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

Can I Sue for a Delayed Diagnosis?

Posted Friday, August 13, 2021 by Chris Thayer

Often, when we think about medical malpractice we think about something that was done wrong, such as an incorrect diagnosis or a mistake made in surgery. However, in some situations, inaction by a doctor can be just as harmful to a patient. In the case of cardiac symptoms, a failure of a doctor to act quickly in effectively diagnosing and treating the problem, or the failure of a medical facility, such as an emergency room, in quickly admitting and accurately assessing the patient, can have fatal consequences. While some mistakes or delays in treatment are not illegal, others are. A diagnosis should be made within a reasonable amount of time from when the patient presents with symptoms. If your delayed diagnosis was the result of medical negligence and resulted in serious harm to you, you may have legal options available. If your delayed diagnosis was an act of medical malpractice, a personal injury lawsuit can allow you to recover all damages related to the injury. A successful personal injury lawsuit restores you to the position you would have been in had the medical malpractice never occurred.

*Dangers of Delayed Diagnosis *Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Often, prompt diagnosis is the only thing that enables life-saving treatment. When someone is experiencing heart attack symptoms and seeks medical help only to be turned away or assured that it is indigestion or muscle pain, it can be devastating when they later suffer a heart attack that could have been prevented. Other serious illnesses, such as cancer, require prompt and effective treatment. When doctors ignore symptoms or fail to perform necessary tests, they can miss the entire window of opportunity for treatment. They also take that choice away from the patient. Other times, doctors may not take prompt action, or may continue to write off certain symptoms. For instance, a doctor may write off coughing as recurrent upper respiratory infections for years only for the patient to learn seven years later that she has had lung cancer the whole time.

*When is a Delayed Diagnosis Medical Malpractice? *Sometimes a prompt diagnosis is not possible. The process of diagnosing someone’s medical condition can be complicated. Conditions present differently in every patient and co-morbid conditions, medications, and a myriad of other factors can all complicate the diagnosis process. Not every delay in diagnosis amounts to medical malpractice. However, when the delay in diagnosis was the result of medical negligence and was the cause of serious harm, then you have a strong claim for medical malpractice.

*Talk to a Seattle Medical Malpractice Attorney *If you or a loved one have suffered serious injury or financial harm as a result of a negligent delay in diagnosis or failure to treat you may have a claim for medical malpractice. Contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Pivotal Law Group today and schedule a consultation to find out how we can help you get the compensation to which you are entitled. Serving Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, and the greater Washington State area, we are ready to fight for you.

Avoiding Summertime Car Accidents

Posted Friday, August 6, 2021 by Chris Thayer

Hitting the great open road is a fantastic way to spend the summer. With good weather, beautiful views, and more time and flexibility from work for some, the summer is an excellent time to explore and spend time traveling and outdoors. However, if you have found yourself noticing more vehicle accidents than usual on your summertime drives, you are not alone. In fact, studies have confirmed that more fatal car accidents happen during the summer months than any other time of year. Compared to colder months, summer months have 29% more fatalities as a result of car and vehicle accidents.

*Causes of More Summertime Car Accidents *There are a number of reasons and factors that contribute to the increase in vehicle accident fatalities over the summer. One of the primary factors, according to experts, is the increase in travel that happens over the summer. From June to August, statistics reflect that more people are on the road, and that they travel for longer distances than they do compared to other months of the year. The more time people spend on the road, the more likely they are to be injured. However, travel plays an important aspect, as well. Driving in unfamiliar areas, as well as driving with others who are unfamiliar with your area, can increase driving risks. Tourist drivers have a higher likelihood of being distracted while driving. They are also more likely to miss turns and relevant traffic signs and signals due to their lack of familiarity.

Additionally, with most schools closed for the summer and parents at work, teenage drivers have less supervision and more time on their hands. The highest amount of teenage driving fatalities annually occurs in June, which coincides with the higher traffic fatalities reported during these months. Another contributing factor is driving under the influence. There are more drunk driving and DUI arrests during the summer than in other months of the year. This is significant because more drunk and compromised drivers on the road increases the risk of death for everyone. Drunk drivers are more likely to be involved in wrong-way accidents and fatal roll-over collisions than other drivers.

