Friday, February 13, 2015

Injured At a Gas Station? Know Your Rights

Gas stations are like pit stops for the public. With most offering a huge array of food, drinks, snacks, and other convenient products, it’s no wonder they’re a hit. Since consumers have the ability to swipe their cards for gasoline purchases, there’s no need to go inside the store itself, but we always want more. Should you decide to go in and grab a quick drink, you’re putting yourself in harm’s way more than you know. Just crossing the parking lot from the gas pump to the building is dangerous. A reckless driver that fails to spot a pedestrian in a gas station parking lot can cause serious injuries to both parties.

Once you’re inside, however, the setting changes. Sure, you’re indoors now, but the danger is still real. The kid that just walked away from the soda machine didn’t pick up after himself; ice cubes are scattered upon the ground. In just a couple minutes, those ice cubes will be a barely visible puddle of water—the one which could lead to a slip-and-fall accident for an unsuspecting customer. These slip-and-falls can lead to serious back and neck injuries, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, and other debilitating conditions. Who is there to be held responsible for your injuries? How will you recover?

No matter where you look, there’s someone doing something in a negligent manner. Sadly, there’s no way to absolutely guarantee your safety; instead, you should make yourself aware of the steps you can take to recover should you get injured due to someone else’s lack of care.

Do I have a legitimate claim?

There are a handful of key pieces of information that are required to make a personal injury claim. Determining things like who was involved, where the accident occurred, if the losses could have been prevented, and if the case is a civil or criminal matter are just a few of examples of what makes each personal injury case truly unique. The main area of law regarding personal injury in a gas station or any other specific place is known as premises liability. Basically, these laws aim to hold property owners accountable for injuries that take place on their property. Without these laws, those who were truly injured on a property other than their own may have a hard time recovering.

The laws are far from straightforward though. They go as far as actually categorizing attendees into certain groups based on their relationship with the property and its owner(s) or caretakers, their intent and/or reason for being there, and more. Personal injury cases are handled differently depending on which category the injured attendee in placed in. For the different types of property attendees, and to determine which kind of attendee you are/were during your personal injury, read our premises liability guide.

Once you’ve determined what kind of attendee you are, it’s time to look into the different acts of negligence that were expressed in your situation. For example, a negligent employee may have spotted but failed to clean up the puddle of water resulting from the dropped ice cubes. If the employee was too busy cleaning up the mess because there was a long line of impatient customers, the store manager(s) could be considered negligent for a lack of staff. It’s a long line of blame to get to the real culprit of a case like this. Because there are so many variables in a personal injury case that can affect the outcome or your amount of financial compensation, it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible.

Why do I need an attorney?

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re most likely injured and actively seeking financial compensation for your losses. However, in the event that you aren’t sure what steps to take yet and you’re simply trying to educate yourself, consider this: take the same ice cube melting scenario again; the whole situation consisted of poorly timed circumstances with mostly innocent parties. It’s very unlikely that the child purposely dropped the ice cubes. Even though the employee is trained to halt everything and rush to put up a “wet floor” sign, he may have been truly overrun, both physically and mentally.

A true accident like this sometimes ends up best as a settlement between the injured(s) and the liable party(s). In other words, an agreement between you and the liable party that aims to please both sides in the end. However, it’s common for insurance companies to offer the lowest possible settlement to keep a plaintiff quiet. Don’t settle for this unfair behavior. The injuries which are visible after your accident aren’t always the ones that end up costing a fortune in medical bills. Occasionally, especially with the brain and other delicate internal organs, injuries will become worse over time, unexpectedly developing into something more serious and possibly life-threatening. If you settle too soon, injuries may appear later on which will leave you—once again—financially unstable.

Some cases have just got to go to court. If a settlement is not an option, you’ll want an aggressive attorney to litigate on your behalf in a court of law. By having an attorney, you can be sure that every method of recovery will be exhausted and it will be a vigorous battle to secure the compensation that you deserve. Insurance companies don’t give up without a fight; State Farm has proved that.


It’s possible that you or a loved one has recently been injured on someone else’s property and you need help now. It can be hard to find the right party to hold liable; the insurance company isn’t going to help you, they want to save money. The property owner will want to avoid a court case, but they’ll also want to minimize their losses. If you feel like you’re running out of people to ask for help, look no further. The experienced premises liability and personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group are here to help you make a claim and secure the most financial compensation for your physical, mental, and/or financial losses.

We offer a free consultation and case evaluation, meaning you can speak to a knowledgeable attorney about your case and learn what you need to know for no charge at all. For more information, visit our website or give us a call at 727-451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900