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

Are Small Cars Safe?

Posted Friday, March 27, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextIf you are considering a new car, you may be wondering which type of car will keep you the most safe on the roadways. While this question will likely depend on the make and model of the small car, there are some barometers by which you may make the decision whether or not your small car is considered to have appropriate technology and features to keep you and your family safe.

*Large vs. Small Cars*While small cars still do not have as much physical power and space as larger cars, newer small cars are definitely safer than older smaller cars. However, physics almost always wins out, and larger vehicles have a tendency to not only weigh more, but also have longer hoods and larger crash zone areas, which all provide safety advantages to the passengers in these larger cars. A research study done in 2015 showed that when comparisons were made between SUVs and small cars, there were 13 deaths per million versus 64 deaths per million, making the larger vehicles safer.

*Newer Smaller Cars versus Older Larger Cars *While larger cars would seem to always be safer than small cars, research has shown that is not always the case. Technology has grown exponentially over the last decade, specifically in terms of safety features in cars. Therefore, while in previous years, a large “tank” like car would be safer, today smaller cars offer side airbags, automatic emergency braking, accident aversion features, and electronic stability controls. Some of these features have actually been mandatory in all cars past 2012, and with these additional safety features, there is a greater chance of prevention of catastrophic injuries or death. In fact, many newer small cars receive government crash-test scores from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that are exemplary.

*Are Smaller Cars Safe? *Yes, smaller cars are safe, especially the newer ones with enhanced safety technology. However, no matter what car you are in, accidents may still happen. Make sure that if you are operating any kind of motor vehicle, that you always follow the rules of the road and drive in a safe way. Technology and safety features can only help to a point, and it is always better to never be involved in an accident in the first place.

*Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney *Unfortunately, car accidents happen to both large and small cars. If you were involved in any kind of a car accident that involved the negligence of another driver, contact an experienced car accident attorney at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Amnesia After a Car Accident

Posted Friday, March 20, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextOne of the most common, and most devastating injuries suffered as a result of a serious car accident is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that automobile accidents are actually the number one reason that victims of TBIs require hospitalization or die from their TBI-related injuries. One typical symptom of TBI is memory loss, also known as amnesia. If you suffer from any kind of amnesia following a car accident, you should seek an immediate medical evaluation and treatment to determine if you have a TBI.

*TBI and Amnesia*TBIs are serious and can result in permanent damage or even death. There are several different types of injuries that may occur to the brain following a traumatic impact. One of the major symptoms of TBI is the inability to remember certain things or anything at all. These symptoms may occur immediately following the car accident, or they may take hours or days to develop. If you notice that you are having difficulty remembering things after a car accident, or even difficulty processing information along with any other cognitive dysfunction, you should seek the advice of a medical professional as soon as possible.

*Types of Amnesia*There are different types of amnesia that may develop following a serious car accident. Some of these may include the following.

  • Anterograde amnesia. If you were in a car accident and experienced amnesia, it is likely this most common type. Most victims suffering from this type of amnesia are unable to create or form memories following the car accident for a certain period of time.
  • Post-traumatic amnesia. This is a temporary type of amnesia that occurs when a victim is confused after a car accident, and may even be in a state of shock. This memory loss is not total or complete, but rather only occurs for a short period of time.
  • Retrograde amnesia. If someone loses their memory not only during and after the car accident, but also can not remember things from before the car accident, they may have this type of amnesia.

*Look For Symptoms of Amnesia*Again, if you are suffering from any medical conditions following a car accident you should seek immediate medical treatment. If you or a loved one begins to suffer from any of these types of symptoms following a car accident, you should have a medical professional evaluate you to determine if you have a TBI.

  • Clouded or foggy thinking
  • Inability to remember events from either before or after the car accident
  • Confusion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty forming words or processing information
  • Difficulty organizing memories or thoughts
  • Memory loss of any kind

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney*If you suffered from amnesia or any other injury following a car accident, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Should My Health Insurance Pay My Medical Bills After a Car Wreck?

Posted Friday, March 13, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextMany victims of car accidents suffer serious and severe injuries. In many cases, victims rush to an emergency room by ambulance, or see a doctor immediately following an accident. Oftentimes, surgeries or medical procedures are required in order to either save a victim’s life or ensure that a medical condition does not worsen. If you were a victim of a car accident, you may feel that your medical bills are astronomical, and feel anxiety as you are unable to return to work due to your injuries. In the meantime, as you wait for a settlement from your insurance company or lawsuit, you may wonder if your health insurance will pay your medical bills following a car accident.

*Health Insurance Companies *In most cases, a health insurance company will pay for all of your medical bills except for copays and coinsurance and deductibles, just as it would for any other medical procedure or surgery. However, once a determination of liability and responsibility is made regarding the car accident, the insurance company will request reimbursement from the insurance company or negligent party regarding the bills that they paid on your behalf.

*Actual Coordination of Medical Payments *If you are in a car accident, you will first submit all of your medical bills to your health insurance company as you receive them. If you do not have health insurance, many medical professionals and hospitals will treat patients in emergencies, and you will have to reimburse them at a later time. Additionally, you should visit with your car insurance company to see if it covers medical payment coverage. In this case, your car insurance will pay for any medical treatments necessary following a car accident by paying your health insurance company directly. In other cases, you will obtain compensation from the negligent party responsible for your injuries.

