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

Motorcycle Accidents

Posted Friday, March 6, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextUnfortunately, if you are involved in an accident as a motorcycle rider, there is a high likelihood that you will be seriously injured. Learning how dangerous motorcycle accidents can be to riders may help motorists understand that they have a responsibility to always watch for motorcycles on the road, and remind motorcycle riders to always ride defensively and with caution.

*Shocking Motorcycle Accident Statistics*The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research showed that on average, over 5,000 motorcycle riders died in motorcycle crashes every year. The Insurance Information Institute shows even more statistics illustrating how dangerous motorcycle accidents can be to riders. Serious risks are associated with riding a motorcycle, and both motorcycle riders and motorists should remain vigilant on the roadways to ensure safety and avoid accidents. Some of the shocking statistics associated with motorcycle accidents are listed below.

  • Motorcyclists are five times more prone to suffer serious or catastrophic injuries, and almost 30 times more likely to die in an accident.
  • 40% of motorcyclists killed in accidents did not have a helmet on at the time. While helmets prevent traumatic brain injuries and death, statistics show that not even 50% all motorcycle riders wear them at any given time. Wearing a helmet has been determined to be one of the most effective ways of not only preventing head trauma and traumatic brain injuries, but also surviving a motorcycle accident.
  • Motorists of vehicles are typically responsible for accidents involving motorcycles. All motorists should take extra precautions to always make sure that they look for motorcyclists in their entire field of vision.
  • Continuing the theory that accidents happen due to negligence, and not outside circumstances, roadway obstacles (such as potholes or debris) are only responsible for 2% of accidents involving motorcycles.
  • 92% of all motorcycle riders that are involved in accidents received absolutely no training or classes regarding motorcycle riding or safety. Motorcycle riders also have a responsibility to learn how to avoid accidents and what to do in dangerous situations on the roadways.
  • Another cause of motorcycle accidents is also entirely preventable. Almost half of all motorcycle accidents that involve fatalities involve the rider being under the influence of alcohol.
  • Shockingly, less than 10% of motorcycle riders involved in accidents had insurance. Make sure to be extra vigilant during the evening hours. Statistics show that 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. are the most dangerous times for motorcycle riders.

*Visit With an Experienced Attorney Today *If you were involved in an accident as a motorcycle rider, you may have the right to receive compensation from a negligent driver. You may be facing astronomical medical bills, lost wages, and significant pain and suffering. Contact our experienced personal injury and motorcycle accident attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Distracted and Drowsy Driving

Posted Friday, February 28, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextAccording to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety over half of all teenagers text and drive, and adults are not blameless, either. Distracted driving not only includes texting and driving; any type of distraction while driving could lead to a serious car accident. If you were injured due to another person becoming distracted behind the wheel, visiting with a personal injury can help you pursue your legal right to compensation.

*Types of Distractions*Many people become unfocused behind the wheel of the car for a moment or two while driving. However, if you are behaving in such a way that the distraction moves significant attention away from the roadway, your negligence could result in a severe car accident. Distracted driving always increases the likelihood of an accident due to inherently taking the focus away from the road and other drivers. Some of the types of distractions that can take away a driver’s attention can include:

  • Not focusing or being lost in thought
  • Texting and driving
  • Talking on a cell phone and driving
  • Talking with passengers
  • Eating and drinking while driving
  • Changing the channel or volume on the radio
  • Changing the temperature or fans inside the car
  • Smoking while driving

Any activity that is not required by the driver to operate a vehicle can be considered a distraction and can potentially lead to a catastrophic accident. Oftentimes, witness testimony can be valuable in these types of cases, as it can confirm that the other driver was looking down at a cell phone or otherwise distracted in some way.

*Drowsy Driving *One of the more common ways a driver can become distracted is simply by driving while fatigued. While one in 25 drivers actually admits to having fallen asleep at the wheel, drowsy driving involves the inability to focus or pay attention to the roadways, and it is a leading cause of accidents. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control research indicates over 6,000 car accidents occur yearly due to driver drowsiness and fatigue. Additionally, for those persons who have not had any sleep for 20 hours, driving while drowsy results in the same slowed reaction time as having a blood-alcohol concentration over the legal limit. The same study concludes that if you are drowsy or fatigued while driving, you are three times as likely to be involved in an accident.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney*Driving while distracted is dangerous, and driving while drowsy or fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. If you were injured due to a driver being either distracted or fatigued, you may have the right to receive compensation for your medical bills, loss of work, or your pain and suffering. Contact our experienced personal injury and car accident attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Following a Car Accident

Posted Friday, February 21, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextIf you have ever been in a serious car accident, you have likely suffered some emotional trauma following the accident. In many cases, your physical and emotional injuries will heal, and you will be free from both. However, after a catastrophic car accident, many victims face not only physical injuries but lingering psychological injuries, as well. In fact, studies have shown that up to 10% of car accident victims are affected by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after a serious car accident. If you were recently in a car accident and feel anxious, depressed, or worried, you may actually suffer from PTSD, and need to seek medical care for this very real condition.

*What PTSD Looks Like *PTSD is a recognized mental health condition that occurs typically after a traumatic event. While many people think of soldiers coming home after a war, or victims of rape or violent crimes, other traumatic events such as a serious car accident can also result in PTSD. Some of the symptoms may include constant or severe anxiety, fear, a feeling of helplessness, fits of anger or aggression without any known cause, continuous flashbacks of the accident, hallucinations, nightmares, feeling detached emotionally or numb, amnesia regarding the accident, or a compulsion to avoid any person or place that reminds the victim of the car accident.

