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

Automobile Defect Accidents

Posted Friday, January 24, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextMany car accidents occur due to driver negligence or recklessness. However, 44,000 car accidents occur yearly due to defective parts and components of vehicles on the roadways, according to the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Defective design flaws or manufacturing defects oftentimes result in the recall of vehicles to fix the defect. However, even with these recalls, hundreds of injuries occur every year due to manufacturing defects in vehicles. Therefore, if you were in a car accident, make sure to consider that the crash could have been a result of a defective part or component of your vehicle or another’s as part of the car crash investigation.

*Automobile Defects*Manufacturing parts and components are regulated by the NHTSA which established the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for vehicles in the United States. Any part of the component of a vehicle that is determined to be defective or malfunctioning in any way can be recalled by the NHTSA. Some of the common reasons that a part or component of a vehicle may be recalled include the following:

  • Accidental airbag deployment unrelated to an accident
  • Gas accelerator that is broken or sticks
  • Loss of light
  • Fires within an electrical system of the vehicle
  • Wheels that are cracked or broken unexpectedly
  • Steering wheel failures
  • Windshield wiper failures
  • Seats or seat back components that are defective
  • Any other part of a vehicle that malfunctions in any way such as falling apart, breaking or separating thus causing the inability to control or navigate the vehicle in any way

When the NHTSA discovers a part or component of a vehicle that is defective they will issue a recall notice. However, in many cases vehicles have defective parts that have gone unnoticed or unreported. If you were in a car accident, it is important to select an experienced attorney who will help you conduct an independent investigation of the car accident in order to determine all parties who may have liability, including the vehicle manufacturer.

*Liability for Automobile Defects *In cases involving manufacturing defects, the defective part or component either directly caused the accident, or was a factor that contributed to a much more serious accident. For example, if the airbags do not deploy during an accident, that defect did not directly cause the accident, however, it would cause the passengers in the vehicle to suffer more serious injuries due to the lack of safety provided by the airbags.

*Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today *Many people assume that the only cause of a car accident is the negligence or recklessness of another driver. However, there are many circumstances under which a defective automobile part could either cause or contribute to a car crash. If you were in a car accident, and suspect that a manufacturing defect either caused or contributed to your accident, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. You may have the right to receive compensation. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Injured in an Uber or Lyft?

Posted Friday, January 17, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextMost people jump into a ridesharing car such as Uber or Lyft without much thought. In fact, these types of ridesharing services are utilized by millions in the United States every day. For the average rider, an Uber or Lyft ride is a simple way to get somewhere without the hassle of driving and oftentimes is done to prevent accidents due to drinking and driving. However, as ridesharing services become more and more popular, crashes and injuries occur more frequently. These drivers are just as likely to be in a car accident as any other driver. However, if you are injured in an Uber or Lyft, you may wonder who has the responsibility to pay for your injuries or damages. The following is a brief overview of many of the questions you may have after experiencing a ridesharing accident as a passenger.

*What Should I do Following a Ridesharing Accident? *If you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft and suffered any kind of injuries, follow these steps after your accident:

  • Call 911.
  • Obtain a copy of the official police report.
  • Obtain all witness contact information and the other driver’s contact information.
  • Seek medical treatment immediately.
  • Keep detailed records of your medical treatments, lost wages, a diary of your pain and suffering, photographs of any injuries or damages to property, and all documentation related to the accident.

*Can I Sue Uber or Lyft? *If you were involved in a car accident, as in any other accident on the roadways, there must be a determination regarding fault. The person or persons responsible for the accident will be considered liable and responsible for any injuries or damages suffered.

Your Uber or Lyft driver may have secured a special type of car insurance that specifically covers ridesharing drivers. If the accident was your driver’s fault, you may be able to seek compensation from the driver’s insurance company. However, in other cases, the driver will not have this specialized insurance, but rather the ridesharing company will provide insurance coverage on behalf of the driver. If your driver is at fault, your two options are to file a claim against the driver’s personal insurance policy, or file a claim directly with the ridesharing company. For example, if you were a passenger in an Uber, you may be able to file a claim with Uber’s insurance policy, as their company does cover its drivers.

If the other driver was determined to be at-fault for the accident, the process is simpler and is the same as a typical car accident. You would file a claim with the other driver’s insurance policy, and negotiate a settlement with them.

*Contact an Experienced Car Attorney Today *Making a determination of who is at fault and who is responsible for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering or property damage can be a legally complex issue. After experiencing a car accident in an Uber or Lyft, contact our experienced legal team at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. You may have the right to receive compensation. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Hit by an Uninsured Motorist?

Posted Friday, January 10, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextBeing in a car accident is already a traumatic and overwhelming experience. If you suffered any type of physical injuries, you likely have medical bills along with pain and suffering, loss of wages, as well as damage to your vehicle. Drivers in the state of Washington are required by law to have insurance coverage, but many operate a vehicle without any insurance at all. If you were in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you may have a more challenging time attempting to receive compensation for your damages.

*Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists*Uninsured drivers are persons who did not elect to pay for car insurance coverage or failed to maintain the required minimum amount of coverage. Underinsured drivers are those drivers who purchased only the minimum amount of insurance required by law that still will not cover all of your damages from the car accident. A Washington driver must have the following insurance coverage under the law:

  • $25,000 of bodily injury or death of one person
  • $50,000 of bodily injury or death of two people
  • $10,000 of property damage for a single accident

*Uninsured Motorist Coverage*Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance any driver is allowed to obtain in the state of Washington that will cover damages or expenses related to a car accident if the other driver was either uninsured or underinsured. The state of Washington does not require that drivers obtain this coverage, but it is recommended as you will then be able to file a claim with your own insurance company regarding any loss for damage to your own vehicle or any medical bills you may have as a result of the accident.

