Gas stations are places where accidents can easily occur. Accidents might involve tripping, slipping and sliding, or being attacked in a poorly lighted area. They also could involve theft if you are paying by credit card or using an ATM. Fire is another serious cause for service station accidents.
Gas station owners are obliged to keep their property safe for customers. If an accident occurs through their fault or negligence, they are liable for damages to you or your car. If you or someone you love is injured or otherwise harmed in a gas station accident, you should contact the Miami premise liability lawyers of Baron & Herskowitz to find out if you are eligible to file a claim. We will evaluate your circumstances and let you know how we can help you.
Types of Accidents
The following are just some examples of accidents that can occur at gas stations:
- Tripping on gasoline hoses or tools left strewn about are possible causes of injury at gas stations.
- Slipping and Falling on unmarked or improperly cleaned wet surfaces. It is easy to fall because of an oil slick or pool of gasoline that has not been cleaned up. Gas station owners should quickly clean up such spills to protect customers from slipping and falling. These falls can easily result in broken bones or torn ligaments.
- Being Attacked in low light. Poorly lighted areas at night are an invitation to a thief or mugger to harm gas station customers. The entire service area should be flooded with light after darkness falls.
- Fire damage to car or customer. If a car is damaged by a fire that starts for example, because of a defect in the pump or underground tank system or a pile of outside trash that combusts, the owner is liable for any damage to the car or harm to a customer.
Gas Station Fires
The U.S. Census Bureau reported there were a total of 117,000 gasoline stations in the U.S. in 2007. Between 2004 and 2008, the National Fire Protection Association reported that the occurrence of fire in and around gas stations annually averaged 5,020. These fires caused two people to die, 48 to be injured, and $20 million in property damage.
Twelve percent of the fires were structure fires. The initial ignition of the fires was due to flammable and combustible liquids and gases, piping or filters (these equaled 22 percent of structure fires), rubbish 18 percent and electrical wire or cable insulation, 13 percent.
The majority of vehicle fires (82 percent) occurred in passenger vehicles. These fires led to almost half of the civilian injuries occurring in gas stations wherever the fire occurred. Gasoline was the most common type of material that ignited a vehicle fire (28 percent). Fires that occurred outside and other fires accounted for 15 percent of incidents at service stations. Forty-two percent of these incidents were due to natural vegetation. The most common heat source for outside fires was smoking materials.
Injured in a Gas Station Accident?
If you were injured in a gas station accident or of you suffered damage to your vehicle or property in a gas station fire or other type of accident, you should consider speaking with a premise liability lawyer to find out if you qualify to file a claim. To learn more, contact the Miami premise liability lawyers of Baron & Herskowitz today.