However, it is important to note that your car insurance settlement offer may not come for quite a while after your car accident. You should always visit with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that you receive a just and fair settlement offer. Once your physician indicates that you have reached “maximum medical improvement” where you are not medically expected to improve any more, or you are completely healed, you will be able to submit final documentation to an insurance company in order to obtain compensation under a settlement offer.

Contact an *Experienced Car Accident Attorney *If you were involved in an accident and have astronomical medical bills, typically your health insurance policy will cover those expenses until you receive a settlement offer or judgment in a court of law regarding compensation for your injuries. You should always have an experienced car accident attorney on your side to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and provide strong representation in court. Contact our experienced personal injury and car accident attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Motorcycle Accidents

Posted Friday, March 6, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextUnfortunately, if you are involved in an accident as a motorcycle rider, there is a high likelihood that you will be seriously injured. Learning how dangerous motorcycle accidents can be to riders may help motorists understand that they have a responsibility to always watch for motorcycles on the road, and remind motorcycle riders to always ride defensively and with caution.

*Shocking Motorcycle Accident Statistics*The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research showed that on average, over 5,000 motorcycle riders died in motorcycle crashes every year. The Insurance Information Institute shows even more statistics illustrating how dangerous motorcycle accidents can be to riders. Serious risks are associated with riding a motorcycle, and both motorcycle riders and motorists should remain vigilant on the roadways to ensure safety and avoid accidents. Some of the shocking statistics associated with motorcycle accidents are listed below.

  • Motorcyclists are five times more prone to suffer serious or catastrophic injuries, and almost 30 times more likely to die in an accident.
  • 40% of motorcyclists killed in accidents did not have a helmet on at the time. While helmets prevent traumatic brain injuries and death, statistics show that not even 50% all motorcycle riders wear them at any given time. Wearing a helmet has been determined to be one of the most effective ways of not only preventing head trauma and traumatic brain injuries, but also surviving a motorcycle accident.
  • Motorists of vehicles are typically responsible for accidents involving motorcycles. All motorists should take extra precautions to always make sure that they look for motorcyclists in their entire field of vision.
  • Continuing the theory that accidents happen due to negligence, and not outside circumstances, roadway obstacles (such as potholes or debris) are only responsible for 2% of accidents involving motorcycles.
  • 92% of all motorcycle riders that are involved in accidents received absolutely no training or classes regarding motorcycle riding or safety. Motorcycle riders also have a responsibility to learn how to avoid accidents and what to do in dangerous situations on the roadways.
  • Another cause of motorcycle accidents is also entirely preventable. Almost half of all motorcycle accidents that involve fatalities involve the rider being under the influence of alcohol.
  • Shockingly, less than 10% of motorcycle riders involved in accidents had insurance. Make sure to be extra vigilant during the evening hours. Statistics show that 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. are the most dangerous times for motorcycle riders.

*Visit With an Experienced Attorney Today *If you were involved in an accident as a motorcycle rider, you may have the right to receive compensation from a negligent driver. You may be facing astronomical medical bills, lost wages, and significant pain and suffering. Contact our experienced personal injury and motorcycle accident attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Distracted and Drowsy Driving

Posted Friday, February 28, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextAccording to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety over half of all teenagers text and drive, and adults are not blameless, either. Distracted driving not only includes texting and driving; any type of distraction while driving could lead to a serious car accident. If you were injured due to another person becoming distracted behind the wheel, visiting with a personal injury can help you pursue your legal right to compensation.

*Types of Distractions*Many people become unfocused behind the wheel of the car for a moment or two while driving. However, if you are behaving in such a way that the distraction moves significant attention away from the roadway, your negligence could result in a severe car accident. Distracted driving always increases the likelihood of an accident due to inherently taking the focus away from the road and other drivers. Some of the types of distractions that can take away a driver’s attention can include:

  • Not focusing or being lost in thought
  • Texting and driving
  • Talking on a cell phone and driving
  • Talking with passengers
  • Eating and drinking while driving
  • Changing the channel or volume on the radio
  • Changing the temperature or fans inside the car
  • Smoking while driving

Any activity that is not required by the driver to operate a vehicle can be considered a distraction and can potentially lead to a catastrophic accident. Oftentimes, witness testimony can be valuable in these types of cases, as it can confirm that the other driver was looking down at a cell phone or otherwise distracted in some way.

*Drowsy Driving *One of the more common ways a driver can become distracted is simply by driving while fatigued. While one in 25 drivers actually admits to having fallen asleep at the wheel, drowsy driving involves the inability to focus or pay attention to the roadways, and it is a leading cause of accidents. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control research indicates over 6,000 car accidents occur yearly due to driver drowsiness and fatigue. Additionally, for those persons who have not had any sleep for 20 hours, driving while drowsy results in the same slowed reaction time as having a blood-alcohol concentration over the legal limit. The same study concludes that if you are drowsy or fatigued while driving, you are three times as likely to be involved in an accident.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney*Driving while distracted is dangerous, and driving while drowsy or fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. If you were injured due to a driver being either distracted or fatigued, you may have the right to receive compensation for your medical bills, loss of work, or your pain and suffering. Contact our experienced personal injury and car accident attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.