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

Can an Insurance Company Refuse to Settle?

Posted Friday, June 21, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextThere is more to moving on after a serious injury than just your physical recovery. A serious injury can impact so many different parts of your life. One of those parts is financial difficulties that arise because of the injury. Whether these financial struggles are the result of medical bills or from lost wages due to the injury impacting your ability to perform your job, the financial toll of an injury can be significant. In some cases, an insurance company is tasked with reaching a settlement with you for the injuries or damages sustained. You would think that this would be a relatively straightforward process, but that is not always the case. Insurance companies often try to delay making a settlement, or avoid it altogether.

It can be extremely frustrating to feel like you cannot get any answers from your insurance provider. There are many reasons that an insurance company might try to prevent the settlement or delay it. At this stage of the process, there are additional options available to you other than repeatedly calling the insurance provider and hoping for answers. A personal injury suit is a legal way to try and collect settlement or payment from an insurance company after an injury.

It can be useful to understand why your insurance company is delaying settlement. Common reasons include:

  • Statute of Limitations: In Washington personal injury cases, a suit must be brought within a certain time period to be eligible for recovering damages, or else be barred by the statute of limitations. Delaying a settlement could be a way to extend the time from injury in hopes of the statute of limitations running out.
  • Lost Evidence: Another reason an insurance company might delay is because the more time passes, the more likely it is that you will have lost or destroyed some crucial evidence. Not only can physical evidence be lost, but witness testimony can become less credible when there has been a long period of time between the event and recalling the event.
  • Giving Up: As stated above, recovering from an injury can be difficult. Some insurance companies simply hope to wear you down so that you are too tired and overwhelmed to pursue the settlement or legal options available to you.

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that an insurance company is a for-profit business that cannot make money if it only spends money on claims. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group understand this and are here to help you fight this abusive business mentality. When you are injured and entitled to compensation, especially by an insurance company that receives payment for the coverage, you should not be ignored in trying to reach a settlement. Our attorneys will try to work with the insurance company or file a personal injury suit to recover the damages and compensation owed to you. Contact us today for a consultation and to find out what options are available to you.

(image courtesy of Aaron Burden)

Bellevue Woman Hit by Truck

Posted Friday, June 14, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextA woman waiting at the bus stop near NE8th Ave and 120th St NE in Bellevue had tragedy strike while waiting for her bus in Bellevue. A woman was struck and pinned underneath a truck, according to KOMO News. The driver of the truck was sitting at a red light when he suddenly went into oncoming traffic, got hit by a car, and then slammed into the woman at the bus stop.

Preliminary investigations by police did not find that the driver of the truck was impaired, but police are investigating if he was distracted in some other way, like by being on his cell phone. No one is sure why the truck pulled away from the red light and into oncoming traffic. Investigators stated that the driver of the truck will likely be arrested on vehicular assault charges. The woman was taken to the hospital and treated for a badly broken leg and other injuries.

*What to do After an Accident *No one starts the day thinking that he or she will be injured in an accident. However as evidenced by the story above, there is no telling what might happen at any given moment. As such, it is important to be prepared and have the knowledge of how to handle an injury and emergency situation should it arise. The following are steps to take after an accident to ensure that you will be able to pursue compensation for your injuries with a personal injury claim.

  • Seek medical attention: The first step after injury is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Seeking treatment not only is a must for your general well-being, but it is also important in any legal actions brought following the injury.
  • Keep records: Keep a record of any accident reports, witnesses to the accident, bills received in relation to the accident, and documentation of any other damages that have resulted from the accident. These will become invaluable in a personal injury suit. You should also keep records of any medical treatment you receive or other instructions that your doctor gives you.
  • Contact a personal injury attorney: An experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue damages for your injuries after an accident.

*Get the Help You Need After an Accident *Drivers who act without thinking or put the lives of pedestrians and other drivers around them at risk by being negligent can be held liable for their actions through a personal injury claim. A personal injury suit may be the best option for those injured individuals seeking compensation for their injuries.

The personal injury attorneys at the Pivotal Law Group are here to help you. We know that an injury can be life-altering and extremely costly. We want to help you overcome this financial burden so that you can focus on recovering and adapting to any changes to your life following an injury. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Luke van Zyl)

Five People Injured in Kent County Head-on Collision

Posted Friday, June 7, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextEvery car accident needs to be taken seriously as it can result in life altering injuries to anyone involved. Some accidents, however, seem to make you hold your breath when you hear about them, like head-on collision. There is something about hitting another vehicle head-on that sends chills down one’s spine. Recently, in Kent county, five people were hospitalized after a head-on collision, according to Fox 17 News.

The crash happened on Lincoln Lake Avenue by Bailey Drive when an SUV that was traveling northbound crossed the centerline of the road and collided with another vehicle head-on that was traveling south. The driver of the SUV was among the five people taken to the hospital. The other four were from the vehicle that was hit and included two adults and two children. It was not clear at the scene of the accident what made the driver of the SUV veer over the centerline and crash head-on into the other vehicle.

