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

Suing for a Concussion

Posted Friday, September 17, 2021 by Chris Thayer

The head is so critical to life and function that any injury to it should be taken seriously. Concussions are sometimes written off as a sports injury or something that can just be iced, but concussions result in real trauma to the brain, and can result in long-term symptoms and consequences that can significantly impact one’s ability to work and even enjoy life. If you have suffered a concussion in an accident or due to someone else’s negligence, you may be unsure of what legal options you have available to you. Concussions can necessitate time off work, resulting in lost wages, in addition to expensive medical bills and rehabilitative therapies. The good news is that you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover for the harm that you have suffered.

*Injuries and Accidents That Cause Concussion * There is no limit to the kind of injuries that can result in concussion. Concussions can be caused by blunt force trauma to the head, such as when someone falls and hits their head, hits their head during a car accident, or is punched or struck in the head by another person or object. Concussions can also be caused by a severe jolt or impact to the head or body, such as may be experienced when being tackled, struck, or shaken. The most common causes of concussions in adults are slip-and-fall accidents, and the most common place for these accidents to occur is in parking lots and on sidewalks due to uneven or unstable ground. Other common places for slip-and-fall accidents to occur include slick floors, such as marble or tile floors, slippery surfaces, such as by pools, water features, water fountains, and soda machines, and on stairs.

*Suing for a Concussion * If you are thinking about suing for a concussion, there are a number of factors to consider. First, it is important to understand that in order to have standing to bring a lawsuit, you have to have suffered damages. This means that the harm you suffered must be financially quantifiable. If you do not have any medical bills, lost wages, or costs associated with your concussion, you will not likely have a claim. However, if you have suffered significant damages as a result of your concussion, which can be quantified by bills and lost wages, then you will meet this threshold requirement. It is also necessary that your concussion be caused by the intentional or negligent conduct of another person or party. This is the person or party who you are holding accountable by bringing a lawsuit. The more evidence you have to support that this person acted negligently and that their negligence caused your concussion and subsequent damages, the stronger your claim will be.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney * If you or a loved one have suffered significant harm due to a concussion that was not your fault, Pivotal Law Group is ready to help. Serving Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, and the greater Washington State area, our lawyers will fight to get you the compensation that you are entitled to. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Have You Been Injured at Your Seattle Restaurant Job?

Posted Friday, September 10, 2021 by Chris Thayer

Restaurants are among the most demanding places to work, and it is often the employees who pay the price. Restaurant employees face a veritable gauntlet of potential hazards on their way through the kitchen room to the dining room, from hot boiling liquids and slippery floors to unstable trays and spilled beverages, restaurant employees can suffer serious injuries on the job. If you have been injured at work, you may be feeling overwhelmed and wondering what your options are legally. To some degree, that will depend on your classification. If you are an employee of the restaurant, as opposed to an independent contractor, then you qualify for workers’ compensation coverage.

*Common Restaurant Worker Injuries * It probably comes as no surprise that the majority of restaurant employee injuries occur in the kitchen. Whereas most restaurant patron injuries occur due to slip-and-fall accidents in the parking lot or sidewalk outside of the restaurant, employees suffer cuts and lacerations more than any other form of injury. These cuts and lacerations are often due to knives and equipment used in food preparation, however, they can also be caused by broken glasses, dishes, and other accidents. The second leading cause of injury among restaurant employees is slip-and-fall accidents. These accidents are most often caused by oil or spilled liquids on the ground, and are most likely to occur in the kitchen by the fryer or sink. However, these accidents can occur anywhere, and spilled beverages, obstacles, uneven floors, steps, and heavy and unstable trays are all likely to contribute to slip-and-fall accidents at work. Burns are also common (but very painful!) injuries experienced by restaurant workers. These can be caused by hot pans, boiling pots and liquids, hot beverages or items that are being transported, equipment, and the stovetop, among other possible causes. Finally, strains, sprains, and soft tissue injuries are also frequently experienced by restaurant employees.

