Petrol Station Accident: Injured Whilst Blowing Car Tyres Up At A Supermarket
UK solicitor explains how to make a petrol station accident claim using the example of injury caused by a defective airline at a supermarket petrol station forecourt. See how to prove fault, the types of compensation you can claim and the records you should keep that will help prove your claim, injuries you have suffered and financial loss and expense incurred.
Petrol station accident victim question
My husband and I were at a supermarket petrol station. We had just filled the car up and decided to blow up our tyres using the forecourt airline.
My husband put the money in and started to use the air hose, but it was so powerful that it whipped up taking his legs away causing him to fall heavily onto the ground.
His wrist and hand immediately started to swell up, so we went straight into the petrol station shop to report the matter. A young man was serving and apologized saying that there was a problem with the air-line and a notice was meant to have been put up warning customers not to use it.
He made a note in the accident book and I drove him straight to hospital. He was diagnosed with a fractured wrist and broken bone in his hand as a result of the petrol station accident.
How would we go about making a claim for his injuries?
Supermarket Accident Solicitor Response
It seems very clear that there was a defect with the air-line machine in the supermarket petrol station and that was accepted by the member of staff in the supermarket shop.
Still it will be important that the accident circumstances can be proven and therefore a sensible approach would be for a solicitor acting on your husband’s behalf to secure the CCTV footage that most petrol stations have of the accident events, so if there is any dispute the accident events can be proven.
In addition – the petrol station should have records to show that there was a defect and the steps taken. These records can be accessed by your solicitor as part of the claim.
The accident book entry that you had the supermarket employee make is an important record of the accident events.
The fact that you attended hospital with your husband immediately will show that the injuries were as a direct result of the accident.
How to make a petrol station accident claim for compensation
The petrol station accident claim would be made against the supermarket for primarily two types of compensation. Compensation for pain and suffering (general damages) for the injuries your husband sustained and costs and expenses (special damages) for financial loss as a direct result of his injuries.
A solicitor will contact the supermarket and their insurers to see if they will accept liability. If fault is not accepted your solicitor will need to prove that the air-line was defective and the accident happened as your husband alleges. Some of the evidence necessary to prove this has been set out earlier.
In addition – your solicitor will instruct an independent medical expert to produce a medico-legal report setting out all of your husband’s injuries. The medical expert will examine your husband and have access to his hospital & GP notes, x-rays, etc.
The report will describe the extent of the injuries and importantly provide a prognosis setting out how long the expert expects your husband to make a full recovery and if not a full recovery what form of residual disability might remain.
It is important to note that you have described a fractured wrist and hand. They may however be further symptoms that develop, so it is important to keep a diary of symptoms setting out primary and secondary symptoms (both physical and psychological).
This medical report will form the basis of calculation the compensation for pain and suffering.
Your husband should keep a note of all his financial loss and expense together with receipts. Examples include – lost income, medical expenses, travel expenses to the hospital/GP, car and assistance in the home.
See our article financial loss and expense in a personal injury claim to see a fuller description of these losses.
All this evidence is then put to the supermarket’s insurer to see if a compensation sum can be agreed.
If either liability is denied or liability is accepted, but the correct sum will not be paid by the supermarket then your solicitor will issue the petrol station accident claim at court to have the courts decide the issue of fault and how much compensation should be awarded.
See our article setting out the compensation claims process from start to finish, including the steps taken after issue at court up to and including a trial.
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