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

What to do When a Medical Emergency is the Cause of an Accident

Posted Friday, May 17, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextThe thought of having some type of medical emergency is terrifying to everyone. Being vulnerable to the unknown is an unsettling feeling. What perhaps is more unsettling is thinking about another driver on the road suddenly having an emergency and crashing his or her vehicle into yours. What do you do in that situation? Is the other driver still liable for damages even though he or she suffered a medical emergency? Individuals in Seattle are battling with these questions following a recent accident caused by a medical emergency.

According to KOMO News, two people were rushed to the hospital after a driver suffered a medical emergency and rear-ended a vehicle. A Toyota SUV slammed into the back of another vehicle. The injured people were in the SUV that caused the accident. Both vehicles were thrust down a slope and hit a utility pole. One individual was trapped inside the SUV, only being freed when firefighters cut the roof of the vehicle.

Investigators say that it appears that the driver of the SUV suffered a medical emergency, causing him to lose control and hit the vehicle in front of him. The driver of the vehicle that was hit was momentarily knocked unconscious following the accident, but otherwise showed no additional injuries at the scene.

While the individuals injured in this particular accident were in the vehicle that caused the accident, the other driver could just as easily have been seriously injured. Washington state law permits the recovery of damages when a driver is negligent in his or her actions and causes a collision. This includes collecting damages if the driver was negligent in dealing with medical emergencies or issues that might arise while driving.

In determining the liability for damages when the accident is caused by a medical emergency, the central issue is whether or not the medical emergency was foreseeable. This operates similarly to the sudden emergency doctrine. If a driver knows of a medical condition that could alter his or her ability to operate a vehicle safely, then he or she could be found negligent and thus liable for damages. However, if a driver has no idea that they have a medical condition and no reason to know of this medical condition, then the driver might not be found negligent. Determining whether a medical emergency was foreseeable or not can be difficult. Finding the answer usually means digging deep into the individual’s medical history, actions, and life to determine if he or she had knowledge of the medical condition, or should have had knowledge of the medical condition.

The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you recover after an auto accident, especially if that accident was caused by a negligent driver. Whether the driver was negligent in his or her medical care or awareness or some other action, we want to help you recover the maximum amount of damages for your injury. Car accidents and the resulting injuries can bring about a tremendous financial burden. Let us try to alleviate that burden by seeking damages in a personal injury case so that you can focus on the physical and mental aspect of recovering from your injuries. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Per Look)

What Happens if I Get in an Accident in Canada?

Posted Friday, May 10, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextVarious states in the United States are in the unique position of being extremely close to another country — Canada. Washington is one of those states. It is not uncommon for Washington state residents to take a quick weekend trip up to Canada, or even make a day trip of it. While the ease of traveling to another country can be exciting and lead to wonderful memories, there are some legal complications that can arise. Many people drive to Canada. Being in a foreign country does not absolve you from being involved in an accident. Many Washington state residents might find themselves in a situation of getting in an accident in Canada. While you are certainly not setting out on a road trip with the anticipation or expectation of an accident, it is important to have some general knowledge of what to expect should an accident occur.

Just like if the accident occurred in the state of Washington, the first priority is seeing to the health and injuries of those involved. Check yourself, any passengers with you, and occupants of the other car to make sure that everyone is healthy or receiving the medical care they need. Even if there are no apparent injuries, follow up with your doctor as soon as possible to make sure there are no internal injuries that do not manifest with physical symptoms. The Canadian healthcare system is different from the US healthcare system in that most healthcare is provided free of cost. However, this does not apply to visitors and your own healthcare insurance may need to be used to cover costs for Canadian medical treatment.

Hopefully, no one is seriously injured and there are little to no healthcare or medical expenses. In the event that there is primarily only physical property damage, it is important that you document the accident scene just like you would in the U.S. Take photos of the damages, conditions causing the accident, gather witness information, and obtain contact information of the other driver. This is formation can be useful to report to your auto insurance company when reporting the accident. Depending on your insurance carrier, the coverage in foreign countries could be different than in the U.S. You could be directed to provide more information regarding the accident. Taking extra precautions at the scene of the accident to gather all information could become useful should your insurance company ask more questions. Taking a few extra minutes at the scene to gather information could save you a future headache of tracking that information down.

After taking care of yourself and your loved ones and returning home safe and sound, it is time to consider contacting an attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you determine what options are available to you, even if the car accident happened in Canada. You deserve an attorney who is going to fight for you and try to obtain any damages that you might be entitled to following a car accident. Contact us today for a consultation.

