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

Proceeding with Litigation if the Insurance Company Refuses to Settle

Posted Monday, April 1, 2013 by Chris Thayer

alt textWhen the insurance company refuses to meet your preferred settlement range, your Seattle motorcycle accident attorney may decide it is time to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Why Won’t the Insurance Company Settle My Case?It is sometimes difficult to surmise why insurance companies do what they do, but usually there are several factors that contribute to their unwillingness to settle a personal injury claim. For example, the insurance company might simply think you have asked for more money than your claim is worth. They may also refuse to settle because they think that some other party should be held responsible for the injuries.

Alternatively, it may just be company policy not to settle. (The insurance company knows that some claimants will go away to avoid the hassle of filing a lawsuit.) The insurance company may also assume that you and your Seattle motorcycle accident attorney will reduce your value of the claim if you have to sweat it out, especially if they do not believe that you were injured, or that you were injured as badly as you claim.

Who are the Defendants in the Lawsuit?Typically, the suit is not brought against the insurance company that is refusing to settle the case. Instead, the case is filed against the person, persons, or company that caused the injuries you sustained. However, if the case involves an uninsured or underinsured motorist, the insurance company will be part of the suit.

Tactics for Filing the LawsuitThere are many different tactics that your Seattle motorcycle attorney may employ when deciding when to actually file the case. In some cases, where your demand and the insurance company’s settlement offer are not too far off, your attorney may decide to wait a certain amount of time prior to filing the lawsuit.

It is possible that the insurance company will reevaluate its stance and increase its valu¬ation of your claim. However, if the insurance company’s settlement offer is not even in the ballpark of your demand, then litigation will typically need to be initiated.

A skilled Seattle motorcycle accident attorney will know when it is time to halt settlement negotiations and proceed with a lawsuit. If you have further questions about a personal injury case, call attorney Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.

Should I Give the Adjuster a Statement?

Posted Monday, April 1, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle, Washington Personal Injury AttorneysClaims adjusters try all sorts of tactics to reduce the value and ultimate settlement amount of a personal injury claim. One of the more common techniques Seattle, Washington personal injury attorneys witness adjustors using to low-ball personal injury claims is asking for the claimant to give a statement.

This may seem like an innocent request. But keep in mind that the insurer would ultimately prefer to pay you nothing for your injury. Every word and statement you offer to the adjuster will be used against you during settlement talks and at trial.

Paraphrasing Your Statement

Some adjusters take your statement in person and ask you to sign a document summarizing what you said. Adjusters may follow certain templates based on the type of claim you are making. The questions you are asked in a dog bite claim, for instance, will be different from those you are asked in a car accident claim.

Even though the adjuster may be working off of a list of questions, you will likely talk faster than he or she can write. The document you are asked to sign most likely will not be your exact words, but a paraphrase of what you said.When asked to sign this document, you may think that it is “close enough” to what you actually said, but Seattle, Washington personal injury attorneys urge their clients to make sure their statement says exactly what was said. Small changes or omissions can become big problems later in settlement negotiations or at trial.

Phone Interviews

Because face-to-face meetings are more expensive and time-consuming for the insurance company, an adjuster may try to take your statement over the phone. Even if your statement is recorded, the adjuster assigned to your case will probably work from his or her notes on your statement. Insurers will rarely pay to have phone statements professionally transcribed, especially in routine, low-value claims.

An Attorney Can Help

Too often, by the time claimants contact Seattle, Washington personal injury attorneys, they have already spoken to the insurance company and made possibly harmful statements. Before you provide the adjuster a statement about your personal injury claim, call attorney Chris Thayer at (206) 805-1494.

Necessary Evidence to Prove Brain Injury

Posted Monday, April 1, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle traumatic brain injury attorneyBrain injuries can have a significant impact on the injured victim’s life, as well as the lives of his loved ones. These types of injuries are devastating because they often lead to emotional, physical and financial hardships. If you or a loved one has suffered brain injuries from an accident that was caused by another person, you should hire a Seattle traumatic brain injury attorney to get just compensation.

Brain injuries are generally categorized as mild or severe. The evidence needed to prove each type of brain injury is different, but what all cases have in common is the complexity and expensive nature of the litigation and the need to prove the elements of the case.

Proving a Severe Brain Injury ClaimIt is generally easier for a Seattle traumatic brain injury attorney to prove a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) case than a mild TBI case. The main reason is that individuals suffering from a severe TBI will generally have more readily identifiable symptoms. They will also display readily apparent physical and mental disabilities that can be easily proven in a court of law.

Additionally, the Seattle traumatic brain injury attorney can use MRI and CAT scans which demonstrate the specific area of the brain damage to prove the case. In other words, the patient’s medical records alone will be a clear indication of the severity of the injuries suffered if these tests were conducted.

