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

Five People Injured in Kent County Head-on Collision

Posted Friday, June 7, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextEvery car accident needs to be taken seriously as it can result in life altering injuries to anyone involved. Some accidents, however, seem to make you hold your breath when you hear about them, like head-on collision. There is something about hitting another vehicle head-on that sends chills down one’s spine. Recently, in Kent county, five people were hospitalized after a head-on collision, according to Fox 17 News.

The crash happened on Lincoln Lake Avenue by Bailey Drive when an SUV that was traveling northbound crossed the centerline of the road and collided with another vehicle head-on that was traveling south. The driver of the SUV was among the five people taken to the hospital. The other four were from the vehicle that was hit and included two adults and two children. It was not clear at the scene of the accident what made the driver of the SUV veer over the centerline and crash head-on into the other vehicle.

Head-on collisions are dangerous. There are common injuries that you need to be on the lookout for if you have been involved in a head-on collision:

  • Neck Injuries: Anytime you are rattled and forced to move your head and neck in a motion or direction that is not typical, you are at risk for injury. Neck injuries are especially dangerous because of the possibility of paralysis or even death. Strain on muscles and tendons in the neck can be extremely painful after a car accident.
  • Abdominal injuries: Seat belts are meant to protect you. However, in an accident, they can cause injury if they are thrust into the abdomen of the wearer. Furthermore, abdominal injuries can also occur when there are other items or forces put onto the abdomen because the head-on collision.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury: A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is extremely dangerous. Your brain controls your entire body. Injury to the brain can have serious, life-altering implications.
  • Chest Injuries: An airbag is deployed to protect the passengers of a vehicle from being seriously injured if they hit hard parts of the inside of the vehicle. However, an airbag deploying is not like being hit with a pillow. They can prevent injuries, but they are deployed with a heavy force that can cause injury. Similar to abdominal injuries, the seat belt can also cause injury to the chest in a head-on collision.

If you have been injured in a head-on collision, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you following a car accident. Medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to the injury only pile up after an accident. We want to help you get the compensation you deserve under the circumstances. Our attorneys are dedicated to representing you and presenting the best possible case. Contact us today for a consultation. We are ready and waiting to help you.

(image courtesy of Jannes Glas)

Dog Bite Injuries for Postal Workers on the Rise

Posted Friday, May 31, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextDogs are considered to be man’s best friend. They are fiercely loyal to their masters, fun to be around, and add joy to so many households all across America. Additionally, dogs can decrease a person’s stress, act as an emotional support animal, and be an asset to those with varying disabilities. Dogs are generally great, but they can be dangerous to others. In fact, dog bite injuries are on the rise for Washington state postal workers, according to the United States Postal Service.

Overall, the number of postal workers injured by dogs across the United States decreased by about 500 reported incidents in the previous year. Nevertheless, the number of dog bites in the state of Washington increased, only by one, but when the rest of the nation sees a decrease in dog bite attacks, any increase can be deemed significant.

Many people brush off dog bites as insignificant and not a big deal. However, dog bites can be extremely serious and cause a lot of damage. Medical treatment is expensive. After any injury it is imperative that an injured party seek medical attention, but the cost of such treatment can be a deterrent to people seeking help. An individual, whether a postal worker or not, has protections available if he or she has been injured because of a dog bite.

In Washington, there are specific dog bite statutes that outline the liability a dog owner has for any damages the dog might cause. The owner of a dog is “liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” When a dog bites someone and it is because of the owner’s negligence, the owner can be held liable even if he or she had no idea or inclination that the dog was violent or dangerous in any way. This applies when the incident happens in a public place or when the victim is lawfully present on private property where the dog is located. There are different rules that may apply if the victim of a dog bite is trespassing on private property.

A person who has been bitten by a dog can suffer the ramifications for the rest of his or her life. Medical costs accumulate and an injured dog bite victim might become overwhelmed by debt. In Washington, a personal injury suit can be brought against the dog owner for negligence in handling the dog that caused the injury. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the world of personal injury and receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries sustained. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you following an injury. We do not want you to be bogged down by expensive medical bills for the rest of your life. Instead, let us fight to hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries so that you can receive compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Drew Beamer)

Bellevue Street Sweeper Accident Leads to Wrongful Death Suit

Posted Friday, May 24, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextA tragic street sweeper accident in Bellevue has led to a wrongful death lawsuit being filed, according to Kiro 7 news. Earlier this year, an employee of Nelson & Sons Construction Co., Inc. was operating a street sweeper in downtown Bellevue near a construction site. He started in the northbound lane on 120th Avenue Northeast before putting the sweeper in reverse and heading southbound on the same road. The sweeper struck a pedestrian, pulling him under the sweeper and killing him.

The family of the deceased is suing both the street sweeper company and the driver under the claim of wrongful death. The lawsuit alleges that the street sweeper driver “failed to operate the vehicle in a safe manner and failed to keep a proper lookout and/or watch of the vehicle’s backup camera.” The trial for this case is set for March 2020.

Street sweeper accidents are on the rise, and not just in the Bellevue and Seattle area. States across the country are seeing an increase in injuries, or deaths, caused by street sweepers. In 2018, there were 14 street sweeper accidents reported. This might seem like a small number, but when you factor in how specific of an accident this is and the limited occasions on which could be possible, it is a significant trend.

