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 Someone for Punching Me?

Posted Friday, January 21, 2022 by Chris Thayer

Bar fights and physical altercations can often result in serious physical harm. Someone who is punched in the face can sustain severe injuries, including a broken nose, fractured eye sockets and other facial bones requiring facial reconstructive surgery, permanent damage to the eyes, broken teeth, dislocated jaw, and disfiguration. These can leave victims with a damaged sense of self, countless medical bills, and may even affect their ability to work while they recover. If their injury affects their ability to continue in their chosen career, such as if they are a model or a pilot who needs perfect vision, this can result in catastrophic damages.

*Bringing a Lawsuit for Intentional Physical Harm * Usually when we think about personal injury lawsuits we are talking about car accidents and other forms of accidents that resulted due to another party’s negligence. For instance, reckless driving may be a conscious choice, but being in a car crash as a result is still usually an accident resulting from this negligent choice. In cases where harm is intentionally inflicted on another person, such as where someone is punched, physically attacked, shot, assaulted, or battered in any way, a different form of personal injury law applies, which is not based on negligence but on intention.

*Assault vs. Battery * When it comes to intentional torts, both assault and battery can give rise to a claim, although they have very different meanings. Assault occurs when one person causes another to reasonably believe that they are in danger of imminent harm. A common example of assault is pointing a gun at someone or revealing a weapon to them. Depending on the context, this could cause a reasonable person to believe that they were in danger. This is true even if the weapon is not loaded and even if it is not real. It is also true if the weapon is never used or fired. Battery, on the other hand, occurs when the actual physical harm takes place. Battery can occur without assault if there is no warning prior to the harm occurring, such as when someone punches you out of the blue. However, if someone comes up to you, pulls their fist back, and then punches you, the pulling of the fist back would qualify as assault and actually punching you would be the battery.

*Damages for Assault and Battery * Damages for assault and battery include compensation for all medical expenses incurred due to the harm that was caused. Other financial damages, including lost wages, lost earning potential, and the non-economic damages of pain and suffering, which compensate for the physical and emotional trauma of the injury are also available. In some cases, punitive damages may be appropriate, as well as compensation for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The best way to get an accurate estimate of the damages that you are entitled to for your case is to speak to a Washington State personal injury attorney.

*Talk to the Pivotal Law Group * If you have suffered serious physical injuries due to being punched or physically attacked by another person, the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group will fight to get you the compensation to which you are entitled. Serving Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, and the greater Washington State area, our lawyers are ready to help you. Contact the Pivotal Law Group to schedule a consultation today.

Can I Get More Than Workers’ Compensation if I am Injured in a Construction Accident

Posted Friday, January 14, 2022 by Chris Thayer

Construction is one of the most dangerous industries that a person can work in. Approximately 20% of all private worker fatalities each year occur in the construction industry. If you have been injured in a construction site injury, you may be struggling to get the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to, realizing you do not qualify for coverage, or feeling frustrated at the minimal benefits you are receiving. Luckily, you may have legal avenues available to you. The best way to ensure that you are getting information that pertains to your specific information is to talk to a Seattle personal injury attorney, however, we will provide some general guidance here.

*Workers’ Compensation for Washington Construction Accidents * Whether you qualify for workers’ compensation insurance coverage through your employer depends on whether you are classified as an employee or an independent contractor. If you are classified as an employee, you can file a claim for the accident, and should receive medical care and full or partial wage replacement as you recover. You can receive this in weekly payments or as a bulk settlement, which can be negotiated. Sometimes employers intentionally misclassify employees as independent contractors in order to limit their own liability. If you believe this may be the case for you, a lawyer can help you determine whether you have been misclassified, and help you get the benefits to which you are entitled. If you do qualify for workers’ compensation coverage, it generally is a complete bar to suing your employer to recover damages, even if your employer was negligent in causing your injury. This is not the case, however, for independent contractors. They can bring a personal injury lawsuit against their employer as long as their employer was negligent.

