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

Strategies to Avoid Kent Car Crashes

Posted Friday, August 18, 2023 by Chris Thayer

According to a story in the Auburn Reporter, a 21-year Kent man died as a result of a single-vehicle crash along westbound State Route 18 in the Auburn/Black Diamond area. According to the State Patrol, the vehicle was traveling westbound at a high rate of speed. In attempting to exit, the car was moving too fast to navigate the curve. The vehicle left the roadway and rolled several times, ejecting the rear passenger.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car crash, talking with an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer can help provide peace of mind.

*How Washington Traffic Fatalities are Increasing*According to a King 5 report, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) finds that traffic deaths have increased by 39% statewide between 2019 and 2022. Similar spikes are seen in speed crashes and impairment-related crashes.

King5 notes that the fatality increase was unexpected and took researchers by surprise. The spike came at the same period as the pandemic. This is when people were driving less, working from home, not attending events, holding parties, or eating out at restaurants.

According to the report, speeding and reckless driving behavior have become the new normal. Fatalities in King County have been increasing since 2018, with notable spikes in 2021, with 126 deaths, up from 2020. In 2022, deaths leaped to 146 fatalities.

With this backdrop, it is prudent to drive safely and to understand what steps to take immediately if you are involved in an accident.

*Six Steps to Take Immediately After A Car Accident in Kent* - Check For InjuriesAn Allstate guide recommends checking yourself for injuries. If you are injured, call 911. If you are not able to call, ask someone for help in doing so. - Check on OthersCheck on the well-being of other passengers or the driver of the vehicle. If anyone is injured, contact emergency services immediately. - Stay SafeIt is vitally important to move to safety. Get to the side of the road. If you can drive and your car is drivable, move it out of the flow of traffic. This can help traffic move forward and may be useful so that emergency vehicles can reach you. - Call 911Contact police. You may need to talk with the police or authorities to fill out an accident report. This report helps with the claims process going forward. - Be ProactiveTurn off the engine. Turn on the hazard lights. Use road flares to warn other vehicles of the accident. Be alert for ’bandit tow trucks.’ This is a crime where unauthorized tow truck drivers persuade people to let their vehicles be towed and hold the vehicle hostage for unreasonable fees. Stay safe and wait for the tow truck you called.Exchange Contact Information

Share contact information with other drivers. Share details such as your name, insurance, driver’s license, license plate, vehicle make and model, and the location of the accident.

*When to Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer in Kent*In Washington, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of an accident to file a legal suit. If you have been involved in a car collision, the clock starts ticking on the date of the accident.

Rear End Collisions on Mercer Island: Here is What You Need to Know

Posted Friday, August 11, 2023 by Chris Thayer

A rear-end collision in Washington is when one motorist drives into the back of another vehicle.

This type of collision is responsible for approximately 29 % of all crashes. The Insurance Information Institute statistics reveal that rear-end collisions are responsible for over seven percent of traffic-related fatalities; and almost 20% of fatalities involving two cars.

In the United States, nearly 2.5 million rear-end collisions are reported every year.

*Common Rear-End Crash Scenarios on Mercer Island*Consider some of the most common scenarios for a rear-end collision.

  • A highway crash where a driver slams into another car that is slowing down to make way for oncoming traffic.

  • A driver on a highway or a smaller road fails to notice that the car in front is slowed or stopped to make a turn. The crash occurs when the driver collides with the front car as it prepares to turn.

  • A driver is speeding through traffic and fails to notice that the car in front needs to make an unexpected stop. This may be due to traffic conditions, an obstruction in the road, a pedestrian, pet, or child that the driver in the rear does not anticipate or may not see.

  • A driver assumes that the car in front will drive immediately when a traffic light turns green. There may be a variety of internal and external reasons for the front driver that are unknown to the rear driver. The rear driver accelerates and smashes into the back of the front vehicle.

In each of these examples, the rear driver may be considered at fault.

