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

Staying Safe on the Road in Bellevue

Posted Friday, January 26, 2024 by Chris Thayer

The holiday season is considered a time of celebration and joy, yet traffic collisions remain one of the greatest threats to public safety.

Around King County, communities such as Bellevue and Federal Way are working to keep the roads safe.

In 2015, the City of Bellevue adopted Vision Zero, an initiative focused on eliminating traffic deaths and serious injury collisions on city streets by 2030. The reduction work pinpoints collision trends, analyzes causes and circumstances, and understands collisions beyond locations. The programs emphasize education, enforcement, and creative design solutions.

If you have been injured in a traffic accident, you may want to consider talking with a personal injury lawyer. Your legal counsel can help you understand Washington state laws and evaluate how to gather evidence regarding your situation.

*Vehicle Crash and Delays in Bellevue*Accidents, vehicle crashes, and delays continue to occur. For example, on December 13, 2023, two lanes of traffic on Interstate 90 in southeast Bellevue were closed due to a vehicle crash. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the two right eastbound lanes were blocked in the immediate aftermath, causing delays.

WSDOT’s Incident Response Team (IRT), Washington State Patrol troopers, and local firefighters responded to the scene in the city’s Factoria district.

*Seasonal Safety Reminders in King County*According to a report in the Federal Way Mirror, Federal Way Police Chief Andy J. Hwang offered specific seasonal tips to help people stay safe. Hwang noted that protecting oneself from traffic accidents starts with being especially aware of the rules of the road.

Chief Hwang highlighted that traffic accidents are the greatest threat to public safety. To prevent accidents, Hwang emphasized the importance of wearing seatbelts, avoiding distractions while driving, and turning on headlights earlier than dusk.

With the darker hours in the winter, do not use the phone while driving, and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists. To reinforce attention to safety, do not drink and drive.

*Safety-Focused Countermeasures in Bellevue*Safety is an ongoing priority in Bellevue, with the City of Bellevue offering several programs and work groups focused on improving roadway safety.

Police Enforcement is collaborating with Transportation and other departments. Traffic Engineering is working to provide innovative approaches and sound engineering for the city. Neighborhood Traffic Safety Services (NTSS) focus on increasing community livability and safety.

Staying safe in Bellevue does not mean that accidents never occur. If you have been involved in a traffic accident, it may be useful to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer.

*What to Look for in a King County Personal Injury Attorney*Choosing the best personal injury attorney can have an important impact on the success of your lawsuit. Many people look for signs of success, such as familiarity with personal injury lawsuits, client testimonials, and professional track records.

*Talk to an Experienced King County Personal Injury Lawyer*If you have been involved in an accident, it can be extremely stressful to evaluate the legal aspects of your case. An experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to provide legal insights related to your injury.

What You Need to Know About Street Racing in Kent

Posted Friday, January 19, 2024 by Chris Thayer

Street racing involves risky driving behaviors and has inspired lawmakers to take action. According to a Fox News Report, starting on New Year’s Day, new state laws define this activity as illegal, with Washington’s new street racing law going into effect.

*New State Law Against Street Racing in Kent*The new statewide law is designed to help law enforcement officials reduce the risk of accidents resulting from street racing. Law enforcement officials hope that the new Washington state laws will curb illegal street racing in 2024.

If you have been injured in a collision or traffic accident, you may want to consider talking with a personal injury lawyer. Your legal counsel can help you understand the Washington state laws and discuss your legal rights.

*Street Racing is Lethal in Kent*Street racing can have serious consequences - and not just for the drivers of the race cars. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) brief report, for 1998-2001, 315 fatal crashes involving street racing resulted in a total of 399 fatalities.

Street racing occurs in an urban setting, with crashes occurring at high speeds of 65 mph or more. Compared with other drivers, street racers were more often teenagers and predominantly male, with a higher incidence of previous crashes and driving violations. According to a post in the Kent Reporter, the Kent Police hope that new state laws will help reduce illegal street racing.

*Prioritizing Prevention Against Street Racing in Kent*The dangers of street racing are well-known to police, first responders, and public officials. In many communities, active programs are in place to educate parents and teens about the dangers and serious consequences of this activity.

School programs, public awareness campaigns, and community outreach help in promoting awareness of the dangers. In addition, some areas, such as Kent, use increased police presence in hotspots used for racing.

