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

Misconceptions Surrounding Seattle Personal Injury Cases

Posted Friday, March 1, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextWhen you have been injured or hurt by the negligence or wrongful act of another, you might be considering filing a personal injury suit to receive compensation for the damages caused by your injuries. In thinking about the lawsuit, you might be encumbered with any number of misconceptions that surround a personal injury suit. The following are common misconceptions people have when thinking about personal injury.

*“People will think I am being disingenuous”* Unfortunately, people tend to think the worst of others and personal injury suits are no different. Some think that anyone pursuing a personal injury suit is faking their injury and only after the money. This is false. Yes, some people lie, but that should not stop you from seeking the damages you are entitled to after an injury. Personal injury suits are there to bring an injured person back to the position they were in before the injury.

*“I do not need a lawsuit, insurance will cover my expenses.”* Most people do not think that there is any need for a lawsuit if they have insurance. They think that their insurance company, or the responsible party’s, insurance company will be happy to hand out the money to cover expenses. Insurance companies are interested in making the most profits they can. As such, insurance companies try to reduce the payouts to injured individuals to stay profitable. A personal injury suit can provide you with the compensation for damages your insurance company never would.

*“I can not afford an attorney”* There is a misconception that representation in personal injury cases is not affordable. On the contrary, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that instead of charging upfront costs or providing bills as the case progresses, the attorney will instead collect a portion of the settlement or judgment in the case to cover the fees that have been accruing during the case.

*“There is no rush, I am going to take my time and think about the suit.”* Personal injury suits are subject to a statute of limitations. In the state of Washington, individuals only have three years to file a suit for personal injury. This might seem like a lot of time and a reason to wait before starting the process, but filing a personal injury case can take a while. Before you know it, three years can pass and you no longer have the option of filing a personal injury case.

If you have been injured through the negligence or wrongful act of another, contact the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group. We know that recovering from an injury can be difficult. As such, we strive to make the personal injury lawsuit as stress-free as possible. The filing of a case takes copious amounts to research and work. Therefore, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case. Contact us today for a consultation.

Tips for Staying Safe on Vacation

Posted Friday, February 22, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextWe are reaching that time of year when winter weather is still looming, but we hold the hope of a spring and summer making an appearance soon. While waiting for the nicer weather to arrive, many families take this time to plan or take a vacation. While on vacation, the idea is to relax and not be encumbered with the stressors of everyday life. However, even trips to paradise can result in accidents and injury. In order to keep yourself and your family safe on a vacation, there are some important steps you can take.

*Before Vacation* Most of the planning for emergency situations occurs before the trip even starts. If you can do these few things before setting off on your journey, you will be ready for emergencies as they arise:

  • Prepare an Emergency Medical Kit: Depending on the destination of your vacation, emergency supplies might not always be available. As such, it is important to have these supplies on hand for the duration of the trip. This emergency medical kit can include band aids, ointment, pain reliever, allergy medicine, and any prescription medications that a family member takes. The kit should be tailored to the specific needs of your family.
  • Have Records With You: Take copies of your immunization records, your family’s immunization records, the dosage information for prescription medications, and any documentation of recent surgery or treatment you might have undergone.Purchase travel insurance: Not every place will have the same standard of medical insurance.. Therefore, planning ahead with travel insurance can give you the piece of mind of quality medical care, regardless of the destination.
  • Research: Make sure you know where the nearest hospitals or urgent care facility is to your destination. Research the available means of transportation to receive medical care and whether your primary physician might be able to answer a phone call if you suffer an injury.

*During Vacation* During a vacation you should:

  • Inspect the Accommodations: Upon arriving to your travel accommodations, be sure to check the rooms for any dangers. If small children are traveling with you, it can be a good idea to childproof the area. Additionally, check to be sure that the windows and doors work properly and contact the staff immediately if something seems amiss.
  • Be Alert: Even if you are relaxing on the beach somewhere, an injury can happen. Therefore, while you still can enjoy vacation, do not let your guard down and be on the lookout for any emergencies or sudden injuries that need immediate attention. Staying alert can mean quicker reaction times to injuries and getting necessary help in a timely fashion.

Being prepared for emergencies or injuries on vacation does not negate the fact that accidents happen. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you in the aftermath of an injury. If you have been injured on vacation because of the negligence or wrongful act of another, contact us today to find out the options for recovery available to you.

(image courtesy of Simon Migaj)

A Guide to Medical Malpractice in Washington State

Posted Friday, February 15, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextImagine going to the doctor for treatment of an illness or injury, but having the doctor or other member of the medical staff make a mistake that seriously injures you. When health professionals make mistakes, the consequences are often great. When we walk into a doctors office, or hospital, or other medical facility, we do not want surprises or mistakes – we want our injuries or illness to be treated and to go on with our lives. If a healthcare provider makes mistake and causes further injury to you, there are legal options available.

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional is negligent in his or her actions and leads a patient to injury, or further injury. Healthcare professionals can be doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and hospitals themselves. Not every mistake by a healthcare professional constitutes medical malpractice. In order for a medical malpractice claim to be made, there a few things that need to be proven:

The healthcare professional did not act within their standard of care; they failed to care for the patient as their professional standards dictate.The mistake, whether an action or an inaction, was the proximate cause of injuryThe patient was injured, resulting in damages.

Damages

A medical malpractice claim can result in the compensation for the damages caused by the negligent healthcare professional. Different personal injury claims have different rules and limitations on the amount of damages an individual is able to collect. In Washington, there is no cap on the amount of damages that a person can collect, but there are limitations on the types of damages available. Individuals can collect compensatory damages that are meant to bring the injured individual back to the position they were in prior to being injured. Generally, there are no punitive damages available, those that are meant to punish the offender and deter others from acting in a similar manner.

