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

Safe Driving for Teens in Washington

Posted Friday, December 1, 2023 by Chris Thayer

According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, car crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for Washington teens. Most of the crashes are caused by teens who are distracted, speeding, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Experts advise parents and teens to be proactive about safe driving. The key is to learn about the dangers of distracted driving, reduce distracted driving, and practice safe driving techniques. WSDOL notes that it is possible to travel more than the length of a football field - in the time it takes to read a text message or dial a number on your cellphone. Distracted driving laws are in effect in Washington state.

If you have been involved in a traffic incident, talking with an experienced King County Personal Injury lawyer may help you decide how to move forward.

*Dangers of Distracted Driving in Washington*In a WSDOL report, numerous statistics reveal the dangers of distracted driving.

In Washington state, 6,000 people were killed in crashes that involved a distracted driver in 2008, and 500,000 were injured.

A driver talking on a cell phone is considered as impaired as a driver with twice the legal limit of blood alcohol, or a .16 blood-alcohol level.

Further, a distracted driver has a slower response rate. In emergencies, drivers talking on cellphones are half a second slower to hit the brakes. Compared with attentive drivers, drivers talking on cell phones miss more than half of the visual cues due to distraction.

*Hands-Free Law in Washington*Washington state is serious about preventing crashes and prohibits drivers from holding a wireless device.

Chapter 46.61.667 RCW is the Washington Law defining the rules of the role regarding cell phone use. Talking on a cellphone or sending a text message while holding a wireless device is punishable with a $124 fine. Washington police can pull you over and give you a ticket if they see you holding a phone.

Hands-free devices are required in Washington. Except in emergencies, new drivers with instruction permits or intermediate licenses cannot use wireless devices.

*How Parents Can Help Teens Stay Safe in Washington*According to the WSDOL, parents can help teens by having an open conversation about the dangers of distracted driving.

For many families, giving a teen a cell phone was an important way to support communication. It was a vital tool to stay in touch, stay safe, and stay informed.

However, when teens start driving, this same device can become one of the most dangerous tools and should used with awareness.

Parents can set an agreement with teens. A written agreement outlines the terms for driving, cellphone use, expectations, and safety practices. The agreement is a written document confirming the precise terms teens and parents agree to uphold.

*Stay Alert and Be a Role Model in Washington*Parents are role models for safe driving, using hands-free devices, and not using cell phones or texting while driving. One simple tip is to keep the cell phone in the trunk to avoid temptation.

Take extra precautions to not use a cell phone or text while driving. Your actions can help teens learn how to drive without texting or talking on a cell phone.

*Speak to an Experienced King County Lawyer*If you have experienced an accident in King County, you may have questions about compensation and the legal process. Our experienced team at Pivotal Law is here to discuss your situation, answer your questions, and explore legal options.

Helping in a Mercer Island Car Collision

Posted Friday, November 24, 2023 by Chris Thayer

Picture for a moment that you are near a car collision that has just occurred. No one is on hand, such as local police, ambulance, highway patrol, or fire services. What should you do?

The first thing to do is to call 911. Be a good witness and notice what is going on around you. Then, if you can safely administer help, consider how you can help in an emergency.

If you want to help, you may still worry if it is a smart idea. You may be concerned that you don’t have proper medical training — and in helping, you could open yourself up to a personal injury lawsuit if something goes wrong.

In Washington state, it is good to know that there are laws covering this kind of situation. They are called Good Samaritan laws and are designed to protect people who voluntarily try to help at the scene of an accident.

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.

*If You Come Across a Mercer Island Car Accident*No one goes out of the door and envisions coming across the scene of a car accident. Perhaps you were walking your dog. Maybe you were popping out to the grocery store to pick up a carton of milk.

Good Samaritan laws can protect you if you try to help in an emergency.

