A pitstop at a Spokane convenience store can be about more than filling the tank these days. Customers can be starving for hot food, cold and warm drinks, and even dessert. These are all cravings a convenience store like Cenex can satisfy.
As gas stations continue to expand to meet every need, they must also expand their safety measures to keep customers safe. More car and foot traffic brings with it an increased chance for accidents. A wet spot on the floor or a cracked tile in the bathrooms can land a visitor on the ground with a painful injury.
Cenex Gas Station Accident Dangers in Spokane
You may not ever look down as you rush to pump fuel and grab a snack to go. We’re usually on the way to somewhere else when we pull into a gas station. But you may be surprised to learn just how many people slip-and-fall and get hurt at any retail location.
The National Flooring Institute (NFSI) found that floors and flooring materials contribute directly to more than 2 million fall injuries each year. The floors and pavement at a gas station can become cracked and can buckle, but the bigger threats are what ends up on those surfaces.
These are just some of the hazards you may find underfoot at gas stations:
- Spills inside —The floors can be coated by giant drink spills and dropped food. The bathrooms are another hazardous location with soap and water on the tiles.
- Spills outside – Oil can leak from every car that pulls up. You can be pumping gas and lose your balance on a slippery spot.
- The parking lot– Cement can break and crack. Ice and snow can send you sprawling if it’s not cleared properly. Cold weather hazards are the owner’s responsibility.
- Floor Hazards– Broken Tiles, uneven surfaces, or even a misplaced floor mat can send you sprawling.
- Cluttered Aisles – A child can leave toys and candy on the floor and employees can leave boxes and displays out of your eye line but in the way of your foot.
Injuries from Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Victims in a slip-and-fall accident are more prone to plummet backwards. Trip-and-fall accidents usually send the victim in the opposite direction, forwards. Here are some common types of slip-and-fall injuries:
- Skull fractures and brain injuries. A fall can lead to a concussion or even to permanent brain damage depending on the force of impact.
- Spinal cord and spinal structure damage which can result in paralysis and disability.
- Dislocations and broken bones. These injuries can require surgery and result in permanent or partial disability. A hip fracture can be an especially debilitating injury.
Trip-and-fall accidents can often result in shoulder, arm, and wrist damage as victims reaches forward to break their fault. If the victims can land face-first leading to facial, jaw, and dental fractures. Potholes in parking lots are commonly associated with trip-and-fall accidents and injuries.
Liability for Owners in Gas Station Accidents
Store operators in Washington are required to keep retail spaces reasonably free from dangerous hazards. They’ve invited the public into their store and they owe the customer that protection. If the owner fails in this duty and someone gets injured, then a premises liability claim can be made. The law allows for two primary ways to prove negligence.
The victim needs to show that the hazard was:
- Created by the proprietor, or
- The proprietor knew of the hazard and didn’t fix it in a reasonable amount of time.
Employees can get busy and neglect to clean up messes or forget to report an issue with almost any part of the building. Wiring and construction flaws can be something that gets ignored until a customer gets hurt.
After your accident, if you’re able, you should start to build your case against the store owners and operators. Take photos of the hazard that caused your fall. These hazards can quickly be cleaned-up or repaired leaving you without proof. It’s also a good idea to get contact information from any witnesses.
Contact a Spokane Slip-and-Fall Attorney
After a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall at a gas station, you’ll need to hold the store’s owners and operators responsible so that you don’t end up facing the cost of recovery alone. A victim in Washington has up to three years after an accident to file a claim for damages, but we don’t recommend waiting that long. The more time that passes, the harder it will be to gather evidence and locate witnesses to build a strong case. A local attorney can help you assemble these important details.
Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is committed to providing our clients with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our slip-and-fall lawyers represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that we will use our absolute best efforts to win your case. Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. We will only offer you advice which is in your best interest.