This episode addresses lawsuits and claims against Wawa and why you should not do it yourself as an accident lawyer.
Good morning, and welcome to Ask Andy. This is a daily podcast about personal injury practice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’m Andrew Neuwirth. I wanted to talk to you today about slip and falls at Wawa or car accidents in Wawa parking lots. Today is all day Wawa. So if you’re not from Philadelphia and you’re listening to this podcast, Wawa is our beloved kind of convenience store. They feed us coffee. They give us gas. And unlike pretty much everywhere else, I’ve lived in my life, everybody loves Wawa. So they’re like a good, you know, part of our community. They are just kind of like a good member of society, like they’re always like the most popular, well-regarded convenience store on the planet. They do a great job for their employees. Their employees are seem fairly happy to us as consumers, so on and so forth. All right. So, but the flip side of that is that they’re running a commercial business. People fall on their property all the time. They have narrow, busy, crazy parking lots around me at least, and stuff happens and people get injured. And I know people who have been badly injured in falls who’ve broken their hips. I know people who have been hit by cars in Wawa, parking lots. And, you know, so look, they’re responsible for their own negligence, just like any other commercial property owner is. And do I mind suing Wawa? No, I don’t. Do I think jurors give Wawa the benefit of the doubt? I have no idea.
I think we all sort of have a place we call our Wawa. But frankly, like, hey, look, this is my profession, this is my job, and I don’t mind pursuing someone who’s responsible. So far, I’ve sued. I think everyone on the planet, from yoga studios to churches to this, that the other thing just as an aside, I think like the one place we don’t like to sue is CHOP, the Children’s Hospital, because everyone has a very positive image of CHOP and medical malpractice cases are tough enough without suing CHOP. So back to Wawa. What can you sue Wawa for and what happens at Wawa that’s a problem. Well, first of all, you’re going to get a fair number of drink spills, et cetera, that cause falls. Can you sue for a spilled drink outside of Wawa? Yeah, yeah, maybe. But they’re not great cases because you know you’ve got to prove notice. You’ve got to prove Wawa was aware of the spill and even the best grocery spill cases are usually indoors. You know, in the Wawa stores are fairly narrow small stores, so they’re going to know it’s not like a huge supermarket where there have been bananas or, you know, broken bottles on the ground and someone slips and the grocery store just, you know, should have seen it or should have known it. The Wawa stores are pretty small and usually, you know, stuff that’s cleaned up fairly quickly as my experience.
The more serious Wawa cases are really the parking lot cases and, you know, people who fall on problems generated by the parking plan. So sometimes people fall on painted lines that are too slippery if you don’t paint your lines properly in a parking lot with proper paint. People can slip as soon as it rains, and you can guess it rains fairly often here in Pennsylvania. So that’s not a good situation. You know, a lot of times they’re just tight little areas, people backing up. It’s a high traffic area. And if the driver doesn’t have a good line of sight, you know and doesn’t pay attention, the driver is going to hit someone or, you know, who’s a pedestrian. And those are the most serious Wawa cases I’ve seen really is people getting hit as pedestrians in the Walmart parking lot now as Wawa primarily responsible there. No. But do they hold some responsibility for the design of the parking lot? Yeah. Was there a problem? You know, some of these Wawa parking lots are pretty old, like the Wawa I go to primarily is it’s a very dicey operation to get in, park your car, get your coffee, and leave within, you know, seven minutes or whatever it takes, just because it’s a tight little parking lot on the side of a hill. And you know, no one’s going to be surprised.
Looking at that thing, if people are injured in the parking lot, it’s pedestrians. So, you know, is that the pedestrians fault? Maybe. But did Wawa know they have a crappy, you know, congested, dangerous parking lot? Yeah, absolutely. Do they do anything to fix that? Probably not. Just because that’s the property they’ve got. So, you know, there’s a gas station across the street Wawa could be there with a larger parking lot, but they choose to keep their small little space there. So, you know, do you hold Wah-Wah responsible for someone getting hit in that lot? Yeah, you do. But is the driver responsible also? Yes. Is the pedestrian responsible? Also, yes. So maybe you got a third, a third, a third, you know, responsibility one third on the pedestrian, one third on the car, one third on Wawa. You know, most likely, that case is going to get settled. My experience with Wawa so far is that, you know, they do want to work things out. They do try and resolve cases, you know, within reason. And I’ve seen, you know, okay offers from them in the past. So, you know, there’s a chance for resolution if you want to resolve, if you want full value for the case, as I’ve probably told you in an indirect manner over and over again, you know, full value means you’re going to file suit and you’re going to go to court.
So just to take a moment, this is podcast is sponsored by my law firm Neuwirth Law Office. We are a personal injury firm in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, which is just in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. We handle work all over the counties surrounding Philadelphia, and it’s also important to note that this is not legal advice. This is mostly my opinions on my practice and what impacts me and my clients. But don’t take my legal ramblings on podcast as advice and most of the time, as you probably know if you’ve listened before this is not a DIY situation. do it yourself situation the practice of law. So, you will make more errors and mistakes trying to do this on your own and save yourself the legal fee, then you could possibly imagine. So look, some of us like me, you’ve been doing this for 20, 25 years. We make money doing this. We feed our families doing this. And for the most part, my view is that most lawyers are, are, you know, good at what they do or they wouldn’t still be in business, especially the solos who, you know, support themselves entirely on their own wits and skills. So, you know, for the most part, go find a lawyer. You know, I was talking to a guy yesterday who was, you know, had a serious case, has a good case. And, you know, he was thinking about doing it by himself.
And you know, the first thing I say to people who are trying to do things by themselves is, you know, you get what you pay for. If you’re going to do it yourself, you’re not going to get success, you’re not going to know what your case value is. You’re not going to know how to pursue it. The second thing is like, how are you going to finance the case? How are you going to pay for experts? You know, most cases I spend at least $10,000 on pursuing the case to, you know, to get the case in a position to settle it and, you know, before trial or near trial. If I’m going to trial, it’s going to be, you know, $20,000. Are you going to have the confidence in your abilities, DIY to, you know, want to spend ten or twenty thousand dollars of your own money on that? No. You know, what do I diy? I diy my raised vegetable garden. And even then I had to kind of watch a bunch of videos on YouTube on how to do that. I used to cut my grass, but I didn’t do a very good job at it. Certainly, I wouldn’t spend $20000 on something if I didn’t know I was, you know, a master craftsman or something. So that’s kind of how I look at it. We’ll see what my friend from the other day wants to do, whether he wants to DIY or go with me.
You know, it was one of those situations where I came highly recommended to him by people I didn’t know, but he really wanted to do it himself, and he didn’t want to wait, you know, two years and he got an offer of, you know, something around $10000 or less on a case that was worth $100000 or so. So we’ll see. But you know, back to the important place where we started today, which was suing Wawa. Their a commercial property. They are responsible just like everybody else is for, you know, having people not get injured on their property and commercial properties, whether it’s in Bucks County or Chester County or anywhere else in the country are pretty much bound by a responsibility to look at their property to investigate what is potentially dangerous and fix it. Unlike your residential homeowner, you know, if you’ve got a dangerous thing in your home, in your home and you’re not aware of it, it’s not your job to figure it out. But if you’ve got a spill on your property or a pothole in your parking lot or your sightlines are crappy in your parking lot, as a commercial property owner, you have an obligation to figure that out and fix it. And if you don’t, I’ll be there waiting. So that’s enough for today. This has been Ask Andy on Wawa. Take care. Have a great day. I hold people accountable.