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

Hiring a Medical Expert for Your Personal Injury Claim

Posted Friday, July 17, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextThe U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics’ research indicates that over 50% of all cases presented in civil matters relate to personal injuries resulting from another person’s negligence. Interestingly, only 4% of these cases actually end up in front of a judge at a trial, as the majority are settled outside of the courtroom through negotiations with insurance companies. Learn how hiring a medical expert for your personal injury claim can ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, pain and suffering and loss of wages resulting from your inability to return to work.

*What is a Medical Expert Witness? *If you have been injured in a personal injury accident, you may wonder why you need an expert to testify regarding your injuries if you have already seen a medical professional and received an official diagnosis or course of medical treatment. Unfortunately, in personal injury cases, insurance companies tend to try to avoid paying appropriate and just settlement offers to victims, and therefore, will claim that a victim’s injury is not as severe or catastrophic as they claim. Therefore, a medical expert witness, which is typically a medical professional such as a surgeon or doctor, will offer independent and unbiased testimony regarding the injuries suffered by a victim. Medical experts can, therefore, provide testimony after evaluating the injuries and medical records of a victim by answering questions regarding the following:

  • The extent of victim’s injury
  • Whether the medical treatment the victim received was, in fact, appropriate
  • Future medical costs
  • Timeline for the improvement or deterioration of overall health related to the injury
  • The future decrease in earning capacity as a result of the injury
  • Possible reduction in either work or life expectancy as a result of the injury
  • Confirm a permanent or temporary disability determination

*Reasons to Hire a Medical Expert *Judges and juries do not have medical experience and will need the advice of a neutral third-party such as a medical expert. However, because most cases do not go to trial, if an insurance company knows that you already have a medical expert willing to testify on your behalf that your injuries are as severe as you and your doctor claim, they will be more willing to provide a fair and just settlement without going to trial.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney *If you suffered injuries related to an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may have to hire an expert witness to testify on your behalf regarding the injuries you suffered. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have the ability to hire expert medical witnesses on your behalf and build a strong personal injury case so that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Contact Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008 and visit with one of our experienced attorneys. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, and Issaquah areas.

What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer do for You?

Posted Friday, July 10, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextMany people who suffer injuries in accidents caused by someone else’s negligence have the legal right to pursue financial compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, physical pain, mental anguish, and property damage. If you suffered injuries or losses as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may feel overwhelmed regarding your next steps. Understanding how an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you receive compensation for your injuries will help you make informed decisions as you move forward.

*Understanding Personal Injury Laws*A personal injury lawyer can provide assistance to you throughout your personal injury settlement or lawsuit process. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to explain all of the applicable laws regarding your circumstance and how they can be used to your advantage. Additionally, an attorney should take the time to explain all of your legal rights and articulate how you are able to legally bring a claim for compensation under the law. Oftentimes, personal injury lawsuits involve a great deal of complex legal concepts such as statutes of limitations and theories regarding negligence. A personal injury attorney should be able to explain and navigate these concepts to you so that you have a full understanding of your case.

*Negotiating With Insurance Companies *One of the most difficult aspects of a personal injury case is negotiating with insurance companies. Insurance companies have experienced adjusters working on their side and often use manipulative or adversarial tactics against victims in order to reduce the amount of their settlement offers. A personal injury attorney will represent their client by negotiating with insurance companies on their behalf. Most insurance companies will not utilize manipulative tactics on attorneys, as they know that lawyers will already know all of their tactics and they will be unsuccessful. An attorney will work to ensure that their client receives the best compensation package possible in a settlement offer, and an inexperienced personal injury lawyer will not hesitate to reject an unfair or low settlement offer from an insurance company.

*Provides Representation in Court *Most personal injury cases never actually go to trial, as most are settled through offers given by insurance companies. However, when an insurance company fails to provide a fair and just settlement offer, the case will go to trial. A personal injury lawyer will be able to hire medical experts, build a strong case, and ensure that all paperwork and documentation is filed in an appropriate amount of time to ensure that no statute of limitation deadlines pass. Additionally, if the case does go to trial, a personal injury lawyer will be able to represent you regarding your injuries and losses suffered due to someone else’s negligence.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney *You are likely dealing with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Consider visiting with an experienced personal injury attorney so that you will get the representation you deserve to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008 and speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, and Issaquah areas.

Driving Apps May Help Teenagers Stay Safe

Posted Friday, July 3, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextMost people would never equate cell phones and driving with safety. However, while texting and driving is one of the leading causes of accidents in the United States, there are ways that a cell phone can actually help teenage drivers (or any drivers) stay safe while on the roadways. Learn how you can help your teenager use his or her cellphone for good as a new driver. The following cell phone apps can help ensure that parents can track the driving behavior of their children.

*SafeDrive*Playing games on a cell phone while driving is probably the most dangerous activity a person can do. This free app gamifies safety practices by allowing a driver to earn rewards for safe driving habits. The driver gets an overall score, and can even compete against friends.

*Canary *Parents can monitor their teenagers by using this app. Notifications are sent to a parent when a teenager exceeds the speed limit or drives outside a perimeter established by the parent.

