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

Help! I Have Been in a Seattle Trucking Accident

Posted Friday, July 9, 2021 by Chris Thayer

If you have been in an accident with a commercial semi-truck, you may be facing serious damages and high medical costs. The good news is, you are not alone. The number of fatal truck accidents in Washington state has dramatically and continually increased over the past two decades. If you survived an accident with a semi-truck, you have already beat the odds statistically, although it is understandable if you do not feel particularly lucky. With the average semi-truck weighing up to 30,000 pounds, even a relatively minor collision can cause catastrophic damage to a standard passenger vehicle.

*Seek Medical Attention * The most important thing to do in the aftermath of a trucking accident is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is true even if you do not believe you are injured. Colliding with a semi-truck, even at a low speed, exerts a monumental amount of force on your vehicle and physical body. This can cause whiplash, soft tissue injuries, and damage to the spinal cord, neck, and head. These injuries may just feel “stiff” or even be undetectable for up to five days following the crash, however, seeking a medical assessment right afterward can allow you to receive a prompt diagnosis and treatment. Waiting until pain becomes severe to seek medical help can hurt your claim later on by making it appear that you did not take your injuries seriously. Further, some potentially life-threatening injuries, such as internal bleeding, organ damage, and traumatic brain injuries, can also be undetectable immediately after an accident. It’s important to seek professional medical help and report any pain and discomfort that you are feeling. This also generates a paper trail and evidence to support your claim.

*Talk to a Seattle Truck Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible * Soon after the crash, the liable party’s insurance company will likely begin pressuring you to accept a settlement. They do this in part because the sooner they act after an accident, the less likely you will be to have retained a lawyer. Additionally, soon after the crash you will likely not have had an opportunity to learn about the full extent of your injuries. You may also not have had time to consult with anyone or do research to find out the amount of compensation to which you are entitled. Retaining a lawyer as soon as possible after a crash ensures that you will not be taken advantage of and that you will receive the maximum possible settlement that you deserve. For instance, soon after a crash, you may receive an offer to compensate you for your emergency room visit and vehicle damage, you may be tempted to accept without realizing that you may also require months of physical therapy and additional time off of work to recover. A lawyer can help you to avoid these pitfalls.

*Schedule a Consultation * If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries as a result of a semi-truck accident in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or the greater Washington State area, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Building a Case for Medical Malpractice

Posted Friday, July 2, 2021 by Chris Thayer

We put a lot of trust in doctors and medical professionals to treat us, and we expect that they will take reasonable care in arriving at diagnoses, administering treatment, and performing medical procedures. However, this does not always happen. When doctors act negligently in caring for patients, it can have devastating consequences. Medical malpractice can result in serious injury, permanent disability, and even death. Medical malpractice lawsuits exist in order to help victims of negligent doctors recover financially for the harm they have suffered, and to discourage negligent behavior in the medical profession by sending the message that there are consequences for deviating from the expected standard of care.

*What is Medical Malpractice? * Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or medical professional fails to meet the standard of care that is expected in their industry and an injury occurs as a result. Medical malpractice can occur during diagnosis, treatment, prescription or administration of medication, aftercare, and health management. Medical malpractice is not limited to doctors, but can occur with any medical professional. Even pharmacists can be medically negligent by making critical errors in filling prescriptions. It is important to understand that the standard expected of medical professionals is not perfection. Rather, some errors are bound to occur and are unavoidable. Other errors are made in good faith despite every effort to adhere to industry standards of care. These do not amount to medical malpractice. Rather, medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or medical professional acts in a way that other similar professionals in their industry would not. For instance, if a doctor misdiagnosed a patient and another similarly situated doctor in a similar speciality would not have made the same mistake, that meets the threshold for medical malpractice. However, if it was a mistake that any doctor in their shoes could have made, then it likely does not amount to medical malpractice.

*Understanding the Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim * In order to succeed in a claim for medical malpractice there must be a doctor-patient relationship. Additionally, the doctor must have deviated from the standard of care expected of professionals in their industry. The injury suffered by the patient must have been a direct result of this deviation of care. Finally, this injury must have resulted in significant physical and financial damages.