PTSD is much more than being upset after a car accident, it is a condition that must be diagnosed by a medical professional. If you have exhibited any of these symptoms for over a month following a car accident, you should be seen by a medical professional.

*Preventing and Treating PTSD*In some cases, it simply is not possible to prevent PTSD. People who have an increased risk for PTSD and are predisposed to develop this condition could include those with prior mental, emotional, or psychological problems or those who lack social support. However, while that may predispose some people to this condition, it can affect anyone. If you are in a serious car accident, you should visit with family, friends, and a therapist as soon as possible to try to prevent any exacerbation of this condition. A medical professional can help provide medication and therapy to help you learn to cope with the aftermath of the trauma from a car accident. Many different types of therapies have proven exceptionally effective to combat PTSD including psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, relational therapy, or group therapy.

*Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today *If you were involved in a car accident and suffered emotional trauma or PTSD, you may have the right to receive compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact our experienced personal injury and car accident attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We can work with you to build a strong case and help you receive compensation for your injuries. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Seeking Medical Attention After a Car Accident

Posted Friday, February 14, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextOf the 6 million car accidents that occur yearly in the United States, half include injuries to passengers and motorists. While car accidents are common, the results are often catastrophic, including permanent injuries or even death. If you were involved in any kind of car accident, you should seek medical attention, even if you do not feel you were severely injured.

*Car Accident Injuries *Many smaller “fender-bender” accidents will not have ambulances called to the scene of the accident. However, even in smaller accidents, serious injuries can occur. In many cases, a victim will simply not realize that they are injured badly due to the body’s release of a chemical called epinephrine (adrenaline). This chemical acts as a pain suppressor and in many cases a victim simply does not know that they are injured badly because the adrenaline is masking the pain. Making the decision to wait for this chemical to subside, instead of seeking the expertise of a medical professional immediately, can be devastating to your health and prognosis.

*Injuries That Take Time to Appear *You should never wait more than 72 hours to be evaluated by a medical professional for your personal injuries. Some of the more common injuries that take time to appear or present pain will include the following:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Fractures
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Concussion
  • Soft-tissue injuries (oftentimes “whiplash”)
  • Sprains or tears

*Building a Strong Personal Injury Case*If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you likely have unexpected medical bills and lost wages. Making sure to seek care from a medical professional to evaluate your physical and mental condition will also preserve any legal claim you may have regarding the car accident and your personal injury, and allow you to receive the maximum amount of compensation you are legally allowed.

*NEVER Settle Immediately After a Car Accident *You should always wait until you have had all of your medical issues resolved, and you have received a release from your medical doctor regarding your injuries. Never take the first settlement offer from an insurance company. The insurance companies will typically offer very low settlement amounts immediately to victims to attempt to close the case for less compensation than you deserve. If you take their settlement check and cash it, you will be waiving all of your rights to any future compensation to pay for any future medical issues you may have that remain from the accident.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney*If you were involved in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and even pain and suffering. We can negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies and attempt to get you the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Contact our experienced personal injury and car accident attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We can work with you to build a strong personal injury case. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.

Establishing a Personal Injury Case

Posted Friday, February 7, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextIf you were injured due to someone’s negligence in the state of Washington, you are likely facing substantial medical costs, loss of wages due to an inability to return to work and even pain and suffering. If someone else’s carelessness or recklessness directly led to your injuries from a car accident, dog bite, slip and fall, medical malpractice or another type of injury, you may have the right to receive compensation from the negligent party. The following is a quick guide to how a personal injury case may be established. However, if you believe you have a personal injury case, visiting with an experienced attorney can help ensure your rights and help you build a strong case to receive the compensation you deserve.

*Personal Injury Law*Personal injury law covers all different types of injuries suffered due to someone else’s negligence. For example cases such as trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home injuries, slip and fall injuries, dog bites, boating accidents, manufacturing defects and more are all covered under personal injury law. To make the determination that you have a valid legal claim in the state of Washington for a personal injury claim, the following criteria must be met:

  • Duty: A person has a duty in a specific situation not to cause injury or act negligently towards another person.
  • Breach: Someone “breaches” that duty under the law. For example, they drive a car while speeding or run a red light, a property owner fails to keep their property free from dangerous conditions, a doctor leaves a sponge in a patient after surgery, etc.
  • Causation: The breach of duty must have directly caused some form of emotional, physical, or financial harm to the victim.
  • Damages: You suffered actual physical, emotional, or financial harm that is provable in a court of law.

*Statute of Limitations *According to the state of Washington, you have three years from the date of the accident or injury to file a lawsuit for any injuries suffered. There are some exceptions to this rule, and visiting with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine how long you have to file a lawsuit in your specific case. While this may seem like a long time, after dealing with medical injuries and insurance companies, this time goes by quite quickly.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney*No matter what kind of personal injury you may have suffered due to someone else’s recklessness, carelessness, or negligence, you have a right to receive compensation for your unexpected medical bills, lost wages and even pain and suffering. In some cases, if the actions of the defendant were egregious, the courts may even award punitive damages to a victim in an attempt to punish the defendant for their actions and prevent future acts of negligence by others. Contact our compassionate attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. You may have the right to receive compensation. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.