The defense typically has a very hard time disputing a severe TBI claim.

Proving a Mild Brain Injury ClaimMild TBI cases, on the other hand, are harder to prove in court because the symptoms and physical and mental disability may not be readily apparent. In fact, patients suffering from a mild TBI may look, act and sound quite normal. Additionally, their CAT scans and MRIs may not show significant damage. As such, it is much easier for the defense to dispute a mild TBI case.

In order to prove a mild TBI case, a Seattle traumatic brain injury attorney must look at the victim’s medical records immediately following the injury, psychological records, marital counseling records, employment records and any other documents that show a change in behavior and activity since the accident.

It may also be necessary to retain the expert opinion of a reputable neuropsychologist to prove the symptoms and show the injuries.

We Can HelpRegardless of whether you suffered a mild or severe TBI, you may be entitled to just compensation. Hire a Seattle traumatic brain injury attorney who is both experienced and aggressive.

To schedule a complimentary consultation, call Seattle traumatic brain injury attorney Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.

Meeting with Your Attorney for the First Time

Posted Thursday, February 28, 2013 by Chris Thayer

Seattle motorcycle accident attorney When you meet with your Seattle motorcycle accident attorney for the first time, he will ask you to explain the specific details of your case. He will also discuss with you some things you need to do to help your case.

Your Most Important Job

Your Seattle motorcycle accident attorney will likely explain that your primary job is to do all you can to heal. While much of why this is important should be self-evident, it is also important because the insurance company will use against you any evidence that you are not keeping appointments with your treating doctor or in any other way thwarting the progress of recovery.

Specific Tasks You Will Be Asked to Do

During the first meeting your Seattle motorcycle accident attorney will ask you to do a number of things to assist him in developing your case. Among these are:

• Not Contacting the Insurance Company: If the insurance company calls you, explain to them that you are now being legally represented. Try to get the name of the adjuster and give it to your attorney.

• Staying Home from Work: Your attorney will have you discuss with your doctor whether it is necessary for you to remain out of work for a time. • Your Motorcycle: You will be asked to take photographs of the damage to your motorcycle and get an estimate of repairs.

• The Police Report: Make sure to get a copy of this to your attorney.

• Witnesses: Your attorney will ask you to provide the names of witnesses, along with their addresses and phone numbers. Avoid discussing your case with any of them, however—even if they are close friends or co-workers.

• Documentation: A very important job of yours will be to provide your Seattle motorcycle accident attorney with all documents pertinent to your case. This includes ongoing medical bills, instructions from your treating doctor, prescription medications, etc.

Make sure that when you are scheduled to meet with your attorney you do so and are not late. The more you assist with your case, the better your chances will be of achieving a fair settlement.

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 interest to hire a Seattle motorcycle accident attorney. Call Chris Thayer to arrange a free consultation today at (206) 340-2008.

Should I Contact the Person Who Caused My Injury?

Posted Thursday, February 28, 2013 by Chris Thayer

alt textAfter your accident, you will spend time waiting for your insurance company and the other person’s insurance company to work on your case. You will probably not receive a lot of communication about this, so you may wonder what is going on with your case. It may be tempting to reach out and contact the person who caused your injury (also known as a “tortfeasor”) for more information or to ask questions. But your Seattle auto accident attorney will advise you against doing this.

What Happens to the Responsible Party?

After your accident, the other party will be contacted by his or her insurance company, and will give a recorded statement and report about what happened. The insurance company will use this statement, as well as statements from other involved witnesses, to conduct an investigation. During the investigation, there will be little to no contact between the insurer and their insured (the tortfeasor). In other words, neither you nor the tortfeasor will be kept in the loop about the day-to-day progress of your case; it is largely handled by the insurance companies, although your Seattle auto accident attorney might try to send them requests for information. While it may be frustrating to consider, the person who caused your injury is probably going about his or her normal life, hoping that the insurance company decides to settle the case without any more involvement from him or her.

What Happens if the Case Does Not Settle?

However, your case might not settle after all. Sometimes, the tortfeasor’s insurance company insists that you or someone else was mostly at fault, and that their client was not liable for what happened. If this happens, you and your Seattle auto accident attorney will file a lawsuit against the insurance company, who will retain counsel to defend and represent their insured, the tortfeasor. The tortfeasor will be required to take part in the litigation proceedings and sit for depositions, give further testimony, etc. The lawsuit will name the tortfeasor as the defendant, although the defendant’s insurance company will be the one to pay out a settlement or verdict if awarded.

We Can Help

Dealing with the fallout from an auto accident is a frustrating and aggravating process. Talk to an experienced Seattle auto accident attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Chris Thayer at (206) 340-2008.