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

Vehicle Collision in Renton on Interstate 405

Posted Friday, June 30, 2023 by Chris Thayer

According to a story in The Kent Reporter, a 33-year-old Renton passenger was killed in a two-vehicle collision on I-405, just north of State Route 169.

The news release reported that the 39-year-old man driving the vehicle faces pending charges. A one-month-old child in the vehicle did not sustain injuries in the crash. The driver of the second vehicle, a 63-year-old man, was not injured.

We encounter car accidents and vehicle collisions with various results almost daily in and around Renton, Washington. Every vehicle collision is unique.

If you have been involved in a car crash on I-5 or any road, consider talking with an experienced personal injury lawyer to understand your legal options.

*What Legal Action Can Be Taken to Recover Damages in Renton?*When you are involved in a vehicle collision as a result of another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to take legal action. This action can provide what is legally termed damages. Damages may include injuries resulting from the accident, as well as costs that arise as a result of these injuries.

Costs can include medical bills, medical treatments, prescription drug costs, lost wages, and more. Several additional damages may be involved, which can be discussed with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

*Managing Your Own Case in a Renton Car Accident*You may be wondering about managing your own claim and representing yourself. Some car accidents involve only minor injuries. These may result in a few visits to a doctor’s office and minor damage to your vehicle. If you are satisfied with the insurance coverage you receive from an insurance claim, there could be no need to contact an attorney.

These types of accidents may have been small damage to a fender or a bump at a low speed.

*Handling Serious Injuries in a Renton Vehicle Collision*If you have suffered serious injuries, you do not have to proceed alone. To understand all your legal options, consider speaking with an attorney.

An experienced lawyer can assist in helping you negotiate and maximize what you can recover in damages. A lawyer can also make you aware of the scope of damages which people are entitled to by law. Finally, insurers and defendants often take claims more seriously when a party is represented by a personal injury attorney.

*Represented Plaintiffs Tend to Receive Larger Settlements*The Insurance Research Council analyzed the average settlements received. Based on their 1999 study, the average person received settlements three and a half times larger with legal representation than without representation.

The law can be complicated, and it may take more time than one imagines to get up to speed with all the particulars of Washington Law.

A personal injury attorney is trained in legal procedures, negotiating settlements, and seeking the full spectrum of damages that you may be entitled to. If you are injured and making a claim, you have the legal right to consult an attorney. If you choose, you can have an attorney represent you.

Who is at Fault? Slip and Fall Accidents in Kent, Washington

Posted Friday, June 23, 2023 by Chris Thayer

After a slip and fall accident on someone’s property in Kent, Washington, it is often a good idea to understand your legal options for getting compensation for serious injury.

*Comparative Fault Rules in Washington*In personal injury cases, one big question often emerges: “Who is at Fault?”

Different states take unique approaches to what is called comparative fault. Washington state law is known as “pure comparative negligence.” This approach means that if a percentage of fault is attributed to you, the amount of damages you may recover will be reduced by the same percentage.

For example, If you recover $20,00 and a judge or jury determines that your fault for the incident was 20%, your recovery would be reduced to $16,000.

*How Comparative Fault Works in Court*If your personal injury case goes to court, applying the comparative negligence rule is required by law.

A judge is required to take this into account. A judge must apply the percentage of fault in awarding damages.

*Shared Fault in Settlement Negotiations*In many cases, cases are settled out of court, in injury settlement negotiations. An insurance adjuster may also raise the issue of shared fault.

*How Property Owners Defend Against Fault in Kent*It can be helpful to understand defense strategies as property owners often argue that a slip and fall is not their full responsibility.

A building owner or store manager may defend themselves vigorously against a claim by relying on one or more of several common defenses, including:

Distract - ion. Visitors or shoppers were not looking where they were going. This can often be the case if people are preoccupied with a cell phone, texting, or other activities such as tending to a crying child. - Obvious conditions. Visitors should have recognized that dangerous conditions were hard to miss or obvious. For instance, a wet floor was wet and slippery. - Warnings were posted but ignored. In some cases, a dangerous area was marked or sectioned off with tape or a rope, but despite posted warnings, people went into the area.Improper footwear. A person may have walked on a slippery surface with improper shoes or without the required footwear.

