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

More Factors to Consider When Evaluating Your Personal Injury Case

Posted Thursday, January 9, 2014 by Chris Thayer

Seattle Personal Injury LawyerHow much your personal injury case is worth depends on a number of factors, as your Seattle personal injury lawyer will tell you. Some, like liability and whether you had any comparative negligence, are extremely important and will be the first things your Seattle personal injury lawyer will ask about when deciding to take your case. However, there are some factors that are less obvious but which can still significantly affect the value of your case. Here are some of them:

Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium, as your Seattle personal injury attorney will explain, refers to the damage done to your relationship with your significant other or your family. This may be something that has impacted you very strongly or not at all, depending on the specifics of your case. If your spouse’s life was significantly impacted by your accident, it may be worth it for your Seattle personal injury lawyer to claim loss of consortium in your case.

• Has your spouse had to take up extra household duties or family matters because of your accident?• Has your relationship with your spouse suffered? This can be a difficult question to talk about, but your Seattle personal injury lawyer will want to know how much your life has been affected.• Has your spouse had to become a caretaker for you?

These are questions that your Seattle personal injury attorney might ask you. If you answered yes to any of them, loss of consortium might be a factor in your case.

The Insurance Company

Your Seattle personal injury lawyer has dealt with enough insurance companies to know they are not all equal. Some are far more conservative than others, and some are far more likely to go to court rather than settle. If they have to spend $10,000 to defend a case in court, they will spend it rather than pay you and your Seattle personal injury lawyer the same amount in a settlement.

It is important to understand the types of carriers you and your Seattle personal injury attorney are working with. Some carriers consider it a cost of doing business to lose in court verdicts when they could have settled for less.

Don’t go up against the insurance company alone. Know who you are dealing with. Call Seattle personal injury lawyer Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.

Avoid Adjuster Tactics With the Help of Your Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer

Posted Thursday, January 2, 2014 by Chris Thayer

Seattle Personal Injury LawyerDon’t be shocked, but the sole purpose of a claims adjuster is to deny your claim. In the realm of personal injury lawsuits, this is especially relevant. It’s also why you need an experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer filing the claim on your behalf. A good attorney who specializes in this field will know all the tricks pulled by an adjuster. Find the right Seattle personal injury attorney, and they’ll stop those tactics before they get started. Take a look at these common adjuster tricks to slow down the filing process.

Daring You to File As you file your claim, your Seattle personal injury lawyer will begin discussions with the adjuster. The initial response of the adjuster is to declare your claims are baseless. He’ll then challenge your Seattle personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit. On many levels they want that to happen because they no longer have to deal with your Seattle personal injury lawyer directly. Instead, the newly named defendants in the case will hire their own team of lawyers. The adjuster can move on to deny someone else.

Undervaluing the ClaimThe adjuster might tell your Seattle personal injury attorney that they just want this whole thing to go away, and the only way that can happen is to accept a low offer.

A strong Seattle personal injury lawyer will counter that offer for a more realistic number, beginning the negotiations process.

Waiting Out The adjuster is in no rush to settle a claim. They’ve got all the time in the world. Your Seattle personal injury lawyer understands how important settling this matter is to you and your family. They’re not going to put up with an obvious stalling tactic like extended intervals between payouts. Your lawyer understands that an insurance company makes their money by investing the cash they have on hand. That’s why they don’t want to part with the cash. However, that should have no bearing on a legitimate personal injury claim.

Let Your Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Cut Through the Red Tape Filing a personal injury claim will mean a mountain of forms and paperwork to process. Your Seattle personal injury lawyer can help you cut through that red tape and get to the end quickly. Attorney Chris Thayer and the knowledge and experience to handle these type of matters. You can reach him at (206) 340-2008 to talk about your case.

A Seattle Slip and Fall Lawyer Discusses Medical Treatment Records

Posted Tuesday, December 24, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle Slip and Fall AttorneyWhen submitting medical bills, the supporting medical reports should accompany them. Your Seattle slip and fall attorney will need these records for submission to the insurance adjuster.