*Avoiding Dangerous Car Accidents *The majority of all summertime car accidents happen at night. One of the best ways to mitigate your risk of being in a fatal summertime car accident is therefore to avoid any nighttime driving. If you have to drive after dark, it is advisable to stick to well-lit streets, and limit your time spent driving after dark as much as possible. It is almost important to leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles, and leave as much room as possible between you and any car or cars that are acting erratically, swerving, or driving recklessly.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Attorney *If you have been injured in a car accident in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or the greater Washington State area, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Pivotal Law Group will zealously advocate on your behalf and ensure that you get the maximum settlement you are entitled to. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Car Accidents are a Leading Cause of Spinal Cord Injuries

Posted Friday, July 30, 2021 by Chris Thayer

Vehicle accidents have the potential to be physically, financially, and emotionally catastrophic. The spine is particularly vulnerable in vehicle accidents due to the force exerted upon impacting with another object or vehicle. Over 12,500 people suffer spinal cord injuries each year, and 38% of those injuries occur in car accidents. These people can face life-altering changes and medical expenses up to a million dollars in the first year alone. Spinal cord injuries can have long-lasting impacts, cause chronic pain, and require constant care and long-term rehabilitation and treatment. Additionally, spinal cord injuries are complicated to treat, and often require costly travel to specialists for multiple surgeries. If you or a loved one have found themselves in this position, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn for help and financial support. Luckily, you do not have to navigate this process alone. Hiring a Seattle personal injury attorney can help ensure that you get the highest possible insurance settlement and that you are able to pursue the maximum amount of compensation for the harm you have suffered.

*Bringing a Lawsuit for Spinal Cord Injuries *If your spinal cord injury was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party, such as a drunk driver or a driver who was driving over the speed limit, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. If you were hit by a commercial driver or truck driver who was driving negligently, their employer may also be liable for your injuries. Talking to a lawyer can help you identify any responsible parties who may also be liable for your harm. Bringing a lawsuit allows you to recover for all medical costs related to your injury. This also includes all anticipated future costs of treatment, surgery, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. If you require long-term care or in-home aids, these costs can also be recovered. Home modifications, medical equipment, and medications, as well as mental health care and counseling stemming from the injury can also be pursued. In addition, you can also pursue compensation for the impact the injury will have on your life. For instance, if you are unable to return to work after your accident (like nearly 90% of those who suffer spinal cord injuries), you can seek compensation for lost income and lost earning potential. You can also seek compensation for pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages may also be available.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer *If you have suffered a spinal cord injury as the result of an accident that was not your fault in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or the greater Washington State area, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Pivotal Law Group are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Construction Site Accidents

Posted Friday, July 23, 2021 by Chris Thayer

You may or may not be surprised to learn that construction workers face more work-related hazards than any other employee. While it is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, it is also one of the most deadly. Studies show that every single day two construction workers die of work-related fatalities. A large proportion of these deaths are caused by falls. Construction workers are more likely than workers in any other industry to suffer death and injuries due to falling. One in 10 construction workers is expected to suffer a serious injury every single year.

*Construction Worker Accidents in Seattle *Just recently, a Seattle construction worker was killed in what is known as a “caught-between” accident, which occurred when he was pinned between a beam of steel and the flatbed of a semi-truck. The man was working on the State Route 520 Montlake Phase Project at the time, which involves replacing a bridge. While other workers were able to free him from the bind prior to paramedics arriving and began life-saving measures, it was too late and the man was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation into the employer to determine whether any negligence or workplace safety violations contributed to the accident is still underway. Legally, the investigation must conclude within six months and will determine the cause of the accident and whether any violations of the employer were contributing factors.