Electric Scooters coming to Seattle

Posted Thursday, May 9, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Link Text

As predicted, electric rental scooters are coming to Seattle. Although a convenient form of transportation, they do not come without risk. Other municipalities who have authorized the scooters have had problems with people suffering serious personal injuries while riding the scooters and/or being struck by someone riding a scooter. With no current helmet law applicable, no training or license required, it is likely Seattle will start to see people injured from these scooters as well.

The law regarding personal injury claims arising out of scooter use is unclear at this point. If you or someone you know is seriously injured while using a scooter or injured as the result of another person riding a scooter, please contact me to review and discuss your options for a potential personal injury claim.

Crane Collapse Leads to Multiple Injuries and Deaths in Seattle

Posted Friday, May 3, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextA construction crane collapsed on top of several cars this past weekend in Seattle. Four people were injured and four others were killed when the crane came crashing down, according to CNN. Investigations into the cause of the accident are ongoing, but officials say that the construction crew was dismantling the crane when it crashed. The crane hit at least six cars on the way down.

Although the investigation is ongoing and it could be a while until an official cause of the accident is determined, there is still speculation as to what caused this tragic accident. Some think that the accident could have been caused, at least in part, by human error. It could take up to six months to complete the investigation, officials say.

Human error is being brought up because it is not often that a construction crane will have a mechanical or structural failure and fall to the ground. Usually, it takes two to three days for construction crews to take a crane apart, piece by piece, until the entire thing is dismantled. Some speculate that pins connecting various parts of the crane were removed too early, leading to the collapse of the crane. It is important to remember that this is all speculation and there has been no cause given by the officials investigating this matter.

The question on many people’s minds following any tragedy like this is who is liable for the damages and injuries sustained by the victims of this accident. Currently, there are five companies under investigation in this accident. Generally, though, in an accident like this, a lot of people look to the owner of the crane for liability.

Cranes do not just fall out of the sky. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to think that some sort of negligence occurred, whether on the part of the individual workers, manufacturer of the crane, or owner of the crane. Even if the incident is purely human error and the fault of the construction workers, the crane owner could still be found liable for the damages. If more than one party is found to be liable, there may be discussion of comparative fault. Each party could be held liable for the percentage at fault they were in the incident. Other parties that might be liable are subcontractors hired to work at the site, the manufacturer of the crane, or in limited instances, an individual construction worker could be found liable.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crane accident, or any type of accident, the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you. Freak accidents happen, but that does not mean the responsible parties should not be held liable for the damages and injuries inflicted upon you because of their negligence. Our skilled attorneys will fight to get you the best result and compensation for your injuries possible under the circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of James Sullivan)

Using an App Should Not be Your Only Option After a Car Accident

Posted Friday, April 26, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextEveryone with a driver’s license has probably thought about what they would do if they were ever in a car accident. Aside from calling the police and other emergency personnel to the scene to get the medical attention needed and reporting the accident, one of your next calls will probably be to your car insurance provider.

After an accident, regardless of the extent of your injuries, you are likely going to be in shock. The last thing that you are going to want to do is to pull out your phone and navigate to an app so that you can report the accident you were just in to your insurance company. Unfortunately, it seems like insurance companies are moving toward communicating with their customers via app. There was even an advertisement during the Super Bowl that encouraged more insurance users to get on board with using apps.

Insurance companies are attempting to persuade clients to use an app in an effort to streamline the process and make things “easier” for everyone. They also claim that using apps by insurance companies could end up saving a client money. In reality, neither of these things end up being true. Unless there is a discount offered for the price of insurance, you are not saving any money. Additionally, using an app eliminates the human interaction of the customer and customer service representative at the insurance company. The insurance company might save money on personnel, but this does not necessarily translate into cheaper prices for the customer.

A car accident can result in many financial hardships with which an app simply cannot help you. Yes, apps can be programmed to ask certain questions or ask for information, but every accident is unique. There are additional questions that might arise in a conversation with someone that might never be asked on an app. Accidents can lead to devastating financial hardships. Repairing the damage to your vehicle, the cost of transportation while your vehicle is being fixed, medical care for any injuries you might have sustained, lost income from injuries preventing you from working, and accruing bills are just a few troublesome situations that might arise. You deserve to talk to a real person to figure out how to recover from these hardships.

Your insurance company might ask you to use an app, but your attorney will not. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you following an accident. We can help you navigate the insurance claims process, including and pushback from an insurance company in getting you the damages to which you are entitled. In addition, we can help you file a personal injury suit to hold the other driver and his or her insurance company liable for the injuries you sustained and the damages that have resulted. You do not have to rely on using an insurance app to succeed. Let us take some of the worry and pressure off of you to help you recover financially, so that you can focus on physically healing from your injuries. Contact us today.

(image courtesy of Priscilla du Preez)