*Recovering for Restaurant Injuries * If you are an employee, you must file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. You are entitled to workers’ compensation insurance benefits for injuries that you incur in the course of your employment and for the benefit of your employer. This means that you may not receive coverage for an injury that you received while pranking a coworker, but provided the injury was caused by doing things required by your job, you are entitled to coverage. Workers’ compensation coverage provides medical care and paid time off while you recover from your injury. If you are having trouble receiving the benefits that you are entitled to, a Seattle personal injury lawyer can help ensure that you get the full benefits and maximum compensation to which you are entitled. If you are not an employee, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the restaurant or a third-party if their negligence contributed to or caused your injury. Talking to a personal injury lawyer will allow you to determine the best path forward to compensation.

*Talk to Pivotal Law Group* If you have suffered an injury at your Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or greater Washington State area workplace, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Pivotal Law Group are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Have You Gotten Bed Bugs at a Seattle Hotel or Motel?

Posted Friday, September 3, 2021 by Chris Thayer

Most people go to a hotel for a relaxing getaway, and trust that their experience will be clean and safe. It is reasonable to put your trust in hotels, as they have a duty of care to their guests. If hotels breach this duty of care by acting negligently or recklessly, they become liable for any financial or physical harm that occurs as a result. Bed bugs are small insects, but they can do a great amount of harm. If you have suffered bed bug bites, you know that they are no joke. Bed bug bites can be pervasive, painful, and result in serious complications. Itchy, painful bites can become infected wounds or trigger serious allergic reactions. Sometimes the bites cause permanent scarring, and other times the bed bug infestation at the hotel can spread to guests’ homes and workplaces, resulting in extensive property, career, and personal damage.

*When Can a Hotel be Sued for Bed Bugs?* Bed bugs are, to some degree, inevitable in a hotel setting. With so many people coming and going, and the impressive ability of bed bugs to travel on luggage and clothing, most establishments deal with some degree of exposure, it is how they respond to the information that matters. It is possible to hold a hotel or motel liable for bed bug-related injuries in Washington state, but there is one catch — the establishment had to have been aware of the infestation. If the hotel had knowledge of the bed bugs, that means they had an opportunity to address and exterminate the bed bugs. If they did not take reasonable action to do so, then they have breached their duty of reasonable care, and they become liable to future guests for any harm that results due to their inaction. If, in addition to failing to remedy the situation, the hotel or motel also attempted to conceal or lie about an infestation, further exposing guests to bed bug bites and harm, then punitive damages will likely be appropriate, and they may be into the millions.

**Bringing a Lawsuit for Bed Bugs

**If you and your family have suffered bed bug bites in a Seattle-area hotel or motel, you are familiar with the catastrophic consequences that a bed bug infestation can have. People can require hospitalization and medical treatment as well as time off of work. Property damage may be extensive in these claims if personal clothing, furniture, and bedding was infested. Pain and suffering also tends to be generous in these claims as the bites can be extremely painful, often causing people to scratch until the skin breaks, and resulting in infections.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer * If you have suffered bed bug injuries at a hotel, motel, or rental property in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or the greater Washington State area, you do not have to navigate the process alone. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Pivotal Law Group are ready to help. Contact Pivotal Law Group today to schedule a consultation.

Should I Settle My Personal Injury Claim?

Posted Friday, August 27, 2021 by Chris Thayer

If you suffered an injury due to another’s negligence, there is no telling what you are feeling right now. You might be angry, overwhelmed, or just focused on trying to get by. There is no right way to feel in the aftermath of an accident, and there is no playbook for how to handle it or what to do moving forward. One option is bringing a personal injury lawsuit. A successful personal injury lawsuit can restore you to the position you would have been in financially had the accident never occurred. You can receive compensation through an award decided in court by a jury or through a settlement. If you are currently contemplating whether to accept a settlement or take your chances at trial, the following explores some of the benefits of settling outside of court.