*Filing an Uninsured/Underinsured Claim *If you were in a car accident in the state of Washington, regardless if the other driver had insurance, you will need to file a police report or file a collision report with law enforcement. If a police officer arrives at the scene of the accident, you will not have to file this report. However, if no police officer completes a collision report, then each driver involved in the collision has the responsibility to file a collision report within four days of the car accident. You may submit a report online or obtain a collision report from your local police department.

If the other driver was uninsured and fails to pay for any damages resulting from the accident, you may report it to the Washington State Department of Licensing within 180 days of the accident through a Motor Vehicle Claim for Damages form. To qualify for this, you must have incurred at least $1,000 in property damages or suffered an injury.

*Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Today *If you were in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, contact our experienced legal team at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. You have the right to receive monetary compensation for your damages. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

What to do if You are an Injured Passenger

Posted Friday, January 3, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextIf you were in a car accident as a passenger, you have the right to receive compensation for injuries if they were caused by someone else’s negligence. You may have the right to sue the driver of the car in which you were a passenger or another driver. Follow these guidelines if you were injured in a car accident as a passenger.

*Seek Medical Attention * If you were involved in a car accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. If the ambulance arrives at the scene of the accident, allow the medical professionals to assess your injuries. If you need to go to a hospital, do so as soon as possible. If you start to feel worse over the next few hours or days, go to your primary care physician. At any time after an accident, pain and injuries can appear. Oftentimes, the adrenaline of an accident will prevent a victim from feeling or noticing the extent of his or her injuries.

*Exchange Information*You are not only a victim in this accident, but you are also a witness. Make sure to give the police officer your name and contact information. Due to the fact that you were also hurt in the accident, attempt to exchange contact information with all other drivers, passengers, and witnesses to the accident.

*File a Claim *Depending on the facts and circumstances of the car accident you were involved in, your options regarding filing a claim to receive compensation as a passenger include:

  • Your Driver. You have the right to file a claim against your driver if the accident was determined to be his/her fault.
  • Any Other Driver Involved. If your driver was not at fault, or not completely at-fault, you have the right to file a claim against any other negligent driver involved in the accident.
  • Your Own Insurance Company. If you were a passenger in your own vehicle but someone else was driving, you may have the right to file a claim with your own insurance company.

Regardless of which insurance company you file a claim with, make sure to be careful when visiting with an insurance adjuster regarding the accident. Insurance companies often offer low settlements or simply refuse to pay your claim altogether based on something you may say. Having an experienced attorney on your side can help you negotiate with insurance companies and receive the compensation you deserve.

*Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney*If you were injured as a passenger in a car accident, you have legal rights. Contact our experienced legal team at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We can help you negotiate with the appropriate insurance company and help you receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and help you build a strong personal injury case. No matter which driver was negligent and caused your injuries, you have the right to receive monetary compensation for your damages. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Wrong-Way Car Accidents

Posted Friday, December 27, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextIf you have ever seen a car coming directly toward you driving the wrong way in the incorrect lane, you were likely terrified, and with good reason. Wrong-way car accidents typically result in substantial and catastrophic injuries. These accidents commonly involve head-on collisions with massive force and impact. There are some ways you may be able to protect yourself from a wrong-way car accident and save yourself from severe injury or death.

*Common Causes of Wrong-Way Accidents*A wrong-way accident occurs when a driver is on the incorrect side of the roadway or the traffic flow. Some of the reasons that a wrong-way accident may occur include:

  • Driving While Distracted. While there are several ways a driver may become distracted, by far the most common form of distracted driving today is either texting while driving or talking on a cell phone while driving.
  • Drowsy Driving. Drowsy driving causes more than 6,400 deaths annually.
  • Elderly drivers. Unfortunately, may elderly drivers lose the ability to see as well at night, or lose cognitive function needed to drive safely. If you have elderly loved ones, make sure that they are capable of driving before continuing to allow them behind the wheel of a car.
  • Driving While Intoxicated. Many wrong-way accidents are the result of a driver being under the influence of either alcohol or drugs and making poor choices due to lowered cognitive function.
  • Emergencies. There are many cases in which an emergency is the cause of a wrong-way accident. Perhaps a driver is attempting to veer away from a deer or other animal in the road, or in other cases, a driver may be having a medical emergency such as a stroke, seizure, or heart attack while on the road. Any of these scenarios could result in a wrong-way accident.

*Ways to Avoid Wrong-Way Accidents*Many wrong-way accidents are simply unavoidable. However, the following are ways you may be able to protect yourself if you see a driver headed in the wrong direction toward you:

  • At night on the weekends, always use extra caution. Statistically, these are the times when more wrong-way accidents occur.
  • Always fasten your seat belt every time you drive.
  • Always use your own blinker to identify when you are changing lanes or exiting.
  • Use common sense and slow down and stay aware at all times.
  • If you see a wrong-way driver coming toward you in traffic, attempt to pull over or get off of the roadway completely and call 911 immediately.

*Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today *If you were injured due to a wrong-way car accident, contact our experienced legal team at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We can help you receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and help you build a strong case. If someone was driving negligently and caused your injuries, you have the right to receive monetary compensation for your damages. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.