A gas station is a place where gasoline and oils are sold to the public.  

Are Gas Stations Regulated?

Because gasoline is dangerous and highly flammable, many places regulate the sale of gasoline.  Some restrictions they may place on gas stations include:

  • Requiring a license to sell gasoline
  • Banning customers from self service
  • Limiting gas stations to certain locations

When is a Gas Station Liable for Damage to my Car?

A gas station must exercise care in dispensing gasoline.  If there is negligence or violation of a statute that leads to damage to your car, the gas station is liable.  For example, if the station installed their pumps poorly, leaving gasoline exposed, and a fire started, the station would be liable for damages to your car.

What About Personal Injury?

As a general rule, the owner or operator of a gas station is liable for injuries that were caused by the owner’s negligence to people on or about their property.  The owner has a duty to keep the gas station reasonably safe from harms that can be anticipated.  If the station owner creates a harm, or allows a harm to exist, he may be liable.  For example, the owner would be liable for not repairing a large crack in the pavement that causes someone to slip and fall.  Additionally, the owner must be negligent in some way.  For example, he knew about the danger, but did not fix it, or he never inspected his lot frequently enough to know of the danger.  

What Limits on Liability are There?

The negligence of the gas station must cause the injury and not some other unforeseen event.  Also, if the condition is so obvious that everyone should know to avoid it, then there is no liability.  Furthermore, you must not cause your own injury through negligence or assumption of a risk.

Should I Contact a Lawyer About my Problem with a Gas Station?

If you have been hurt or injured during a visit to a gas station and want to assess the viability of your claim, the advice of a personal injury lawyer can be extremely helpful.  An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you investigate your injury and recover damages.  Likewise, if your car has been damaged at a gas station, a lawyer can advise you of your rights and remedies.