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

Things to Keep in Mind in Personal Injury Cases

Posted Friday, February 8, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextPersonal injury cases give an individual a legal avenue to seek compensation for injuries caused by another’s negligence or wrongful actions. It is a part of tort law. Filing a personal injury suit is not to find the other party criminally culpable for an injury, but to recover the damages caused by the other party’s actions, or lack of action. Personal injury law varies by state and meeting with a local personal injury attorney can give you the best chance of recovering damages. However, there are no guarantees with any lawsuit. As such, it is important to put forth the best argument and evidence possible. In order to do this, it is important to keep the following things in mind when navigating Washington personal injury cases.

*Statute of Limitations* In Washington, there is a statute of limitations that dictates when a personal injury suit can be brought. There is a three-year statute of limitations when it comes to any tort law case. This means that a person who has been injured only has three years to file documents in the court for seeking damages for personal injury. If a case is not filed within the three-year timeline, it is likely that it will be denied. There are exigent circumstances that could cause the court to decide the three-year statute does not apply, but these are limited and should not be relied upon. Talk with an attorney early so there are no issues with the timing of filing.

*Insurance Companies* After being in an accident, or being injured, it might seem innocent enough to talk to the other party’s insurance company in hopes of coming to an agreement. However, this could prove to be a costly mistake. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Their aim is to reduce their liability to others, meaning they want to pay the least amount of money possible. They want to settle for the lowest amount possible, which very well could be less than the cost of your medical bills. Talk with an attorney before you discuss your injury with anyone else, especially an insurance company.

*Cases Take Time* The process of filing a personal injury case is not always the quickest. Cases that go to trial can take months or even years to come to a resolution. Settlements can be reached more quickly without having to go through an entire trial process. A personal injury suit is not a “quick fix” for financial difficulties faced after an injury. However, the results of a personal injury suit can drastically improve your financial situation. It is important to know that cases take time and to not expect a quick result.

If you have questions about filing a personal injury suit, contact the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group. We are here to help you through every step of the case, from filing the case until a verdict is reached. Recovering from an accident can be difficult and an unexpected financial burden. If you have been injured from another’s neglect or wrongful actions, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. It can be scary to consider filing a lawsuit, but contacting a personal injury attorney to answer your questions can help you choose the right course of action for yourself. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Saneej Kallingal)

Cellphone Use While Driving Decreases in Washington

Posted Friday, February 1, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Link TextWe live in the age of technology; there is always some new gadget that draws interest from the public. While advances in technology are generally a positive development, there are some areas in which an advancement in technology can post serious risks. The use of smartphones and other handheld devices while driving is a serious problem. These gadgets distract a driver from the task at hand — safely driving from one place to another.

Because of the dangers of distracted driving, law enforcement officers are cracking down on the use of cellphones while driving by doling out fines. A study conducted by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission estimates that the percentage of drivers who are using a cellphone while driving is actually decreasing. Their study found that the percentage of people holding a cellphone while driving has dropped to 3.4% from 6%. Additionally, the percentage of people who were distracted decreased one percentage point to 8.2% of drivers. This study was conducted by volunteers observing instances of distracted driving.

The Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act states that “a person who uses a personal device while driving a motor vehicle on a public highway is guilty of a traffic infraction and must pay a fine.” Approximately 31, 160 tickets were issued to Washington drivers between January and November 2018. While the study conducted by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission found that cell phone use decreased, there were still plenty of other distractions for drivers like eating, talking with passengers, or changing the radio station. Even if the amount of drivers using a cell phone has decreased, any type of distracted driving can be dangerous to you and the other drivers around you.

*Dangers of Distracted Driving*There are many dangers and risks associated with distracted driving. Distracted driving can refer to anything that takes a driver’s concentration away from the road ahead. Distracted drivers are more likely to be involved in a traffic accident than those drivers who are not distracted. While you can not control the actions of other motorists on the road, you can make sure that you are not driving distracted.

Here are some ways you can help prevent distracted driving:

  • Instruct New Drivers: If someone you know is new to driving, or just needs a refresher, talking about the dangers of distracted driving can aid the cause. Discuss the importance of keeping your eyes on the road and minimizing all distractions. Not everyone thinks that using a cellphone in a car is dangerous. Explain the dangers of cellphone use, and other distractions.
  • Practice What You Preach: Follow your own advice and do not drive while distracted.

If you have been injured because of a distracted driver, contact the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group. We know how frustrating it can be to be injured by another’s negligence while you were following all traffic laws. Contact us today for a consultation and to find out how we can help you.

(image courtesy of Priscilla du Preez)

Hit-and-Run Accidents and Their Consequences

Posted Friday, January 25, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextBeing involved in a car accident is difficult and frustrating. Being involved in a car accident and having the other driver flee the scene of the accident can be extremely frustrating and make an already bad situation worse. Washington law requires you to stop at the scene of an accident and exchange information with the other party and inform the police. However, not every driver follows this requirement, unfortunately. If you are involved in an accident and the other driver flees the scene, here is what you should do.

Commit the Incident to Memory

The biggest problem with hit and run accidents is finding the other driver so that they can be held accountable. Without the other vehicle stopping, it is important for you to make mental notes of anything you can remember about the other vehicle. If you can remember the make, model, color, license plate, or any other distinguishing feature, this could be helpful in finding the vehicle. In addition to remembering vehicle information, try to remember what the driver looked like and the direction that the car was heading after the accident.

