A trip to a mini-mart for a fill-up or a drink can seem not so “mini” anymore. Convenience stores like Zip Trip are around every corner in Spokane and they seem to offer up more floor space and more snacks every year.
Accident Dangers at Spokane Zip Trips
Zip Trip tries to draw in customers with warm food and hot drinks and inviting locations that look more like log-cabins than gas stations. As people rush in, the store owners and operators have a responsibility to provide more than just cheap prices and quick service. They are held accountable for customer safety anywhere on their premises including their fill stations, restrooms, and food/drink areas.
A spilled drink inside or an icy patch in the parking lot are hazards owners and managers should quickly remove. But sometimes these dangers get overlooked and a customer wanting to get in and out suddenly winds up on the ground with a serious injury.
A victim can wind up in the hospital and wonder if his or her slip-and-fall accident could’ve been prevented with some better attention to safety. The victim may also wonder where they can get financial help as the recovery begins. An experienced personal injury attorney with Spokane’s CCD Law can help you with these questions. A local attorney can help you determine the best path to getting compensation from the operators responsible for the gas station.
Common Gas Station Hazards
As gas stations strive to have a little bit of everything, more and more liquids and snacks can end up on the floors. These smooth surfaces can be a hard landing spot for anyone when something is left on the floor below eye level. An employee should catch these obstacles, but sometimes the entire store can be neglected during a rush.
Here are just a few of the hazards a gas station can throw in front of you:
- Spills—Gas stations, like any restaurant, can leave 48oz drinks or ketchup spilled on the floors. The area around the gas pumps is especially dangerous. Motor oil is made to be slippery and these deposits build up with each new car that pulls up.
- The parking lot– Broken pavement, unsafe steps, ice and snow can cause your foot to slide out from under you.
- Floor Hazards– Broken Tiles, uneven surfaces, or even a misplaced floor mat can send you sprawling.
- Merchandise In The Aisles—Careless stockers leave items on the floor. Just small enough for your eyes to miss. You walk right into a box or other item and take a tumble.
- Bathrooms—A potty break is one of the reasons people stop in. Soap and water on the floor can make already sticky surfaces very slippery.
- Criminal Activity- Beyond falls, if you are the victim of a crime at a Zip Trip 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.
Compensation After a Slip-And-Fall Accident
If you are injured during a visit to a Zip Trip location, Washington Law allows a victim up to three years to file a claim over the incident. It’s not recommended to wait this long to file because the longer you wait the harder it will be to round up evidence, locate witnesses, and gather important documents.
You will need to build a strong case to get compensation for your injuries, recovery, and financial losses from missing work. Building your case begins right after an accident. You will need to prove one of two things. Either that the owner and operators of the store created the hazard that sent you into a painful fall or that the owner knew or should have known about the hazard but didn’t correct it in a reasonable amount of time.
If an owner is found liable, here are just a few of the hardships you can receive compensation for:
- Medical Bills.
- Future Rehab treatment/equipment.
- Travel to and from doctors’ appointments.
- Lost time from work (Including the expected future lost time)
- Permanent disability/disfigurement.
- Pain and mental anguish. Costs of counseling.
Comparative Negligence in Washington State
You may be embarrassed by your fall but don’t give in to that line of thinking. A list released by The National Flooring Safety Institute details just how many victims are out there. One million people a year go to the emergency room after a slip and fall. You are not alone.
You may even feel you were partly to blame for your accident. But did you know, you can be share blame with the store owner?
The State of Washington allows for comparative negligence. This means you take a percentage of the blame for your injuries and a gas station owner and/or parent company is responsible for personal damages equal to their percentage of fault. You can still get compensation to help with your losses and bills it just may be reduced by your percentage of responsibility.
Contact a Spokane Premises Liability Attorney
If you are injured in a slip and fall accident at a gas station you will need to ensure your recovery is provided for by those responsible for your fall. If a gas station is part of a regional chain you might be forced to face a big corporation and their team of lawyers. 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.