*Circumstances Vary in Mercer Island Car Accidents*However, there are cases where both drivers may share the blame for a rear-end collision. Consider these situations:

  • A driver in front stops unexpectedly. There is no apparent or visible reason that the rear driver can see.
  • The leading driver suddenly moves their car in reverse. This may be to make a move to another lane, avoid hitting something, or for another reason. The rear driver has no previous indication that this would occur.
  • The front driver’s brake lights are not working. They stop, but the rear driver does not indicate the stop.
  • The front driver’s signal lights don’t work or are not used to indicate they are making a turn. The rear driver has no way of knowing and is unable to avoid a rear-end collision.

In these cases, one or both drivers may share the responsibility for the accident.

Provi*ng Fault After a Mercer Island Car Accident *Washington is a state that requires proof that a motor vehicle driver was negligent. To prove this, you need to show that the driver owed you a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid harming other people on the road.

In addition, you will have to show that the driver failed to exercise this duty. This may be shown with evidence such as that a driver was texting or holding a cell phone while driving. Third, you must show that their failure caused your accident.

*When to Speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer in King County*You may want to speak with a personal injury lawyer to discuss your situation and understand how to prove that someone is at fault for the crash and your injuries. This can be useful in understanding possible legal actions.

Five Mistakes to Avoid if You are in a Burien Car Crash

Posted Friday, August 4, 2023 by Chris Thayer

A man killed in a fatal crash on SR 509 was identified as a 67-year-old Burien man. A report on the B-town blog notes that the man was driving a vehicle that lost control and struck two other vehicles. The other two people were not injured in the crash, according to Washington State Patrol (WSP).

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car crash or collision, talking with a Burien Personal Injury Lawyer may help you identify your legal options.

*Crashes are the Second Leading Cause of Death in Washington*In Washington State, crashes of motor vehicles are the second leading cause of unintentional injury death and the leading cause of major trauma. The first leading cause is poisoning.

According to Washington state experts, motor vehicle injuries are largely preventable. The main causes cited are human behavior. Although many drivers state that the crash was due to poor road design, vehicle issues, or weather, Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) identifies that driver and occupant behavior is responsible for the majority of all motor vehicle crashes.

*Five Mistakes to Avoid if You are in an Accident in Burien*Sadly, accidents are an all too frequent occurrence in Washington. If you are involved in an accident in Burien, it is useful to understand several common mistakes that you can avoid.

*Never Neglect to Call The Burien Police*After a car crash, it is important to call the police. The police will help to clear the accident and help traffic return to normal.

*Do Not Leave the Scene in Burien*Leaving the scene is not legal or responsible. According to Washington law, you are required to stay at the scene of the accident. Park your vehicle as close to the scene as possible.

*Do Not Forget to Gather Evidence in Burien*While you are waiting for police or first responders, gather evidence. Take time to get the names and contact information of other people involved. If possible, gather names and contact details from witnesses. You may be able to document the scene with photos using a cell phone.

*Do Not Forget to Get the Badge Number of the Officer*When you get a copy of your accident report, be sure to get the badge number of the officer who filled in the report. This is the person who will have an accurate record of the events as you described them.

*Do Not Admit Fault in a Rush to Apologize*After an accident, it is easy to say things that could be considered an admission of fault. These may be simple phrases that people say almost automatically out of politeness.

Some comments to avoid are: “I’m sorry.” “I only looked down for a moment.” “I was texting.” “I tried to slow down.”

While you may be attempting to show care and empathy, simple phrases can be used against you if you decide to file a lawsuit.

*When to Talk With a Burien Personal Injury Attorney*If you have been involved in a car crash or collision, you may be uncertain about legal options and the best course of action. Talking with a Personal Injury Attorney may provide peace of mind.

What to Do After a Car Accident in Bellevue Washington

Posted Friday, July 28, 2023 by Chris Thayer

Washington state law requires that you take specific actions following a car accident. If you have never been involved in an accident or are unfamiliar with the law, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with these steps. Most laws that Washington drivers should know can be found in Title 46 of the Revised Code of Washington. These laws cover the basics of licensing, registration, and road rules.

Washington has been considered one of the safest states in the United States. In 2019, there were 0.83 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles. This makes Washington the 7th safest state for drivers across the country.

However, serious car collisions are still all too frequent. If you have been involved in a car collision in Bellevue, Washington, consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer.

*Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Bellevue*First, stop your vehicle. It is advised to stop at the scene of the accident. Alternatively, stop as close as possible to the scene.

Second, provide your name, address, and insurance company information. Give your insurance policy number and vehicle license number to anyone involved in the crash.

Third, render reasonable assistance to anyone who is injured. While these steps may seem like common sense, it is important to recognize that you are following the law and acting with human decency.

*Steps to Take After an Accident with an Unoccupied Vehicle in Bellevue*If you collide with an unoccupied vehicle, you must take two steps. First, stop your vehicle at the scene of the accident. Next, locate the owner of the vehicle. Alternatively, leave a written note with your name. Provide your contact information.

*Three Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident in Washington*If you are in a car accident in Bellevue, Washington, experts note that there are several typical mistakes that it is wise to avoid.

*Never Handle a Car Accident Claim Yourself*Experts note that the single biggest mistake people make is handling a car accident on their own. It may be because people are reluctant to contact a lawyer. Some people have a belief that the process for handling a car accident claim is simple.

Negotiations can be intricate and challenging. A legal expert is skilled in understanding the landscape of insurance claims, negotiations, and lawsuits.

*Avoid Posting on Social Media*While it can be tempting to post insights, outings, and emotions on social media, this is not a smart action. Photos, texts, and comments may be used as evidence should you decide to take legal action.

*Do Not Apologize to Anyone Involved in the Accident*You may be trying to be polite. You may feel obliged to apologize profusely for the accident. Legal experts advise against apologizing to anyone involved in the accident. Your polite comment may be taken as a sign that you admit guilt or fault. This could show up on a car accident report and could work against you in a legal case.

*When to Speak to a Dedicated King County Personal Injury Attorney*If you have been involved in a car accident in Bellevue, it is normal to feel confused or overwhelmed. You may want to talk with an experienced Personal Injury Attorney to understand how to protect your legal rights.

What to Do After a Truck Accident in Burien Washington

Posted Friday, July 21, 2023 by Chris Thayer

An accident with a truck can result in greater injuries and significant damage to your car or truck. The Seattle Times reported two people were seriously injured in a collision between a semi-truck and cars near Burien. Two patients were transported by medics and taken to Harborview Medical Center.

If you have been involved in a car collision involving a truck, talking with an experienced personal injury lawyer may help to understand your legal options.

*Understanding the Laws for a Truck Accident in Burien*Trucking accidents are governed by a variety of laws, including federal and state laws. To familiarize yourself, it may help to gain a basic understanding of Washington laws.According to the Washington Revised Code Title 46, motor vehicles must follow specific statutes. The ones specifically about trucks are Chapter 46.25, which covers the uniform commercial Driver’s license act.

The statutes may take some work to navigate. Talking with an expert legal advisor may help you understand the precise letter of the law.

*Proving Your Case in a Truck Accident in Burien*The main legal concept to understand in a commercial truck accident case is the idea of “negligence.” Legal arguments must show proof that a person injured in a commercial truck accident was negligent.

This may be demonstrated with evidence confirming that the driver or trucking company owed a duty to exercise a reasonable degree of care under the circumstances. The person who is injured must show that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care and that this failure was the cause of the injury.

*Truck Accidents Must Be Reported in Washington*The Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that a truck accident must be reported if a person was killed or injured; or if the accident resulted in $1000 or more of property damage.

*Know the Statute of Limitations in Burien Washington*A statute of limitations is a rule regarding how long you have to file a lawsuit after a truck accident in Washington. The general guideline is three years, although there are specific details as to when the three years begin. For injury to a person or property damage, the statute is three years from the date of the accident. For wrongful death, the clock starts ticking from the date of death. This may be later than the accident, for example, if a person is hospitalized and then dies at a later date.

*Be Alert: State Laws May Change*One thing to be aware of is that state laws are subject to change. Whether it is new legislation, public initiatives, federal decisions, or other factors, state guidelines are not set in stone.

*Speak to a Diligent King County Personal Injury Attorney*Trucking accidents can be complex and challenging. If you have questions about what to do after an accident involving a truck, it may be a good idea to speak with a diligent personal injury attorney. The sooner you speak with an attorney, the sooner they can start to fight for justice.