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

Sports Injuries in Children

Posted Friday, March 22, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextSpringtime is here! In addition to nice weather, a mood lift from the dark and cold days of winter, and the excitement of summer happening soon, many children’s sports teams are starting their spring seasons. Playing a sport can be the highlight of a young person’s life. Organized sports teach teamwork, dedication, hard work, communication skills, physical fitness, and can boost a child’s self-confidence. There are numerous benefits to playing sports, but participating in a sport does not come without risks. Youth sports can result in serious injuries that can change a child’s life.

Parents want to keep their children safe and will stop at nothing to do so. However, accidents and injuries still occur. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential injuries your child may incur when playing organized sports.

  • Dislocated Joints: One of the main injuries associated with sports is dislocating a joint. This happens when there is some movement or contact that moves a bone out of the joint in which it normally rests. Signs of dislocation include the area being swollen, pain, and an noticeably odd appearance at the joint.
  • ACL Tears: An ACL tear is an injury to the connective tissue that surrounds the knee. This is often talked about in college or professional sports as being a career-ending injury. This is because it is difficult to recover from and requires extensive therapy over a long period of time. This type of injury occurs when an individual suddenly stops, changes direction quickly, lands wrong after jumping into the air, or even just slows down while running.
  • Fractures/Bone Breaks: A fracture can occur in any sport, not just in contact sports. Tripping and falling down, colliding with another player, or otherwise coming into contact with hard surfaces can result in a fracture or break. Any injury to the bone needs to be addressed immediately to make sure it heals properly.
  • Concussions: One of the most dangerous injuries a child can endure in sports is a concussion. A concussion is a “minor” traumatic brain injury. If left untreated, or if it is not diagnosed or found, it can result in serious consequences.

It is not unreasonable to think that your child might get hurt while playing sports. In many instances, when signing up your child for a sports team, there is a degree of assuming the risk of injury. Some injuries might come with the territory of playing a sport, but not every injury falls under assumption of risk. Regardless of the risk associated with the sport, if an injury is caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another, you might be entitled to compensation for the injury. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you get the compensation needed to recover from an injury. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of John Fornander)

Distracted Driving in Washington State

Posted Friday, March 15, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextDistracted driving is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents throughout the entire country. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, fatalities resulting from distracted driving accidents are on the rise. Distracted driving is a broad term and really refers to anything that takes your mind off of the task at hand of driving safely and reaching a destination without incident. Distracted driving presents many dangers, and some even say that distracted driving can be more dangerous than drunk driving. What exactly constitutes distracted driving? Is it texting, fiddling with the radio, or drinking a cup of coffee? Washington state has expanded upon its definition of distracted driving.

Since the number of accidents and fatalities resulting from distracted driving has been steadily increasing, the state of Washington has taken action by expanding upon what is considered distracted driving. One of the leading causes of distracted driving is using an electronic device while operating an automobile. Washington now has a law prohibiting Electronics DUI, which specifically prohibits people from holding any electronic device in their hand while driving. This prohibition also extends to sitting at a stoplight or being stopped in traffic. If you are operating the vehicle, your hands cannot be holding or touching an electronic device. If law enforcement sees you holding an electronic device, they will be able to pull you over with that being the primary offense. No longer is holding an electronic device a secondary offense that must be combined with another wrongful action to warrant pulling someone over. The exceptions to holding an electronic device are that you are permitted to use a phone to call emergency services. Aso, if a vehicle is pulled over, stopped elsewhere than the road, or otherwise out of the way of traffic, the driver is permitted to use an electronic device. However, law enforcement warns against stopping on the side of a highway to use an electronic device for additional safety reasons.

Using an electronic device is not the only means of distraction on the road. The law prohibits other forms of distraction, such as eating, reading, smoking, and other actions that can distract a driver from the task at hand. However, these types of distractions are secondary offenses. This means that law enforcement would need the driver to be committing some other driving offense to be stopped for distracted driving. Nevertheless, it is a great idea to minimize distractions. Distracted driving can cause serious injuries and death.

If you have been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law are here to help you. We know that recovering from accidents can be difficult and costly. If your injury has been caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another, you might be entitled to compensation through a personal injury suit. You should not be left to pick up the pieces without any help after an injury. Let us help you collect the funds needed to recover and return you to your non-injured state. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez)

The Application of Foreseeable Harm to Premises Liability

Posted Friday, March 8, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextNo one steps onto the property of another with the expectation that they will be injured. This is not just a personal expectation, but a reasonable expectation that is recognized by Washington state law. Property owners must maintain their property and keep it relatively safe for visitors. If a property owner fails to maintain his or her property and a visitor is injured, the property owner could be held liable for damages to the injured individual. What types of harm does a property owner need to prevent? Are there limits to this duty of care? Or are property owners responsible for anything that happens on their property, no matter the circumstances?

In Washington, property owners are required to protect against foreseeable harms. A foreseeable harm is one that is reasonably predictable. Property owners cannot be held liable for injuries on their property that are not reasonably known or predictable. When there is a foreseeable harm, it is up to the property owner to warn visitors to the property of this potential danger. The danger does not have to be actually known to the property owner. Instead, if there is a danger that the owner should have known about, the owner can be found liable for damages to a visitor.

*Types of Foreseeable Risks*There are two main types of foreseeable risks about which property owners may have to warn visitors to their property:

  • Physical Risk: This refers to dangers on the property that can have a physical impact on an individual.
  • Situational Risk: This refers to the entirety of a situation that might place an individual at the risk of injury.

