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 Your Personal Injury Claim Will Be Investigated by the Insurer

Posted Thursday, March 27, 2014 by Chris Thayer

Once you file a personal injury claim with the help of a Seattle personal injury lawyer and it has been given to an insurance adjuster to handle, the adjuster will commence an investigation into your claim. The goal of the investigation will be to answer the question of coverage: Who was responsible for the accident, are they properly covered under their insurance policy and might there be reasons to deny coverage?alt text

The exact course of the investigation will depend on the facts of your claim, but the adjuster will likely contact you and your Seattle personal injury attorney. For insurance companies, the carrier will closely examine the case for red flags that could be signs of an exaggerated or fraudulent claim, such as pre-existing injuries, frequent chiropractic treatment and complaints of soft-tissue injuries without matching evidence. The adjuster will also probably check the “claims index” to see if you have a history of filing personal injury claims.

For normal cases, the adjuster will then inquire into the question of property damage and whether it is going to be paid, especially if there was damage to an automobile. The adjuster will contact their insured and ask them for a statement about what happened. As your Seattle personal injury lawyer will know, the insured often shapes their accounts in order to suit themselves and deflect responsibility. The insured will likely be worried about insurance rate hikes, a policy cancellation or other consequences of being found liable for the accident.

The adjuster will then want to obtain a statement from you. It is a good idea to wait until you have retained a Seattle personal injury attorney to give this statement. Your attorney will tell you that he should be present when you give your statement.

The insurance adjuster might choose to investigate the scene of the incident in person and take photo evidence and diagrams. These will be used along with police reports to try to make a determination of liability.

If you have more questions about how the investigation into your case will proceed, talk to an experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer. Call Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.

How Your Lawyer Decides How Much to Ask for in Your Case

Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 by Chris Thayer

A client of a Seattle personal injury accident attorney often asks how the amount of money requested as compensation will be determined.alt text

A Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Will Assess the Medical BillsThe medical bills will be recorded, and the lawyer will try to show that injuries like a broken arm, torn muscle in the knee or an injury that requires surgery deserve compensation that multiplies the medical bills. This can be from between two to five times what the bills cost. It is contingent on how long it takes for the claimant to return to full health. It also depends on the medical documents and if there were symptoms exhibited to the injured body part before the injury.

If there were injuries to the same area of the body before, it will reduce the multiplication amount. If there were no injuries before and it took significant time to heal, the multiplication amount will be higher.

Income Lost Due to the InjuryA claimant who loses income because of the injury will also have that factored in by the attorney. This has to be documented fully so the opposing attorney cannot call it into question. The most effective way this is usually done is to calculate how much money will be lost for a specific amount of time. A poor way to do this is if the claimant is self-employed and has little or no documentation as to how much money he or she lost.

If the amount is logical and is in line with the medical issues, the amount can be multiplied by between two and four times of the lost pay.

Contact an Experienced Seattle Personal Injury LawyerIf you have questions about how your Seattle personal injury accident attorney comes to the conclusion as to how much money will be requested as compensation in your case, call Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008 today.

What You Must Prove to Win Your Slip and Fall Case

Posted Monday, March 17, 2014 by Chris Thayer

If you fell and hurt yourself on another person’s property, you must determine whether you have evidence which proves that you cannot be blamed for your injuries. A Seattle Slip and Fall Attorney can assist you in this endeavor by educating you on the 6 factors that may win your personal injury case.

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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.