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 Attorney Explains Investigation of the Claim

Posted Thursday, December 12, 2013 by Chris Thayer

When Does the Investigation Begin?Seattle Injury AttorneyInsurance adjusters, as your Seattle injury lawyer can explain, begin their investigations immediately upon receiving the claim. They will first determine where the responsibility lies, whether or not the persons responsible have adequate insurance coverage, whether or not they are in arrears and whether or not there is any cause for refusal of coverage.

How Is the Investigation Carried Out?Normally, investigations are carried out by the adjuster to whom the claim was assigned. Your Seattle injury attorney can tell you that much of the work is done over the phone, but they also conduct face-to-face interviews when necessary, sometimes without advanced notification. Each participant or witness will be asked to give their information, and the adjuster will record their statements and all discussions with care.

What Is the Adjuster Looking For?Your Seattle injury lawyer can verify that there is a pattern, a precise sequence of steps that comprise the process of investigating a claim. The insurance company is watching for anything unusual that stands out, such as injuries that occurred prior to the event, vehicle accidents involving low speeds and little contact, claims of soft tissue injuries like muscle sprains and any treatments by a chiropractor. They determine the existence of any past claims made on the part of the current claimant by referring to a computer-generated “claim index.”

How Do They Decide the Value of the Injuries Sustained?As a skilled Seattle injury lawyer can attest, depending on the relative size of the case, there is a medical audit performed. This assessment is done by an independent authority. This person will, after examining this injury, place a value on the injury that is in the same range as others of a similar nature. This evaluation does not take into account the effect the injury may have on the claimant’s livelihood. A torn ligament will be evaluated in exactly the same manner as any other whether the patient is an administrative worker who sits at a desk or a ballet dancer.

How Does the Investigation Proceed?Normally, progress is rapid in the early stages. Your Seattle injury lawyer can tell you that in automobile cases damage to property will be evaluated first followed by a determination made as to whether or not it will be paid. The person whose policy is involved is generally the first to be interviewed, and they often will give statements that they feel will be beneficial to themselves. As the effect of an accident on their premiums or the cancellation of their policy is a matter of extreme concern, they may bias their reports to be as helpful to their own interests as possible.

What About My Statement?Your statement is actually next on the list. Your Seattle injury lawyer will recommend that you speak with your counsel prior to talking to the adjuster. Further, your personal injury lawyer should be informed should an interview be required of you so that you can have counsel with you at that meeting.

What About the Police?The adjuster will speak with the police officers involved, and their reports will be examined. These reports can help to determine which party is liable but cannot be used as evidence in court. This usually happens fairly quickly (except in a case of great significance) as does the adjuster’s examination of the scene of the incident. The adjuster may take pictures or make sketches of the area that might help recreate exactly what happened.

What Happens After That?The adjuster will attempt to locate anyone that might have seen the incident and ask them to describe what they saw with particular interest in witnesses whose input can be of benefit to the defendant. The damage to the vehicle will be examined by an appraiser who will provide an approximate cost of repair. This generally occurs before very much time has passed—in fact, it usually happens in a matter of days.

Be Sure You Know What to ExpectIf you have been involved in an accident, your Seattle injury lawyer is there to support you. Contact Chris Thayer by calling (206) 340-2008 today.

3 Stages of a Personal Injury Case

Posted Thursday, December 12, 2013 by Chris Thayer

The legal system was set up so that every person has a way to fight injustices and ensure his or her rights are defended. Those who have suffered from an injury will often fare better with the assistance of a Seattle injury lawyer. Your counsel can walk you through these three main stages of a personal injury case.

Seattle Injury lawyer

Navigating Personal Injury Cases During a Tough Economy

Posted Thursday, December 5, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Personal Injury Attorney in SeattleEconomic troubles affect not only individuals and families but government establishments, such as the judicial system, as well. A personal injury attorney in Seattle will be familiar with the impacts and can work with claimants to form the best strategies to overcome judiciary shortcomings.

Insurance Companies May Decline NegotiationsHealth insurance companies can be responsible for paying for an injured claimant’s medical bills, but they might also receive compensation for their payments after the claimant collects a payout.

A personal injury lawyer in Seattle can sometimes negotiate with a health insurance company to reduce a claimant’s liens. However, this is usually not the case in a struggling economy. In unfavorable economic times, health insurance companies may decline to accommodate a client’s personal injury attorney in Seattle.

A Personal Injury Attorney in Seattle Could Adjust a Client’s Settlement Expectations Sluggish economies can hit some individuals hard. Add a personal injury on top of already strained finances and it is unsurprising that many personal injury claimants are worried about debt. Thus, they might hope for a generous personal injury settlement to resolve their financial troubles.

Expecting a large settlement is unrealistic for many reasons, including the following.Plaintiffs and their personal injury attorney in Seattle possess less leverage to force a settlement in a struggling economy.Insurance adjusters know that false and inflated cases become more frequent when the economy is poor and may therefore take a more rigid stance on settling.

A personal injury lawyer in Seattle can also steer plaintiffs away from rushing to accept meager settlements.

Claimants Should Expect Trials and Costs to Be AffectedIn tough financial times, the judiciary severely limits its functions. A personal injury attorney in Seattle could tell his or her clients that they should expect two things from the judicial system during financial cutbacks:Receiving a trial date will take much longer.A case will most likely cost more.

Don’t Let a Rough Economy Stop Your CaseChris Thayer is a skilled personal injury attorney in Seattle who knows how to navigate the judicial system during a poor economy. Contact him at (206) 340-2008 to discuss the details of your case.

Hot Button Jury Issues in Auto Accident Cases

Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 by Chris Thayer

A Seattle injury lawyer will often help select a jury if their client’s case goes to trial. It’s their responsibility to see that potential jurors are not biased against the client. In order to do this, specific questions are put to the would-be jurors during jury selection.

Seattle Injury Lawyer

Assessing a Potential Case

Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle Injury AttorneyBeing injured in an accident is, unfortunately, not in itself enough to warrant an injury claim. When you meet with you Seattle injury attorney he will need to determine whether your claim has a likelihood of succeeding. He will evaluate a number of elements, which are described below.

The Instigator and WitnessesIf the claimant is completely at fault for instigating the accident that led to his or her injuries, a Seattle injury attorney may not be able to make a strong personal injury case.

In order to determine which party is liable for the accident—the plaintiff or defendant—a Seattle injury lawyer could ask a potential client clarifying questions such as:

  1. Were you abiding by the law before and during the incident?
  2. Were you under the influence of any drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident?

Assuming that a claimant is not completely at fault for causing his or her incident, a Seattle injury attorney could be more willing to undertake the case if the claimant can provide evidentiary support like witness statements and photographs.

Time Elapsed Since the IncidentOne of the first factors a Seattle injury lawyer may want to discuss is the amount of time elapsed since the accident occurred. If the incident took place several months ago, an attorney could be hesitant to accept the plaintiff’s case for many reasons.

  1. It may be difficult to collect evidence.
  2. The statute of limitations could limit the case’s lifetime.
  3. It could be difficult for a Seattle injury attorney to argue that the plaintiff’s injuries warrant reparations if the claimant did not report them quickly.

The Nature of the Potential Client’s InjuriesClaimants must be able to describe their injuries and degree of recovery. If a Seattle injury attorney believes that a potential client’s physical condition does not warrant the time and effort necessary to invest in a personal injury case, he or she could decline representation.

Receive a Consultation of Your CaseIf you’re unsure whether you should pursue a personal injury case, the best course of action is to consult a reputable Seattle injury attorney. Contact Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008 to discuss your potential case.