Importance of Medical ReportsUnless the appropriate reports are submitted with medical bills, it often happens that an adjuster will not consider the claim valid. Medical reports explain the charges shown on the invoices by specifying what treatments were given and when, what the physician diagnosed and the prognosis. If your Seattle slip and fall lawyer does not include these when he/she submits bills to an insurance adjuster, the adjuster may lack confidence in the charges shown as there is nothing to back them up. Thus, it is possible that those charges may be ignored or discounted.

Documentation Is a MustInsurance adjusters tend to regard claims with a certain amount of suspicion. They look for possibilities that the charges may be poorly founded, exaggerated or dubious. This has nothing to do with trust, nor does it reflect on your integrity or that of your Seattle slip and fall attorney. The adjuster is simply doing due diligence. Any settlement demand submitted that does not include documentation that validates the charges shown is likely to be viewed as questionable.

The Breakdown of ExpensesSince adjusters must reconcile a breakdown of expenses, as it may appear on a cover letter or in a settlement notebook binder provided by your Seattle slip and fall attorney, copies of bills referenced must also be included in the package. The adjuster is unlikely to have much confidence in a bill that is referenced but not physically documented.

The “Form” ReportWhen medical reports look like forms created and printed from a word processor, they do not inspire any belief in their validity. Adjusters who work with certain physicians and health care facilities routinely become familiar with the reports that are normally submitted. They are able to assemble a body of knowledge on these physicians and/or facilities and how they practice medicine. Your Seattle slip and fall attorney is well aware that when medical reports become identical with the only significant difference being the name of the patient, the claim becomes suspect.

Documentation of Lost WagesIf it happened that injuries sustained in a fall rendered you unable to work for a sustained period of time, your Seattle slip and fall attorney will require documentation from your employer specifying the time you were absent and any wages that you lost. This must be accurately reflected in the paperwork submitted with your settlement demand if the adjuster is to take it seriously without questioning the amount.

Be Sure Your Claim Is Well PresentedYou can avoid the pitfalls shown above with the guidance and assistance of an experienced, dedicated Seattle slip and fall attorney. Contact Chris Thayer by calling (206) 340-2008 today.

A Seattle Injury Lawyer Explains How to Determine a Dependent in a Wrongful Death Claim

Posted Tuesday, December 24, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle Injury LawyerIf you have a wrongful death claim for your spouse or another, a Seattle injury attorney can help determine who may be entitled to survivor’s benefits. In most cases, those persons deemed dependents of the deceased, have a benefit claim.

Five Factor TestIn determining whether a claimant qualifies as a dependent of the deceased, your Seattle injury attorney will explain how adjusters look at these factors.Was the claimant completely or partially dependent on the deceased?How long would the claimant have been dependent on the deceased if he/she had not died?How close was the claimant to the deceased?What expenses are involved in the claimant’s care (food, clothing, education, etc.)?What was the status of the claimant?

Your Seattle injury lawyer can discuss what documents or evidence may be necessary to support your responses to these questions.

Determining StatusYour Seattle injury attorney will analyze a claimant’s status to the decedent. In particular, adjusters consider children, spouses and parents.

ChildrenIn general, your Seattle injury lawyer will explain that the greater the dependency, the higher the potential claim value. Older children would likely need less financial support than younger children.

SpousesAdjusters should look at what financial amount would keep the surviving spouse in the lifestyle he/she is accustomed. Love and companionship loss may also be compensated.

ParentsParent dependents are often the most difficult to prove for your Seattle injury attorney. Proof of financial support from the decedent is necessary. Even if not financially supported by the decedent, a Seattle injury attorney can make a claim for a parent’s emotional loss of their child. The closer the relationship (frequent visitor), the higher the potential claim value.

When dealing with a wrongful death claim, put an experienced Seattle injury attorney to work for you. Contact Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.

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.