*Bringing a Claim for Medical Malpractice * A successful medical malpractice claim allows the injured party to recover for all damages suffered as a result of the injury caused by the doctor’s negligence. This includes all medical expenses, as well as all costs related to treatment for the injury. Additionally, if the injury required time off from work or prevented the victim from returning to the same job, damages can be sought for lost wages and reduced earning potential. Damages for pain and suffering, for the physical and emotional trauma caused by the malpractice, are also available. This can include things like loss of consortium, companionship, and enjoyment of life.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer * If you have suffered serious injury as a result of medical negligence in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or the greater Washington State area, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are ready to zealously advocate on your behalf and ensure that you get the support and compensation that you are entitled to. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Is My Employer Liable for Heat Stroke?

Posted Friday, June 25, 2021 by Chris Thayer

High summer temperatures can be as enjoyable as they are deadly. For employees who are required to work outdoors or in hot conditions, summertime can pose genuine health hazards, such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. While these conditions may seem like par for the course when working outdoors, they should not be taken lightly. All of these conditions, left untreated, or if severe enough, can result in serious cardiac episodes, including cardiac arrest. In fact, heat stroke is responsible for approximately 1,300 deaths in the United States each year.

*Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Heat Stroke?* Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to ensure medical treatment and partial wage replacement for injuries, illnesses, and conditions suffered as a result of someone’s employment. If you are required to work outdoors or in high temperatures, and develop heat stroke as a result, you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. For heat stroke, these benefits would likely include medical treatment (for instance, if you require hospitalization or medical care) and partial wage replacement for any work missed as a result of the heat stroke. It is worth noting that many times workers’ compensation insurance companies may initially deny claims for heat stroke if the employee filing the claim has an underlying condition that contributed to the heat stroke. For instance, certain heart conditions and obesity increase an individual’s risk of developing heat stroke. Insurance adjusters may try to cite these as preexisting conditions that exempt them from providing coverage. However, pre-existing conditions are not a valid basis for denying someone a claim. The condition did not impair their ability to perform their job previously, and would not have, if not for the heat stroke, so they are legally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

*How Can Employers Reduce Heat Stroke Risk?* Employers have a responsibility to keep workers safe. Employers should ensure that plenty of water is available on outdoor work sites and that employees have an opportunity to drink it regularly. Any employees who begin experiencing symptoms of heat stroke should immediately be moved out of hot temperatures. Heat stroke is caused by heat and not sunlight, so it is possible to develop heat stroke in high temperatures even while working in the shade. Any employees working in high temperatures who report feeling nauseous, dizzy, or having a headache, should be removed from the heat immediately and provided with medical attention if required. Ignoring early signs of heat stroke can have deadly consequences. Fostering a work culture that encourages employees to push through such symptoms can have tragic outcomes and have far greater costs than responding responsibly and taking appropriate action.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer * If you have suffered an injury at a workplace in Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, or the greater Washington State area, and are struggling to get the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Firm are ready to fight for your rights and ensure that you get the care you deserve. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Man on E-Scooter Killed After Being Hit by Semi-Truck

Posted Friday, June 18, 2021 by Chris Thayer

Authorities continue to investigate a tragic incident that occurred earlier this week, in which a man riding an e-scooter was hit and killed by a semi-truck. The man, who was in his 50s, was reportedly weaving in and out of traffic when he was hit by a semi-truck making a right-hand turn. It is believed that he did not see the semi-truck (and vice versa). The man initially survived the accident but then died of his injuries.

*E-Scooter Fatalities on the Rise * E-scooters have become increasingly popular in cities and college towns nationwide over the past couple of years. However, as their popularity has increased, so too have the dangers associated with riding them. In most cases, cities and areas that allow e-scooter rentals have no infrastructure to actually support the safe use of them. Additionally, many cities have ordinances and rules that make it illegal to ride e-scooters on sidewalks. This means that e-scooters must drive along with traffic. This is dangerous for a number of reasons. One being that scooter-riders, most of whom rented scooters on the go, are not wearing helmets or protective equipment. Scooters also provide no protection to riders as compared to other cars and vehicles on the road. Further, drivers are not accustomed to having to share the ride with e-scooter riders. It can be hard to distinguish them from pedestrians, which means it is easy to misjudge their speed. Finally, all that is required for most e-scooter rentals is downloading an app and paying a small fee. That means there is nothing stopping inexperienced and intoxicated individuals from operating e-scooters, as well as tourists who are not at all familiar with the area. All of these factors increase the risk for everyone on the road.

