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

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.

Proving a Slip and Fall Case

Posted Friday, December 20, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextIf you were injured due to a property owner’s negligence, you may have suffered physical and emotional damages. Medical bills may be piling up, you may be unable to work and losing out on wages, and you may be facing pain and suffering, as well. If your slip and fall accident was due to negligence regarding a hazardous condition or area on someone else’s property you may have the right to receive compensation for your injuries.

*Elements of a Slip and Fall Personal Injury Case *One-fifth of all falls result in serious injuries. However, you must be able to prove that your injuries were suffered as a direct result of the property owner’s negligence. In order to establish a strong slip and fall personal injury case, you must be able to prove the following elements:

  • The property owner had a duty to keep the property clear of any hazardous or dangerous areas, knowing that certain persons, or the public, would be on the property.
  • The property owner breached that duty by failing to warn of the dangerous area or clear the hazardous condition.
  • The hazard or danger directly caused your injuries.
  • You suffered actual physical, emotional, or financial damages.

The law does not define exactly what a hazardous or dangerous condition would be, however, the courts will typically look to see if a reasonable person in the same or similar situation would have also slipped and fallen with respect to the hazardous condition.

*Visitor and Guest Classification*Property owners owe different levels of duty to different types of visitors and guests.

  • Invitee. Property owners have a duty of reasonable care toward invitees. These are persons who are either invited to a business or allowed to legally be on the property of a business owner. A great deal of care should be given toward invitees to ensure their safety on property.
  • Licensee. Any person who has a home or personal residence may invite a social guest to visit them. These social guests are considered licensees. The property owners must make sure to take reasonable care to ensure that their property is free from any kind of hazardous condition to ensure the safety of their guests.
  • Trespasser. A property owner has absolutely no duty regarding anyone who may be trespassing on their property illegally. The only exception may be if a child wanders onto their property under the “attractive nuisance doctrine.” This would include property that has swimming pools or artificial conditions which may be attractive to a child and can cause injury or death.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney* If you were injured due to the negligence of a property owner, you may have the right to compensation. Our experienced legal team at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008 can help you build a strong case on your behalf. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Pharmaceutical Errors

Posted Friday, December 13, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextWith over 7,000 different types of prescription medications available for purchase in the United States, pharmaceutical errors account for thousands of patient injuries and deaths each year.

These errors are entirely preventable, however, and the consequences of such an error can be life-threatening or fatal.

*Medication and Pharmaceutical Errors*The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention indicates that a medication error occurs when a medication causes an injury due to some of the following reasons:

  • A patient is given incorrect medication
  • Medication is switched between patients incorrectly
  • Medication is mislabeled
  • Incorrect medication dosage is written, or distributed to the patient
  • Medication is confused and given incorrectly to the patient due to a similar name with a different medication
  • Incorrectly dispensing or prescribing a medication to a patient who has an allergy to it.
  • Lack of communication by the doctor or pharmacist regarding the medication including possible side effects, negative interactions with other medications, or allergies

These mistakes are preventable either by the doctor writing the prescription, or the pharmacist filling the medication properly. Without extra precautions, these medications and pharmaceutical errors can cause severe injuries or death.

*Failure of Communication *The first line of defense with regard to pharmaceutical errors is with the doctor. Every doctor should ensure that a patient understands the name and dosage of the medication being prescribed to them, as well as any possible side effects or interactions with drugs they are currently taking. However, the second line of defense for patient safety rests at the pharmacy.

If pharmacists took the time to follow pharmacy protocols and safeguards, as well as visit directly with the patient, some of these pharmaceutical errors could be avoided. Every patient at a pharmacy should be asked whether or not they would like to visit with a pharmacist, as well as ensure that their medication does not interact with any other drugs they have been prescribed or to which they have listed allergies.

Visiting with a pharmacist can provide the opportunity for a patient to receive valuable information or possibly clarify anything that the pharmacist may not have in the computer system with respect to allergies or other medications the patient is currently taking. Some possible questions or discussions a pharmacist should have with a patient could include the following:

  • Confirm with the patient that the correct medication was ordered, provided, and distributed in the correct dosage
  • Confirm that the patient has no allergies to the new prescription that would adversely affect them in any way
  • Confirm the patient’s medical history to ensure that no drug interactions exist with the current prescription being provided to the patient

These simple conversations between a pharmacist and a patient provide an extra layer of defense regarding any potential pharmaceutical errors, and can potentially avoid serious injuries or even death to a patient.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney*If you were injured due to the negligence of a doctor, pharmacist, or other medical professional with regard to a prescription, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Our experienced legal team at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008 can help you build a strong case on your behalf. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Pedestrian Accidents

Posted Friday, December 6, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextPedestrian accidents with any kind of motorized vehicle typically end in catastrophic injuries. While many people believe that the pedestrian has the “right of way,” this is only the case if the pedestrian has not behaved in a reckless, negligent, or careless manner. Assuming that a pedestrian was not in an illegal area, crossing illegally, or acting recklessly (such as throwing items at vehicles or walking under the influence of drugs or alcohol), a pedestrian may have the right to compensation for any injuries incurred.

*Pedestrian Injuries*Any pedestrian accident involving a vehicle, bicycle, scooter, truck, or motorcycle can result in serious and severe injuries. Statistics show that the most common injuries sustained from pedestrian accidents by pedestrians include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Amputations
  • Fractures
  • Broken Bones
  • Cuts, Burns and Severe Bruising
  • Sprains and Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Damage to the Spinal Cord causing Paralysis
  • Emotional Trauma resulting in Mental Health Issues
  • Death

*Steps to Take After Your Accident *As a pedestrian, if you were a victim of someone else’s negligence and suffered physical injuries, you should take certain steps following the accident to preserve your health as well as any possible legal claim you may have in the future.

  • Call 911: Always call 911 immediately. Even if you do not feel your injuries are severe, you should have the police come and complete a police report. This official report will be important if you are attempting to obtain compensation from an insurance company at a later date, or attempting to file a lawsuit for your medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering. Always give the police officer as much detail as possible, and always request an official copy of the police report for your files.
  • Seek Immediate Medical Attention: If an ambulance arrives at the scene of the accident, you should agree to be evaluated immediately. Oftentimes, people do not consider that their injuries are severe enough to require a medical examination, however, the adrenaline and shock from the accident can mask any possible serious or life-threatening injuries. If you do refuse medical treatment at the scene of the accident, consider visiting a doctor within the next 48 to 72 hours to have a complete examination regarding any internal injuries you may have suffered. If you intend to pursue a claim with the insurance company or pursue a lawsuit, you will need to have proof that you visited a qualified medical professional that evaluated your medical condition.
  • Document Everything: Make sure to document as much as possible, and begin creating a file for your accident that includes your medical bills, medical treatments, the police report, witness contact information, photographs taken of the scene from your cell phone, lost wages, and even a daily log of your pain and suffering.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney* If you were in an accident as a pedestrian and are finding it difficult to obtain a fair and just settlement with an insurance company, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Our experienced legal team at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008 can help you conduct an independent investigation, consult with accident reconstruction expert witnesses, and build a strong case on your behalf. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.