An individual’s ability to recover damages from the defendant is dependent on whether the above mentioned foreseeable risks are serious enough that there is a threat of injury. If there is a serious risk of injury to visitors of property, the property owner must warn the visitors of property.

*Comparative Fault*Washington law states that an injured party can be partly responsible for their injuries. The injured party, in seeking damages for the injuries sustained on the defendant’s property, can have his or her award diminished by the percentage he or she is found to be responsible for injuries incurred. In some states, if an injured party is even partly responsible for his or her own injuries, the victim can be barred from receiving any type of damage award. If you are speaking with an insurance company or the other party and they mention fault, it is best to stop the conversation right then and seek help from a personal injury attorney.

If you have been injured on the property of another, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to explore the damages to which you might be entitled. We know that coping with sudden injuries can be difficult. That is why we make every effort to present the strongest case under the circumstances to help you pursue the damages you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Ariel Aguero)

Misconceptions Surrounding Seattle Personal Injury Cases

Posted Friday, March 1, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextWhen you have been injured or hurt by the negligence or wrongful act of another, you might be considering filing a personal injury suit to receive compensation for the damages caused by your injuries. In thinking about the lawsuit, you might be encumbered with any number of misconceptions that surround a personal injury suit. The following are common misconceptions people have when thinking about personal injury.

*“People will think I am being disingenuous”* Unfortunately, people tend to think the worst of others and personal injury suits are no different. Some think that anyone pursuing a personal injury suit is faking their injury and only after the money. This is false. Yes, some people lie, but that should not stop you from seeking the damages you are entitled to after an injury. Personal injury suits are there to bring an injured person back to the position they were in before the injury.

*“I do not need a lawsuit, insurance will cover my expenses.”* Most people do not think that there is any need for a lawsuit if they have insurance. They think that their insurance company, or the responsible party’s, insurance company will be happy to hand out the money to cover expenses. Insurance companies are interested in making the most profits they can. As such, insurance companies try to reduce the payouts to injured individuals to stay profitable. A personal injury suit can provide you with the compensation for damages your insurance company never would.

*“I can not afford an attorney”* There is a misconception that representation in personal injury cases is not affordable. On the contrary, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that instead of charging upfront costs or providing bills as the case progresses, the attorney will instead collect a portion of the settlement or judgment in the case to cover the fees that have been accruing during the case.

*“There is no rush, I am going to take my time and think about the suit.”* Personal injury suits are subject to a statute of limitations. In the state of Washington, individuals only have three years to file a suit for personal injury. This might seem like a lot of time and a reason to wait before starting the process, but filing a personal injury case can take a while. Before you know it, three years can pass and you no longer have the option of filing a personal injury case.

If you have been injured through the negligence or wrongful act of another, contact the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group. We know that recovering from an injury can be difficult. As such, we strive to make the personal injury lawsuit as stress-free as possible. The filing of a case takes copious amounts to research and work. Therefore, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case. Contact us today for a consultation.

Tips for Staying Safe on Vacation

Posted Friday, February 22, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextWe are reaching that time of year when winter weather is still looming, but we hold the hope of a spring and summer making an appearance soon. While waiting for the nicer weather to arrive, many families take this time to plan or take a vacation. While on vacation, the idea is to relax and not be encumbered with the stressors of everyday life. However, even trips to paradise can result in accidents and injury. In order to keep yourself and your family safe on a vacation, there are some important steps you can take.

*Before Vacation* Most of the planning for emergency situations occurs before the trip even starts. If you can do these few things before setting off on your journey, you will be ready for emergencies as they arise:

  • Prepare an Emergency Medical Kit: Depending on the destination of your vacation, emergency supplies might not always be available. As such, it is important to have these supplies on hand for the duration of the trip. This emergency medical kit can include band aids, ointment, pain reliever, allergy medicine, and any prescription medications that a family member takes. The kit should be tailored to the specific needs of your family.
  • Have Records With You: Take copies of your immunization records, your family’s immunization records, the dosage information for prescription medications, and any documentation of recent surgery or treatment you might have undergone.Purchase travel insurance: Not every place will have the same standard of medical insurance.. Therefore, planning ahead with travel insurance can give you the piece of mind of quality medical care, regardless of the destination.
  • Research: Make sure you know where the nearest hospitals or urgent care facility is to your destination. Research the available means of transportation to receive medical care and whether your primary physician might be able to answer a phone call if you suffer an injury.

*During Vacation* During a vacation you should:

  • Inspect the Accommodations: Upon arriving to your travel accommodations, be sure to check the rooms for any dangers. If small children are traveling with you, it can be a good idea to childproof the area. Additionally, check to be sure that the windows and doors work properly and contact the staff immediately if something seems amiss.
  • Be Alert: Even if you are relaxing on the beach somewhere, an injury can happen. Therefore, while you still can enjoy vacation, do not let your guard down and be on the lookout for any emergencies or sudden injuries that need immediate attention. Staying alert can mean quicker reaction times to injuries and getting necessary help in a timely fashion.

Being prepared for emergencies or injuries on vacation does not negate the fact that accidents happen. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you in the aftermath of an injury. If you have been injured on vacation because of the negligence or wrongful act of another, contact us today to find out the options for recovery available to you.

(image courtesy of Simon Migaj)