*Drive Safe.ly*This app prohibits any driver from texting and driving. Any driver that receives a text while driving will send an automatic message to the person texting that states that they are currently driving, and will respond at a later time. This app does cost money, but is an inexpensive way to ensure that the temptation to answer a phone call while driving is removed.

*Drive Safe*This app completely silences a cell phone and auto-replies to incoming calls and text messages. Again, this app removes the temptation to answer a cell phone call while driving.

*LifeSaver*This app prevents a person from answering a cell phone while driving, but also allows a parent to track teenagers and offers them rewards for safe driving.

*iOnRoad*iOnRoad is a unique smartphone app that uses the camera data along with GPS and an accelerometer to actually determine the physical distance between you and the car and in front of you. For new drivers, this is an amazing tool. If you get too close, a warning will flash your cell phone and give the driver an alarm as well. It is important to realize that this app may distract drivers, however, so try it before you actually use it on the roadways.

*TrueMotion Family *This app monitors drivers, similar to other apps, but this app is unique in that it actually offers recommendations to a driver regarding how they can improve. It documents how many times they exceeded the speed limit, etc. and gives advice as to how to improve driving habits.

*Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney *Even with all of this amazing technology, teenagers are still involved in car accidents every day. If your teenager was involved in a car accident and suffered any kind of injuries or losses, contact the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008 to speak with one of our experienced car accident attorneys. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, and Issaquah areas.

Car Accidents Out of State

Posted Friday, June 26, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextIf you were involved in a car accident out of state, you may feel additional stress and pressure regarding what your legal rights are and how you should proceed. Consider the following if you suffered injuries or property damage in a car accident in another state.

*Follow the Same Steps*There are certain steps you should follow after every car accident that includes the following:

  • Call 911
  • Seek medical attention
  • Contact your insurance company
  • Obtain the other driver’s insurance card and contact information
  • Obtain the contact information for any witnesses
  • Take pictures of the scene of the accident if possible
  • Keep a full record of all medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and a record of your pain and suffering

*Understand Car Insurance *Your car insurance will likely provide you with coverage no matter where you have an accident in the United States. Additionally, most insurance companies will cover you up to the required amount of insurance of the state you had the accident in, whether or not your coverage actually meets that standard. The liability limits will meet the standard of the state in which you had the accident.

*No-Fault State Insurance Systems*No-fault insurance states do exist throughout the United States, and these specific states require each driver to first use his or her own insurance to pay for injuries and damages related to the car accident. This requirement exists whether or not they were at fault for the car accident. The states that follow no-fault insurance systems are Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah. States that do not have a no-fault insurance system, such as the state of Washington, will allow the injured victim of the accident to directly sue the other driver’s insurance.

Whatever state you have an accident in, make sure to always contact your insurance company so that they have a record of your accident. Additionally, as the majority of states are not no-fault insurance states, you will need to alert your insurance company so that they can begin the process of creating a claim and eventually offering you a settlement for your injuries and losses that relate to the car accident including reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

*Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney *Being involved in a car accident in any state can be an overwhelming experience. When you are far from home and in an accident, you may feel anxious as to whether or not you have followed all the correct steps to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Contact the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008 and visit with one of our experienced car accident attorneys. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, and Issaquah areas.

Insurance Company Tactics

Posted Friday, June 19, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextInsurance companies often turn adversarial when victims of accidents refuse to agree to accept settlement offers that do not properly or justly cover their expenses and damages. The following are some specific ways that insurance companies will attempt to use manipulative tactics to avoid compensating a victim fully for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence.

*Pressure Tactics*According to the American Association for Justice, pressure tactics are a common way that insurance companies will attempt to intimidate a victim into providing information or evidence during the negotiation process. Some examples include:

  • Contacting a Victim Immediately. Some insurance companies will attempt to contact a victim immediately following an accident, even when the victim is suffering from physical injuries or even still in the hospital. Victims often are under powerful sedative drugs or pain killers at the time of this phone call, and an insurance company will use this opportunity to see if they can get the victim to say something detrimental to the case, which would ultimately reduce the chance of a fair and just settlement.
  • Requesting All Medical Records. While an insurance company has the legal right to request medical records when a victim has completed medical treatment following an accident, they are not allowed to request a full and complete medical history of a victim. The reason they attempt to obtain all medical records is to see if there is a preexisting condition that they could use to say the current injuries are not a direct result of an accident, but rather a prior existing condition of the victim. If they attempt this tactic and succeed, they will also attempt to offer a lower settlement amount.
  • Pressuring a Victim to Make Inaccurate Statements. Insurance companies will use every single chance to pressure a victim into making an inaccurate statement. Never allow yourself to be recorded on any phone call, they do not have the legal right to require you to agree to this stipulation. Additionally, anything you say during small talk, such as “Thank you, I’m feeling better,” can be used to say that your injuries are not as catastrophic as you claim.
  • Stalling Tactics. There are certain deadlines by which a victim must file a claim in court if negotiations with insurance companies do not result in a fair and just settlement. Insurance companies know this deadline and may attempt to stall the entire process for the sole reason of hoping that a victim will fail to meet their deadline and will not have the legal right to pursue a claim under the law.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney *The insurance companies have even more tactics up their sleeves than those listed above. Make sure that you receive the settlement you deserve by having an experienced personal injury attorney represent you in the negotiations with insurance companies. Contact the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, and Issaquah areas.