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

Should I Settle My Personal Injury Claim?

Posted Friday, August 27, 2021 by Chris Thayer

If you suffered an injury due to another’s negligence, there is no telling what you are feeling right now. You might be angry, overwhelmed, or just focused on trying to get by. There is no right way to feel in the aftermath of an accident, and there is no playbook for how to handle it or what to do moving forward. One option is bringing a personal injury lawsuit. A successful personal injury lawsuit can restore you to the position you would have been in financially had the accident never occurred. You can receive compensation through an award decided in court by a jury or through a settlement. If you are currently contemplating whether to accept a settlement or take your chances at trial, the following explores some of the benefits of settling outside of court.

The information in this article is intended to be general. However, if you would like personalized feedback based on your specific situation, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are ready to help and encourage you to schedule a consultation.

*Considerations When Settling Your Personal Injury Claim *There are a number of benefits to settling your personal injury claim. The cost is that you miss out on getting a higher settlement in court. Granted, you are also eliminating the possibility of getting nothing in court. Whether settling your particular case will be the right choice for you depends on your specific circumstances. However, these points below may help you in making your decision.

  • You need money now. For many who are overwhelmed by medical costs and may be unable to work, getting money fast is the most important outcome in bringing a lawsuit. In this situation, reaching a settlement is ideal and far more effective than going to trial. Trials can be lengthy and even after an award is reached it will likely be appealed. It can be a matter of years from the time you file the lawsuit to when you have the money. A settlement, on the other hand, can be concluded and paid out in a matter of weeks or months depending on the length of the negotiations. If both parties are motivated it can be a quicker process.
  • There are no surprises. When you go to court, you never know what will happen. Juries are unpredictable and it is hard to know what curveballs the other side will throw, particularly if they have extensive legal resources. When your livelihood depends on getting a settlement, avoiding the high-stakes risk posed by court and accepting a settlement that you can be sure meets your needs can be an excellent and highly responsible choice.
  • Save Money. Litigation is expensive and trials are costly. Trials of this nature can be lengthy and rack up huge legal fees, all of which deplete the final award amount. By settling, you can save a lot of money as well as effort and resources.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Today *If you have been injured in an accident in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or the greater Washington State area, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

How a Lawyer Can Help With Your Seattle Trucking Accident

Posted Friday, August 20, 2021 by Chris Thayer

Trucking accidents are among the most complicated and fatal of all traffic accidents. This is in part due to the catastrophic amount of damage that trucks can cause. If you have been in a trucking accident, you may feel completely overwhelmed trying to adapt to your new way of life and growing medical bills. It can be hard to tell what to do next when you are busy trying to recover from serious injuries. Luckily, a Seattle personal injury lawyer from Pivotal Law Group can help you to navigate this process and can help you recover monetary damages for the harm that you have suffered.

*Identifying Liable Parties * One of the most complicated parts of trucking accidents is a part that many people know nothing about — determining liable parties. Most people assume that if they are hit by a car, the driver of that car is the liable party. Most of the time, this is true. However, when it comes to commercial trucking there may be more liable parties than are visible to the naked eye. For instance, even if the truck driver was speeding when their truck overturned and they hit you, it does not mean that they were the only negligent party who contributed to the accident. The truck driver may have been speeding to adhere to an illegally tight or demanding driving schedule, which would mean the truck driver’s employer was also liable for the accident.

*Liable Parties in Over-Turn Accidents * Additionally, semi-trucks often flip because they are overloaded or loaded improperly in a way that makes them off-balance. The truck driver is rarely involved in loading the truck, and often does not even know how the truck is loaded. Instead, trucks are usually loaded by suppliers or manufacturers, who may attempt to overload trucks in an attempt to cut down on shipping costs. This compromises the balance of the truck, and makes it very easy to tip over when making turns or driving. It is even more dangerous if the truck driver is unaware that they are carrying an imbalanced or extra-heavy load, as they will not know to compensate for it. If the supplier, manufacturer, or other company who loaded or provided the cargo contributed to the accident, they can also be held liable.

*Liable Parties in Defective Truck or Equipment Accidents * Sometimes the truck driver does nothing wrong, but the truck or one of its component parts malfunctions, causing an accident. For example, maybe the brakes stopped working or the steering wheel locked. It is also possible that a component part so small malfunctioned that it is unclear to anyone what happened until the truck is inspected by experts. If a component or part of the truck was improperly designed or defectively made and it resulted in the crash, the manufacturer and/or supplier, and in some cases, the manufacturer of the truck, can be held liable as parties to the accident, as well.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney * If you have been injured in a Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or greater Washington State area trucking accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are ready to help. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Can I Sue for a Delayed Diagnosis?

Posted Friday, August 13, 2021 by Chris Thayer

Often, when we think about medical malpractice we think about something that was done wrong, such as an incorrect diagnosis or a mistake made in surgery. However, in some situations, inaction by a doctor can be just as harmful to a patient. In the case of cardiac symptoms, a failure of a doctor to act quickly in effectively diagnosing and treating the problem, or the failure of a medical facility, such as an emergency room, in quickly admitting and accurately assessing the patient, can have fatal consequences. While some mistakes or delays in treatment are not illegal, others are. A diagnosis should be made within a reasonable amount of time from when the patient presents with symptoms. If your delayed diagnosis was the result of medical negligence and resulted in serious harm to you, you may have legal options available. If your delayed diagnosis was an act of medical malpractice, a personal injury lawsuit can allow you to recover all damages related to the injury. A successful personal injury lawsuit restores you to the position you would have been in had the medical malpractice never occurred.

