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

Mold in Hospitals: Is it Medical Malpractice?

Posted Friday, September 20, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextEarlier this summer operating rooms were shut down at Seattle Children’s hospital when mold, specifically aspergillus, was discovered in several rooms and equipment storage areas. Aspergillus is a common type of mold and it is often ingested in everyday life. However, when one has a weakened immune system, like patients at the hospital, ingesting the mold could create additional complications. One patient died and five others became ill from the mold over the last couple years, according to NBC News.

The hospital made the decision to shut down the operating rooms when tests confirmed the presence of mold. Shutting down the operating rooms resulted in approximately 1,000 surgeries scheduled needing to be moved to other hospitals. The operating rooms have since been opened since the initial shut down. The hospital did multiple things to rid the rooms of mold — a deep clean of each room, upgrades in the air purification systems, upgrades to the air handling situations, and a new humidification process being installed.

It is great the hospital took the appropriate steps to make the operating rooms safe for patients again. Shutting the operating rooms down until it is safe for patients was definitely the right step to take, but also may have been necessary to prevent medical malpractice suits against the hospital. When most people think about medical malpractice they think about a doctor or other hospital staff making an error an injuring a patient. However, a hospital itself can also be negligent and a party to a medical malpractice suit. If a hospital fails to follow the standard of care attributed to most hospitals, the hospital can be found negligent and guilty of medical malpractice.

*Common Types of Medical Malpractice*Negligence of the hospital is not the only type of medical malpractice. The following are common types of medical malpractice:

  • Misdiagnosis: If a doctor incorrectly diagnoses a patient. This creates a variety of dangers for the patient: risks associated with taking the wrong medication and not receiving the needed treatment are two major concerns.
  • Surgical errors: When a patient needs to undergo surgery, they are putting their life in the doctors hands while they are unconscious. Surgical errors can be fatal or cause serious additional injuries and complications.
  • Incorrect treatment: Even if the diagnosis is right, if the right treatment is not prescribed there can be serious issues.
  • Hazardous hospital conditions: Like the story above, hazardous hospital conditions, like mold, can be construed as medical malpractice.

In most instances, if a doctor, medical staff, or the hospital makes an error, they will apologize to the patient. Sometimes this apology is enough, but other times the patient needs more than an apology. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you recover damages for injuries and damages you might have sustained because of medical malpractice. Our attorneys are dedicated to getting the best result possible under the circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation.

Injuries on Public Transportation in Seattle

Posted Friday, September 13, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextRecently, WalletHub released a study that looked at cities across the country and compared their public transportation systems based on accessibility, convenience, safety, reliability, and public transport resources. At the end of this study, Seattle was ranked number one among various public transportation systems across the country. There were different factors examined to come to this overall number one ranking. So, while overall Seattle is ranked number one in public transportation, this does not translate to a number one ranking in all categories across the board.

For example, Seattle ranks number eight for the fewest number of public transportation injuries, according to KOMO news. Even the number one public transportation system can have its faults and cause injuries to passengers or passersby. If you have been injured on or by Seattle’s public transportation system, a personal injury attorney can help you determine the best course of action for recovering damages for your injury.

Causes of Accidents

There are any number of causes of public transportation accidents. Bus drivers are not immune from the threat of car accidents that other drivers face. An accident can be the result of both human error or mechanical issues with the vehicle itself. A bus is a large vehicle. Stopping times increase and turns can be difficult. If other drivers make a sudden stop or cause the bus to make any sudden movements, passengers within the bus can be injured. Additionally, buses can also have mechanical failures and errors that affect the functionality of the bus and cause injuries to passengers.

*Steps to Take*If you have been injured while riding a bus or other mode of Seattle public transportation, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Here are steps to take after an injury:

  • Seek Medical Attention: First and foremost, it is imperative that you seek treatment and medical attention for injuries sustained. Keep a record of doctors visits, costs, treatment plans, and other recommendations from medical staff.
  • Accident Report: Car accidents, or bus accidents, require that the accident be reported and a record made of it. Obtain a copy of the police report or accident report that is compiled.
  • Be Wary of Conversations: After an accident or injury, a lot of people are often in shock. It is important to not admit fault or say anything about the accident that could harm a potential personal injury case. When in doubt, speak with an attorney before talking to anyone else.

The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you after an injury on Seattle’s public transportation system. Even the number one public transportation system can result in injuries. We know that an injury can be devastating to your livelihood. We are dedicated to obtaining the best possible outcome given the particular circumstances of the case. Responsible parties of an accident may be help liable for your injuries and be required to pay damages. Contact us today for a consultation.

Bellevue Bicyclist Dies After Crash

Posted Friday, September 6, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextA Bellevue man who was hit by a vehicle died two days after a crash. The injuries sustained in the accident were too great and the bicyclist succumbed to those injuries. The accident happened near the corner of 8th street and 132nd avenue when a driver, attempting to make a turn, was allegedly blinded by the sun, resulting in the collision with the bicyclist, according to KOMO News. The bicyclist was rushed to the hospital, but later died from the injuries. It does not appear that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash, but the investigation continues.

Visibility can be a major factor in auto accidents all across the country. While any auto accident can result in injury, accidents involving bicycles can often result in more serious injuries and death. In a battle of bicycle versus automobile, it is not hard to see that the automobile has the advantage.