*When Can I Get Workers’ Compensation and a Lawsuit Settlement? * In certain situations it is possible to receive workers’ compensation benefits from your employer while also bringing a lawsuit. The critical key here though, is that the lawsuit cannot be against your employer. The lawsuit must be brought against a non-employer third-party. This can happen if a contractor or other party contributed to causing your workplace injury. For instance, if your employer hired a contractor to provide and operate forklifts, and you were impaled by one that was being negligently operated, you could receive workers’ compensation from your employer as well as pursuing a lawsuit against the negligent contractor. It’s important to note that in that situation you would never want to settle the lawsuit before settling your workers’ compensation amount, otherwise the lawsuit settlement will be counted as income and will likely negate any eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.

*Contact the Pivotal Law Group* If you have been injured in a Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or greater Washington State area construction accident, the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Pivotal Law Group are ready to help identify all potentially liable parties as well as all possible avenues to compensation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Motorcycle Accident 101: What to do After a Crash

Posted Friday, January 7, 2022 by Chris Thayer

Washington state boasts some of the most stunning natural views in the country, and can be an amazing place to ride a motorcycle. However, doing so is not without risks. In fact, each year over 5,000 motorcyclists die as a result of crashes. Often these crashes are through no fault of their own, and are caused by drunk or distracted drivers who have far more protection in vehicles, leaving motorcyclists vulnerable to hit-and-run accidents and catastrophic injuries. If you have been in a motorcycle accident in Washington state, here is what you need to know to protect yourself and your personal injury claim in the aftermath of a crash.

*Tips for After a Motorcycle Accident * - Get out of the road as fast as possible. Motorcyclists can be hard for other cars to spot, particularly when they fall off of their bike and are on the level of the road. Your top priority in the aftermath of an accident is to get out of the way of traffic as fast as possible to avoid further risk of injury or death. - Call for help. If there is any chance that you or anyone else in the accident is injured, it is important to call the police to report the accident and request paramedics. If no one appears to be injured, you should still call if the accident has left debris in the road or the vehicles cannot be safely removed from the roadway. Be sure to leave your helmet and any protective gear on until the police and first responders arrive. - Collect Evidence. If you are physically able, do what you can to take photos and videos of the scene. Make sure to photograph the damage, as well as the license plates of any vehicles involved. Take video of the scene, including any traffic signs and signals. Collect the other drivers’ insurance information, registration, and license information. Also get contact information for any possible witnesses who saw the crash. - Observe the other driver. Try not to engage angrily with the other driver or accost them. Do observe them to see if they are acting like they may be under the influence. If they seem like they may be, be sure to tell police when they arrive so that they can conduct proper testing at the scene. - Get medical attention. If you believe you may be injured, tell police and paramedics on the scene so that they can make sure that you receive proper medical care. They may transport you to a hospital if necessary. Even if you do not believe you are injured it is still necessary to get a comprehensive medical assessment as soon as possible after the accident as motorcycle injuries can be highly devastating to the body, and can result in injuries such as internal bleeding, organ damage, and brain swelling, which may not be immediately apparent, but can be life threatening if left untreated. - Talk to a lawyer if you are injured. If you are injured, it is important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. You will quickly begin receiving calls from insurance adjusters who can manipulate you into a lower settlement or even find ways to negate your claim to coverage if you do not know how to accurately navigate the situation.

*Schedule a Consultation with Pivotal Law Group* If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault in the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or greater Washington State area, the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Pivotal Law Group are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

What to Do if You are Injured by Product Packaging

Posted Friday, December 31, 2021 by Chris Thayer

If you have fallen victim to a really hard-to-open package, do not feel bad. You are not alone. In fact, approximately 60,000 Americans each year are injured as a result of product packaging. Product packaging often does not receive priority and rushed plans or the use of materials that have not been vetted can result in serious injuries to consumers who simply want access to the item they have already bought.