*Dangers of Delayed Diagnosis *Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Often, prompt diagnosis is the only thing that enables life-saving treatment. When someone is experiencing heart attack symptoms and seeks medical help only to be turned away or assured that it is indigestion or muscle pain, it can be devastating when they later suffer a heart attack that could have been prevented. Other serious illnesses, such as cancer, require prompt and effective treatment. When doctors ignore symptoms or fail to perform necessary tests, they can miss the entire window of opportunity for treatment. They also take that choice away from the patient. Other times, doctors may not take prompt action, or may continue to write off certain symptoms. For instance, a doctor may write off coughing as recurrent upper respiratory infections for years only for the patient to learn seven years later that she has had lung cancer the whole time.

*When is a Delayed Diagnosis Medical Malpractice? *Sometimes a prompt diagnosis is not possible. The process of diagnosing someone’s medical condition can be complicated. Conditions present differently in every patient and co-morbid conditions, medications, and a myriad of other factors can all complicate the diagnosis process. Not every delay in diagnosis amounts to medical malpractice. However, when the delay in diagnosis was the result of medical negligence and was the cause of serious harm, then you have a strong claim for medical malpractice.

*Talk to a Seattle Medical Malpractice Attorney *If you or a loved one have suffered serious injury or financial harm as a result of a negligent delay in diagnosis or failure to treat you may have a claim for medical malpractice. Contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Pivotal Law Group today and schedule a consultation to find out how we can help you get the compensation to which you are entitled. Serving Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, and the greater Washington State area, we are ready to fight for you.

Avoiding Summertime Car Accidents

Posted Friday, August 6, 2021 by Chris Thayer

Hitting the great open road is a fantastic way to spend the summer. With good weather, beautiful views, and more time and flexibility from work for some, the summer is an excellent time to explore and spend time traveling and outdoors. However, if you have found yourself noticing more vehicle accidents than usual on your summertime drives, you are not alone. In fact, studies have confirmed that more fatal car accidents happen during the summer months than any other time of year. Compared to colder months, summer months have 29% more fatalities as a result of car and vehicle accidents.

*Causes of More Summertime Car Accidents *There are a number of reasons and factors that contribute to the increase in vehicle accident fatalities over the summer. One of the primary factors, according to experts, is the increase in travel that happens over the summer. From June to August, statistics reflect that more people are on the road, and that they travel for longer distances than they do compared to other months of the year. The more time people spend on the road, the more likely they are to be injured. However, travel plays an important aspect, as well. Driving in unfamiliar areas, as well as driving with others who are unfamiliar with your area, can increase driving risks. Tourist drivers have a higher likelihood of being distracted while driving. They are also more likely to miss turns and relevant traffic signs and signals due to their lack of familiarity.

Additionally, with most schools closed for the summer and parents at work, teenage drivers have less supervision and more time on their hands. The highest amount of teenage driving fatalities annually occurs in June, which coincides with the higher traffic fatalities reported during these months. Another contributing factor is driving under the influence. There are more drunk driving and DUI arrests during the summer than in other months of the year. This is significant because more drunk and compromised drivers on the road increases the risk of death for everyone. Drunk drivers are more likely to be involved in wrong-way accidents and fatal roll-over collisions than other drivers.

*Avoiding Dangerous Car Accidents *The majority of all summertime car accidents happen at night. One of the best ways to mitigate your risk of being in a fatal summertime car accident is therefore to avoid any nighttime driving. If you have to drive after dark, it is advisable to stick to well-lit streets, and limit your time spent driving after dark as much as possible. It is almost important to leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles, and leave as much room as possible between you and any car or cars that are acting erratically, swerving, or driving recklessly.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney *If you have been injured in a car accident in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or the greater Washington State area, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Pivotal Law Group will zealously advocate on your behalf and ensure that you get the maximum settlement you are entitled to. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Car Accidents are a Leading Cause of Spinal Cord Injuries

Posted Friday, July 30, 2021 by Chris Thayer

Vehicle accidents have the potential to be physically, financially, and emotionally catastrophic. The spine is particularly vulnerable in vehicle accidents due to the force exerted upon impacting with another object or vehicle. Over 12,500 people suffer spinal cord injuries each year, and 38% of those injuries occur in car accidents. These people can face life-altering changes and medical expenses up to a million dollars in the first year alone. Spinal cord injuries can have long-lasting impacts, cause chronic pain, and require constant care and long-term rehabilitation and treatment. Additionally, spinal cord injuries are complicated to treat, and often require costly travel to specialists for multiple surgeries. If you or a loved one have found themselves in this position, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn for help and financial support. Luckily, you do not have to navigate this process alone. Hiring a Seattle personal injury attorney can help ensure that you get the highest possible insurance settlement and that you are able to pursue the maximum amount of compensation for the harm you have suffered.

*Bringing a Lawsuit for Spinal Cord Injuries *If your spinal cord injury was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party, such as a drunk driver or a driver who was driving over the speed limit, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. If you were hit by a commercial driver or truck driver who was driving negligently, their employer may also be liable for your injuries. Talking to a lawyer can help you identify any responsible parties who may also be liable for your harm. Bringing a lawsuit allows you to recover for all medical costs related to your injury. This also includes all anticipated future costs of treatment, surgery, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. If you require long-term care or in-home aids, these costs can also be recovered. Home modifications, medical equipment, and medications, as well as mental health care and counseling stemming from the injury can also be pursued. In addition, you can also pursue compensation for the impact the injury will have on your life. For instance, if you are unable to return to work after your accident (like nearly 90% of those who suffer spinal cord injuries), you can seek compensation for lost income and lost earning potential. You can also seek compensation for pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages may also be available.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer *If you have suffered a spinal cord injury as the result of an accident that was not your fault in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or the greater Washington State area, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Pivotal Law Group are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.