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

Laws Every Bike Rider Needs to Know

Posted Friday, December 7, 2018 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextRiding a bike is a popular way to get around because it is environmentally friendly, healthy, and enjoyable. There are many benefits to riding a bike, but in order to enjoy these benefits you need to ride safely. Bike riders are subject to laws and regulations just like automobile drivers on the road. However, bicycles are subject to some different laws, and it is essential to know these before hitting the road. Bike laws can be broken down into different categories, mainly, operational and safety.

*Operational Laws*Operating laws refer to the laws surrounding the operation of bikes in public. The following are the main laws that riders must follow:

  • Riding a bicycle on the road: When riding in the road, bicyclists are treated as if they were operating a vehicle. This means that a bike rider “has all the responsibilities of a vehicle driver.” Additionally, a bike rider can be ticketed for violating traffic laws.
  • Riding next to other bikes: The law states that bike riders are permitted to ride next to each other inthe same lane, but only if they are no more than two across. More than two riders must ride in front or behind of each other.
  • Road Closures: While bikes are permitted on roadways, they are not permitted on every road. There are some sections of the highway system that are off limit to bikes. There also may be other limitations on bike riding, as outlined by local governments and ordinances.
  • Location on the road: Bikes on the road must choose between riding on a bike path (if present), the shoulder of the road, or a travel lane (if present). Bikes do not have free reign of an entire lane of traffic.

Safety Laws

Operational laws are also meant to keep riders safe, but there are some laws in place specifically targeting the rider’s safety:

  • Helmets: There is no state law that mandates the use of a helmet. However cities and counties do have helmet laws applicable in their area. Bellevue, Kent, and Renton all have laws in place that require riders to wear a helmet, regardless of their age.
  • Night Riding: When a bike rider is out at night, they must have a white front light that is visible for at least 500 feet. This light is not a reflector; a red rear reflector is also required separately. If a rider does not have a red rear reflector, they are permitted to use a red rear light instead.
  • Children: Parents of children on bikes must be conscious of their children’s actions and not knowingly permit their children to commit traffic violations.

If you enjoy riding bikes, for whatever reason, it is important to know the laws to which you are subject. Even when following all pertinent laws, accidents and injuries still happen. If you have been injured in a bike accident, the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you. Contact us today for a consultation and find out how you might be able to receive compensation for your injury.

Injuries from electric scooters on the rise

Posted Monday, December 3, 2018 by Chris Thayer

Emergency rooms are seeing more patients who have been seriously injured while riding electric scooters. Lime, Bird, Skip and Spin scooters can cause orthopedic injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured while riding an electric scooter, please contact Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer at 206-340-2008.

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What to do After a Car Accident

Posted Thursday, November 29, 2018 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextWhat should have been an average day for one family turned into a tragic accident. A Kent mother was pushing her two children in a stroller when she was struck by an SUV. The mother was walking in the crosswalk when an SUV turned a corner and struck and killed her, according to KOMO News. The accident occurred around 2 p.m. in the afternoon at the intersection of Smith Street and State Avenue.

Witnesses to the accident stated that the woman was in the crosswalk, “doing everything right,” only moments before the SUV turned the corner. After striking the woman, the SUV dragged her for approximately 35 feet. Unfortunately, the woman succumbed to her injuries and died after being taken to the hospital. The children were reportedly unharmed in the accident. Witnesses also say that this intersection is becoming more and more dangerous and they are witnessing more crashes that usual. Police do not suspect that alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident.

Unfortunately, the story above is not uncommon. Accidents happen and people get injured, and sometimes die, way too often. If you have been injured in a car accident, you have options. Recovering from an accident can be difficult. There are medical expenses, lost wages from being unable to work, and a whole host of other issues that can arise during recovery after an accident. A personal injury attorney can help you recover the compensation you need following an accident, but there are some things that you should do immediately following an accident before you contact an attorney.

  • Seek Medical Attention: Immediately following an accident, you should seek medical attention for any party who needs it. Depending on your injuries, you may need to go to the hospital immediately. If you do not go immediately to the hospital, make an appointment with a doctor soon after the accident to check for hidden injuries and overall health.
  • Get a Police Report: A police report is a vital piece of evidence in a personal injury suit. It is official documentation that shows an accident happened and provides a description of what the officer observed at the scene.
  • Document Everything: There will be an official police report, but it is important to have evidence of your own. Take photographs of the scene of the accident, damage to property, your own injuries, and anything that might have contributed to the accident.
  • Gather Witness Information: If there were witnesses to the accident, try and get their contact information. The witnesses can corroborate your story and give their perspective of what happened.

