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Injured at gas station.

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eveelynn

Guest
What is the name of your state? I live in Wisconsin.

While fueling my car at a local gas station, another customer tried to drive away with the gas nozzle still afixed to his tank. The rubber hose stretched out like a rubber band and the metal nozzle whipped out of his tank and hit me on the head. I was bleeding and dazed. I had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance and received treatment for my injuries.

Before I got into the ambulance, the manager of the gas station had me sign what he called an "incident report". I was dazed and fighting to stay concious, and I signed the report. Now, I can't get a copy of what I signed. I requested a copy from the gas station manager, and he told me it's now at ExxonMobil. He said he'd let them know I want a copy, but it's been three weeks from the incident and I haven't received the report. The manager also made me pay for my gas before I got into the ambulance. I thought that was kind of callous, considering I was bleeding and holding a towel to my head and barely awake.

I contacted the man who was responsible for my injuries and told him I expect him to pay my medical costs. He replied that I'm supposed to give his insurance company, Unitrin, some personal info and talk to them because he feels the gas station is partially at fault, and my injuries are not totally his responsibility. I didn't respond to his letter, but yesterday I received a letter from his insurance company demanding I contact them to talk about the accident. I'm afraid to contact them, and that they will try to get out of any liability. I don't know why else they would be so adamant that I contact them.

Any advice?

Thanks.
 


I AM ALWAYS LIABLE

Senior Member
Mystery At The Gas Station - - Who Pumped Ethel?

My response:

Yes. Start interviewing a couple of Personal Injury attorneys.

This isn't "rocket science."

IAAL
 
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JETX

Senior Member
From your post, it appears obvious that the 'other' driver is at fault due to his negligence in not removing the hose before driving off.

Why would you think the gas station has any liability??
Why are you afraid to talk to the insurance for the liable party?? Is there something you haven't told??
Contact the insurance company and give them a statement of the facts. Then, see what they say.
 
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southernponyboy

Guest
The liability should fall on the other driver's auto insurance. If you refuse to even speak to them, they can deny your claim. In order to get your claim with them working, you must give them a statement about what happened. Also, they will probably want to record your statement. This is the norm.

In my opinion, I would not retain a lawyer until I see what the company is going to pay. If they give you the run-around, then I would definately see a lawyer.
 
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eveelynn

Guest
Thanks for advice.

First of all, thanks for the input.

No, I didn't say the gas station is at fault, the man who did this to me is saying that. I haven't left any facts out. I was just standing there minding my own business, filling up my tank with gas when I was hit on the head.

Why am I afraid to talk to HIS insurance company? Because I'm afraid they'll use strong-arm tactics to keep me from suing their client. I've been told by friends who talked to the "other guy's" insurance and then tried to sue, that they were sorry they did it, and it messed up their lawsuit.

Thanks for all the advice. I saw the doctor today for some lingering effects from the trauma to my head, some headaches and areas of numbness on my scalp, and the docs informed me I have nerve damage and the numbness and headaches may well last my lifetime.

I'm going to hire a lawyer.
 
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tylintylin

Guest
as others have stated: CONTACT A PERSONAL ATTORNEY, as soon as possible. You definitely do not need to provide a statement to anyone until after you have contacted and attorney. LET THEM HANDLE IT. Actually, the gas station does have some legal responsibility. They have premises liability insurance. It did happen on their property. Someone told you to contact the insurance company, do not. Again, your attorney can direct you. Good Luck.
 

JETX

Senior Member
Tylint: You said, "Actually, the gas station does have some legal responsibility. They have premises liability insurance. It did happen on their property."
Since when does the presence of insurance determine liability?? The fact that the station has insurance has absolutely NOTHING to do with your assumption that they have liability!!

Further, your advice to not contact the insurance company is irresponsible:
1) The insurance company will try to contact the claimant a few times by phone, then maybe by mail and if the claimant doesn't respond, then they assume that the claim has 'gone away' and close the file. Granted, they can re-open, but that will only happen when the claimant finally steps forward... and since the claimant has such small concern for resolving the issue, the insurance company will rightfully assume that the claim is minor in nature. This will definitely affect any eventual settlement.
2) Contrary to the writers assumption that an insurance company can 'strongarm' over the phone, I have yet to find a claimant who was FORCED to accept a settlement.
3) There is always the option to consult an attorney prior to any settlement.
4) And finally, your advice can cost the writer money. Lets say that the insurance company investigates and determines that their policyholder is at fault. Heck, they could over a settlement that would be acceptable or at least negotiate to one. Your advice to hire an attorney first will take anywhere from 20 to 35% (or so) of that settlement.

See what the insurance company says first. Tell them the truth (unless you have something to hide). Let them investigate and come up with a determination. And if you don't like what they offer (assuming that they will) THEN go talk with an attorney. You will automatically save money, since at the least you will have contact names, phone numbers and the insurance company will already be aware of the claim.
 
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southernponyboy

Guest
Hooray! Finally someone gives good advice on this board!
 
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tylintylin

Guest
okay Halket: So now we know that "attorneys" really do visit this website. Give yourself a round of applause!!! I "still" say that she should not contact the insurance company until she has contacted a personal injury attorney. Now what???
 

HomeGuru

Senior Member
Halket said:
Nanny, nanny... I win!! :)
**A: Congratulations Halket, you won the freeadvice.com BB top award for the month of July 2002.

We will send you your laser engraved plaque via email.

Thank you for your contributions and keep up the good work

signed,
HomeGuru
Awards and Atta Boy Division of the Pro Bono Department.
 

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