When you pull up to a BP Gas Station you probably don’t watch each step you take as you pump gas or pull a cold drink from the refrigerator. It seems safe until you trip on a pothole or slip on those slick bathroom floors. You could find yourself on the ground with a dislocated hip or a busted knee and suddenly begin to wonder who is responsible for an accident at a mini-mart.
At Louisville’s Kaufman & Stigger Law Firm, PLLC we’ve seen insurance companies try to blame victims for their own falls and attempt to give them zero help in paying the costs of physical therapy and surgeries. The fact is a store owner and operator are responsible for the safety of anyone who steps foot on their property. If you fell and suffered an injury as the result of a hazard that wasn’t repaired or cleaned-up when it should have been, contact our slip-and-fall attorneys. We want to protect your rights and make sure you are awarded the compensation you’ll need to heal and get your life back on track.
Louisville BP Station Slip-And-Fall Dangers
Gas stations are smaller than grocery stores and places like Target and Wal-Mart and yet, they present a surprising amount of hazards to anyone who walks up and into their stores.
You may notice the dark black stains on the cement beside the fuel pumps. That’s from years of motor oil leaking from the many cars that pull through. Car tires don’t have much problem with oil, but your shoe might not grab the pavement very well on one step and that can be enough to send you down hard on any of the solid structures around the pumps. The parking lot can also be full of dirty ice and snow, all waiting to send you slipping.
Once inside the store, the hazards can take a similar form. A 38 oz drink may have slipped from a child’s hand and the spill left for a half-hour or more until your foot finds that loose ice and you are suddenly going down hard on that shiny floor. A mat may be bunched up at the door waiting to trip someone. Candy may be strewn along the snack aisle. They are all potential hazards that should be cleaned up promptly but can get overlooked until you come along and take a painful tumble.
Gas Stations and Premises Liability
Louisville BP’s shine in bright green and white to attract every customer they can get, but proprietors are required to do more than just collect your money. The legal concept of premises liability holds them accountable for the safety of anyone who they invite onto their property. They owe a “duty of care” to avoid doing or not doing something that could get someone hurt. That means they are responsible for clearing a sidewalk of ice and snow and keeping spills mopped up.
A premises liability claim is possible when you get hurt during a visit to any gas station. You’ll need to prove the owner was negligent in regard to the hazard that caused your fall.
You’ll need to show that the issue was:
- Created by the proprietor, or
- The proprietor knew of the hazard caused by someone else (a customer) and didn’t fix or clean it up in a reasonable amount of time.
Of course, proprietors will try to plausibly deny that they knew of the problem or that they didn’t have a reasonable amount of time to correct the problem. You and your attorney will need to build a solid case to make sure the owner doesn’t get away with this claim.
Insurance Agents and lawyers working for the owner may steer the blame towards you. They may try to prove these factors played a part in the accident:
- You weren’t paying attention at the time of the fall and didn’t watch your step.
- You were walking in an area not intended for the general public.
- Warning tape or plastic signs were used to warn customers of a danger. You must have ignored them.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to take pictures with your phone of the hazards that caused your fall and any signs (or lack of signs) there may be. Once you leave, those hazards will likely disappear forever.
Even if they can prove that you may have been partially to blame for your slip, that doesn’t mean the case is lost. In Kentucky, you and the store owner can share blame in a slip-and-fall accident. You might have to accept partial blame for your fall, but proprietors can still have to pay you compensation for their percentage of the blame.
Contact a Louisville Gas Station Slip-and-Fall Attorney
If you are simply making a pit-stop at a gas station when an obstacle sends you to the ground and causes a serious injury, it’s a good idea to talk over your options with a local attorney. Gas stations can be locally owned or they can be part of a nationwide company. That means to get help with your hospital bills you might have to face a team of company lawyers all working to deny your right to compensation. Make sure you have your own representative to even the playing field.
The attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, have a combined 100 years’ experience in helping clients get the compensation they’ll need to fully recover. To discuss your case contact Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today.