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

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Burien?

Posted Friday, April 29, 2022 by Chris Thayer

In the State of Washington, only certain individuals can file wrongful death lawsuits. These types of lawsuits are not filed by the victims, but instead by their close family members and loved ones. The reason for this is obvious — the victim is no longer alive to file a lawsuit on their own behalf. But it is worth pointing out that not just anyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Washington, there are very strict rules regarding these matters. So, can you file a wrongful death lawsuit after losing a loved one in a fatal accident – such as a car crash?

If you believe you might have the opportunity to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the first step is to get in touch with a personal injury attorney in Burien at your earliest convenience. During an initial consultation, your lawyer can assess your situation and determine whether or not you can sue. From there, you can work towards a fair, adequate settlement in a highly efficient manner.

Fatal *Accidents are Common in Burien*Fatal accidents occur on a fairly regular basis in Burien. In April of 2021, it was reported that two people had lost their lives after their vehicle was hit by a pickup truck. They had been forced into oncoming traffic after being hit by a speeding car. The reckless driver who caused the accident was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide. He initially tried to escape the scene of the crash, and so he was also charged with hit and run.

Who Ca*n File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Washington State?*In Washington State, there is only one person who can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased victim: The “personal representative” of their estate. In almost all cases, this is the same person as the executor of their will. If the victim passed away without a will in place, the court will likely appoint someone to act as the personal representative.

But what happens if the executor does not actually need the money from a settlement? What if the victim’s spouse and surviving children are desperately trying to make ends meet, having lost the primary breadwinner of the family? It is important to understand that although the personal representative actually files the lawsuit, the damages go towards the deceased survivors. So while you might not have the ability to file the lawsuit yourself, you will almost certainly benefit in some way if you are considered a beneficiary.

*Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today*If you have been searching for an experienced personal injury attorney in Burien, look no further than Pivotal Law Group. With our help, you can hold negligent parties accountable for the death of your loved ones. Although no sum of money can bring your family member back, a wrongful death lawsuit can provide you with a sense of closure. This may help you move on. Of course, your financial settlement can help you pay for things like funeral expenses and unpaid medical bills. Book your consultation today to learn more.

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit after a Pedestrian Crash in Renton

Posted Friday, April 22, 2022 by Chris Thayer

Losing a loved one is never easy, but this loss can be especially tragic if you know someone else was to blame. Pedestrian accidents are often caused by negligent drivers. The drivers may be intoxicated, distracted, or simply reckless. Unfortunately, many pedestrians struck by vehicles do not survive, as there is little that can protect them from the impact. On the other hand, drivers suffer virtually no physical injuries after striking a pedestrian. If you have lost a loved one in a Renton pedestrian crash, you may need to file a wrongful death lawsuit. But what exactly is this, and how can it help you pursue justice?

Questions like these are best left answered by legal professionals, such as personal injury attorneys in Renton. Our lawyers can assess your unique situation during an initial consultation, during which you will have the opportunity to ask important questions. From there, we can recommend the best move. It is best to get in touch as soon as possible, as needless delays can prevent you from suing due to the statute of limitations.

*An Example of a Fatal Pedestrian Collision in Penton*On May 21st, it was reported that Renton police were investigating a fatal collision that left a pedestrian dead. The incident began when a driver decided to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. This driver then struck a pedestrian near Valley Medical Center at approximately 2 AM, killing the victim. Police arrived and quickly declared the victim deceased, while the driver was arrested for a DUI. They then closed off the area and began to investigate the crash in more detail. It is unknown whether the victim’s family members will file a wrongful death lawsuit, but it seems like a likely outcome.

*What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?*A wrongful death lawsuit is in many ways quite similar to a normal personal injury lawsuit. The only real difference is that the victim is no longer alive, and the lawsuit is instead brought forth by their surviving family members. This could be the victim’s spouse, their children, or their parents. The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to provide compensation for both non-economic and economic damages.

Economic damages might include the medical expenses incurred by the victim on their deathbed, lost future wages, and funeral expenses. Lost future wages are especially crucial for single parents who are left to raise their children alone on a limited income. Non-economic damages involve the obvious mental and emotional losses associated with a loved one’s passing, including grief, PTSD, anxiety, and loss of consortium.

Where Can *I Find an Attorney Near Me?*If you have been searching the Renton area for a personal injury attorney, look no further than Pivotal Law Group. With our assistance, you can pursue justice and fair compensation for your loss. Although your family member may no longer be around, you can take legal action on their behalf. Doing so can provide a sense of closure for the entire family. Book your consultation today to learn more about your legal options.

What Happens After a Hit-and-Run in Kent?

Posted Friday, April 15, 2022 by Chris Thayer

A hit-and-run is an especially egregious crime in the state of Washington, and for good reason. Fleeing the scene of the accident is not just illegal – it shows a blatant disregard for the value of human life. However, some criminals care more about saving their own skins rather than helping those who are injured or dying in car wrecks. If you have managed to survive one of these hit and runs, you might be intent on holding the guilty driver accountable. But how can you do this if the driver is nowhere to be found?

If you have been injured in a Kent hit-and-run, your best bet is to get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. With help from one of our legal professionals, you can strive for the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. With this compensation, you can pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and much more.

*An Example of a Hit-and-Run in Kent*Hit-and-runs occur on a fairly regular basis in Kent. On May 3rd of 2022, it was reported that state troopers were searching for a driver who had committed a hit-and-run in Kent. The incident began when a motorcyclist crashed his motorcycle. The motorcyclist then rose to his feet but was immediately struck by a car. A driver in a third vehicle saw the collision and attempted to block the other car from getting away.

However, the car that had hit the motorcyclist managed to ram straight through and get away from the scene. This guilty driver then apparently abandoned their vehicle outside an apartment complex before fleeing on foot. As of May 3rd, the police were unable to locate this hit-and-run criminal. In addition, it should be noted that the motorcyclist was arrested on a DUI.

*What to Do After a Hit-and-Run*If you have been involved in a hit-and-run, it is best to simply trust the police to catch the criminal. Their methods are very sophisticated, and there is a strong chance the individual will either turn themselves in or be brought to justice. Since Washington is an “at-fault” state, it is very important to find the guilty party and prove they were negligent. That being said, you may still have the opportunity to recover compensation by turning to your own insurance provider if all else fails.

*Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today*If you have been searching for a qualified personal injury attorney in Kent, look no further than Pivotal Law Group. With our assistance, you can strive for the best possible outcome – even if your situation seems especially dire. Hit-and-runs are utterly unforgivable, but the truth is that most criminals who commit these crimes are eventually held accountable. Book your consultation today and strive for a fair, adequate settlement.

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.