The general idea to keep in mind is that fault may not be entirely on the property owner. In cases where the accident had contributing factors, a judge, jury, or insurer will examine the evidence. This is where comparative fault comes into play.

*Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations in Kent Washington*A statute of limitations is a law that governs the amount of time you have to have a lawsuit heard. In Washington, slip-and-fall lawsuits fall under a larger code of personal injury suits.

The bottom line is that according to the Revised Code of Washington, section 4.16.080, you have three years from the date of the incident to file the initial complaint in court.

*Count on a Skilled King County Attorney*For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Kent, contact Pivotal Law Group, PLLC. You can schedule a visit virtually, at home, at a hospital, as well at our offices in Washington State. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner we can begin fighting for justice.

What to Do After a Dog Bite on Mercer Island

Posted Friday, June 16, 2023 by Chris Thayer

A report in MyMercer Island reveals that Mercer Island is truly a dog-friendly place. It is a place where dogs wag their tails, have off-leash areas, and enjoy puppy-friendly frolics.

But what if the unthinkable happens? What if your dog bites a person in the park? What if you are bitten and viciously attacked by a dog?

While Mercer Island has specific leash laws, such as an off-leash area at Luther Burbank Park, there are specific animal control regulations that dog owners should be aware of. Further, Washington Laws require owners to take care of and make sure their dog does not bite.

*Washington State Dog-Bite Rule*Washington state law has rules that are substantially different from many states. Many states protect dog owners to some degree. This is popularly called a “one bite” rule, meaning that dog owners had no reason to believe their dog was dangerous.

In Washington, a specific rule (Wash. Rev. Code § 16.08.040) makes the owner responsible for a personal injury by their dog, regardless of the animal’s previous behavior.

The law regarding dog bite liability does not apply to the lawful application of a police dog, covered in RCW 4.24.410.

The statute is quite specific, making dog owners alert to their responsibility for their dog’s actions in or in a public or private location.

*What to Do After a Dog Bite or Attack on Mercer Island*On Mercer Island, likely, you never expected to be bitten or attacked by a dog. However, if you or a loved one has suffered an injury such as a dog bite, it is important not to just brush it off. Our experienced personal injury attorneys recommend taking these steps.

First, seek medical attention for any injuries. This critical step can help you prevent infection, get the necessary care, and calm your nerves.

Depending on the severity of the incident, you may be able to collect valuable information should you decide to pursue legal action. Gather the contact details of the dog owner or walker, such as name, address, phone, and email. Take photos of the scene, including any physical damage and or injuries sustained.

Talk with witnesses and also collect their statements and contact information.

Finally, take notes of what you recall about the incident. It is often easier to remember specific details close to the time of the bite or attack.

*Report to Animal Control Mercer Island*On Mercer Island, you can contact Animal Control to report the incident. If you are hesitating, it is useful to know that an officer may not immediately impound the dog. However, your call can help to guarantee that the dog is registered and also that the animal is appropriately vaccinated.

If you are contemplating seeking damages for your injury, you may want to talk with an experienced lawyer to evaluate your case, determine fault, and discuss the legal process.

*Rely on a Dedicated King County Attorney*For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Mercer Island, contact Pivotal Law Group, PLLC. You can schedule a visit virtually, at home, as well as at a hospital.

Claim Against Washington State: Here is What You Need to Know

Posted Friday, June 9, 2023 by Chris Thayer

If your Burien personal injury claim is against a local or state government or entity, specific rules apply. The law can be complicated, and talking with a diligent King County Attorney can be useful in answering questions and navigating the complex rules and time limitations.

It is good to understand timelines. In Washington, you must file a formal notice of claim within the statute of limitations. The time frame is three years to file a claim with the state or municipality involved.

*What to Understand a Notice of Claim in Burien*A notice of claim is not the same as a complaint. A formal notice of claim is not filed with a court. A complaint is filed with a court and is the document typically initiating a lawsuit.