It is not just the common culprits of decreased visibility – rain, fog, snow, etc., - that can result in accidents. Even sunshine can decrease a driver’s visibility of a bicyclist when driving, as evidenced by the accident detailed above. It is important to bicyclists to be vigilant when riding near auto traffic to do the most they can in keeping themselves safe and free of injury. The following are safety tips that every bicyclist should know:

  • Wear a helmet: There is no state law that currently requires all cyclists to wear a helmet, but different cities and counties do have their own laws regarding the necessity of wearing a helmet. Even if you are riding in a county that does not require a helmet, every bicycle rider should wear one. Hitting the ground without a helmet can result in serious injury or death.
  • Reflective Clothing: It is important to wear clothing that other drivers, or even cyclists around you, can see. Wear reflective clothing, bright colors at night, and anything that increases your visibility those around you.
  • No Distractions: Keep constant lookout around you when riding your bike. Avoid wearing headphones, using a cellphone, or doing anything that might distract you from keeping full attention on the road in front of you and cars around you.
  • Familiarity with Bicycle Laws: Before riding a bicycle, you should know the laws you must follow. Laws are put in place to keep you, and those around you, safe. Brush up on Washington bike laws before venturing out.

Even the most vigilant bicycle riders can get in an accident. You can take every precaution possible, but you cannot control the actions of the drivers around you. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help. Injuries can be costly and have a serious financial impact on your life. Our attorneys are dedicated to looking into every legal option for recovering damages sustained during a bicycle accident. Do not let one accident dictate your financial future. Contact us today for a consultation.

Options Available After an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist

Posted Friday, August 30, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextThe state of Washington requires that all motorists carry a minimum amount of automobile insurance in order to legally operate their vehicle on the road. At a minimum, Washington drivers are required to carry insurance that covers up to $25,000 in bodily injury liability, $50,000 coverage per accident, and $10,000 in property damage. Even though this is a state law, this does not mean some motorists ignore it and drive without the required insurance. Usually, another’s lack of insurance would not affect your livelihood, but if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you might have difficulty recovering for your damages. The following options may be available to recover damages after an accident with an uninsured motorist.

*Additional Insurance*While the state of Washington requires a minimum amount of automobile insurance, there are additional types of insurance a motorist can choose to purchase. These include uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, personal injury protection (PIP), and collision coverage. UM insurance is what is sounds like — insurance to cover damages caused by another driver without insurance. To use this insurance, the other driver must be responsible for the accident.

PIP insurance offers compensation for various losses. These losses include medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses and other expenses that might have accumulated because of an injury. Additionally, there is collision coverage policies available to Washington drivers that cover the costs of damage to property following an accident.Health Insurance

If you are injured in a car accident, your own personal health insurance could be used for medical treatments necessary. The coverage available is dependent on the type of health insurance you personally have.

*Personal Injury Suit*Not every takes out every type of motorist insurance possible or has the ability to obtain health insurance that can cover the expenses associated with an accident. A personal injury suit may be the most favorable option. A personal injury suit holds the other driver responsible for causing the accident and the injuries sustained by other parties involved. Even if the other driver does not have insurance, you are able to sue them through a personal injury suit for the damages they have caused. The driver is still liable for whatever part they played in your injury. Not following the law and having the required insurance does not negate their responsibility and liability.

The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here for you following a car accident. It can be extremely frustrating when the other party does not carry the required insurance or adequate insurance to cover the damages they caused. Our experienced attorneys are here for you and available to help you determine what the best legal course of action might be in this situation. Do not let the other driver’s lack of insurance keep you from seeking out the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys can help you explore your options so you can arrive at the best option for your situation. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Ryan Everett)

What You Need to Know About School Bus Safety

Posted Friday, August 23, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextMost everyone has probably been driving behind a school bus when it stops and puts its red flashing lights on. When this happens, all other drivers on the road are supposed to stop, but sometimes one car in a hurry blows by the school bus while the children are exiting the vehicle. This is extremely dangerous for all parties involved.

With school starting, it is a good time to remind ourselves of the laws surrounding school buses, safety, and how we can keep ourselves and the children riding the buses safer. Whether your child rides a school bus or not, it is important to know important safety tips for driving around school buses.

There are many techniques you can implement in your own driving to be safer around a school bus. Some of these include:

  • Keep Your Distance: While you should never ride too close to another driver on the road, it is especially true when it comes to a school bus. School buses are large vehicles that can obstruct your view of others on the road. The bus driver also has a large blind spot, so make sure that you are an appropriate distance away.
  • Slow Down: It is not uncommon for a school bus to move more slowly than the posted speed limit. This reduced speed is due in part to the safety of the children on board and the frequency of stops a bus might have to make. You should always follow the speed limit, but around school buses, be extra conscious of your speed and even reduce your speed in some instances.
  • Know the Laws: School buses are required to follow the rules of the road like other motorists, but are often subject to additional laws. For example, a school bus is required to stop at a railroad crossing at all times, not just when the barrier arm is lowered. This might seem like an inconvenience to you, but knowing the bus in front of you is going to stop can reduce your chance of an accident or other driving issue.

At the end of the day, a school bus is transporting children to and from school. Washington law is specific in stating when an approaching vehicle must stop for a school bus. There are certain exceptions to this rule (driving on a divided highway, etc.) but for the most part, it is best to stop when you see a school bus stopping and letting off children.

No one wants to think about being in an accident or their child being injured on a school bus. Unfortunately, there is always a possibility of an accident and injury occurring. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you in the event of an injury or accident involving a school bus. We know that injuries and accidents can be devastating and want to help you explore your legal options for recovery. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Austin Pacheco)