Accidents

Posted Saturday, March 15, 2014 by Chris Thayer

The facts of your slip and fall case will dictate the focus your Seattle slip and fall attorney will take when arguing the merits of your claim. Negligence is a major component of many slip and fall accidents.

Negligence Defined

For the purposes of a personal injury claim, negligence refers to the lack of reasonable care used to ensure that a premises is safe. Reasonable care refers to the care that a reasonable person would be expected to take in the given situation. The defendant in a slip and fall negligence case may be an individual or entity, such as a supermarket. If, for instance, you are injured in a slip and fall due to a spill that was not cleaned up in the supermarket, the manager or store would be liable if adequate time had elapsed for the spill to be cleaned up.

Elements Leading to a Slip and Fall Negligence Claim

Your injury lawyer in Seattle will discuss your case with you and determine which elements best support your claim. A negligence claim may occur in a number of ways, including:

  • Failure to properly inspect the premises
  • Failure to determine that a condition is unsafe and correct it
  • Violations of building codes or governmental regulations pertaining to such matters as constructing or maintaining the premises
  • Failure to make sure that the premises is free of obstructions or objects that create risk of injury
  • Lack of training of staff in the operation and maintenance of the premises
  • Failure to notify customers of unsafe conditions that exist
  • Failure to repair and maintain equipment and appliances, the result of which could reasonably lead to injury
  • If a condition is likely to occur on a regular basis, such as stocking, that can cause a dangerous situation, failure to conduct this at a time or in a way that removes the said danger

It is important to keep in mind that you cannot sue a person or entity on the basis of a potential for injury. An injury accident must have occurred. In other words, as plaintiff you must have suffered some sort of loss as a result of the slip and fall accident.

For Further Information or Assistance with a Slip and Fall Accident

Slip and fall accident claims can involve complex information, and as such it may be in your best interests to work with a Seattle slip and fall attorney if you have been injured. Contact Chris Thayer today.

Why Insurance Companies Are More Willing to Go to Trial

Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2014 by Chris Thayer

An attorney from the Seattle personal injury law firm will explain why insurance companies are becoming increasingly more difficult in dealing with cases.alt text

Your Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Will Explain Why Insurance Companies Are Choosing Litigation Over SettlementsInsurers are choosing to go to court rather than settle for many reasons including:1. There is a negative perception of attorneys. Lawyers are perceived poorly by the public with the media leading the charge against them; and2. Personal injury lawyers are viewed in a particularly negative light. Because personal injury lawyers are often the butt of jokes, they are looked upon badly by the public.

Claims Are Often Negatively PortrayedOne specific instance that has been constantly referenced is the decision against fast food chain McDonald’s because a woman spilled coffee on herself and sued because it was too hot. The facts in the case were not fully provided by the media. The truth regarding the case was far more complex.

The company chose not to settle when the woman and her attorney requested a small fraction of what the final verdict was. McDonald’s had been the subject of hundreds of other claims due to their coffee being too hot. The woman was not simultaneously opening the coffee cup while driving as had been implied. She suffered severe burns. The company had been warned previously that the coffee was too hot, therefore the woman received punitive damages.

In a recent federal case that had shown liability and damages, the plaintiff lost. Upon speaking to a member of the jury, it was found that the juror believed that something needed to be done about the insurance “crisis” in the United States. Regardless of the statement, the case cannot be appealed.

Contact an Experienced Seattle Personal Injury LawyerIf you have questions about how the public perception of personal injury cases can affect a case, an attorney from the Seattle personal injury law firm can help. Call Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008 today.

Factors Affecting Settlement Value

Posted Thursday, March 6, 2014 by Chris Thayer

The importance of obtaining representation from a Seattle personal injury attorney immediately following injury cannot be overstated. Insurance companies are eager to take advantage of unrepresented claimants by offering settlements that are much less than what their claims are actually worth.

Seattle personal injury attorney

How the Settlement Value of a Case Is Evaluated

Posted Friday, February 28, 2014 by Chris Thayer

Clients of a Seattle personal injury attorney often ask how the settlement value of a case is determined.

A Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Will Study Your Entire Case When Deciding on a Fair Settlement Amountalt text

When deciding on a fair settlement amount, your attorney will examine the following:

  1. Was the client placed under evaluation and analysis regarding pain and suffering?
  2. List item
  3. Can the plaintiff’s pain and suffering be corroborated by witnesses?
  4. Do the medical records and testimony from doctors provide documentation as to the plaintiff’s pain and suffering?
  5. Can the pain and suffering be demonstrated by photos, video or film?
  6. What can be done to lessen the pain and suffering?
  7. Have there been changes to the lifestyle of the client to alleviate the pain and suffering?
  8. Did the client need to take a different job or duties at work?
  9. Was it necessary to buy medical devices to help reduce or treat the pain?
  10. Have there been any therapeutic procedures done on the client?
  11. Is the pain from the physical problems as well as the psychological effects?
  12. Can the psychological issues be documented by the medical records?
  13. Do the medical reports and testimony from the doctors and psychiatrists match up with the issues the client is suffering from, and are they related to the incident that caused the injury?
  14. Is the client taking any medication?
  15. Are medical experts available to testify?
  16. Is the client able to engage in normal socializing and outside activities?
  17. Has the client’s view of life been altered?
  18. Is the client’s personality different from what it was before?
  19. Can witnesses provide testimony as to the personality changes?

Contact an Experienced Seattle Personal Injury Attorney

If you have questions about how the settlement value of your case will be determined, a Seattle personal injury lawyer can help. Call Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008 today.

The Insurer’s Philosophy: How to Deal with a Large Insurance Carrier

Posted Monday, February 24, 2014 by Chris Thayer

Any Seattle personal injury lawyer can tell you that the way your case will progress depends on the type of insurance company you are dealing with. Some companies, such as large, conservative national carriers, are no stranger to litigation and taking cases to lawsuit, while other mid-sized carriers are easier to work with and more likely to settle. alt text

If you and your Seattle personal injury attorney are dealing with a particularly conservative insurance carrier, you should try to understand how they operate and think.

Pay Attention to DetailsEvery claim that the insurance company receives will be closely scrutinized with a host of details such as causation and medical bills.• Liability: Can our client’s liability be questioned?• Coverage: Are there any facts that would lead to a coverage defense such as failing to pay a premium or to cooperate?• Does the claimant have any contributory negligence?• Does the claimant have any pre-existing or prior injuries?• Does the claimant have a history of making prior injury claims, including workers’ compensation, auto accidents or other claims involving a Seattle personal injury lawyer that would appear in the insurance claim index?• What is the reputation and credibility of the claimant’s Seattle personal injury attorney?

The insurance company will ask all of these questions in your case to try to determine if it is worth paying out.

It Pays to Be CynicalYou should understand that most large carriers believe it is not unfair to settle cases for cheap amounts because they consider that their duty to the policyholder or potential defendant. They also believe that many claims they see are exaggerated and phony claims looking for a quick payout. They see many claimants who claim the resurgence of pre-existing injuries that have been worsened or aggravated by the recent incident. Additionally, they do not trust personal injury attorneys, as they have seen many such attorneys exaggerate small-to-medium claims well beyond what they are actually worth. As such, they do not immediately trust information given to them by injury attorneys.

If you have more questions about how to deal with the insurance company, contact an experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer. Call Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.