The information in this article is intended to be general. However, if you would like personalized feedback based on your specific situation, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are ready to help and encourage you to schedule a consultation.

*Considerations When Settling Your Personal Injury Claim *There are a number of benefits to settling your personal injury claim. The cost is that you miss out on getting a higher settlement in court. Granted, you are also eliminating the possibility of getting nothing in court. Whether settling your particular case will be the right choice for you depends on your specific circumstances. However, these points below may help you in making your decision.

  • You need money now. For many who are overwhelmed by medical costs and may be unable to work, getting money fast is the most important outcome in bringing a lawsuit. In this situation, reaching a settlement is ideal and far more effective than going to trial. Trials can be lengthy and even after an award is reached it will likely be appealed. It can be a matter of years from the time you file the lawsuit to when you have the money. A settlement, on the other hand, can be concluded and paid out in a matter of weeks or months depending on the length of the negotiations. If both parties are motivated it can be a quicker process.
  • There are no surprises. When you go to court, you never know what will happen. Juries are unpredictable and it is hard to know what curveballs the other side will throw, particularly if they have extensive legal resources. When your livelihood depends on getting a settlement, avoiding the high-stakes risk posed by court and accepting a settlement that you can be sure meets your needs can be an excellent and highly responsible choice.
  • Save Money. Litigation is expensive and trials are costly. Trials of this nature can be lengthy and rack up huge legal fees, all of which deplete the final award amount. By settling, you can save a lot of money as well as effort and resources.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Today *If you have been injured in an accident in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or the greater Washington State area, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

How a Lawyer Can Help With Your Seattle Trucking Accident

Posted Friday, August 20, 2021 by Chris Thayer

Trucking accidents are among the most complicated and fatal of all traffic accidents. This is in part due to the catastrophic amount of damage that trucks can cause. If you have been in a trucking accident, you may feel completely overwhelmed trying to adapt to your new way of life and growing medical bills. It can be hard to tell what to do next when you are busy trying to recover from serious injuries. Luckily, a Seattle personal injury lawyer from Pivotal Law Group can help you to navigate this process and can help you recover monetary damages for the harm that you have suffered.

*Identifying Liable Parties * One of the most complicated parts of trucking accidents is a part that many people know nothing about — determining liable parties. Most people assume that if they are hit by a car, the driver of that car is the liable party. Most of the time, this is true. However, when it comes to commercial trucking there may be more liable parties than are visible to the naked eye. For instance, even if the truck driver was speeding when their truck overturned and they hit you, it does not mean that they were the only negligent party who contributed to the accident. The truck driver may have been speeding to adhere to an illegally tight or demanding driving schedule, which would mean the truck driver’s employer was also liable for the accident.

*Liable Parties in Over-Turn Accidents * Additionally, semi-trucks often flip because they are overloaded or loaded improperly in a way that makes them off-balance. The truck driver is rarely involved in loading the truck, and often does not even know how the truck is loaded. Instead, trucks are usually loaded by suppliers or manufacturers, who may attempt to overload trucks in an attempt to cut down on shipping costs. This compromises the balance of the truck, and makes it very easy to tip over when making turns or driving. It is even more dangerous if the truck driver is unaware that they are carrying an imbalanced or extra-heavy load, as they will not know to compensate for it. If the supplier, manufacturer, or other company who loaded or provided the cargo contributed to the accident, they can also be held liable.

*Liable Parties in Defective Truck or Equipment Accidents * Sometimes the truck driver does nothing wrong, but the truck or one of its component parts malfunctions, causing an accident. For example, maybe the brakes stopped working or the steering wheel locked. It is also possible that a component part so small malfunctioned that it is unclear to anyone what happened until the truck is inspected by experts. If a component or part of the truck was improperly designed or defectively made and it resulted in the crash, the manufacturer and/or supplier, and in some cases, the manufacturer of the truck, can be held liable as parties to the accident, as well.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney * If you have been injured in a Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or greater Washington State area trucking accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are ready to help. Call today to schedule a consultation.