After you have formally filed a claim with the state or local government entity, there is another time limit to be aware of. In Washington state, you cannot file a lawsuit until 60 days after the date of your filing a claim.

*Injury Claims Against the State of Washington *There are specific rules about how an injury claim must be filed against the State of Washington. To understand the procedure for this type of claim, the state organizes the rules for claims against the state, its officers, employees, or volunteers in the Revised Code of Washington section 4.9.100.

A term that you will come across is “tortious conduct.” This is a legal term that is a broad category for various types of injury claims, such as car accident claims, personal liability claims, and medical malpractice claims.

If you’ve had a car accident involving a negligent State driver, it could be that the crash was caused by a distracted government driver.

If you are considering a liability claim, an example might be tripping, slipping, and falling while in a government building. A broken staircase in a government building may be the site of the incident.

If you are making a medical malpractice claim, this could be a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition that may have occurred in a government hospital.

These types of claims may give you an idea of the kinds of situations that would be in a claim for damages as a result of tortious conduct on the part of the government.

*Making Claims Against Local Governments in Washington State*RCW section 4.96.020 covers the process for making injury claims against local Washington governments. The rules vary in different locations and municipalities.

For instance, some local governments accept the state’s tort claim form. Some local municipalities provide specific claim forms which are similar to the state. These are generally available online. For instance, The City of Seattle offers a claim form and instructions for how to use it.

*Talk With a Diligent King County Attorney*For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Burien, contact Pivotal Law Group, PLLC. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we begin fighting for justice. We handle personal injury cases throughout Washington State.

Hit By a City Bus? Here is What You Need to Know About Personal Injury in Renton

Posted Friday, June 2, 2023 by Chris Thayer

If you are in Renton, Seattle, or Kent, you may be commuting or traveling by bus to avoid the notorious traffic in our region. But what should you do if you suffer a bus accident?

Bus accidents may involve public buses such as King County Metro Transit. Whether you are a passenger, pedestrian, occupant of a motor vehicle, or bicyclist, these accidents can have serious consequences.

According to a My Northwest report, King County Metro Transit has been involved in 104 preventable accidents over the last four years. The report found that between 2018 and 2022, Metro buses have traversed over 200 million miles within King County.

The audit noted that despite the number of preventable accidents, public transportation in Seattle still ranks as one of the safest forms of passenger travel.

If you have been involved in a bus accident, it is important to stay calm, seek medical attention, document the situation, and gather contact information. Your steps immediately after an accident can help you should you decide to pursue legal action.

*Seek Medical Attention in Renton*If you have been involved in a bus accident, the top priority is to seek medical attention.

Your health and safety is a primary concern. Get medical attention for injuries as soon as possible. Some injuries may not occur instantly, but a medical professional can accurately evaluate your injuries.

*Document the Situation*If you have not been severely injured, take a moment to document the scene. Take photographs to show any details, such as property damage, injuries, and a view of the location.

If you notice debris in the road, other vehicles, or other environmental situations, document these with a photo. Many people use their phones to take photos that could be valuable evidence of the circumstances.

*Gather Contact and Witness Information in Renton*It is easiest to gather contact information from people at the scene. Ask the bus driver for any pertinent information, such as name, badge, and bus number. If you are talking with fellow passengers, get their contact details. People who witnessed or were involved in the crash may be able to offer witness evidence, which could support your case if you move forward with legal proceedings.

*Determine Who is Liable *In bus accidents, determining liability is very important, yet extremely complicated. Different parties may be responsible and could be included in determining who is at fault.

Typically, responsible parties may include the bus driver, the mechanic who serviced the bus, and the driver(s) of another vehicle. Liability may also extend to a manufacturer or designer of a defective part used in the bus found to cause the crash. Further, the company, such as King County Metro Transit, may be included as being liable.

*Get in Touch With a Tough-Minded King County Attorney*For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Renton, contact Pivotal Law Group, PLLC. You can schedule a visit virtually, at home, as well as at a hospital. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner we start to work on your behalf.