The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you following an accident. We know that an accident can be devastating and the following recovery can be daunting. Let us help you recover the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys are dedicated to your case and want to help you achieve the best result possible under the circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Bethany Legg)

Responsibility Following a Truck Accident

Posted Friday, November 23, 2018 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextAccidents, whether major or minor, can be life changing and devastating. These effects are often only magnified when the accident involves a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, or tractor-trailer. Truck accidents need to be treated in a different way than an average car accident. Usually, a car accident is a mix of fault between the two parties or solely one party’s fault, but this is not always the case in truck driving accidents. Even in accidents where is seems like the car is to blame for causing the accident, the responsibility of the truck for the accident must be considered. Each truck accident must be specially investigated. When determining fault in a truck accident, there are two main parties that come to mind - the truck company and the truck driver. Both the driver and the trucking company can be found liable for the damages caused by the accident.

The Trucking Company

The trucking company is one of the first parties considered in determining who is liable for the damages of the accident. Most people think that the company is automatically responsible for the accident because of its relationship to the accident. For the most part, employers are held responsible for the accident when the acts of their employees are unintentional in nature and are also done within the scope of their employment. This means that a truck company could be liable for the damages caused by a driver if the driver did not intentionally cause an accident and was driving the truck under the terms of his or her employment with the company.

For example, there are strict federal requirements that outline the number of hours a driver is allowed to be on the road without sleep. Sometimes, however, truck companies are trying to meet deadlines or deliver as many goods as possible and might encourage their drivers to drive over the set limit of hours to make deliveries. Fatigued truck drivers often cause serious accidents, which would be the responsibility of the truck company.

On the other hand, studies have shown that 29% of accidents involving a semi-truck are caused by a failure within the vehicle. Oftentimes, these failures extend beyond the control of the driver, placing the blame on the company that owns the truck, maintains the truck, loads cargo onto the truck, or even manufactures the truck.

The Truck Driver

Sometimes the driver of the truck is responsible for a truck accident. In the above-mentioned study, it has been found that truck drivers cause up to 87% of the accidents in which they are involved. This percentage is a mixture of decision errors, driver recognition error, and performance errors. Whether the driver has made the decision to drive too fast, or has fallen asleep at the wheel, these are all errors that could make the driver at least partially liable for the damages caused by accident. Driver error could be considered driver negligence, causing his or her potential liability.

If you have been involved in an accident with a semi-truck in Kent, Renton, or Burien, the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you. We know that recovering from an accident can be difficult. Our attorneys want to help you recover the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Deva Darshan)

Hidden Car Accident Injuries

Posted Friday, November 16, 2018 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextImmediately following a car accident, many individuals feel confused and overwhelmed. Their adrenaline is pumping, and they worry about filing an insurance claim, their damaged vehicle, and dealing with the other parties involved.

Once a car accident victim gets home, calms down, and looks to get past the incident, he or she might be surprised to notice injuries that did not immediately present themselves following the accident. Injuries incurred in car accidents do not always manifest right away. Delayed injures are quite dangerous because if they are left untreated, they can lead to more serious, debilitating conditions.

The following are injuries that often do not show up immediately after a car accident, but that you should watch out for to avoid debilitating injuries:


Whiplash is a type of neck strain. It can be caused by “any impact or blow that causes your head to jerk forward or backward.” Essentially, a sudden force on your neck can tear the muscles and tendons in the neck. Whiplash symptoms do not always show up immediately following a car accident. Symptoms could show up the morning after an accident or several days after an accident. A stiff neck, dizziness, the feeling of being off-balance, decreased range of motion, and headaches that start at the base of the skull and radiate to the forehead are just a few of the symptoms that indicate whiplash. If you experience any of these injuries, it is important to get them checked out by a doctor.

Brain Injury

After a car accident, it is not uncommon to experience a headache. While this headache could just be a sign of stress, it could be an indicator that there are serious injuries manifesting. Headaches that are long lasting, extremely painful, or otherwise different than a usual headache could indicate a concussion or other traumatic brain injury. Brain injuries are extremely serious, and if you are at all worried about a brain injury, be sure to be checked out by a doctor.

Emotional Distress

Physical injuries are not the only ones that can occur in an accident; emotional distress and anguish often follow. A car accident can be traumatic and terrifying. Anxiety, depression, and changes in personality can all happen after a car accident. Mental health is just as important as physical health. As such, being sure to take care of your mental well-being following an accident is imperative.

Whether your injuries manifest immediately or days after your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you following an accident in Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, and Issaquah county. We know that injuries after an accident, both physical and mental, are important. We want to help you recover from your injuries and get back to your normal life as soon as possible. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of William Krause)