*Legal Options for E-Scooter Accidents * If you are involved in an e-scooter accident, chances are you will be facing major injuries, high medical bills, and a long recovery period. With no protection against a vehicle up to a hundred times your weight, the physical and financial harm can be catastrophic. A personal injury lawsuit cannot keep the accident from happening, but it aims to put you back in the position you would have been in had the accident never occurred. A successful personal injury lawsuit allows you to recover all costs related to the injury. This includes all past and future medical expenses as well as any lost wages due to time off of work. If you are unable to return to the same job because of your injuries, you can also pursue compensation for lost earning potential. Additionally, you can be compensated for pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages. In some cases, where the harmful conduct was particularly reckless or egregious, punitive damages, intended to punish the offender and deter similar conduct, may also be available.

*Talk to a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer * Serving Seattle, Bellevue, Kent, Renton, Burien, Mercer Island, Issaquah, and the greater Washington State area, Pivotal Law Group is ready to fight to get you the compensation that you deserve. If you have been injured in an e-scooter accident or vehicle accident, call today to schedule a free consultation.

Slip-and-Fall Injuries are the #1 Cause of Hospital Visits

Posted Friday, June 11, 2021 by Chris Thayer

Slip-and-fall injuries are not always taken seriously. There is a sense that these types of accidents are embarrassing, leading people to feel like they need to walk them off or downplay their severity. However, slip-and-fall accidents should not be taken lightly. In fact, they cause over 8 million people to seek emergency treatment at hospitals each year. Slip-and-fall accidents can have fatal consequences, particularly for the elderly. However, across all age groups half of all accidental deaths at home are caused by falls. Additionally, slips and falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, which can easily prove fatal.

*Slip-and-Fall Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injuries *Traumatic brain injuries can result in a lack of consciousness and long-term physical and mental consequences, including anxiety, depression, vertigo, migraines, and memory loss. Physically, traumatic brain injuries can result in trauma to the brain that can affect cognitive functioning. It is not uncommon for a traumatic brain injury to result in unconsciousness. This can become life-threatening, particularly if it occurs near a pool or body of water, increasing the likelihood of accidental drowning. This becomes an even more important consideration during the summer when slippery pool surfaces are often left untended.

*Slip-and-Falls Injuries at Work *Slips and falls are the #1 cause of workers’ compensation claims in the United States. This means that slip and fall accidents are also the #1 cause of days missed from work, costing companies across the country more than any other form of accident or injury. Interestingly, most slip and fall accidents resulting in a claim do not involve a fall from a higher level. Rather, they occurred on the same level (i.e. a slip on the floor vs. a fall from a ladder). This really emphasizes the importance of keeping floors and surfaces clean, free of slips and hazards, and providing traction (such as carpets) when appropriate. According to the CDC, floors and flooring materials contribute to causing over 2 million slips and falls each year.

*Slip and Fall Injuries *Slips and falls can cause a wide range of injuries from sprains, bruising, and broken bones, to fractures, herniated disks, and traumatic brain injuries. About 5% of people who experience a slip or fall accident suffer a fracture, which is considered a serious injury. Of all fractures, hip fractures are the most serious, and are experienced at the highest rates among the elderly. Slip and fall accidents are the second leading cause of death among individuals 65 years of age and older, and this is largely due to hip fractures. More than 15,000 people over the age of 65 die as a result of falls each year, and that number continues to increase. In fact, statistics reflect that each year one out of every three elderly adults will experience a slip or fall accident and 1.8 million are treated in the emergency room each year as a result.

*Talk to Pivotal Law Group*If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a slip or fall 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 want to help you get the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.