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

Establishing a Personal Injury Case

Posted Friday, February 7, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextIf you were injured due to someone’s negligence in the state of Washington, you are likely facing substantial medical costs, loss of wages due to an inability to return to work and even pain and suffering. If someone else’s carelessness or recklessness directly led to your injuries from a car accident, dog bite, slip and fall, medical malpractice or another type of injury, you may have the right to receive compensation from the negligent party. The following is a quick guide to how a personal injury case may be established. However, if you believe you have a personal injury case, visiting with an experienced attorney can help ensure your rights and help you build a strong case to receive the compensation you deserve.

*Personal Injury Law*Personal injury law covers all different types of injuries suffered due to someone else’s negligence. For example cases such as trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home injuries, slip and fall injuries, dog bites, boating accidents, manufacturing defects and more are all covered under personal injury law. To make the determination that you have a valid legal claim in the state of Washington for a personal injury claim, the following criteria must be met:

  • Duty: A person has a duty in a specific situation not to cause injury or act negligently towards another person.
  • Breach: Someone “breaches” that duty under the law. For example, they drive a car while speeding or run a red light, a property owner fails to keep their property free from dangerous conditions, a doctor leaves a sponge in a patient after surgery, etc.
  • Causation: The breach of duty must have directly caused some form of emotional, physical, or financial harm to the victim.
  • Damages: You suffered actual physical, emotional, or financial harm that is provable in a court of law.

*Statute of Limitations *According to the state of Washington, you have three years from the date of the accident or injury to file a lawsuit for any injuries suffered. There are some exceptions to this rule, and visiting with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine how long you have to file a lawsuit in your specific case. While this may seem like a long time, after dealing with medical injuries and insurance companies, this time goes by quite quickly.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney*No matter what kind of personal injury you may have suffered due to someone else’s recklessness, carelessness, or negligence, you have a right to receive compensation for your unexpected medical bills, lost wages and even pain and suffering. In some cases, if the actions of the defendant were egregious, the courts may even award punitive damages to a victim in an attempt to punish the defendant for their actions and prevent future acts of negligence by others. Contact our compassionate attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. You may have the right to receive compensation. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Injuries Caused by Labor Induction

Posted Friday, January 31, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextHaving a baby is one of the greatest joys in life. However, under certain tragic circumstances, labor induction can cause catastrophic injuries and death to either the mother or the baby.

*The Decision to Induce Labor*Most medical experts agree that a mother should be induced to start the process of labor under certain circumstances. If the fetal growth of a baby has stopped, if the mother is past two weeks of her due date, there are infections or medical complications for either the mother or baby, or the mother’s water broke but feels no contractions, these are all instances in which the decision to induce labor is medically accepted. Other instances of inducing labor include those women who have had previous complications in birth or who live very far from a hospital or medical facility.

*Medications Used to Induce Labor *The medications Pitocin, Cytotec, and Cervidil are all medications used to induce labor by increasing the frequency of contractions that speed up the labor and delivery process. Cytotec is approved for FDA use for inductions, but many doctors still use this drug and severe injuries result. Some complications related to labor induction include having too many contractions, too frequent of contractions, failed inductions, placental abruptions or hemorrhaging. These medications can lead to birth injuries or even death of either the mother or baby.

*Injuries Due to Labor Induction *Medical induction can cause severe injuries including uterine rupture, too many contractions, complications with the umbilical cord, premature births, severe bleeding, postpartum hemorrhage, increased risk of a Cesarean section, amniotic fluid embolism, Cerebral Palsy or Erb’s Palsy, traumatic brain injuries, stroke, or even death. Injuries can occur to both the mother and/or baby and can cause serious damage that may be permanent.

*Long-Term Effects *If a family suffers a birth injury to the mother or child, the effects can last months, years, or even be permanent. Some of the things a child may need if they suffer a birth injury can include continued medical treatment, surgeries, physical therapy, home modifications, therapy aids, orthotics, braces, wheelchairs, tutoring, therapy, special education, special organizations for encouragement and support, and lifelong assistance. While compensation for an injury or death will never replace the health or life of a mother or baby, the medical bills, lost wages, or potentially a lifetime of medical needs, therapy, and care, can encourage parents to seek monetary recovery for someone else’s negligence.

*Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney *If you or your baby suffered injuries or death due to a medical practitioner’s negligence regarding labor induction, you should contact experienced medical malpractice and personal injury attorney to help you build a strong case. The statute of limitations deadline is only three years, so you must act quickly. Contact our compassionate attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. You may have the right to receive compensation. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Automobile Defect Accidents

Posted Friday, January 24, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextMany car accidents occur due to driver negligence or recklessness. However, 44,000 car accidents occur yearly due to defective parts and components of vehicles on the roadways, according to the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Defective design flaws or manufacturing defects oftentimes result in the recall of vehicles to fix the defect. However, even with these recalls, hundreds of injuries occur every year due to manufacturing defects in vehicles. Therefore, if you were in a car accident, make sure to consider that the crash could have been a result of a defective part or component of your vehicle or another’s as part of the car crash investigation.

