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

Help! I was Hit by an Uninsured Driver

Posted Friday, April 8, 2022 by Chris Thayer

If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, it may feel like the worst case scenario. However, there are still options available to you, which we will review here. It is easy to feel like you are completely stuck between a rock and a hard place after an accident, particularly if you suffered serious injuries, but unfortunately, Washington State is full of uninsured drivers. In fact, it is estimated that 15% of all drivers in Washington State are driving without insurance. This means that there is a good chance that any accident in Washington state will involve at least one driver who does not have car insurance. Luckily, this does not mean that you will be entirely without support for your injuries and damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can advocate for you and help you to navigate the process of recovering damages for an uninsured motorist accident.

*Options if You Were Hit by an Uninsured Motorist * You have a number of options, through both legal means and your own personal insurance to get financial support for your injuries and damages after an accident.

  • PIP Insurance. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance is required in Washington state. This is insurance that you personally carry, and that applies regardless of who is at fault. This means that even if the person who hit you had no insurance, you will still have coverage from your own PIP insurance. The only thing to note is that PIP insurance only covers up to $10,000. If you suffered serious injuries in the crash, your expenses and damages are certain to exceed that amount, which will require utilizing other options for recovery, as well.
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, this is exactly the kind of situation for which you need it. You can file a claim and they will offer a settlement amount. In some cases, this coverage will also not be enough to cover the full amount of expenses incurred.
  • Bring a Personal Injury Lawsuit. Provided you know the identity of the person who hit you, bringing a personal injury lawsuit against them is generally the best way to recover the damages that you are owed. You can also use this method in combination with the previously mentioned ones. If you are concerned that the uninsured driver who hit you will have insufficient funds to cover your damages, your lawyer can assess the accident circumstances to determine whether any additional parties also contributed to causing the accident. If so, they can also be joined as parties and you can financially recover from them.

*Contact the Pivotal Law Group in Seattle Washington * If you have been seriously injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist that was not your fault in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, or Issaquah, the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group in Seattle, Washington, are ready to help. Contact the Pivotal Law Group today to schedule your consultation and find out how much your claim is worth and how we can help you get it.

Have You Been in a Seattle Railway Crossing Accident?

Posted Friday, April 1, 2022 by Chris Thayer

In Washington state, freight trains are not uncommon, and while they serve an important function economically, they also pose significant risks to pedestrians and drivers. For this reason, train intersections must be well marked, with warning signs and indicators that can be clearly seen. When these signals and precautions fail, serious injury and even death can result. In fact, statistics indicate that despite an overall decline in railway travel, deaths and injuries as a result of trains have continued to increase. Last year was the first time since 2015 where there was a decrease in fatalities and injuries caused by railway accidents, and still nearly 5,500 people were injured and 529 people lost their lives. Railroad crossing accidents can cause immeasurable damage, both physically and financially. If you were involved in a railroad crossing accident in Washington state that was not your fault, a personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation that you need to get your life back on track.

*Liability for Railroad Crossing Accidents *Determining who is liable for a railroad crossing accident can often be the most complicated part, and confusion over this aspect can make many victims choose not to pursue legal action since they simply do not know who to sue. This is where a personal injury lawyer can be especially helpful, since they can assist in identifying all parties who contributed to causing your harm. Often, there is more than just one party responsible.

In some cases, the railroad company may be responsible where warning signals, such as signs, flashing lights, and a gate, are missing, malfunctioning, or have failed to be adequately maintained or repaired. In other cases, warning signs may not be sufficiently visible, and the railroad company or a company they have contracted to maintain the safety or to design the railroad intersection can be held accountable for the harm.

In other cases, another driver will be at fault. For instance, if you were stopped at a railroad intersection and another driver was speeding or distracted and crashed into you, pushing you into the intersection and the path of a moving train, that driver would be liable for negligence. If the driver who hit you was unable to stop due to a vehicle defect, the manufacturer of that vehicle component and of the vehicle may also be held accountable.

As you can see, there are many potentially liable parties, and their contribution to causing the accident may not always be immediately apparent, but can require further investigation. For this reason, it can be invaluable to consult a Seattle personal injury attorney who can review the facts and circumstances of your case to determine who is liable and how best to pursue compensation.

*Contact the Pivotal Law Group*If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or even killed in a railway crossing accident in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, or Issaquah, the Pivotal Law Group is ready to fight to make sure that you get the compensation that you are entitled to. Contact the Pivotal Law Group today to schedule a consultation.

Road Rage Accidents in Seattle

Posted Friday, March 25, 2022 by Chris Thayer

“Road rage” is a term that is thrown around a lot these days, but it is quickly becoming an epidemic. In fact, statistics reflect that road rage is a factor in as many as one in three vehicle accidents. This means that every time you are on the road you are at risk of encountering a rageful or aggressive driver, and these encounters are not likely to end well. Road rage is not only unhealthy, but it also generally involves illegal behaviors that put everyone on the road at risk. If you have been in a car accident that was caused by road rage or aggressive driving, you may have grounds to bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover for the harm you have suffered as a result.

*Bringing a Lawsuit for a Road Rage Accident * While you cannot sue for road rage alone, you can sue if the road rage resulted in physical harm. Personal injury lawsuits exist to restore a victim of someone else’s reckless or negligent conduct to the position they would have been in had the accident never occurred. This means that there must be a financial injury or deficit that can be repaired. If you did not suffer any financial harm as a result of the road rage, a personal injury lawsuit will not be able to provide a remedy. Financial harm should back up your physical harm in the form of medical bills, lost wages, and any other expenses incurred as a direct result of the accident.

