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

Nursing Home Abuse in Washington

Posted Friday, January 4, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextElderly patients in nursing homes are abused at an alarming rate. Some estimate that up to four million elderly patients in the United States are victims of professional malpractice every year. Unfortunately, approximately two million of these elderly patients are still under the care of their abusers in nursing homes all across the country. Nursing home abuse cases are far too common and result in personal injury. There are both federal and state laws that protect the elderly from abuse, neglect, and mistreatment at the hands of those who are supposed to be caring for them at a nursing home facility.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, more commonly known as HIPAA, is a federal statute that protects patients from malpractice. Regardless of whether the elderly resident themselves give informed consent, or a guardian family member gives consent, the patient is entitled to receiving adequate care from a nursing home, assisted living community, or another similar facility. Similarly, Washington also has state level laws that govern the resident’s right to a standard of care.

*The Standard of Care*Nursing homes are required to abide by, at a minimum, a reasonable standard of care. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 established a federal standard of care for those who operate nursing homes. Simply maintaining the minimum requirements required by the state of Washington is not enough. Nursing homes are required to maintain medical malpractice insurance, including provisions for the administration of medicines and pharmaceuticals that are part of a resident’s care plan.

*Common Signs of Abuse*Nursing home abuse and neglect do not have to be obvious to the naked eye. Abuse and neglect can be physical, psychological, or emotional abuse. Psychological and emotional abuse are just as important to catch as physical abuse, but can be difficult to see because it might not have any physical evidence. The following are common signs an elderly patient is being abused:

  • Physical marks or bruises on the body
  • Bed sores – indicating that the patient is not being moved often enough
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Changes in appetite
  • Dramatic weight loss

The above is not an all-inclusive list of signs of abuse or neglect. You know your loved one better than anyone and can discern the slightest mood changes. If you suspect a patient is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, speak up. Report your suspicions, talk to the caregivers, and ask your loved one questions.

Washington courts will award damages for personal injury claims based on nursing home negligence or abuse. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you. Placing the well-being of your loved one into the hands of a nursing home facility is a difficult decision. It is devastating when the facility that is meant to care for your loved one fails to provide the proper care. Contact us today to find out if you might have a personal injury claim for nursing home abuse and neglect.

(image courtesy of Alex Boyd)

Protecting Yourself and Your Family From Brain Injuries

Posted Friday, December 28, 2018 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextWe have all seen the medical drama unfold on TV: A patient is rushed into the emergency room with a head injury and every doctor and nurse suddenly begins to work to save his life. While these scenes are dramatic, they are not completely exaggerated. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a silent epidemic in Washington and across the United States. TBIs can go unnoticed or undetected until they cause problems that can not be fixed. As such, it is important to be aware of these injuries and know the signs so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones from an injury.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), TBIs make up about 30% of all injury related deaths. Across the United States, 153 people per day died from injuries including TBIs. Those who do not die from their injuries are often left with significant effects that can last a day, week, month, year, or even a lifetime. People often misinterpret the signs of a TBI and refrain from seeking medical attention because they think they just have a headache.

*Causes of TBI*There is not one instance that can be blamed for a traumatic brain injury. Generally, though, a TBI is the result of a hit, bump, jolt, or blow that disrupts the normal functions of the brain. The damage can be anywhere from mild to severe. Regardless of the level of severity, it is important to be checked out be a medical professional to determine any effects of the injury.

Not every bump to the head is going to result in a TBI. There are signs that you can look out for that might indicate more than just a bump to the head. There are four categories of signs that can be attributed to a TBI - physical, thinking or remembering, emotional/mood changes, and sleep. Specifically, symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty in thinking clearly
  • Trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased energy
  • Changes to emotions, including increased anxiety, nervousness, irritability, or sadness

The above does not include every symptom that could indicate a TBI, but some of the more common symptoms.

*Dealing with a TBI*If you have a head injury, or suspect a potential head injury, it is important to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. Failure to treat a TBI in a timely fashion could result in permanent changes to your memory and reasoning skills, sight, ability to speak in a clear and communicative fashion, mood changes, or even death. The medical bills that can result from a TBI can be astronomical. If your injury was caused by the actions or negligence of another, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you recover from your injuries. We know that traumatic brain injuries can be life changing events that come with a substantial financial burden. Our attorneys are dedicated to advocating on your behalf and getting you the compensation appropriate given the circumstances. Do not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible.