Statute of Limitations

If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, a claim must be made within the statute of limitations. Medical malpractice claims need to be filed within three years of the date of the incident. There are few, if any exceptions, to the statute of limitations. Medical malpractice claims take time to investigate and file a complaint. Therefore, it is essential to bring the claim to the attention of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible so that there can sufficient investigation and preparation before filing.

If you are considering filing a medical malpractice claims, the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you. Injuries from the healthcare professionals that are meant to heal your injuries must be taken seriously. Our attorneys want to build the strongest claim possible under the circumstances. Adding more healthcare bills to your current financial burden because of a healthcare providers negligence can be costly and overwhelming. If you have been injured by a healthcare professionals negligence, take action and get the damages to which you are entitled. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Marlon Lara)

Things to Keep in Mind in Personal Injury Cases

Posted Friday, February 8, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextPersonal injury cases give an individual a legal avenue to seek compensation for injuries caused by another’s negligence or wrongful actions. It is a part of tort law. Filing a personal injury suit is not to find the other party criminally culpable for an injury, but to recover the damages caused by the other party’s actions, or lack of action. Personal injury law varies by state and meeting with a local personal injury attorney can give you the best chance of recovering damages. However, there are no guarantees with any lawsuit. As such, it is important to put forth the best argument and evidence possible. In order to do this, it is important to keep the following things in mind when navigating Washington personal injury cases.

*Statute of Limitations* In Washington, there is a statute of limitations that dictates when a personal injury suit can be brought. There is a three-year statute of limitations when it comes to any tort law case. This means that a person who has been injured only has three years to file documents in the court for seeking damages for personal injury. If a case is not filed within the three-year timeline, it is likely that it will be denied. There are exigent circumstances that could cause the court to decide the three-year statute does not apply, but these are limited and should not be relied upon. Talk with an attorney early so there are no issues with the timing of filing.

*Insurance Companies* After being in an accident, or being injured, it might seem innocent enough to talk to the other party’s insurance company in hopes of coming to an agreement. However, this could prove to be a costly mistake. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Their aim is to reduce their liability to others, meaning they want to pay the least amount of money possible. They want to settle for the lowest amount possible, which very well could be less than the cost of your medical bills. Talk with an attorney before you discuss your injury with anyone else, especially an insurance company.

*Cases Take Time* The process of filing a personal injury case is not always the quickest. Cases that go to trial can take months or even years to come to a resolution. Settlements can be reached more quickly without having to go through an entire trial process. A personal injury suit is not a “quick fix” for financial difficulties faced after an injury. However, the results of a personal injury suit can drastically improve your financial situation. It is important to know that cases take time and to not expect a quick result.

If you have questions about filing a personal injury suit, contact the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group. We are here to help you through every step of the case, from filing the case until a verdict is reached. Recovering from an accident can be difficult and an unexpected financial burden. If you have been injured from another’s neglect or wrongful actions, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. It can be scary to consider filing a lawsuit, but contacting a personal injury attorney to answer your questions can help you choose the right course of action for yourself. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Saneej Kallingal)

Cellphone Use While Driving Decreases in Washington

Posted Friday, February 1, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Link TextWe live in the age of technology; there is always some new gadget that draws interest from the public. While advances in technology are generally a positive development, there are some areas in which an advancement in technology can post serious risks. The use of smartphones and other handheld devices while driving is a serious problem. These gadgets distract a driver from the task at hand — safely driving from one place to another.

Because of the dangers of distracted driving, law enforcement officers are cracking down on the use of cellphones while driving by doling out fines. A study conducted by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission estimates that the percentage of drivers who are using a cellphone while driving is actually decreasing. Their study found that the percentage of people holding a cellphone while driving has dropped to 3.4% from 6%. Additionally, the percentage of people who were distracted decreased one percentage point to 8.2% of drivers. This study was conducted by volunteers observing instances of distracted driving.

The Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act states that “a person who uses a personal device while driving a motor vehicle on a public highway is guilty of a traffic infraction and must pay a fine.” Approximately 31, 160 tickets were issued to Washington drivers between January and November 2018. While the study conducted by the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission found that cell phone use decreased, there were still plenty of other distractions for drivers like eating, talking with passengers, or changing the radio station. Even if the amount of drivers using a cell phone has decreased, any type of distracted driving can be dangerous to you and the other drivers around you.

*Dangers of Distracted Driving*There are many dangers and risks associated with distracted driving. Distracted driving can refer to anything that takes a driver’s concentration away from the road ahead. Distracted drivers are more likely to be involved in a traffic accident than those drivers who are not distracted. While you can not control the actions of other motorists on the road, you can make sure that you are not driving distracted.

Here are some ways you can help prevent distracted driving:

  • Instruct New Drivers: If someone you know is new to driving, or just needs a refresher, talking about the dangers of distracted driving can aid the cause. Discuss the importance of keeping your eyes on the road and minimizing all distractions. Not everyone thinks that using a cellphone in a car is dangerous. Explain the dangers of cellphone use, and other distractions.
  • Practice What You Preach: Follow your own advice and do not drive while distracted.

If you have been injured because of a distracted driver, contact the personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group. We know how frustrating it can be to be injured by another’s negligence while you were following all traffic laws. Contact us today for a consultation and to find out how we can help you.

(image courtesy of Priscilla du Preez)