Head-on collisions are dangerous. There are common injuries that you need to be on the lookout for if you have been involved in a head-on collision:

  • Neck Injuries: Anytime you are rattled and forced to move your head and neck in a motion or direction that is not typical, you are at risk for injury. Neck injuries are especially dangerous because of the possibility of paralysis or even death. Strain on muscles and tendons in the neck can be extremely painful after a car accident.
  • Abdominal injuries: Seat belts are meant to protect you. However, in an accident, they can cause injury if they are thrust into the abdomen of the wearer. Furthermore, abdominal injuries can also occur when there are other items or forces put onto the abdomen because the head-on collision.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury: A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is extremely dangerous. Your brain controls your entire body. Injury to the brain can have serious, life-altering implications.
  • Chest Injuries: An airbag is deployed to protect the passengers of a vehicle from being seriously injured if they hit hard parts of the inside of the vehicle. However, an airbag deploying is not like being hit with a pillow. They can prevent injuries, but they are deployed with a heavy force that can cause injury. Similar to abdominal injuries, the seat belt can also cause injury to the chest in a head-on collision.

If you have been injured in a head-on collision, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you following a car accident. Medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to the injury only pile up after an accident. We want to help you get the compensation you deserve under the circumstances. Our attorneys are dedicated to representing you and presenting the best possible case. Contact us today for a consultation. We are ready and waiting to help you.

(image courtesy of Jannes Glas)

Dog Bite Injuries for Postal Workers on the Rise

Posted Friday, May 31, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextDogs are considered to be man’s best friend. They are fiercely loyal to their masters, fun to be around, and add joy to so many households all across America. Additionally, dogs can decrease a person’s stress, act as an emotional support animal, and be an asset to those with varying disabilities. Dogs are generally great, but they can be dangerous to others. In fact, dog bite injuries are on the rise for Washington state postal workers, according to the United States Postal Service.

Overall, the number of postal workers injured by dogs across the United States decreased by about 500 reported incidents in the previous year. Nevertheless, the number of dog bites in the state of Washington increased, only by one, but when the rest of the nation sees a decrease in dog bite attacks, any increase can be deemed significant.

Many people brush off dog bites as insignificant and not a big deal. However, dog bites can be extremely serious and cause a lot of damage. Medical treatment is expensive. After any injury it is imperative that an injured party seek medical attention, but the cost of such treatment can be a deterrent to people seeking help. An individual, whether a postal worker or not, has protections available if he or she has been injured because of a dog bite.

In Washington, there are specific dog bite statutes that outline the liability a dog owner has for any damages the dog might cause. The owner of a dog is “liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.” When a dog bites someone and it is because of the owner’s negligence, the owner can be held liable even if he or she had no idea or inclination that the dog was violent or dangerous in any way. This applies when the incident happens in a public place or when the victim is lawfully present on private property where the dog is located. There are different rules that may apply if the victim of a dog bite is trespassing on private property.

A person who has been bitten by a dog can suffer the ramifications for the rest of his or her life. Medical costs accumulate and an injured dog bite victim might become overwhelmed by debt. In Washington, a personal injury suit can be brought against the dog owner for negligence in handling the dog that caused the injury. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the world of personal injury and receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries sustained. The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you following an injury. We do not want you to be bogged down by expensive medical bills for the rest of your life. Instead, let us fight to hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries so that you can receive compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a consultation.

(image courtesy of Drew Beamer)

Bellevue Street Sweeper Accident Leads to Wrongful Death Suit

Posted Friday, May 24, 2019 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextA tragic street sweeper accident in Bellevue has led to a wrongful death lawsuit being filed, according to Kiro 7 news. Earlier this year, an employee of Nelson & Sons Construction Co., Inc. was operating a street sweeper in downtown Bellevue near a construction site. He started in the northbound lane on 120th Avenue Northeast before putting the sweeper in reverse and heading southbound on the same road. The sweeper struck a pedestrian, pulling him under the sweeper and killing him.

The family of the deceased is suing both the street sweeper company and the driver under the claim of wrongful death. The lawsuit alleges that the street sweeper driver “failed to operate the vehicle in a safe manner and failed to keep a proper lookout and/or watch of the vehicle’s backup camera.” The trial for this case is set for March 2020.

Street sweeper accidents are on the rise, and not just in the Bellevue and Seattle area. States across the country are seeing an increase in injuries, or deaths, caused by street sweepers. In 2018, there were 14 street sweeper accidents reported. This might seem like a small number, but when you factor in how specific of an accident this is and the limited occasions on which could be possible, it is a significant trend.

The death of a loved one is devastating. It can be even more devastating when the death is caused by a seemingly avoidable accident. In the case above, the court will need to determine whether the street sweeper driver and/or his employer were negligent in their operations. In past cases involving street sweeper injuries, the accidents were caused by lack of training for the drivers on operating of the sweeper, distraction of the drivers, increased noise inside the street sweeper, or the rear-view camera being non-operational or having an obstructed view.

In the state of Washington, the law permits the recovery of damages for the death of another “when the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” A personal representative of the deceased individual is able to sue the responsible party for damages resulting from the actions of the defendant(s). Only certain individuals are permitted by law to seek damages through a wrongful death statute. A dedicated personal injury attorney can help you determine if you are eligible to file suit and help you through the process.

The personal injury attorneys at Pivotal Law Group are here to help you recover damages after the wrongful death of a loved one. Sudden deaths can cause extreme financial hardship on an individual or family. A wrongful death suit is a civil remedy that holds the responsible party accountable for their actions and award damages to the wronged parties. We know it is difficult to cope after the loss of a loved one. We do not want you to be overburdened financially. Contact us today to find out what legal remedies might be available to you.

(image courtesy of Charlie Deets)