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

Personal Injuries Due to Automobile Defects

Posted Friday, April 24, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextOftentimes, car accidents are the result of the negligence of a driver either speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign, driving while fatigued, driving while distracted, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, research from the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NHTSA) indicates that 44,000 car accidents occur yearly due to no fault of a driver, but rather due to defective or faulty vehicle parts or components. These defective design and manufacturing flaws lead to millions of automobile recalls every year, and unfortunately, also hundreds of injuries and deaths.

*Manufacturing Defects*Automobile parts and components from brakes to tires to engine parts are all regulated by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards established by the NHTSA. Some commonly seen defective parts and components of automobile parts that result in recalled vehicles include the following:

  • Defective accelerators that stick or fail
  • Failure of airbags to deploy, or the deployment of airbags unnecessarily
  • Fires due to electrical flaws or failures in fuel systems
  • Defective wheels (cracked or broken)
  • Defective steering parts that result in the loss of control of the vehicle
  • Failure of windshield wipers
  • Failure of seats (or seat backs)
  • Any other defectively designed or manufactured vehicle part or component

*Two Types of Accidents *The two types of accidents that occur from defective automobile parts and components include the following:

  • Direct Cause. In some cases, a defective or flawed manufactured part or component will directly cause a car accident. Some examples include the following: brakes fail, steering wheels fail, airbags deploy at inappropriate times, or the acceleration pedal sticks. When these manufacturing defects exist, the driver oftentimes loses control of the vehicle directly causing an accident.
  • Increased Severity. In other cases, the defective part or component of the vehicle does not directly cause the accident, but either makes the accident much more severe or causes more severe injuries to drivers and passengers in the vehicle. For example, the airbag could fail to deploy. In this particular case, the failure of the airbag to deploy did not cause the accident but will make the injuries of the victims much more serious. Products Liability Case

If an investigation into your car accident determines that a manufacturing defect of a vehicle part or component either caused your accident or caused injuries to be more severe, the manufacturer will be responsible for the resulting injuries and losses. Manufacturing defects fall under product liability law, which is a strict liability law. This means that if an investigation determines that a manufactured part or component of a vehicle is defectively designed or manufactured, then no further proof is needed regarding proving legal liability and responsibility, and the manufacturer will be held responsible.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney*If you were injured in a car accident, and you suspect that it may have occurred due to a defectively manufactured part or component of your vehicle, contact an experienced car accident attorney familiar with product liability law at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, and Issaquah areas.

The Financial Impact of Car Accidents

Posted Friday, April 17, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextIn 2016 alone, there were 6.2 million car accidents officially reported in which 2.4 million people were injured, and over 37,000 victims died. The financial impact of car accidents throughout the United States is staggering, and can financially devastate a car accident victim.

*$871 Billion Dollars *Along with personal injuries and loss of life, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determined that the economic impact of car accidents every year in America totaled $871 billion dollars. This aggregate amount was broken down into the following categories:

  • $57.6 billion lost productivity due to loss of work or household chores and activities
  • $76 billion in property damage
  • $23.3 billion related to medical costs
  • $10.9 billion in legal costs
  • $1 billion in emergent services
  • $20.5 billion in insurance costs

Additional factors such as traffic congestion following an accident, or the loss of actual wages to workers are added to these amounts to total the eye-popping sum of $871 billion dollars per year.

*Car Accidents With the Highest Economic Impact*While every car accident will ultimately have an economic cost associated with it, the following car accidents have been shown statistically to have the greatest economic impact on an individual and society.