Call the Police and Seek Medical Attention

Even though the other vehicle fled the scene, you should still call 9-1-1 and have police and medical emergency personnel come and check on you and passengers in the car. The police officer can make a report of the accident and take down notes on what your remember about the other party. The police are likely going to be the ones to find the other vehicle, so it is best that they have that information as soon as possible.

Additionally, it is imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you have been injured, it should be your number one priority to get the proper medical attention. Receiving medical attention immediately after an accident is helpful in the event that a personal injury suit results from the incident.

Take Note of the Scene

After you have called the police and remembered everything possible about the other driver, it is important to document the scene of the accident. Accidents scenes lose their evidence when the parties leave the scene. You should take pictures of your car and any damages made, pictures of injuries, any circumstances that led to the accident, and anything else that could be proof of the accident and its causes. Additionally, if there were witnesses to the accident try and obtain their information because they could be instrumental in future litigation. Finally, make sure to obtain a copy of the police report and the names and badge numbers of the officers at the scene.

Contact an Attorney

If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can be helpful. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group have experience representing individuals involved in hit and run accidents. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of JP Valery)

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving in Seattle

Posted Friday, January 18, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextWe have all had those nights when we just can not get to sleep. Normally, the biggest consequence of this is feeling tired the next day and maybe more irritable. However, the consequences of inadequate sleep grow when driving a vehicle becomes part of the picture. Driving while drowsy or sleep deprived can prove to be extremely dangerous or even fatal. Drowsy driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents all across the country, including in Seattle and the surrounding areas. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately 1 out of 25 adult drivers have reported that they have fallen asleep at the wheel while driving. Adult driver refers to an individual over the age of 25. Drowsy driving might not seem as serious as driving while impaired, but every situation in which a driver is not fully focused on driving should be taken seriously.

*Common Causes of Drowsy Driving*The most common cause of drowsy driving is not getting enough sleep. Adults with small children, truck drivers who are driving late into the night, and those who stay up late or wake up early are just a few categories of people more susceptible to drowsy driving. The phrase “drowsy driving” seems like it only encompasses situations in which the driver has not gotten enough sleep. While this is true, there are other situations that can be considered drowsy driving.

  • Long Drives: Even a person who has gotten adequate amounts of sleep can become tired and drowsy while on a long drive. Driving long distance, especially driving long distance on a straight road for long periods of time, can cause a driver to become drowsy.
  • Medication: Some medicines, both prescription or over the counter, can cause the taker to become drowsy. It is important to know the side effects of medication before you take it and also to see how you are affected after taking a new medicine for the first time.

*Consequences of Drowsy Driving*Drowsy driving is a leading cause of car accidents. The National Sleep Foundation even equates drowsy driving to driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08, the legal limit. A car accident caused by drowsy driving can leave you with serious injuries, or even prove to be fatal. In addition to causing the accident, drowsy driving can result in unsafe driving accidents that also increase the chances of getting into an accident — speeding, slower reaction times, disobeying traffic signs or signals, etc.

If you or someone you love has been injured because of a drowsy driver, the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you. We know that recovering from an accident can be extremely difficult and a financial burden. Our attorney can potentially represent you in a personal injury suit to recover compensation for your damages, depending on the circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Kyle Jewell)

Evidence in Washington Personal Injury Cases

Posted Friday, January 11, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextFiling a personal injury suit can seem like a complicated process. Regardless of the complexity of the case, however, each personal injury case follows the same process. In Washington, a personal injury suit can be brought when the negligence or wrongful act of another has resulted in your injury. In an ideal world, the person responsible for the accident or injury, or any insurance company involved, would be willing to pay for the damages and injury that resulted from the accident. Unfortunately the world is not perfect, and most people and companies do not want to pay for the injuries of another. As such, having the strongest personal injury case possible is a key component of being successful in a personal injury suit.

One of the best ways to strengthen your personal injury case is to have an abundance of evidence that backs up your claims. There are many different types of evidence that can be relevant in personal injury cases and they all should be examined together to present the strongest case.

*Medical Records* In a personal injury suit, medical records are an extremely important component. The medical records are proof that an actual injury has occurred. These records should include the doctor’s diagnosis and prognosis, the cost of medical treatment, and the cost of future medical treatments that will be necessary because of the injury. If the medical records are a match to the injuries that you are claiming, that gives validity to the injury claim being made. Of course, there are many different factors that go into the final decision of a personal injury suit, but having accurate medical records definitely does not hurt the case.

*Police Report* If the injury is the result of a car accident, a police report is important evidence. In Washington, the law requires that an accident be reported to the Washington Department of Transportation. Usually, law enforcement will be called to the scene of the accident to make an official report. An officer will report to the scene of the accident, take witness statements, talk to the drivers of the vehicles, and try to come to a conclusion surrounding the circumstances of the accident. The police report is an important part of a car accident injury case because it establishes that an injury occurred and potential causes of the accident.

*Witness Statements* If there were witnesses to the injury, having their contact information is helpful. A witness can corroborate a victim’s statement and make his or her claims more credible. Taking down the contact information of a witness can prove to be helpful later on in a personal injury case.

If you have been injured through the negligence or wrongful act of another, you need the help of a dedicated personal injury attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you present the strongest case possible. Our attorneys know that the keys to a successful case are accurate claims and strong evidence. Contact us today for a consultation and find out the options available to you.

(image courtesy of Jack Finnigan)