Spokane motorists don’t have to travel very far before they see the familiar red, white and blue Chevron sign. There are nearly a dozen of the gas stations in the city waiting to provide you with fuel, and nowadays, a variety of other services.
These Chevron stations offer fast-food and hundreds of snacks and other items that nudge them closer to being much more than a service station. As they grow, they must make sure customer safety isn’t sacrificed for all that convenience.
Chevron Gas Station Slip and Fall Dangers
Any time a business invites you onto its property for a visit, it is responsible for making sure there are no hazards that can land you in a painful accident. Like any store, a mini-mart can have spills and other obstacles on the floor. Vehicles can leak many different slippery substances.
All of these hazards and more can leave you with a painful injury and potentially take your mobility from you. Premises liability laws hold the owners and operators of the business responsible in many of these cases. A premises liability lawyer with Spokane’s CCD Law can help you determine who might be at fault if you’re in an accident and find the best way to get compensation for your recovery.
Common Gas Station Accident Hazards
Customers generally don’t stay long at gas stations. They zip in, get the fuel or snack they need, perhaps use the restroom, and then get out. All that car and foot traffic can leave a trail behind in spilled liquids and trash.
Here are just a few of the hazards these gas stations can present that you might not see until it’s too late:
- Spills – Giant fountain drinks or ketchup can end up on the floor. The area around the gas pumps is especially dangerous. Motor oil and other grime build-up for a dangerous slipping hazard.
- The parking lot – Broken pavement, unsafe steps, ice, and snow can trip you up before you even reach the front doors.
- Floor Hazards – Broken Tiles, uneven surfaces, or even a misplaced floor mat can send you sprawling.
- Car Wash Water – Water and soap from car washes can send you to the ground. Especially dangerous during the winter months.
- Auto Repair Shops – If a mechanic is on-duty at a gas station more car fluids can be on the floors. Other hazards from lifts are heavy tools that are present as well.
- Criminal Activity – Beyond falls, if you are the victim of a crime at a Chevron location the owners can be held liable. Perhaps the store operators didn’t have proper lighting that led to you getting robbed or assaulted. Operators can even be liable if they don’t warn you about a high incidence of crime in the area.
Premises Liability for Gas Station Accidents
State law requires an operator of any retail store to keep an area that is open to the public reasonably free from dangerous hazards. 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.
In most cases, the proprietor will probably deny they created the issue, or say that they were attempting to fix the problem in a timely manner. It’ll be up to you to prove otherwise.
After your accident, if you’re able, 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.
Washington Deadline for Filing a Claim
Victims in a slip and fall accident have up to three years after an accident to file a claim for damages according to state statutes. It is not recommended to wait long to file your claim because the more time that passes after an accident the harder it will be to collect evidence, locate witnesses, and retrieve the documents you’ll need to build a strong case.
If the owner and operators of a gas station are found at fault, state law allows for compensation for the injured person. These awards for damages may cover medicals bills, rehab and treatment, lost time from work now and in the future. Compensation can also cover permanent disability, pain, and mental anguish.
Contact a Spokane Premises Liability Attorney
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident at a gas station, filing a claim for damages may be the only way to hold the store and their owners responsible. If a gas station is part of a nationwide chain you might be forced to face a team of lawyers and insurance adjusters just to get help in paying your medical bills. It’s important to have an experienced Spokane attorney on your side to level the playing field.
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 Premises Liability 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.