  • Alcohol-Related Crashes. Over 10,000 victims died in 2016 due to drunk driving accidents, which accounts for nearly one-third of all car accidents. Estimates suggest that drunk driving accidents cost the nation $49 billion per year.
  • Speeding. According to the NHTSA, another 10,000 victims died due to drivers’ failing to obey the speed limit regulations. Speeding accidents actually cost the nation over $40 billion per year.
  • Driver Fatigue. An AAA Traffic Safety Foundation research study showed a shocking 37% of all drivers have actually admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel. It is likely this number is actually much higher. Over 21% of all car accidents that result in a fatality are related to driver fatigue.
  • Distracted Driving. The NHTSA looked seriously at “distraction-affected crashes” which involves all types of distraction, but most specifically the use of cell phones to either talk or text while driving. Over 660,000 people drive while distracted every day and ultimately cost the economy of our nation $46 billion per year.
  • Pedestrian and Bicyclist-Related Crashes. While not nearly as high as other accidents listed above, both pedestrian and bicyclist-related crashes actually cost the nation $19 billion.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney *If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident, the national statistics regarding the financial impact of a car accident will hit close to home. You will likely suffer the medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering described above. If you, or a loved one, suffered injuries or death related to a car accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We can help you understand your legal rights, and how you attempt to receive compensation to pay for your injuries and damages from those who were negligent in your car accident. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, and Issaquah areas.

How Your Social Media Posts can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

Posted Friday, April 10, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextPersonal injury attorneys are trained to find incriminating and compromising details on social media. If you are considering filing any kind of personal injury claim, it is also necessary to bear in mind that your social media pages are always available for public view. Even if you believe that by keeping your posts private you are safeguarding yourself, any family or friend can take a screenshot of your comment or tweet or photograph and then send it to anyone. Facebook posts, messages on Instagram, and tweets from Twitter may have a damaging effect on your personal injury case.

*Social Media and Your Legal Case *Your personal injury lawsuit is a significant legal matter that deserves respect. The magnitude of taking a case to trial to get money from someone else in connection with your injury is not a trivial endeavor. Opposing counsel can use your social media posts against you if you post lighthearted statements or anything inappropriate regarding your personal injury case on social media, or concerning the other participants, lawyers or the judge involved. These comments, tweets, remarks, and texts are permanent and can be retained as a screenshot forever. Make absolutely sure you do not even post on social media at all about the personal injury case until at a minimum after the case is completed.

*Pictures*Photographs on social media rarely reflect reality and daily life. Everyone knows that photos can be distorted to portray a perception far from any kind of authentic reality. With that said, nevertheless, the harsh reality is that anything that you post on social media can be discovered and used against you by the other side’s lawyer. When you report a serious personal injury, and file a lawsuit in an attempt to receive compensation, and then there are photos of you with friends partying or racing a motorbike, it will soon become questionable whether you are honest about your injuries or not.

*Never Delete Anything*Maybe you made a mistake and posted something you should never have written, or a photograph you never should have taken. While it may be tempting, never delete anything on social media you have published. The law on this subject is simple and clear. When you delete anything from your social media accounts, it is likely to be considered an obstruction to justice and an attempt to manipulate or tamper with evidence. If you choose to delete anything from social media, the evidence can be deemed intentionally destroyed, which is illegal.

*Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney *If you, or a loved one, were in any kind of accident and suffered injuries, contact an experienced car accident attorney at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We can help you understand your legal rights, and how you can ensure they remain protected by staying off of social media throughout your personal injury case. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, and Issaquah areas.

Five Post-Car-Accident Signs to Look Out for

Posted Friday, April 3, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextImmediately following your involvement in a car accident, you may have been feeling physically O.K. at the crash scene. You may also have felt as though you sustained merely minor injuries or no injuries at all. Nevertheless, adrenaline frequently masks both severe and life-threatening injuries, so it is important to look out for these five post-car-accident common signs of serious injuries that are not often noticed or recognized immediately by victims immediately following a car accident.

*Traumatic Brain Injury *Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are one of the most commonly sustained injuries in auto accidents. TBIs are extremely serious medical problems, which can cause anything from moderate to extreme brain injuries. Although brain injuries are often not noticed immediately after an incident, a survivor of a car accident may experience significant cognitive dysfunction days after the impact of a car accident (or even weeks later). Traumatic brain injuries can leave patients with an inability to think clearly, issues with motor skills, issues with balance, depression, nausea, changes in personality, disorientation and more for months or even permanently.

