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

National Surge in Fatal Car Crashes

Posted Friday, February 18, 2022 by Chris Thayer

It is no secret that at the beginning of the pandemic there was a significant increase in speeding, driving under the influence, and other traffic violations. The U.S. Department of Transportation has released new statistics which show that this increase has not slowed or self-corrected despite it being nearly two years since it began. In fact, the new statistics indicate an approximately 19% increase in fatal car accidents between the first half of 2020 and 2021. Nearly half of these fatal car accidents involve speeding as a contributing factor. This is supported by the fact that speeding and other traffic offenses, such as driving without a seat belt, have also continued to increase.

*A Record-Breaking Increase in Car Accidents *The increase captured by the statistics is the largest increase in the United States since 2006. In fact, over 20,000 Americans died in car accidents in the first half of 2021 alone. This has prompted the U.S. Department of Transportation to declare a crisis. The Department has begun implementing a plan to increase highway safety by building safer roads, reducing speed limits, and encouraging more stringent enforcement of speed limits among state troopers, however, this does not do anything to help those who have already been affected. For victims of negligent drivers, such as those who were speeding, the best way to get support is likely by bringing a personal injury lawsuit.

*Suing for Washington State Car Accidents *Washington State is no exception to the national increase in speeding and car accidents, and many residents are struggling to recover from the financial damage that these car accidents can have. If you are one of them, it is important to know that you have options. Your ability to bring a personal injury claim is even stronger if the other driver was speeding, as speeding is against the law, and therefore results in a presumption of negligence. Whereas in most personal injury cases you have to establish that the other driver was negligent and that their negligence caused your injury, if it has already been established that they were speeding or otherwise breaking the law (such as by driving distracted or under the influence), those two elements will be presumed and you will only have to establish that you were injured in order to recover. As you can imagine, this significantly streamlines the recovery process and increases your chances of successfully receiving a settlement. If you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault and have suffered injuries and financial harm as a result, you have standing to bring a personal injury lawsuit, and a Seattle attorney can help.

Contact the *Pivotal Law Group in Seattle, Washington *If you or a loved one have been injured in a Washington State car accident because another driver was speeding or driving negligently, our experienced personal injury lawyers are ready to make sure that the negligent driver is held accountable and that you get the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to. Call the Pivotal Law Group today to schedule a consultation.

Seattle Dog Bite Injuries

Posted Friday, February 11, 2022 by Chris Thayer

If you have been seriously injured as a result of a dog bite in Seattle or the greater Washington state area, you are not alone. There are over 4.5 million dog bite injuries each year in this country, and approximately 800,000 of them are serious enough to require medical attention. Unlike a car accident, where an insurance agent usually automatically reaches out to you, you are usually on your own when it comes to getting the ball rolling on a dog bite claim. Luckily, the process is not complicated once you contact a personal injury attorney. Your attorney can determine where to pursue compensation, all liable parties involved, and develop the best strategy for you to receive a settlement or award.

*Dog Bite Injuries *Dog bites can cause serious injuries, including puncture wounds, flesh and tissue wounds, torn ligaments, facial disfigurement, and even amputation of fingers, ears, or other extremities. Dog bites can also cause you to develop infections and can transmit diseases such as rabies. If you have been bitten by a dog, it is important to see a doctor or go to the emergency room as soon as possible to mitigate the risk of infection and get proper treatment. Be sure to keep all documentation from your medical visit to help support your claim.

*Can I Sue for a Dog Bite?*In almost any situation in which a dog injures you in Washington state, you are able to rightfully pursue damages against them. Washington has a strict liability law when it comes to dog bites in certain situations. Namely, if someone who is legally on another person’s property is bitten by their dog, the property owner will automatically be negligent for any injuries caused by the bite. This can really streamline the recovery process for the victim. Generally in personal injury cases you must establish that the other party was negligent, however, in strict liability cases, negligence is presumed. This means that you must only show that you were harmed by the dog and that you were invited onto the property or otherwise legally on it.