Kent and communities in King County use speed cameras and license plate recognition systems. These technology tools help officials to monitor, limit, and prevent street racing.

*Ramifications of Illegal Street Racing in Kent*Street racing is dangerous and can have serious consequences. With the new law in Washington State, engaging in and organizing street races can lead to criminal charges, fines, and having the vehicle impounded.

Yet, it is important to understand that this is a complex issue. People involved in street racing may face civil lawsuits from victims. This may be people who were injured, people seeking compensation for medical expenses, and those who experienced property damage.

An experienced personal injury lawyer is skilled in understanding how to fight for the full compensation that individuals may be entitled to receive for personal injuries, emotional impact, and property damage.

*Talk with a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer in King County*If you, a family member, a friend, or a loved one have been injured in a collision, it may reduce stress and provide peace of mind to speak with a skilled attorney. You might want to consider discussing your legal rights with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Drive Safe: Mercer Island Gets Winter Storm Ready

Posted Friday, January 12, 2024 by Chris Thayer

Weather in the Pacific Northwest can be extremely unpredictable. On Mercer Island, local officials created a Winter Storm Ready information page to help residents, business owners, and visitors stay safe navigating variable weather conditions.

If you have been injured in a traffic accident in the winter or at any time of year, you may want to consider talking with a personal injury lawyer. Your legal counsel can help you understand Washington state laws and evaluate how to gather evidence regarding your situation.

*Be Alert: Weather Advisories on Mercer Island*While fog, mist, and rain provide constant beauty, these conditions can create dangerous driving conditions. To stay safe on the roads, be sure to stay alert and track changing weather situations.

If advised, be prepared to pull over, delay travel, and make safety the number one priority.

*Prepare for Increased Landslide Risk on Mercer Island*Mercer Island experiences five to 15 landslides each year. These dangerous conditions often develop during intense rainfall, runoff, or rapidly melting snow. In the Northwest, we are used to rainfall, and the increased risk of landslides can create hazardous driving conditions. In the case of emergencies, call 9-1-1.

*Preparing for Winter Storms in Washington *Winter storms can range from moderate snow over a few hours to blizzard conditions with dangerous wind-driven snow or freezing rain lasting for several days.

According to the Washington Department of Health (DOH), preparing for winter storms starts before the snow falls or before ice forms. The DOH recommends listening to radio or television for updates on winter storm developments.If staying at home, make sure the house is prepared for cold weather by fixing leaks and insulating walls, attics, and crawl spaces. Gather appropriate warm clothing, and if available, make sure the fireplace is functioning. If planning to travel, fill the gas before snow starts falling and have rock salt and sand available if needed for traction on ice.

*Watch for Ice and Snow on Mercer Island*Mercer Island provides public services to keep public streets safe, with sanding, plowing, and de-icing. Specific arterials on steep hills and major intersections may also receive a pre-treatment of liquid de-icer. However, residents and visitors should be aware that private streets are not plowed or maintained by the city.

The city provides information in the Snow and Ice Response Plan on how the snow plows are allocated with a top priority on primary routes.

*Report Safety Issues on Mercer Island*On Mercer Island and throughout King County, safety issues on public roads can be reported to local officials. In the event of spotting clogged drains, icy roads, downed trees, or other issues, residents can submit a service request, report problems, and track issues using MI-Connect.

*Talk to a Dedicated King County Personal Injury Attorney*If you have been involved in a winter storm collision, it can be extremely stressful to sort out all the issues regarding your case. An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to provide legal insights related to your situation.

Dangers of Motorcycle Lane Splitting in Renton

Posted Friday, January 5, 2024 by Chris Thayer

Motorcyclists may be tempted to get ahead of traffic by splitting lanes. It is important to know that this practice, while legal in California, is illegal in Washington state. While there are ongoing efforts to change this law, splitting lanes remains illegal as well as risky. The effects can be dangerous to motorcyclists as well as to other drivers.If you have been injured in a collision involving a motorcycle or other type of traffic accident, you may want to consider talking with a personal injury lawyer. Your legal counsel can help you understand Washington state laws and discuss your legal rights.