*Automobile Defects*Manufacturing parts and components are regulated by the NHTSA which established the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for vehicles in the United States. Any part of the component of a vehicle that is determined to be defective or malfunctioning in any way can be recalled by the NHTSA. Some of the common reasons that a part or component of a vehicle may be recalled include the following:

  • Accidental airbag deployment unrelated to an accident
  • Gas accelerator that is broken or sticks
  • Loss of light
  • Fires within an electrical system of the vehicle
  • Wheels that are cracked or broken unexpectedly
  • Steering wheel failures
  • Windshield wiper failures
  • Seats or seat back components that are defective
  • Any other part of a vehicle that malfunctions in any way such as falling apart, breaking or separating thus causing the inability to control or navigate the vehicle in any way

When the NHTSA discovers a part or component of a vehicle that is defective they will issue a recall notice. However, in many cases vehicles have defective parts that have gone unnoticed or unreported. If you were in a car accident, it is important to select an experienced attorney who will help you conduct an independent investigation of the car accident in order to determine all parties who may have liability, including the vehicle manufacturer.

*Liability for Automobile Defects *In cases involving manufacturing defects, the defective part or component either directly caused the accident, or was a factor that contributed to a much more serious accident. For example, if the airbags do not deploy during an accident, that defect did not directly cause the accident, however, it would cause the passengers in the vehicle to suffer more serious injuries due to the lack of safety provided by the airbags.

*Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today *Many people assume that the only cause of a car accident is the negligence or recklessness of another driver. However, there are many circumstances under which a defective automobile part could either cause or contribute to a car crash. If you were in a car accident, and suspect that a manufacturing defect either caused or contributed to your accident, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. You may have the right to receive compensation. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Injured in an Uber or Lyft?

Posted Friday, January 17, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextMost people jump into a ridesharing car such as Uber or Lyft without much thought. In fact, these types of ridesharing services are utilized by millions in the United States every day. For the average rider, an Uber or Lyft ride is a simple way to get somewhere without the hassle of driving and oftentimes is done to prevent accidents due to drinking and driving. However, as ridesharing services become more and more popular, crashes and injuries occur more frequently. These drivers are just as likely to be in a car accident as any other driver. However, if you are injured in an Uber or Lyft, you may wonder who has the responsibility to pay for your injuries or damages. The following is a brief overview of many of the questions you may have after experiencing a ridesharing accident as a passenger.

*What Should I do Following a Ridesharing Accident? *If you were a passenger in an Uber or Lyft and suffered any kind of injuries, follow these steps after your accident:

  • Call 911.
  • Obtain a copy of the official police report.
  • Obtain all witness contact information and the other driver’s contact information.
  • Seek medical treatment immediately.
  • Keep detailed records of your medical treatments, lost wages, a diary of your pain and suffering, photographs of any injuries or damages to property, and all documentation related to the accident.

*Can I Sue Uber or Lyft? *If you were involved in a car accident, as in any other accident on the roadways, there must be a determination regarding fault. The person or persons responsible for the accident will be considered liable and responsible for any injuries or damages suffered.

Your Uber or Lyft driver may have secured a special type of car insurance that specifically covers ridesharing drivers. If the accident was your driver’s fault, you may be able to seek compensation from the driver’s insurance company. However, in other cases, the driver will not have this specialized insurance, but rather the ridesharing company will provide insurance coverage on behalf of the driver. If your driver is at fault, your two options are to file a claim against the driver’s personal insurance policy, or file a claim directly with the ridesharing company. For example, if you were a passenger in an Uber, you may be able to file a claim with Uber’s insurance policy, as their company does cover its drivers.

If the other driver was determined to be at-fault for the accident, the process is simpler and is the same as a typical car accident. You would file a claim with the other driver’s insurance policy, and negotiate a settlement with them.

*Contact an Experienced Car Attorney Today *Making a determination of who is at fault and who is responsible for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering or property damage can be a legally complex issue. After experiencing a car accident in an Uber or Lyft, contact our experienced legal team at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. You may have the right to receive compensation. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Hit by an Uninsured Motorist?

Posted Friday, January 10, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextBeing in a car accident is already a traumatic and overwhelming experience. If you suffered any type of physical injuries, you likely have medical bills along with pain and suffering, loss of wages, as well as damage to your vehicle. Drivers in the state of Washington are required by law to have insurance coverage, but many operate a vehicle without any insurance at all. If you were in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you may have a more challenging time attempting to receive compensation for your damages.

*Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists*Uninsured drivers are persons who did not elect to pay for car insurance coverage or failed to maintain the required minimum amount of coverage. Underinsured drivers are those drivers who purchased only the minimum amount of insurance required by law that still will not cover all of your damages from the car accident. A Washington driver must have the following insurance coverage under the law:

  • $25,000 of bodily injury or death of one person
  • $50,000 of bodily injury or death of two people
  • $10,000 of property damage for a single accident

*Uninsured Motorist Coverage*Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance any driver is allowed to obtain in the state of Washington that will cover damages or expenses related to a car accident if the other driver was either uninsured or underinsured. The state of Washington does not require that drivers obtain this coverage, but it is recommended as you will then be able to file a claim with your own insurance company regarding any loss for damage to your own vehicle or any medical bills you may have as a result of the accident.

*Filing an Uninsured/Underinsured Claim *If you were in a car accident in the state of Washington, regardless if the other driver had insurance, you will need to file a police report or file a collision report with law enforcement. If a police officer arrives at the scene of the accident, you will not have to file this report. However, if no police officer completes a collision report, then each driver involved in the collision has the responsibility to file a collision report within four days of the car accident. You may submit a report online or obtain a collision report from your local police department.

If the other driver was uninsured and fails to pay for any damages resulting from the accident, you may report it to the Washington State Department of Licensing within 180 days of the accident through a Motor Vehicle Claim for Damages form. To qualify for this, you must have incurred at least $1,000 in property damages or suffered an injury.

*Contact Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Today *If you were in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, contact our experienced legal team at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. 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.