It is also important to note that your harm must have necessitated medical attention. You read above that there are 4.5 million dog bites each year, but only about 17% result in the person needing to seek medical attention. If the bite did not break the skin or cause any financial damages, then a lawsuit is not the best way to go. Your injury must have been serious enough to seek medical attention (which must be documented) and to have caused you financial harm. Financial harm can also include lost wages due to time off of work because of your injuries.

*Schedule a Consultation with Pivotal Law Group*If you have been seriously injured by a dog bite or attack in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or the greater Seattle area, the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group want to hear from you. Contact us today at the Pivotal Law Group to schedule a consultation.

What to Do After a Snow Plow Accident

Posted Friday, February 4, 2022 by Chris Thayer

Inclement weather is unavoidable in Washington State, and when snow starts falling, snow plows become critical to being able to get around safely. However, while snow plows have many positive benefits, they can also pose real risks to other drivers on the road when they are not operated responsibly. Snow plows, due to their weight, and design, can cause life-threatening harm to other drivers. Snow plow drivers have the responsibility to meet their duty of care to other drivers on the road. They breach this duty when they speed, drive erratically, drive under the influence, break traffic laws or driving regulations, or do anything else to unreasonably place other drivers on the road at risk of otherwise avoidable danger. If you have been injured in a snow plow accident in Seattle or the greater Washington state area, you may be entitled to compensation for all the harm you have suffered as a result of the incident.

*When Can I Sue for a Snow Plow Accident?* If you have been in an accident with a snow plow, or any other vehicle, in Washington state, it is always important to consult with an attorney. In order to have standing to bring a personal injury lawsuit for a snow plow accident, you must not have caused the accident. Rather, you must be able to demonstrate that the snow plow driver was at fault. In some cases, such as where the snow plow driver was breaking the law by speeding or driving under the influence, negligence will be presumed. You must also be able to show that the negligence was the direct cause of the harm that you suffered. Finally, you must be able to show that the physical harm that you suffered resulted in financial damages, such as hospital bills and lost wages. Anticipated future medical costs should also be included in this calculation.

*How an Attorney Can Help After a Snow Plow Accident * Talking to an attorney should be your first priority after seeking medical attention. An attorney can review the specific facts and circumstances of your case to determine whether you have a strong claim, the value of your claim, and the best path forward to get you the compensation to which you are entitled. An attorney can also help you identify all potentially liable parties. In some cases it may just be the snow plow driver, while in other cases, additional parties, such as the snow plow driver’s employer, or the city, may also be held liable.

*Talk to the Personal Injury Attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group * If you have been in a snow plow accident or any kind of vehicle collision in the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or greater Washington State area, the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group are ready to fight to get you the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to. Contact the Pivotal Law Group today to schedule a consultation.

Were You in a Head-On Motorcycle Collision?

Posted Friday, January 28, 2022 by Chris Thayer

Motorcycling is one of the most amazing ways to get around Seattle and greater Washington state. The state boasts scenic highways and amazing views, however, nothing ruins an enjoyable motorcycle ride faster than another driver’s negligence. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Washington state, you are not alone. Statistics reflect that over 84,000 motorcyclists are injured in collisions every year, and over 5,000 of those motorcyclists die as a result of their injuries, which often prove to be debilitating. Few people are financially prepared for the burden that a motorcycle accident can present both physically and financially. Motorcycle injuries are rarely minor, and often require time off of work to recover, as well as extensive medical treatments. For most victims of motorcycle-vehicle collisions, the only way to financially recover and get the treatments that they need to move forward in life is to bring a personal injury claim.

