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

The Alaskan Viaduct Transformed

Posted Friday, July 12, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextThe State Road (SR) 99 Tunnel has been open to the public since February 2019. SR 99 is the result of efforts to transform the Alaskan Way Viaduct into a usable passage for traffic to travel along Seattle’s waterfront. SR 99 is not the first attempt at such a passage, but the result of efforts to revive a previous viaduct riddled with safety issues.

The Alaskan Way Viaduct was opened in 1953 and at its peak allowed for up to 90,000 vehicles to use it per day. However, in the 1960s concerns over the safety while using the viaduct grew, with most concern being for what would happen to those in the viaduct if an earthquake occurred. After research showed that an earthquake could completely collapse the viaduct, investigation began into another option. A tunnel was decided on and construction was to begin in 2013. This construction began, but was halted after machinery needed to create the tunnel was delayed. After more delays in construction, the tunnel was finally opened in February 2019.

The creation of this tunnel has led to $1 million in various workers’ compensation claims. Many individuals who were employed to work on this tunnel were seriously injured. A workers’ compensation claim is a type of remedy available to those who have been injured on the job. An example of an on-the-job accident that led to injuries for these tunnel workers is when an elevator shaft collapsed and the elevator plunged 25 feet with four men inside.

The four men in the elevator are not the only victims of injuries in the building of SR 99. Many other workers sustained chemical burns, were hit by falling objects, and sustained other major and minor injuries. For injuries sustained while working, it might seem like a workers’ compensation claim is the only way to go, but this is not always true.

A personal injury suit may be able to open up more avenues for recovery than the workers’ compensation claim. For example, depending on who the employer is, there are certain guidelines for filing claims. Cases against the government, for example, are governed by their own statutes. Additionally, if the injury is the fault of a third-party, there can be other rules and regulations that might make a personal injury suit the better avenue for recovery than a traditional workers’ compensation claim.

The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you after an injury. If you were injured on the job and have questions regarding what remedies are available to you, we can help. Our experienced attorneys are here to help you recover damages for the injuries sustained due to someone else’s negligence, whether those injuries were sustained on the job or elsewhere. We know that it can be confusing and difficult to sort out the options available to you after an injury. Let our attorneys help quash some of that confusion and get you on the path to recovery. Contact us today for a consultation.

Ferryboat Injuries: Who is Liable?

Posted Friday, July 5, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextMany residents of Seattle and the surrounding areas are used to either using a ferryboat or seeing them out in the water. The state of Washington has the largest fleet of ferryboats in the United States. Additionally, Washington has the third largest fleet of ferryboats in the entire world. It is a pleasant sight to see the many ferries floating in the water. Many individuals even use a ferryboat as their means of commuting to work in the city. However, it is not just commuters and natives to Washington who utilize the ferryboat system. Seattle is a growing tourist destination and tourists love to take a ride on the ferries to experience something that might not be available in their home cities. There are a wide variety of ferryboat trips available – some as short as 30 minutes or longer rides all the way to Victoria, British Columbia.

With ferryboats being an attractive mode of transport for tourists and locals alike, it is not hard to imagine that issues might arise when someone gets injured. There are any number of injuries that can occur on a ferryboat, from slipping down the stairs, falling on the deck of the boat, or even an equipment malfunction that results in injuries to multiple passengers aboard the vessel.

It might seem that an injury incurred aboard a ferryboat would be treated the same as any other injury in the eyes of the law. However, there are some complications that arise when a ferryboat rides results in injuries to passengers or crew:

Registration of the Ferryboat: As mentioned above, some ferryboats take passengers to Canada, a foreign country. Similarly, Canadian ships could be docked in the United States. When a ship is registered in the United States, but docked in Canada, it can be difficult to determine which country’s laws apply to the injury or incident. Location of the ship: Not every injury takes place at the dock. If the injury occurs out in international, open waters, there can be some question as to which laws apply. Maritime law often applies when injuries are incurred on the water in the United States and usually differs from state law.

In general, it can be difficult to determine which parties are liable for an injury after it occurs. These difficulties are only compounded when international waters and foreign countries are involved. Nevertheless, there are two basic steps that you should take if you have been injured on a ferryboat:

  • Seek medical treatment: First and foremost you need to seek medical treatment for your injuries. Not only for you health and wellness, but because medical treatment and diagnosis are crucial to the success of a personal injury suit. There can be no recovery if there is no evidence of an injury or damages.
  • Contact a personal injury attorney: An attorney can help you sort out what legal remedies might be available to you.

The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here for you. We know that it can be scary and confusing to sustain an injury onboard a ferryboat. We are here for you to calm your fears and help seek the recovery you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Patrick Robinson)

Wet Roads Still a Safety Concern for Seattle Drivers

Posted Friday, June 28, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextThe wettest part of the year might be over in Seattle, but that does not mean wet roads do not still pose a threat to Seattle drivers. If you have lived in the Pacific Northwest, you know that wet roads are practically a way of life and a very common thing for drivers to experience. You have probably even heard people talking about the rainy season and what a relief it is for it to be over. However, a new study reported in the Seattle Times details the dangers that driving on even mildly wet roads poses. Just because the wettest part of the year has passed does not mean that the dangers of driving on wet roads is automatically eliminated.

The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society has found that a light drizzle increases the chance of a driver being involved in a fatal car accident be 27%. In comparison, wetter roads, combined with ice and snow, increase the chance of a fatal car accident by 34%. You would think the wetter roads would be a more significant danger, but slightly wet roads are nearly just as dangerous as very wet roads.