A personal injury lawsuit also allows you to recover for pain and suffering caused by the physical and emotional trauma of the accident. Road rage accidents are a good candidate for punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are not available in every case because they are different from other forms of damages. Whereas other forms of damages (economic and pain and suffering) are intended to compensate the victim and make them whole, punitive damages are intended to punish the offender and to discourage others from acting similarly by imposing high price-tag penalties. Punitive damages may be awarded where the other driver’s conduct was particularly reckless, egregious, or intentionally malicious, which is often the case in road rage accidents.

*Establishing Negligence in a Road Rage Accident * Damages are not the only thing that you must establish in order to bring a successful personal injury lawsuit. You must also show that the other driver was negligent. Road rage and related behaviors are generally strong indicators that the other driver was negligent. Negligence is presumed in cases where a driver was breaking laws, such as by speeding or driving while intoxicated, at the time of the accident, and road rage often involves illegal and intimidating behavior.

*Contact the Pivotal Law Group in Seattle, Washington * If you have been a victim of road rage in Seattle, Washington, the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group are ready to help. We will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve, and to hold the other driver accountable for their reckless and harmful conduct. Contact the Pivotal Law Group today to schedule a consultation.

Seattle Reckless Driving Accidents

Posted Friday, March 18, 2022 by Chris Thayer

If you have been involved in a reckless driving accident in Seattle, you are not alone. Nearly 3 million people are injured in car accidents in the United States each year, and most of these accidents are caused by reckless driving. Reckless driving is defined by Washington State Statutes as driving with wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. This can cover a large umbrella of driving behaviors, including speeding, driving under the influence, ignoring traffic signals, or driving erratically. If you were involved in an accident and suffered injuries due to a reckless driver, you may be feeling incredibly frustrated. This is understandable, since all reckless driving accidents would have been avoidable if not for the conduct of one driver. The good news is that you are not left to deal with the burden of their behavior on your own.

*Suing for Reckless Driving Accidents in Seattle * If you have been injured in a Seattle car accident you may have grounds to bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. In order to have standing to bring a claim, you must have suffered physical and financial injuries due to another driver’s negligence. Generally, the burden would be on you to prove that the other driver was negligent. However, in reckless driving cases, negligence is assumed. The reckless driver will generally have a difficult time overcoming this presumption, which makes your odds of success and recovery greater than they would be in other personal injury cases. For this reason, if you have been injured in an accident caused by someone who was driving recklessly, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to get an idea of what your options are and how best to move forward.

*Damages in a Reckless Driving Accident * The amount of damages that you are entitled to in a personal injury lawsuit depends on how much your injuries have cost you, financially, physically, and emotionally. A personal injury lawsuit allows you to recover all actual and anticipated costs incurred as a result of the accident. This includes costs related to treatment, medication, transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, lost wages, and reduced earning potential. You can also receive compensation for the physical and emotional trauma caused by the accident, known as pain and suffering damages. If the reckless driver’s conduct was particularly egregious, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Unlike economic and pain and suffering damages, punitive damages exist to punish the reckless driver and to deter others from acting similarly. A lawyer can give you the most accurate idea of the value of your claim.

*Contact the Pivotal Law Group in Seattle, Washington * If you have been seriously injured due to the reckless driving conduct of another person, our experienced Washington personal injury attorneys want to hear from you. We will fight to hold the negligent driver accountable and to get you the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to. Contact the Pivotal Law Group today to schedule your consultation.

What to Do After a T-Bone Accident

Posted Friday, March 11, 2022 by Chris Thayer

Many of us live in fear of getting into a car accident. Side-impact collisions, also known as T-bone collisions, are among the worst kinds. This is because the driver rarely sees them coming. Often the time a driver feels most secure is when a light turns green and they can proceed safely across the intersection, which is why it is so jarring when the driver with the right-of-way is suddenly hit from the side. These accidents are especially bad because cars do not offer passengers as much protection from the side, as compared to the front or back. It is estimated that 23% of all fatal car accidents fall into this category, and most could have been avoided if not for a driver’s negligence.

*What to Do After the Accident *If you are physically able in the aftermath of a T-bone accident, it is important to gather as much evidence as you can at the scene. Take photos and videos of the scene of the accident, as well as damage to any involved vehicles, tire marks, debris, and license plates. Make sure to get contact information from other drivers or bystanders who witnessed the crash so that they can provide their account to police and the insurance company. Call the police and provide your account of events. Also be sure to tell them if you have suffered any injuries or are experiencing pain that you did not have prior to the accident. Next it is important to get medical attention. T-bone accidents can cause serious head trauma, including traumatic brain injuries, trauma to the spine, neck, skull, ribs, and chest. These are all high-stakes injuries that should not be taken lightly. If you are having any head or neck pain after an accident it is important to see a doctor. This is also an important step because it gets you medical documentation that you will need if you later decide to bring a claim.

Finally, call a lawyer. You will soon be inundated with calls from insurance claims adjusters trying to get you to accept a low-ball offer while you are vulnerable and uniformed. It is important to get an experienced legal advocate on your side as soon as possible to level the playing field and ensure that you get a fair settlement. If the insurance company will not provide a fair settlement, your lawyer will help you sue them so that you can recover the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled. This includes compensation for all costs incurred as a result of the accident (such as medical bills, lost wages, etc.) as well as compensation for pain and suffering. The permanence and severity of your injuries will be highly persuasive in determining the amount of damages to which you are entitled.

*Contact the Pivotal Law Group in Seattle, Washington *If you have been seriously injured in a Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, or Issaquah car accident that was not your fault, our lawyers are here to help. Contact the Pivotal Law Group today to schedule a consultation and find out how much your claim is worth.