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

Electric Scooters coming to Seattle

Posted Thursday, May 9, 2019 by Chris Thayer

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As predicted, electric rental scooters are coming to Seattle. Although a convenient form of transportation, they do not come without risk. Other municipalities who have authorized the scooters have had problems with people suffering serious personal injuries while riding the scooters and/or being struck by someone riding a scooter. With no current helmet law applicable, no training or license required, it is likely Seattle will start to see people injured from these scooters as well.

The law regarding personal injury claims arising out of scooter use is unclear at this point. If you or someone you know is seriously injured while using a scooter or injured as the result of another person riding a scooter, please contact me to review and discuss your options for a potential personal injury claim.

Crane Collapse Leads to Multiple Injuries and Deaths in Seattle

Posted Friday, May 3, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextA construction crane collapsed on top of several cars this past weekend in Seattle. Four people were injured and four others were killed when the crane came crashing down, according to CNN. Investigations into the cause of the accident are ongoing, but officials say that the construction crew was dismantling the crane when it crashed. The crane hit at least six cars on the way down.

Although the investigation is ongoing and it could be a while until an official cause of the accident is determined, there is still speculation as to what caused this tragic accident. Some think that the accident could have been caused, at least in part, by human error. It could take up to six months to complete the investigation, officials say.

Human error is being brought up because it is not often that a construction crane will have a mechanical or structural failure and fall to the ground. Usually, it takes two to three days for construction crews to take a crane apart, piece by piece, until the entire thing is dismantled. Some speculate that pins connecting various parts of the crane were removed too early, leading to the collapse of the crane. It is important to remember that this is all speculation and there has been no cause given by the officials investigating this matter.

The question on many people’s minds following any tragedy like this is who is liable for the damages and injuries sustained by the victims of this accident. Currently, there are five companies under investigation in this accident. Generally, though, in an accident like this, a lot of people look to the owner of the crane for liability.

Cranes do not just fall out of the sky. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to think that some sort of negligence occurred, whether on the part of the individual workers, manufacturer of the crane, or owner of the crane. Even if the incident is purely human error and the fault of the construction workers, the crane owner could still be found liable for the damages. If more than one party is found to be liable, there may be discussion of comparative fault. Each party could be held liable for the percentage at fault they were in the incident. Other parties that might be liable are subcontractors hired to work at the site, the manufacturer of the crane, or in limited instances, an individual construction worker could be found liable.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crane accident, or any type of accident, the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you. Freak accidents happen, but that does not mean the responsible parties should not be held liable for the damages and injuries inflicted upon you because of their negligence. Our skilled attorneys will fight to get you the best result and compensation for your injuries possible under the circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of James Sullivan)

Using an App Should Not be Your Only Option After a Car Accident

Posted Friday, April 26, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextEveryone with a driver’s license has probably thought about what they would do if they were ever in a car accident. Aside from calling the police and other emergency personnel to the scene to get the medical attention needed and reporting the accident, one of your next calls will probably be to your car insurance provider.

After an accident, regardless of the extent of your injuries, you are likely going to be in shock. The last thing that you are going to want to do is to pull out your phone and navigate to an app so that you can report the accident you were just in to your insurance company. Unfortunately, it seems like insurance companies are moving toward communicating with their customers via app. There was even an advertisement during the Super Bowl that encouraged more insurance users to get on board with using apps.

Insurance companies are attempting to persuade clients to use an app in an effort to streamline the process and make things “easier” for everyone. They also claim that using apps by insurance companies could end up saving a client money. In reality, neither of these things end up being true. Unless there is a discount offered for the price of insurance, you are not saving any money. Additionally, using an app eliminates the human interaction of the customer and customer service representative at the insurance company. The insurance company might save money on personnel, but this does not necessarily translate into cheaper prices for the customer.

A car accident can result in many financial hardships with which an app simply cannot help you. Yes, apps can be programmed to ask certain questions or ask for information, but every accident is unique. There are additional questions that might arise in a conversation with someone that might never be asked on an app. Accidents can lead to devastating financial hardships. Repairing the damage to your vehicle, the cost of transportation while your vehicle is being fixed, medical care for any injuries you might have sustained, lost income from injuries preventing you from working, and accruing bills are just a few troublesome situations that might arise. You deserve to talk to a real person to figure out how to recover from these hardships.

