Personal Injury Law (Accidents/Slip & Fall)/slip and a broke toe

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QUESTION: About a year ago after leaving with family I stopped at a gas station by my house. As I got out the car and closed my door I took a step and slipped in a what looked like antifreeze and oil. I managed to catch myself by grabbing a hold to my car but in the process I stumped my big toe on the right foot. It hurt but I was able to still walk in the gas station and pay and pump my gas. Over the next couple minutes the pain got worse. I made it home 2 blocks away but couldn't walk. The next day I went to the hospital because I realized it was more than a sprain my toe was purple. The doctor said I broke my toe I went to a person who worked in the store and got their insurance information but haven't heard anything since. Can I sue the gas station and is it too late I heard I had 2 years to file and it's been a year already.

ANSWER: The time limit to file a lawsuit for a personal injury varies from State to State. In CA it is 2 years.  The find out the limit in your State google as follows:   "[name of your State] Statute of Limitations personal injury".  However, even if you have time remaining, I don't think you have any chance of winning, presuming you file your case in the local Small Claims Ct.  Of course you realize no lawyer would be interested in the case as the damages are not high enough.  If you sue in Small Claims, you have the burden of proving that the gas station was negligent, I guess in not sweeping and mopping the fueling area often enough, and that is why you were injured.  But what evidence do you have?  None. No  pictures, no employee who went out and inspected and blurted out "oh gee, we meant to clean that up 4 hours ago" or something like that.  Except for your own story there is no evidence that you didn't fall simply because you failed to tie your shoes, were intoxicated, whatever.  YOU THE  PLAINTIFF must have evidence, not just your say so, that the station did something wrong such as failing to clean up a gas spill that they KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT.  What evidence do you have that they KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN about whatever you slipped in?  None, right?  So, sorry, but no case possible here.

P.S.  So you got the station's insurance information.  Did you do anything with that information? Did you right away contact the insurance company to tell them what happened?  If you did not, it would be ridiculous to now say "hey, I hurt myself at that station almost one year ago".  Obviously, they would pay no attention to anything like that and if you did nothing further for one year, they know you have no evidence that the station is responsible and have no reason again to pay attention to you.  Hope your toe is fine now.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I told them about it they have it  on camera they admitted fault I have pictures. And I don't smoke drink or do drugs. So do I still not have a case?

Answer
Please understand that I am a personal injury lawyer that has represented injured clients for about 35 years so I have no bias against you.  However, I seriously doubt that they admitted fault for your accident.  Yes, they have a video and probably cannot deny that you did slip and fall and break your toe but that is a far ways, legally, from making them responsible for it. This was a gas filling station.  They have a duty to inspect the area for spills and other hazards and to take steps to clean up such problems but, they do not have a legal duty to constantly inspect nor does the law require them to guarantee that the area will always be perfectly dry and safe. That would be impossible.  Consider, what if the oil or fuel was spilled by a customer 5 minutes earlier.  The management would not have known and in fact could not have known about the hazard and therefore would not have legal liability.  As I said, you have the BURDER OF PROOF.  You need to prove what you slipped in something that was spilled (oil or gas) and not from some other cause and, that THE STORE MANAGEMENT KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THE PROBLEM AND THAT THEY DID NOT REMOVE THE PROBLEM IN A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME, THUS CREATING AN UNREASONABLE RISK OF HARM TO CUSTOMERS, SUCH AS YOURSELF.

I just don't think you have the evidence to win but go ahead a file a small claims court case and tell the judge what happened.  Be aware of the Statute of Limitations.

Personal Injury Law (Accidents/Slip & Fall)

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Glenn A. Dorfman

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Thirty-two years experience in personal injury, medical malpractice, medical product liability law and class actions. Qualified to answer all questions regarding injuries and the law, except for worker`s compensation. Actively involved and fully experienced in litigation regarding recalled hip implants as well as the Mirena IUD.

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Hundreds of satisfied clients in previous litigation

Organizations
California State Bar Association in good standing since 1976. Federal District Court

Education/Credentials
Jurisx Doctor degree 1976

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