*What is the Good Samaritan Law in Mercer Island?*According to RCW 4.24.300, in Washington state, a Good Samaritan is someone who gives aid or assistance in an emergency. The definition of a Samaritan is a person who does not expect compensation and is generally applied to people who are not trained professionals. Essentially, Good Samaritans are people who help others, commonly called a rescuer. In Washington state, you are immune from liability unless you have been willfully negligent or reckless when you render aid.

*What is Washington’s 911 Good Samaritan Law?*In addition to protecting people who can help save lives, such as in a car crash, Washington state goes a step further.

In Washington, if a person seeks medical assistance for someone who is experiencing a drug-related overdose, they are also protected. The person helping those in need will not be charged with possession of a controlled substance. The overdose victim is also protected from drug possession charges.

*What Should You Know About the Good Samaritan Law?*When someone is fighting for their life, ideally, a bystander would not question whether or not to be helpful. Your efforts could save a person’s life. Yet, we live in a litigious society.

Have you been a good samaritan? Have you received help from a good samaritan? If you have questions, talking with an experienced personal injury attorney may help you understand your case.

*When to Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer in King County*In Washington, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of a car accident to file a legal suit. If you have been involved in a car collision, the clock starts ticking on the date of the accident.

Talking to an experienced Washington Personal Injury Lawyer may help to clarify your legal options.

Burden of Proof in Renton Car Crashes

Posted Friday, November 17, 2023 by Chris Thayer

According to a report on King 5 local news, a Renton car crash left one man killed and one 72-year-old woman critically injured.

According to the Renton Police Department (RPD), the crash occurred at the 154th Place SE Intersection on Mapply Valley Highway.

Renton police reported that Washington State Patrol (WSP) had attempted to pull the driver over, when he fled, traveling at a high rate of speed. The suspect ran through a red light and crashed into the victim’s SUV. Officers are investigating the crash.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.

*The Burden of Proof in Renton Car Accident Cases*People making a car accident claim often settle claims with insurance companies.

Typically, you will need to explain to an adjuster how the insured person was at fault. You will also need to provide documentation as to how much the accident cost you.

While many cases settle out of court, evidence is still key in demonstrating your version of events.

*What Does Burden of Proof Mean in Washington Car Accidents?*In Washington, the burden of proof standard for car accident personal injury cases is “beyond a preponderance of evidence.” This is the responsibility of the person bringing the case, also known as the plaintiff.

A plaintiff must provide sufficient evidence to convince the court that the person being sued, also known as the defendant, is responsible.

While it may seem unbalanced or unfair, the defendant is not required to prove their innocence. It is the responsibility of the plaintiff to provide enough evidence that monetary damages can be awarded.

*What Kind of Evidence is Needed in Renton?*In proving fault for an accident, much of the most effective evidence is documented in the police report. Typically, this is where you will find photographs, witness statements, and eyewitness testimony of the accident.

In addition, as a plaintiff, you may have medical records documenting the injuries, as well as financial records showing the impact on earnings.

*If You are Injured in a Renton Car Crash*If you are the plaintiff, it is not enough to believe that your case is ironclad and that the other person is at fault. You will need to show all the evidence above and also prove that the injuries were not caused by other factors.

While these rules may seem challenging to a non-lawyer, a personal injury attorney is skilled in the rules of evidence and familiar with what constitutes a burden of proof in Washington courts.

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

If you have been involved in a car accident, you may have questions about how to receive compensation for your injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney in King County skilled in Washington Law may help answer your questions.

Insights Into Bellevue Car Crashes

Posted Friday, November 10, 2023 by Chris Thayer

According to the story in Downtown Bellevue, an early morning crash left one man dead and a 26-year-old Bellevue resident with non-life-threatening injuries. The passenger was pronounced dead at the scene due to injuries sustained in the accident. The driver was transported immediately to the hospital for treatment.

The crash occurred on 108th Avenue Northeast near the interchange with 520.

Bellevue police expressed strong suspicion that alcohol was significantly involved in this tragic accident. The investigation is ongoing.

In Washington, the term you’ll hear is “vehicular homicide,” which means causing the death of another person while driving under the influence. It is considered a class A felony, and a conviction carries up to life in prison and a maximum $50,000 fine.