*Kinds of Product Packaging Injuries* There are a number of ways that product packaging can be designed or manufactured that make risk of harm likely to the consumer. In some cases, glass packaging or containers shatter. In other situations, packaging may be made of a thin or inappropriate material that breaks or shatters. For instance, a glass makeup tube or container that cannot be twisted open without causing the material to shatter, or a small plastic hand lotion container that splits or shatters when it is squeezed. Other times, hazardous or toxic packing materials may be used, or insufficient warnings or instructions may be given.

*When Can I Sue for an Injury Caused by Product Packaging? * It should be stated that injuries caused by product packaging are a growing problem in the United States, and their incidence is highest the week following the Christmas holiday, when everyone is opening their gifts. Nothing kills the holiday spirit quite like an amputated fingertip. Other injuries caused by defective product packaging can include severed tendons, muscle strain, lacerations, and serious injury to the eyes. If you suffer an injury that required a trip to the E.R. and resulted in medical expenses or other financial harm, such as not being able to work while you recovered, or physical therapy, you may have legal means of recovering for damages provided that the product or packaging that harmed you was defective.

Of course, not all injuries caused by product packaging give rise to a lawsuit. An estimated 6,000 product packaging injuries each year are caused by clamshell packaging alone. However, if you are injured because you tried to take a meat-cleaver to a clamshell package, you will likely not be able to recover for damages. You must have attempted to open the package and use the product as a reasonable person likely would have in the same situation, and the defect must have been such that injury was likely to result.

*Strict Liability for Defective Product Packaging * If you have been injured by a defectively designed or manufactured product and/or its packaging, the good news is that most of your case has already been established. Defective products and packaging falls under strict liability, which holds the company accountable for defective products and packaging regardless of whether they were aware of the issue or if additional negligence or malintent was involved. All that you will have to show is that the product is defective and that you were injured.

*Talk to Pivotal Law Group * If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective holiday toy or product packaging, the experienced product liability and personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are ready to help. Contact the Pivotal Law Group today, serving Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, and the greater Washington State area, and schedule a consultation to find out how we can help you hold the liable parties accountable and get the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled.

Were You Injured in a Christmas Car Accident?

Posted Friday, December 24, 2021 by Chris Thayer

If you were injured in a Christmas car accident, you are not alone. While Christmas can bring lots of merriment and holiday cheer, it can also significantly increase driving risks. In fact, studies show that an estimated 42,300 people seek medical treatment as a result of Christmas day car accidents each year. The data also shows that at least 28% of Christmas Day car accidents will involve at least one drunk or intoxicated driver. This means that if you were involved in a car accident on Christmas that was not your fault, there is a good chance it was the fault of the other driver. Legally, that puts you in a much better position if you are seeking to recuperate damages suffered in the accident.

*Establishing Liability for Holiday Car Accidents * Travel increases dramatically over the holidays, with many people traveling on Christmas day to visit family and friends or attend social gatherings. This can result in a lot of tired and distracted driving. Because there is also usually alcohol at many holiday parties and gatherings, drunk driving is a major concern and cause of these accidents as well. If it is clear that the other driver was under the influence at the time of the accident, they can be held accountable for their negligence. In fact, the DUI will be de facto proof of negligence, so that you do not even have to prove it in court. Rather, all you will have to establish in court is that the other driver was negligent and you suffered harm. This makes it much more streamlined than a traditional negligence case and significantly increases your chances of succeeding in your recovery.

*What to Do if You Have Been in an Accident * If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to seek prompt medical attention. Be sure to report the accident to police and inform them at the scene if you believe the other driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol so that they can conduct proper field testing. If you have suffered an injury, it is important to contact a lawyer so that they can represent your interests in negotiations with the insurance company and ensure that you get a fair settlement that will actually cover your medical expenses long-term. Your insurance company may make you an offer that seems good until you get the full facts and understand the extent and financial impact of your injury. A lawyer will make sure that you avoid the pitfalls that commonly keep people from getting the settlement that they deserve.

*Talk to Pivotal Law Group* If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a Seattle-area car accident, our experienced personal injury attorneys are ready to help you navigate this process and ensure that you get the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to. Contact Pivotal Law Group today to schedule a consultation. Serving Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, and the greater Washington State area, our lawyers are ready to help you.