What to do if I fell in the parking lot at a gas station trying to stop a thief?

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What to do if I fell in the parking lot at a gas station trying to stop a thief?

There are odd circumstances involved though. I saw a couple young adults stealing from the store. I confronted them and presented them to management. One of the men then shoved the woman manager and made a break for the door. My instinct took over and I ran after the man. About 5 feet out of the door, I fell on the cement. I got bloody knees, chin and hands. I had knee pain the next day, so I filed a claim. A few weeks later, I developed back pain. I went to a doctor for both. I just received a letter from the gas station chain, claiming that they do not think they are at fault and provided me a $50 gift card for my “patronage”. Should I get a lawyer? I don’t even know if I need MRI’s yet.

Asked on December 14, 2012 under Personal Injury, Indiana

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to speak with a personal injury attorney. 

The gas station is liable for your injury based on premises liability since you fell on the premises.

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss. Your personal injury claim should include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursment.

If the case is NOT settled with the gas station's insurance carrier, you will need to file a lawsuit based on premises liability against the gas station prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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