*Construction Site Injuries *Construction sites provide abundant means of injury. With precarious set-ups, high-stakes and heavy equipment, and many moving components, there is essentially an infinite number of ways to become injured on a construction site. However, the most common cause of injury on construction sites remains falls from higher levels. These falls can result in permanent disability, such as when they damage the spine or cause traumatic brain injuries. Falls are sometimes precipitated by another common cause of construction site injuries, electrocution. Electrocution can destabilize an employee or cause them to lose consciousness and fall. Even when electrocution does not cause falls, it can result in heart damage, brain damage, disfigurement, and death. Caught-between accidents, which often result in crushing injuries, organ damage, and internal bleeding, are likely to be fatal or cause long-term damage. Struck-by accidents, such as when a construction worker is struck by a falling object, piece of equipment, or debris, also pose a real threat.

*Options for Legal Recourse *If you have been injured on a construction site, your options for legal recourse depend on your classification and relationship to the employer. If you are an employee, you are likely limited to seeking benefits and compensation through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, unless the injury was caused by a third-party or contractor. However, a lawyer can still work with you to navigate the process and ensure that you receive the maximum benefits and compensation to which you are entitled. If you are an independent contractor you do not qualify for workers’ compensation, but your option to sue is not impinged and you can file a personal injury suit against the responsible party provided their negligence, recklessness, or failure to abide by health and safety requirements, caused or contributed to your harm.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer *If you have suffered a serious injury on a Seattle construction site, it is important to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to determine the best possible avenue to compensation. Contact the attorneys at Pivotal Law Group today and schedule a consultation. Serving Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or the greater Washington State area, our lawyers are ready to fight for you.

Seattle Forklift Accidents

Posted Friday, July 16, 2021 by Chris Thayer

Forklifts are a staple piece of equipment for most warehouses and many stores. However, their lack of stability and the precarious and tight areas in which they are often used can make them dangerous and prone to high-stakes and potentially fatal accidents. If you have been injured as a result of a forklift accident at work, you are not alone. In fact, statistics reflect that approximately 135,000 people nationwide were injured in forklift-related accidents just last year. Of those, 35,000 were said to have suffered serious and life-threatening injuries. An additional 100 people died as a result of forklift-related injuries. Clearly these accidents are not isolated, and must be taken seriously.

*What Causes Forklift Accidents?* Forklift accidents have many causes. Operator-error is a common one, which can be a result of inadequate training. Traveling too fast on a forklift, particularly if it is carrying a load, destabilizes it, which creates a hazard both for the operator and any surrounding workers or pedestrians. Forklifts also often operate on high loading docks, where they have little room to move around. This can result in tip-over accidents, which are often fatal. Forklifts often tip-over the edge of embankments, piers, and loading docks. Other environmental circumstances, such as narrow or overstocked aisles or crowded areas, can create a dangerous environment for forklifts and other workers when merchandise falls or racks of inventory tip over. Operating a forklift while it has an elevated load is likely to result in an accident. As the load will also eliminate visibility, doing so also increases the risk of colliding with other workers or pedestrians. Collisions between forklifts and workers are one of the leading causes of forklift accidents along with tip-over accidents.

*Forklift Injuries * Forklift injuries can be fatal, and tip-over accidents often are. In accidents where a forklift collides with an employee or pedestrian, the individual may actually be run-over or dragged by the forklift. This is likely to cause broken and fractured bones to the legs and pelvis. In instances where inventory or shelving falls on to the forklift operator, traumatic brain injuries, and injuries to the head and neck are common. Fatalities are most common in tip-over accidents, where the operator can become pinned under the forklift. Workers and pedestrians hit by a forklift can suffer broken and fractured bones and head trauma. Anyone who is hurt by a forklift should seek immediate medical attention, as there is potential for serious injury.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer * If you have been injured by a forklift or in a workplace accident in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or the greater Washington State area, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Pivotal Law Firm can help. Pursuing compensation for forklift accidents can be complicated due to workers’ compensation laws. Our lawyers can help you navigate this process as well as identifying whether non-employer parties may be liable for the harm. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.