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

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.