(image courtesy of Ken Treloar)

Misconceptions Surrounding Washington Car Accidents

Posted Wednesday, December 19, 2018 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextRecovering from a car accident can be difficult. Not only are you trying to recover physically, but there are often unexpected financial obstacles that arise. In Washington, a car accident attorney can help you assess your damages and determine the legal avenues you might have, including a personal injury suit. Even with this option available, a lot of individuals can be intimidated or have ideas surrounding a car accident case that delay or all together prevent them from seeking the assistance of an attorney. The following are some of the common misconceptions surrounding a car accident case.

*“Bringing a lawsuit will be too complicated.”* One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding a car accident case is that it is too complicated to bring a lawsuit. However, this is inherently untrue. Yes, court cases can be complicated, but this is management with a skilled attorney on your side. Every case follows the same path and procedure: Investigating the instances, filing a claim, discovery for both sides, negotiation, possible settlement, and a possible trial. Each case has different facts and issues, but an experienced attorney can navigate this process.

*“The insurance company will not cooperate.”* After being involved in a car accident, one of the first things you do is call your insurance company to let them know you were involved in an accident. Insurance companies do not always have the best reputation, but that should not keep you from pursuing legal help. The insurance agent will likely be friendly to you on the phone, but it is important to remember that the insurance company wants to save their company money. Your attorney can help you with future calls to the insurance company.

*“I can not afford a lawsuit.”* Another misconception surrounding car accident cases is that they will be too expensive and you will not be able to afford an attorney. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingent fee basis. To work on a contingent fee basis means that the attorney does not collect money at the outset of the lawsuit or send the client bills throughout the process. Instead, the attorney and client come to an agreement at the beginning that the attorney will take a certain percentage of the damage amount awarded. Additionally, on the off chance that the case is not successful and an award is not given, it is likely that the client will not owe any money to the attorney. Further, most law firms offer a free initial consultation. As such, you can meet with an attorney, find out the cost, and then decide what action you want to take.

If you have been involved in a car accident, the experienced and dedicated personal injury attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group are here to help you. We know that there is a lot of misinformation out there and a lot of misconceptions. Meet with one of our attorneys to find out the legal options available to you and get your misconceptions debunked. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Jannes Glas)

Problems with electric scooters: Bird and Lime Scooters

Posted Friday, December 14, 2018 by Chris Thayer

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In addition to injuries to riders and pedestrians, cities which have allowed electric scooters on their streets, such as Bird and Lime scooters, are having a problem: people are throwing the scooters into the rivers and lakes.

Receiving Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident

Posted Thursday, December 13, 2018 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextPicture this. It is a beautiful day in Seattle. You are out enjoying the weather on your motorcycle when suddenly, another drive crashes into you, injuring you. What should have been a peaceful and enjoyable day suddenly turns into an expensive endeavor when you factor in the costs associated with your injuries. Costs after an accident can pile up: Insurance, healthcare, and property damage are just a few of the expenses you might encounter. Expenses piling up can lead to you feeling helpless and unsure of where to turn. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you following a motorcycle accident. Depending on the situation, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages from the party responsible.

Categories of Damages

Not every expense is compensable following an accident. The court will consider all of the evidence from both sides in determining what, if any, damage amount is appropriate. Generally, there are three major types of damages that the courts will consider.

Medical Expenses

One of the first types of expenses you might think about are medical bills. No one wants to be injured and not everyone can afford to pay for these added expenses. Following a motorcycle accident, both the medical expenses incurred immediately following the accident and future costs of long term rehabilitative therapy and ongoing treatment can be included compensation. Immediate expenses refers to the costs associated with seeking medical attention and treatment following the accident. Future expenses can be treatments that a doctor determines will be necessary into the future because of the injury caused by the accident.

Property Damage

The second type of expense you might face after a motorcycle accident is repairs to your motorcycle and any other physical property. Depending on the severity of the damages, you may be compensated for the cost to repair the motorcycle or the motorcycle could be deemed a total loss. If the motorcycle is deemed a total loss, you may be compensated for the total value of the motorcycle so it can be replaced.

Lost Wages

Another common expense in personal injury cases is lost wages. Depending on the severity of an injury, the injured party may be unable to return to work for wuite some time, thus losing a significant amount of wages. Additionally, if the accident causes the injured party permanent disability, and results in him or her having to take on a lower-earning position at work, the difference in salary may be awarded in a personal injury suit. Missing work for doctors appointments, therapy treatments, or anything else related to the accident can be reflected in damages awarded.

An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney can help

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you. We know that recovering from an injury can be extremely difficult and place an unexpected financial burden on you and your family. Let us review your case and get you the best compensation award possible. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of