The death of a loved one is devastating. It can be even more devastating when the death is caused by a seemingly avoidable accident. In the case above, the court will need to determine whether the street sweeper driver and/or his employer were negligent in their operations. In past cases involving street sweeper injuries, the accidents were caused by lack of training for the drivers on operating of the sweeper, distraction of the drivers, increased noise inside the street sweeper, or the rear-view camera being non-operational or having an obstructed view.

In the state of Washington, the law permits the recovery of damages for the death of another “when the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” A personal representative of the deceased individual is able to sue the responsible party for damages resulting from the actions of the defendant(s). Only certain individuals are permitted by law to seek damages through a wrongful death statute. A dedicated personal injury attorney can help you determine if you are eligible to file suit and help you through the process.

The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you recover damages after the wrongful death of a loved one. Sudden deaths can cause extreme financial hardship on an individual or family. A wrongful death suit is a civil remedy that holds the responsible party accountable for their actions and award damages to the wronged parties. We know it is difficult to cope after the loss of a loved one. We do not want you to be overburdened financially. Contact us today to find out what legal remedies might be available to you.

(image courtesy of Charlie Deets)

What to do When a Medical Emergency is the Cause of an Accident

Posted Friday, May 17, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextThe thought of having some type of medical emergency is terrifying to everyone. Being vulnerable to the unknown is an unsettling feeling. What perhaps is more unsettling is thinking about another driver on the road suddenly having an emergency and crashing his or her vehicle into yours. What do you do in that situation? Is the other driver still liable for damages even though he or she suffered a medical emergency? Individuals in Seattle are battling with these questions following a recent accident caused by a medical emergency.

According to KOMO News, two people were rushed to the hospital after a driver suffered a medical emergency and rear-ended a vehicle. A Toyota SUV slammed into the back of another vehicle. The injured people were in the SUV that caused the accident. Both vehicles were thrust down a slope and hit a utility pole. One individual was trapped inside the SUV, only being freed when firefighters cut the roof of the vehicle.

Investigators say that it appears that the driver of the SUV suffered a medical emergency, causing him to lose control and hit the vehicle in front of him. The driver of the vehicle that was hit was momentarily knocked unconscious following the accident, but otherwise showed no additional injuries at the scene.

While the individuals injured in this particular accident were in the vehicle that caused the accident, the other driver could just as easily have been seriously injured. Washington state law permits the recovery of damages when a driver is negligent in his or her actions and causes a collision. This includes collecting damages if the driver was negligent in dealing with medical emergencies or issues that might arise while driving.

In determining the liability for damages when the accident is caused by a medical emergency, the central issue is whether or not the medical emergency was foreseeable. This operates similarly to the sudden emergency doctrine. If a driver knows of a medical condition that could alter his or her ability to operate a vehicle safely, then he or she could be found negligent and thus liable for damages. However, if a driver has no idea that they have a medical condition and no reason to know of this medical condition, then the driver might not be found negligent. Determining whether a medical emergency was foreseeable or not can be difficult. Finding the answer usually means digging deep into the individual’s medical history, actions, and life to determine if he or she had knowledge of the medical condition, or should have had knowledge of the medical condition.

The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you recover after an auto accident, especially if that accident was caused by a negligent driver. Whether the driver was negligent in his or her medical care or awareness or some other action, we want to help you recover the maximum amount of damages for your injury. Car accidents and the resulting injuries can bring about a tremendous financial burden. Let us try to alleviate that burden by seeking damages in a personal injury case so that you can focus on the physical and mental aspect of recovering from your injuries. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Per Look)

What Happens if I Get in an Accident in Canada?

Posted Friday, May 10, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextVarious states in the United States are in the unique position of being extremely close to another country — Canada. Washington is one of those states. It is not uncommon for Washington state residents to take a quick weekend trip up to Canada, or even make a day trip of it. While the ease of traveling to another country can be exciting and lead to wonderful memories, there are some legal complications that can arise. Many people drive to Canada. Being in a foreign country does not absolve you from being involved in an accident. Many Washington state residents might find themselves in a situation of getting in an accident in Canada. While you are certainly not setting out on a road trip with the anticipation or expectation of an accident, it is important to have some general knowledge of what to expect should an accident occur.

Just like if the accident occurred in the state of Washington, the first priority is seeing to the health and injuries of those involved. Check yourself, any passengers with you, and occupants of the other car to make sure that everyone is healthy or receiving the medical care they need. Even if there are no apparent injuries, follow up with your doctor as soon as possible to make sure there are no internal injuries that do not manifest with physical symptoms. The Canadian healthcare system is different from the US healthcare system in that most healthcare is provided free of cost. However, this does not apply to visitors and your own healthcare insurance may need to be used to cover costs for Canadian medical treatment.

Hopefully, no one is seriously injured and there are little to no healthcare or medical expenses. In the event that there is primarily only physical property damage, it is important that you document the accident scene just like you would in the U.S. Take photos of the damages, conditions causing the accident, gather witness information, and obtain contact information of the other driver. This is formation can be useful to report to your auto insurance company when reporting the accident. Depending on your insurance carrier, the coverage in foreign countries could be different than in the U.S. You could be directed to provide more information regarding the accident. Taking extra precautions at the scene of the accident to gather all information could become useful should your insurance company ask more questions. Taking a few extra minutes at the scene to gather information could save you a future headache of tracking that information down.

After taking care of yourself and your loved ones and returning home safe and sound, it is time to consider contacting an attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you determine what options are available to you, even if the car accident happened in Canada. You deserve an attorney who is going to fight for you and try to obtain any damages that you might be entitled to following a car accident. Contact us today for a consultation.