*Suing for a Head-On Motorcycle Collision in Seattle * Head-on motorcycle collisions are among the most dangerous kinds of collisions that a motorcyclist can be involved in. Motorcyclists are incredibly vulnerable to injury, especially when they come face-to-face with a driver protected with an entire car. Head-on collisions are especially dangerous because the force of both vehicles is doubled upon impact. For instance, whereas a driver who is rear-ended at a stoplight will be hit at the force of the car traveling behind them (let’s say, 75 miles per hour), when both the car and the motorcycle are traveling at 75 miles per hour and collide, they impact at a force of 150 miles per hour. It goes without saying that this can be deadly for a motorcyclist, and often is. Of the half of all fatal motorcycle crashes that involved another vehicle, ⅔ of them were head-on collisions.

*Damages for a Head-On Motorcycle-Vehicle Collision * If the accident was caused by the other driver, they are liable for all damages incurred as a result. Often, head-on collisions with vehicles are due to distracted driving or driving under the influence. If the driver was being negligent, they can be found liable and held responsible for the financial damages. These damages can be incredibly high in head-on collision cases as the medical expenses can be extremely high. When you bring a personal injury lawsuit, you are entitled to compensation for all past and future medical expenses incurred–and that you expect to incur–as a result of the crash. You can also be compensated for lost wages, reduced earning potential, and for the physical and emotional trauma caused by the accident (known as pain and suffering). The best way to find out what kind of settlement you are entitled to is to talk to an experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer who can review the facts of your case and provide you with an accurate estimate.

*Contact the Pivotal Law Group* If you have been injured in a motorcycle-vehicle collision that was not your fault in the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or greater Washington State area, the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group are ready to fight to get you the settlement you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Can I Sue Someone for Punching Me?

Posted Friday, January 21, 2022 by Chris Thayer

Bar fights and physical altercations can often result in serious physical harm. Someone who is punched in the face can sustain severe injuries, including a broken nose, fractured eye sockets and other facial bones requiring facial reconstructive surgery, permanent damage to the eyes, broken teeth, dislocated jaw, and disfiguration. These can leave victims with a damaged sense of self, countless medical bills, and may even affect their ability to work while they recover. If their injury affects their ability to continue in their chosen career, such as if they are a model or a pilot who needs perfect vision, this can result in catastrophic damages.

*Bringing a Lawsuit for Intentional Physical Harm * Usually when we think about personal injury lawsuits we are talking about car accidents and other forms of accidents that resulted due to another party’s negligence. For instance, reckless driving may be a conscious choice, but being in a car crash as a result is still usually an accident resulting from this negligent choice. In cases where harm is intentionally inflicted on another person, such as where someone is punched, physically attacked, shot, assaulted, or battered in any way, a different form of personal injury law applies, which is not based on negligence but on intention.

*Assault vs. Battery * When it comes to intentional torts, both assault and battery can give rise to a claim, although they have very different meanings. Assault occurs when one person causes another to reasonably believe that they are in danger of imminent harm. A common example of assault is pointing a gun at someone or revealing a weapon to them. Depending on the context, this could cause a reasonable person to believe that they were in danger. This is true even if the weapon is not loaded and even if it is not real. It is also true if the weapon is never used or fired. Battery, on the other hand, occurs when the actual physical harm takes place. Battery can occur without assault if there is no warning prior to the harm occurring, such as when someone punches you out of the blue. However, if someone comes up to you, pulls their fist back, and then punches you, the pulling of the fist back would qualify as assault and actually punching you would be the battery.

*Damages for Assault and Battery * Damages for assault and battery include compensation for all medical expenses incurred due to the harm that was caused. Other financial damages, including lost wages, lost earning potential, and the non-economic damages of pain and suffering, which compensate for the physical and emotional trauma of the injury are also available. In some cases, punitive damages may be appropriate, as well as compensation for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The best way to get an accurate estimate of the damages that you are entitled to for your case is to speak to a Washington State personal injury attorney.

*Talk to the Pivotal Law Group * If you have suffered serious physical injuries due to being punched or physically attacked by another person, the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group will fight to get you the compensation to which you are entitled. Serving Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, and the greater Washington State area, our lawyers are ready to help you. Contact the Pivotal Law Group to schedule a consultation today.