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.

*Fault-Based Car Accident Laws in Washington*Several states in the United States have what is known as a no-fault car insurance system. Under this system, after an accident, a driver must make an injury claim with their car insurance. Under these rules, the injury claim must be made even if they did not cause the crash.

However, Washington has adopted a fault-based system. This means that if you are injured, or your property is damaged in an auto accident, you do not need to first file a claim against your auto insurance policy. Instead, you are free to bring an insurance claim or file a lawsuit against whoever is legally at fault.

*Auto Insurance Requirements in Washington *In Washington, any person who operates a motor vehicle must meet specific guidelines to meet the financial responsibility requirement, Wash. Rev. Code 46.30.20 (1) (a) (2023)).The guidelines of the state’s minimum liability coverage limits include $25,000 for bodily injury to, or the death of, a person, $50,000 for bodily injury or deaths per accident, and $10,000 for property damage per accident. (Wash. Rev. Code § 46.29.490 (2023)).

*Washington Car Accident Statute of Limitations*A statute of limitations is a law that defines a strict deadline on when you have the right to file a lawsuit. This varies from state to state as well as between different types of lawsuits. For example, an auto accident statute of limitations might be different from a medical malpractice case.

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

If you miss the statute of limitations and attempt to file your car accident lawsuit after the filing deadline, you are out of luck. The court will dismiss your case. When the statute of limitations has passed, you lose your right to sue.

*When to Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer in Bellevue*If you are unsure about whether to file a lawsuit or about the statute of limitations in your case, it could be useful to contact an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Bellevue.

What to Do if You are in a Burien Car Crash

Posted Friday, November 3, 2023 by Chris Thayer

According to a story on Fox 13, three people are dead, and one is seriously injured in a Tukwila crash. The crash, according to Puget Sound Fire, happened around 11.30 pm on S. 128th St, east of Military Road.

The heavy rescue squad cut into the vehicle to get two others out. One person died at the scene, and two victims were found outside the car. Another person was taken to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Tukwila Police Department Traffic Unit is investigating.

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.

*If You Have Been in a Burien Car Accident*No one wakes up in the morning or heads out for a quick run to the grocery store at night, imagining that they will be in a car accident.

When the unthinkable happens, it helps to know what to do. Prepare yourself so you are calm and ready in the event of an emergency or collision.

Naturally, after an accident, things can seem overwhelming. According to a report from AAA, it helps if you can take specific actions after a car accident.

*Stay Calm and Focus on Safety First After a Burien Crash*The top priority is getting to safety. After an accident, pull to the side of the road. Check for injuries and call 911 if necessary. Staying clear of traffic can help other drivers and also may assist emergency rescue to get to the scene.

*Collect Necessary Information for Drivers in Burien*If you can collect information, AAA advises gathering facts from everyone involved. This includes gathering names, contact information, phone and license plates of other drivers and passengers. If possible, get information about insurance companies from other drivers involved.

*Document the Scene in a Burien Car Collision*It may seem tedious, but if possible, take photos of the situation. Note any road conditions, debris, or hazards in the road that could be useful for the future.

*Limit What You Say in a Burien Car Crash*As odd as it may feel, limit your statements. You may feel sorry that the accident occurred, yet saying “I’m sorry” can possibly be interpreted as accepting fault for the situation.

Avoid saying that the accident was your fault. Similarly, avoid making accusations, blaming, or yelling at the other party. These comments may be used against you going forward.

*Take Photos to Show the Impact of a Burien Crash*A picture is worth a thousand words, and this is especially true in documenting the damage to your vehicle. Show the impact to convey the full picture. Take photos from all sides of the vehicle, as well as document damage on any of the other vehicles. Consult Your Insurance Agent and Lawyer in Burien

Talking with a professional insurance agent can help you know what to do next. Insurance agents may have insights into the best next steps regarding who to notify and file a claim.

Talking to an experienced Washington Personal Injury Lawyer may help to learn legal options.

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