If you own a vehicle, you probably go to a gas station at least once a week. You may also take advantage of their mini mart to pick up a few items or use their restroom. While you may do this without mishap many times, you could suffer serious injuries if the gas station owner fails to correct hazardous conditions and you slip and fall.
What Are the Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents at Gas Stations?
Dangerous conditions can exist both outside and inside a gas station when the owners breach their duty to keep customers safe from problems that they knew or should have known existed or to post warning signs of hazards. Common causes of slip and falls include:
- Spilled food and drink. Many customers purchase food and drinks to eat on the run at the convenience store. Spilled food and drinks that are not promptly cleaned up can cause the floor to become dangerously slippery.
- Bathroom hazards. Employees at gas stations must regularly inspect bathrooms for toilet paper, debris, and water on the floor. When they avoid this unpleasant duty—which is common—unsuspecting guests can suffer a back, neck, spinal, or head injury if they fall on the hard bathroom floor.
- Potholes and cracked asphalt. Due to weather conditions and high traffic, gas station parking lots can develop cracks in the asphalt and potholes. When owners fail to repair them, they can become a slip and fall hazard.
- Oil and gas. If customers spill gas and oil near the pumps, this can create slick conditions in the parking lot if not promptly cleaned up.
- Inadequate lighting. Gas station owners can make it impossible for customers to see potholes, ice, or spills when they have insufficient lights or fail to repair or replace lighting fixtures when they are not working properly.
- Ice and snow. Like other businesses, the staff at gas stations have a duty to keep the parking lot and the entrance to the convenience store free of snow and ice. When this is not done, the gas station could be responsible for compensating the victim who falls on the ice.
Steps You Should Take If You Slip and Fall at a Gas Station
You should take immediate steps after a slip and fall accident at a gas station to protect your health and your possible claim against the negligent business owner. Some important first actions include:
- Seek prompt medical care for your injuries.
- Contact the manager of the gas station and file an accident report.
- Take pictures of the hazardous condition that caused your fall before it can be cleaned up or removed.
- Obtain contact information for any witnesses to your accident.
- Look for surveillance cameras at the gas station that may have recorded your fall.
- Retain an experienced premises liability lawyer as soon as possible.
Proving a gas station owner’s liability for your injuries may be more complicated than you think. We are here to collect the evidence you need and to negotiate your settlement with the owner’s insurance company so that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Call our Norfolk office today to schedule your free consultation.