*Motorcycle Collision in Renton*According to a report in the Renton Reporter, a two-car collision on State Route 164 involved a 34-year-old man driving a motorcycle, attempting to overtake and pass traffic. The second vehicle started to turn left in front of the motorcyclist. On impact, the motorcycle driver was ejected and thrown approximately 100 feet. First responders declared the 34-year-old man deceased at the scene.

Washington State Patrol reported that the collision resulted from speeding and passing in a no-passing zone. WSP reported that the driver of the second vehicle suffered no injuries from the collision.

*Know the Motorcycle Laws in Renton, Washington*In Washington state, the rules are clear for operating motorcycles on roadways laned for traffic. Motorcycles are allowed to use the full lane. Motorcyclists are not allowed to overtake and pass a vehicle in the same lane. Lane splitting between lanes of traffic is prohibited by law.

As outlined in RCW 46.61.608 (4), riding side by side, with no more than two abreast, in the same lane is permitted.

*What Makes Lane Splitting So Dangerous?*According to Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) data, in 2022, there were 1,954 motorcycle accidents in the state. As a result, 124 people died, and 515 sustained serious injuries.

With this as the backdrop, lawmakers may hesitate to revise the law and potentially open the door to these and additional risks. Motorcycle lane splitting could also result in serious accidents, such as a driver opening a door or changing lanes, resulting in accidental injury if the driver did not notice a motorcyclist. Concerns also exist about drivers getting upset about motorcyclists splitting lanes and the potential increase in road rage.

*Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in Renton*In Washington state, there are specific time limits regarding how long a person has to file a lawsuit after an accident. The legal terminology is ’a statute of limitations.’ In Washington State, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the injury. Talk with a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer in King County

If you, a family member, a friend, or a loved one has been injured in a collision involving a motorcycle or another vehicle, it may help to discuss your legal rights with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Discussing legal aspects with an experienced attorney may offer new insight and a fresh perspective. An attorney may provide peace of mind by offering legal experience, resources, and skills to your case.

What to Know About King County Car Crashes

Posted Friday, December 29, 2023 by Chris Thayer

According to a story on Kiro 7 news, on November 28, three southbound I-5 express lanes were blocked by a crash. The crash involved a school bus and another vehicle north of Stewart Street in Seattle at about 9:05 a.m. during the morning commute. Emergency crews responded to the scene, and at around 10.30 a.m., the express lanes were reopened.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car crash, talking with an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer can help provide peace of mind.

*Laws Impacting Washington Drivers*Most drivers are familiar with the laws impacting drivers. However, it can be useful to review the laws in Title 46 of the Revised Code of Washington to reinforce understanding of the state’s rules.

*Duty of Care is Required in Washington*Washington requires that drivers exercise what is considered reasonable care to avoid harming others. This means that legally, you operate the vehicle as a reasonable person would.

*Washington is a Fault-Based State*Washington is considered an “at fault” state. This means that the driver who is responsible for the accident is responsible for the damages resulting from the collision. Contrary to “at fault,” some states operate with “no-fault” rules. In these states, drivers file a claim with their own insurance company. The question of fault does not influence where they file the claim.

Pure comparative fault is the law in Washington. What does it mean? It indicates that each driver is assigned a percentage liability in an accident. In Washington, if the plaintiff has a percentage of fault, their damages are reduced by the same percentage.

*Washington’s Limitations Period on Car Accidents*A statute of limitations is a legal term defining the time limits for when you have a right to file a lawsuit. Some cases, such as medical malpractice cases, have different limitations than car accident cases.

In Washington, the statute of limitations to file a legal suit is three years from the date of an auto accident. If you have been involved in a car collision, the clock starts ticking on the date of the accident.

In some special cases, there can be exceptions, but it is important to realize these are not the rule. Exceptions are cases where the limitations may be stopped for some period, also called “tolled.” This is not the norm, but an experienced Washington lawyer may be able to address this question.

While three years may seem like a lot of time right after the accident, it is important to realize that not filing within the time limit can cost you the right to file. This is why it can be very useful to speak with an experienced attorney early on in the process.

*What if You Miss the Deadline in Washington?*Typically, if you miss the deadline for filing a car accident lawsuit, the court will dismiss your case. Legal experts emphasize that once the statute of limitations runs out, you lose your right to sue - forever.

*When to Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer in King County*If you have questions about a unique situation or car crash, talk with an experienced personal injury lawyer. You can find out about making a car accident claim, learn about the process, and get your questions answered.