There are many difficulties and hazards that drivers might face when driving on a wet road. These hazards include:

  • Low Visibility: When there is any rain falling, even just a slight drizzle, your ability to see the road might be impacted. Working lights and windshield wipers are necessary for you to navigate through the rain and to make you visible to other drivers around you.
  • Decreased Traction: Water on the road reduces the traction tires have on the road. Reduced traction means that cars will slide around more on the road. Additionally, rain can release the oil that builds up from cars on the road and create a type of grease. Greasy roadways are also dangerous.
  • Standing Water: Water does not always drain right away. Sometimes, standing water accumulates that increases the chance of cars hydroplaning. Hydroplaning can be extremely dangerous. Avoid driving in places where you know water is likely to accumulate. If you find yourself hydroplaning, try to keep the wheel steady and take your foot off of the gas pedal. Do not abruptly brake or swerve.

When driving, it is important to be as safe as possible. Avoiding cruise control in wet conditions is always a good idea because wet roadways might require different speeds at different times. Additionally, taking things slow, not rushing, and knowing how to deal with hydroplaning or skidding can save your life.

While many drivers employ safety tactics to avoid accidents, it is not always enough to keep you from being involved in a car accident. You cannot control the actions of other drivers, and as a result, you might be injured no matter the weather. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here for you in these situations. We work hard to help you receive the damages you are due after being injured in a car accident. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Charlie Deets)

Can an Insurance Company Refuse to Settle?

Posted Friday, June 21, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextThere is more to moving on after a serious injury than just your physical recovery. A serious injury can impact so many different parts of your life. One of those parts is financial difficulties that arise because of the injury. Whether these financial struggles are the result of medical bills or from lost wages due to the injury impacting your ability to perform your job, the financial toll of an injury can be significant. In some cases, an insurance company is tasked with reaching a settlement with you for the injuries or damages sustained. You would think that this would be a relatively straightforward process, but that is not always the case. Insurance companies often try to delay making a settlement, or avoid it altogether.

It can be extremely frustrating to feel like you cannot get any answers from your insurance provider. There are many reasons that an insurance company might try to prevent the settlement or delay it. At this stage of the process, there are additional options available to you other than repeatedly calling the insurance provider and hoping for answers. A personal injury suit is a legal way to try and collect settlement or payment from an insurance company after an injury.

It can be useful to understand why your insurance company is delaying settlement. Common reasons include:

  • Statute of Limitations: In Washington personal injury cases, a suit must be brought within a certain time period to be eligible for recovering damages, or else be barred by the statute of limitations. Delaying a settlement could be a way to extend the time from injury in hopes of the statute of limitations running out.
  • Lost Evidence: Another reason an insurance company might delay is because the more time passes, the more likely it is that you will have lost or destroyed some crucial evidence. Not only can physical evidence be lost, but witness testimony can become less credible when there has been a long period of time between the event and recalling the event.
  • Giving Up: As stated above, recovering from an injury can be difficult. Some insurance companies simply hope to wear you down so that you are too tired and overwhelmed to pursue the settlement or legal options available to you.

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that an insurance company is a for-profit business that cannot make money if it only spends money on claims. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group understand this and are here to help you fight this abusive business mentality. When you are injured and entitled to compensation, especially by an insurance company that receives payment for the coverage, you should not be ignored in trying to reach a settlement. Our attorneys will try to work with the insurance company or file a personal injury suit to recover the damages and compensation owed to you. Contact us today for a consultation and to find out what options are available to you.

(image courtesy of Aaron Burden)

Bellevue Woman Hit by Truck

Posted Friday, June 14, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextA woman waiting at the bus stop near NE8th Ave and 120th St NE in Bellevue had tragedy strike while waiting for her bus in Bellevue. A woman was struck and pinned underneath a truck, according to KOMO News. The driver of the truck was sitting at a red light when he suddenly went into oncoming traffic, got hit by a car, and then slammed into the woman at the bus stop.

Preliminary investigations by police did not find that the driver of the truck was impaired, but police are investigating if he was distracted in some other way, like by being on his cell phone. No one is sure why the truck pulled away from the red light and into oncoming traffic. Investigators stated that the driver of the truck will likely be arrested on vehicular assault charges. The woman was taken to the hospital and treated for a badly broken leg and other injuries.

*What to do After an Accident *No one starts the day thinking that he or she will be injured in an accident. However as evidenced by the story above, there is no telling what might happen at any given moment. As such, it is important to be prepared and have the knowledge of how to handle an injury and emergency situation should it arise. The following are steps to take after an accident to ensure that you will be able to pursue compensation for your injuries with a personal injury claim.

  • Seek medical attention: The first step after injury is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Seeking treatment not only is a must for your general well-being, but it is also important in any legal actions brought following the injury.
  • Keep records: Keep a record of any accident reports, witnesses to the accident, bills received in relation to the accident, and documentation of any other damages that have resulted from the accident. These will become invaluable in a personal injury suit. You should also keep records of any medical treatment you receive or other instructions that your doctor gives you.
  • Contact a personal injury attorney: An experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue damages for your injuries after an accident.

*Get the Help You Need After an Accident *Drivers who act without thinking or put the lives of pedestrians and other drivers around them at risk by being negligent can be held liable for their actions through a personal injury claim. A personal injury suit may be the best option for those injured individuals seeking compensation for their injuries.

The personal injury attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group are here to help you. We know that an injury can be life-altering and extremely costly. We want to help you overcome this financial burden so that you can focus on recovering and adapting to any changes to your life following an injury. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Luke van Zyl)