*Spinal Cord Injuries *Spinal cord injuries are oftentimes severe and can lead to partial or complete paralysis. For most cases, however, these forms of injuries may be readily apparent, while in other cases they may take hours or days to show themselves. Backs may feel sore after a car accident, and some people may believe their discomfort is just physical, and not a serious injury to their spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries can, however, cause someone to become a paraplegic, quadriplegic, or tetraplegic.

*Whiplash *Whiplash is a serious and significant injury that can occur in virtually any car accident. In certain cases, whiplash may remain largely untreated and undiscovered. Adrenaline can mask a lot of pain and damage. People can also feel somewhat sore the day after the incident, so they never know how serious their injury may be until a few more days pass. Whiplash can be very dangerous, however, and could cause permanent damage if left untreated. Whiplash also causes significant discomfort and can require months of therapy.

*External Injuries *Sometimes an accident victim may find a few minor scrapes and bruises after a car accident. Such small scrapes and/or bruises may be the warning sign that the traumatic effect of a car accident has caused severe internal injuries. These injuries are typically never visible to the naked eye and sometimes the extent of these injuries can only be determined by a trained medical professional. Following an incident, a doctor or medical professional will be able to provide you with a full medical examination to decide whether any internal injuries are present.

*Bone Breaks and/or Fractures*Similar to internal injuries and traumatic brain injury, often a survivor of a car accident does not know their bones are broken or fractured until days or weeks after the crash. While it is easy to recognize serious bone breaks, smaller hairline breaks or fractures can pose as mild pain, and a patient can ignore the pain as an unimportant health problem. Always seek a professional’s medical advice for any discomfort you might have after a car accident.

*Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer *If you, or a loved one, have been a victim in a car accident and have suffered injuries, it is always important to seek medical attention as soon as possible from a doctor or other medical professional. Contact an experienced car accident attorney at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We can help you understand your legal rights. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, and Issaquah areas.

Are Small Cars Safe?

Posted Friday, March 27, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextIf you are considering a new car, you may be wondering which type of car will keep you the most safe on the roadways. While this question will likely depend on the make and model of the small car, there are some barometers by which you may make the decision whether or not your small car is considered to have appropriate technology and features to keep you and your family safe.

*Large vs. Small Cars*While small cars still do not have as much physical power and space as larger cars, newer small cars are definitely safer than older smaller cars. However, physics almost always wins out, and larger vehicles have a tendency to not only weigh more, but also have longer hoods and larger crash zone areas, which all provide safety advantages to the passengers in these larger cars. A research study done in 2015 showed that when comparisons were made between SUVs and small cars, there were 13 deaths per million versus 64 deaths per million, making the larger vehicles safer.

*Newer Smaller Cars versus Older Larger Cars *While larger cars would seem to always be safer than small cars, research has shown that is not always the case. Technology has grown exponentially over the last decade, specifically in terms of safety features in cars. Therefore, while in previous years, a large “tank” like car would be safer, today smaller cars offer side airbags, automatic emergency braking, accident aversion features, and electronic stability controls. Some of these features have actually been mandatory in all cars past 2012, and with these additional safety features, there is a greater chance of prevention of catastrophic injuries or death. In fact, many newer small cars receive government crash-test scores from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that are exemplary.

*Are Smaller Cars Safe? *Yes, smaller cars are safe, especially the newer ones with enhanced safety technology. However, no matter what car you are in, accidents may still happen. Make sure that if you are operating any kind of motor vehicle, that you always follow the rules of the road and drive in a safe way. Technology and safety features can only help to a point, and it is always better to never be involved in an accident in the first place.

*Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney *Unfortunately, car accidents happen to both large and small cars. If you were involved in any kind of a car accident that involved the negligence of another driver, contact an experienced car accident attorney at the Pivotal Law Group at 206-340-2008. We proudly serve the Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island and Issaquah areas.