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

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.

The Insurer’s Valuation of Your Motorcycle Injury Claim

Posted Friday, February 1, 2013 by Chris Thayer

alt textIt is important to keep in mind from the outset that the claims adjuster with the insurance company handling your case isn’t on your side. His main objective is to settle your motorcycle injury claim for as little as possible. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will fight for your rights and make sure that the adjuster’s valuation of your claim is fair.

Medical Treatment

The two largest parts of most motorcycle injury claims are medical treatment and loss of income. The general rule of thumb for case worth, in fact, is that the value correlates with the cost of medical care. The claims adjuster should accept this aspect of your claim assuming that he has documented evidence, such as copies of your medical bills.

However, should the adjuster believe that your bills are artificially high for the injuries that are claimed, expect his suspicions to be raised. One way to thwart such an issue is to seek your own treating doctor rather than one that your Seattle motorcycle accident attorney recommended. Once your treatment is under way, it is then a good idea to ask your doctor to refer you to a board-certified specialist.

Assuming your injuries were extensive enough to require ongoing medical treatment, your attorney should ask your doctor to prepare an evaluation of your injuries, along with the projected need for future treatment.

Loss of Income

Often, those injured in motorcycle accidents are unable to return to work for a while, if at all. Your Seattle motorcycle accident attorney will ask you to keep a complete and accurate record of all work time lost as a result of your injuries. You should ask for written verifications from both your doctor and employer. Without such documentation the claims adjuster will probably refuse to factor this aspect of your damages into the valuation of your claim.

Future loss of income is even trickier. It is very possible that you will need further surgeries or physical therapy. In order to avoid rejection of this by the adjuster, your Seattle motorcycle injury attorney should ask your doctor for a written medical opinion.

If You Have Been Injured

If you are injured in a motorcycle crash due to the negligence of someone else, it may be in your best interests to hire a Seattle motorcycle accident attorney. Call Chris Thayer to arrange a free consultation today at (206) 340-2008.

How the Value of Your Claim Is Determined

Posted Friday, February 1, 2013 by Chris Thayer

For any personal injury claim the bottom line is case worth. Not only is this a matter of great importance to the injury victim, but it also is the basis upon which a Seattle serious injury attorney will decide how to proceed with the claim.

Responsibility for Documentation

alt textFrom the outset it is important to keep in mind that both you and your Seattle serious injury attorney are responsible for gathering documents to support your claim. These will be necessary in order to have some basis for negotiating a settlement. Keep in mind that the more complete and accurate the documentation of your injuries is, the stronger the case can be made for you to gain compensation for costs and damages.

Medical Costs Affecting Case Worth

Many factors are used to assess serious injury case value. Nearly always the medical bills will account for the largest part of the valuation. It is important to make sure you provide your attorney with copies of the following bills:

• The physician’s fees for treatment.

• Hospital costs.

• Prescription and over-the-counter medication costs.

• Physical therapy.

• Tests.

• Chiropractor bills.

• Cost of medical devices.

Other Factors

Many other factors can contribute to the valuation of your case. You will be expected to provide your Seattle serious injury attorney with documentation for the following:

• Income you lost while recovering from the accident. This includes lost sick time, vacation time used, vacation and sick time you did not accrue, loss of insurance benefits, etc. • Information about witnesses.• A narrative describing how your injuries have affected your ability to engage in normal daily activities.• Evidence of any permanent injuries or scarring.

Your Seattle serious injury attorney will also need to take into account any shared negligence on your part which contributed to the accident, as well as the insurance company involved with the claim.

If You Have Been Injured

If you have suffered a serious injury in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, it may be in your best interests to hire a Seattle serious accident attorney. Call Chris Thayer to arrange a free consultation today at (206) 340-2008.

The Defendant in Your Truck Accident Claim

Posted Friday, February 1, 2013 by Chris Thayer

A truck accident can cause serious injury and leave the victim unable to work while recuperating. If you are injured, your Seattle truck accident attorney will need your assistance in the gathering of certain documents. It may seem unfair, then, that the person who caused your accident will likely have little involvement with your claim.

Immediately After Your Accident

alt textBoth you and the defendant will have a bit of work to do initially after the accident. Your first job, of course, is to seek medical assistance. It is then a good idea to contact a Seattle truck accident attorney. The defendant will contact his/her insurance company and provide them with a detailed explanation of how the accident occurred.

Once the defendant has provided the necessary information to his/her insurer, the handling of your claim will be relegated to the insurance adjuster. This is the individual with whom your attorney will be in contact as a settlement is negotiated. The insurance adjuster probably won’t keep the defendant informed of the progress of negotiations. The defendant will carry on with his/her life, possibly half-forgetting that anything ever happened; you, on the other hand, will have a constant reminder of the truck accident—your injuries—for which you will need to continue with medical treatment.

If Your Case Goes to Litigation

If a settlement cannot be reached between the adjuster and your Seattle truck accident attorney, your case may need to be taken to court. The defendant will need to be involved if this occurs. Not only will he be deposed by your attorney, but he also will probably have to take the stand at trial.

It is important to keep in mind that should a trial become necessary, you and your attorney will not be suing the insurer, but rather the defendant. However, once a verdict is reached in your favor, it will probably be the insurance company that pays the award.

If You Have Been Injured

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

Common Auto Accident Defenses

Posted Thursday, December 13, 2012 by Chris Thayer

alt textOnce you have filed an auto accident injury claim, don’t be surprised if the defendant tries to deny liability. Since the insurance company does not want to pay on a claim unless it has to, any evidence that you or someone else is at least partially to blame for an accident will likely lead to dispute. Your Seattle auto accident attorney knows how to fight for you against such defenses.

Questioning Your Injuries

One of the more common auto accident defenses is that the plaintiff – or injured party – either is exaggerating his injuries or that they existed before the accident. If you do have a pre-existing condition that could be used in such a defense, it is essential that you let your Seattle auto accident attorney know. Moreover, he or she will advise you not to over-state your injuries.

Claiming You Were at Fault

Another common defense is to claim that you were in some way at fault for the accident. The defendant may admit to being partly responsible, but argue that:

  • Your actions contributed to the accident.
  • You could have prevented the accident.
  • You were in fact completely responsible for the accident.

The latter claim is less likely than the others. However, if you stopped suddenly or made a turn without signaling, the defendant may have grounds for suggesting that you share in culpability for the accident. This is termed contributory or comparative negligence, which means either that your actions contributed to the accident or that your negligence needs to be compared to that of the defendant. Should there be some validity to this defense, your Seattle auto accident attorney will need to establish that your liability was less than that of the defendant.

Claiming Someone Else Was at Fault

The defendant may also claim that someone else was at fault. For instance, he may claim that the actions of a third driver caused the collision. Other arguments that could be made are that road conditions were hazardous, and that the responsible government entity should have taken measures to secure the area; or that a defect in the defendant’s automobile led to the accident.

If You Have Been Injured

If you are injured in a car crash due to the negligence of someone else, it may be in your best interests to hire a Seattle auto accident attorney. Call Chris Thayer to arrange a free consultation today at (206) 340-2008.