Your insurance company might ask you to use an app, but your attorney will not. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you following an accident. We can help you navigate the insurance claims process, including and pushback from an insurance company in getting you the damages to which you are entitled. In addition, we can help you file a personal injury suit to hold the other driver and his or her insurance company liable for the injuries you sustained and the damages that have resulted. You do not have to rely on using an insurance app to succeed. Let us take some of the worry and pressure off of you to help you recover financially, so that you can focus on physically healing from your injuries. Contact us today.

(image courtesy of Priscilla du Preez)

Washington State Might be Changing Wrongful Death Laws

Posted Friday, April 19, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextThe state of Washington might be changing its laws surrounding wrongful death action, according to the Spokesman Review. The law of wrongful death suits in Washington has not been updated or modified in nearly a century. The new law poses two main changes to the existing law. These changes revolve around who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim for the death of another.

The current wrongful death statute states that there are generally three broad categories of individuals who have the ability to file a wrongful death claim of a deceased person:

  • The personal representative of the deceased individuals estate;
  • The spouse of the deceased individual – this includes a registered domestic partner of a deceased person; or
  • A child of the deceased, including step children.

The statute also states that those bringing the wrongful death claim need to be a resident of the United States at the time of the decedent’s death. Additionally, parents are able to bring a wrongful death claim for children under the age of 18. The parents bringing the action must have regularly supported the child in order to bring the claim. For claims for children over the age of 18, parents are required to be economically dependent on their child.

The above-mentioned parties able to bring a wrongful death suit have been unchanged for nearly a century. The new law looks to change two of those categories: parents of a non-minor child and the residency requirement of living in the United States.

Non-Minor Children

As stated above, wrongful death claims for children over the age of 18 are only permitted in situations in which the parent or parents are economically dependent on the adult child. The new law eliminates this economic dependency requirement. Instead, parents will only need to show that they were psychologically or emotionally supported by the adult child.

Residency Requirement

The second major change that this law seeks is to eliminate the residency requirement of living in the United States at the time of the decedent’s death. There will no longer be a residency requirement. As long as an individual meets the other requirements of bringing a wrongful death action, his or her place of residence of will not be a hindrance to filing a claim. The residency requirement dates back to trying to protect the American businesses from the wrongful death suits of migrant workers.

The changes to the wrongful death statute passed the Washington House of Representatives, and the State Senate, and now will go to the governor to receive his signature. Once the governor signs the new law, it will go into effect.

The wrongful death attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here for you. The loss of a loved one is devastating, and you should not have to jump through hoops to succeed in a wrongful death action to hold another party responsible for your loved one’s death. We want to help you file your wrongful death action. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Mayron Oliveira)

Proving Fault in Seattle Slip and Fall Cases

Posted Friday, April 12, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextNo one goes into a store, walks on the sidewalk, or does anything with the anticipation and desire to slip and fall. Slip and fall injuries can be detrimental to your health and livelihood. In many Seattle slip and fall cases, the biggest issue is determining who is at fault for the fall and injury, and therefore who is responsible for damages that result from the injury. Usually, the property owners are the first people considered to be responsible for injuries that occur on their property. The crux of many slip and fall cases is determining whether the property owner where the fall took place was acting responsibly in the maintenance of his or her property.

Property owners have a duty to those on their property to fix dangerous conditions that arise on the property that any ordinary person would see, know the danger that it could pose, and subsequently avoid that danger. Failure to keep a property free from danger can result in liability if a slip and fall occurs on that property.

A common type of slip and fall case is a customer slipping on a puddle of water in the grocery aisle and being injured. In order to prove fault, there are a few conditions that need to be met:

  • The property owner, or one of their employees, was the cause of the dangerous or hazardous condition; or
  • The property owner, or their employee, knew that the dangerous or hazardous condition exists, but did nothing about it; or
  • The owner, or their employee, should have reasonably known of the dangerous condition’s existence.

In the grocery store example, the property owner may be found liable for the victim’s damages if the owner or employee spills water and fails to clean it up or warn customers about it, the spill is seen and no warning or remedy is present, or too much time has passed since the spill such that the employee or owner should have known about it.

The difficult part of determining liability is determining what the reasonable expectation is for a property owner to keep his or her property safe. To determine this, there are some questions that need to be examined:

  • How long did the dangerous condition exist?
  • Does the owner regularly inspect their property?
  • Did the dangerous condition have reason to be where it was?
  • Was the dangerous condition once safe, but after time passes it no longer is?
  • Could a simple warning be issued?

Proving that a property owner is at fault, or anyone at all, in a slip and fall case can be difficult. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you collect the damages that you are entitled to under the circumstances. We work diligently to prove who was at fault in causing the slip and fall so that you have the resources necessary to recover fully and get your life back to the way it was. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Lucas Carl)