Did you recently slip and fall while shopping in a Walmart store? If so, you have the right to seek compensation from the Walmart store and company. The law requires that store managers and employees use appropriate care when allowing guests—that is, customers—to visit their property. That care includes maintaining a safe environment and warning customers of potential dangers. Failure to do so can lead to serious accidents.
If you fell because you weren’t aware of a slip hazard or weren’t sure where the slip hazard was, your fall is not your fault. The Walmart employees should have done their due diligence to protect you from slipping and falling and provide a safe, enjoyable shopping experience. If they failed to do so, you should seek legal representation from a slip and fall lawyer to help you recover compensation after a slip and fall at Walmart.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls hospitalize over 800,000 people yearly.
Falls often cause painful injuries such as:
- Head injuries or traumatic brain injuries.
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises.
- Broken bones, especially in the hips, ankles, and wrists.
Falls are not only dangerous for your bodily health, but they can also lead to severe financial straits. The average hospitalization for a single fall costs over $34,000. In addition, many falls lead to long-term illnesses and injuries that can result in years of accumulated expenses for therapy, medical equipment, and more. You may also be unable to return to work after a fall, leading to further financial losses.
As you may imagine, many such slip and fall accidents occur in Walmart. Around the world, Walmart has over 10,500 stores. Over 270 million people shop at Walmart every week. With that high traffic volume, there’s no question that Walmart is a site for plenty of accidents, whether intentional or not. Slip and fall accidents are common in grocery stores because many items in such stores might spill and cause a slip hazard.
In addition, you may not fall solely because of a slip on a wet surface.
While that is a common reason for falls, you may also fall because you:
- Trip over a cord left on the floor.
- Trip on some loose flooring.
- Run into something left in a hazardous position.
- Slip on ice in the parking lot.
- Trip because of faulty lighting that makes it difficult to see hazards.
If you’ve been injured by slipping and falling in Walmart, you’re certainly not alone! Thousands of others have suffered the same accident from wet floors or other hazardous conditions. Walmart will not likely want to pay you compensation for your injuries, but you have the right to pursue compensation. You’ll just need a slip and fall lawyer to help you fight Walmart for the settlement amount you truly deserve.
How Lawyers Can Help After Slip And Fall Accidents
If you think it feels trivial to call a lawyer for help after a fall accident, you’re not alone. Many slip and fall accident victims think it will be impossible to prove their fall was not their fault or feel embarrassed to talk about what happened. These feelings could lead to victims refusing to speak with a lawyer and losing out on years of their lives that could have been much more enjoyable if a lawyer had helped them win the compensation they deserved.
While you may not realize it at first, there are many ways a slip and fall lawyer can help you, especially after a slip and fall at Walmart. As a big company, Walmart has many resources to fight against slip and fall claims. Without legal help, you may struggle to get the compensation you deserve from a company that doesn’t want to pay.
Lawyers Understand Slip And Fall Laws And Statutes
The law allows anyone injured by another party to bring a claim against them to recover compensation within two years. If a slip and fall accident injured you, you must file a claim against Walmart within two years, or you cannot recover compensation from the company. Because this time limit is so strict, you must speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to start with your claim.
The law requires Walmart to act as any reasonable person would in similar circumstances to protect their customers.
In slip and fall cases, reasonable people would probably expect Walmart employees to put out wet floor signs, mop up spills or other wet spots, and otherwise do their best to protect customers in Walmart from slipping and falling. After all, Walmart invited you and other customers onto their property and should, therefore, do everything in their power to keep you safe.
In slip and fall situations, technically, three types of people visit Walmart.
The law requires different treatment for each, depending on their purpose on the property:
- Invitees. If you shopped at Walmart, this category applies. Walmart invited you to shop there.
- Licensees. Licensees include anyone on a property for their own purposes. For example, maybe Walmart hired a contractor to some work on their building. A self-employed person licensed to work at Walmart is a licensee.
- Trespassers. Trespassers illegally enter a property.
The law does not burden Walmart employees to show care for a trespasser (other than preventing wanton and intentional injuries), but it requires them to care for invitees and licensees.
You need an experienced lawyer to figure out if Walmart employees provided you with appropriate care while you were on their property. A slip and fall lawyer can determine if Walmart employees’ negligence caused your injuries.
Lawyers Can Help You Prove Fault
In most situations, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff in slip and fall claims. Essentially, this means that you are required to prove through whatever evidence you have that Walmart workers caused your accident and injuries and deserve to pay you compensation.
Your claim must meet three criteria for a successful for a slip and fall claim:
- The Walmart owed you a duty of care—this is as simple as showing that you were an invitee on their property and deserved reasonable care.
- The Walmart employees breached their duty of care by allowing a slip and fall hazard, which they didn’t properly warn you of.
- The breach of duty by these employees caused your slip and fall accident.
- The accident you endured led to injury and other serious consequences for you.
To prove that you are the victim in this situation, you’ll need a lawyer who knows how to collect:
- Medical bills and records.
- Photographs or camera footage from the accident scene.
- Witness statements from anyone who saw your fall.
- Any type of injury report that was filed by Walmart when you fell.
- Documentation of time you took off of work to recover after your fall.
- Receipts for any other expenses accrued because of the accident and subsequent injuries.
Lawyers can help you collect this evidence. You’d likely need time to recover if you were injured in a fall. You won’t want to have to deal with all the extra stress of seeking records and documents from your health care providers, Walmart, and your own employer. Lawyers can do that for you so you can focus on spending time with your loved ones and healing your body as quickly as possible.
Lawyers Can Fight Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are technically those responsible for making payments for slip and fall claims. Walmart stores have insurance to cover situations in which someone is injured in their stores. However, insurance companies don’t like to make big settlement payments.
Insurance companies mainly make money if they can take in more from their customers’ payments than they have to pay out in settlements. When they get stuck with huge settlements, they risk losing money—or at least not making as much as they would like.
Because of this method of making money, most insurance companies try to pay as little as possible in settlements. When they first make you a settlement offer to pay for your losses, it’s likely to be a lowball offer. Because insurance companies are experienced in these claim situations, and you aren’t, they’re likely to try and take advantage of you by pushing you to settle for less than you deserve.
Lawyers, however, are experienced in dealing with insurance companies. A good slip and fall lawyer can calculate how much of a settlement you deserve based on the extent of your injuries and other damages. Using that amount, your lawyer can help you fight back against lowball offers from insurance companies and negotiate to get a higher settlement in line with what you deserve.
What You Should Do After a Slip and Fall Accident at Walmart
Were you visiting Walmart when you fell? Knowing what to do in such a situation can be challenging. You may be embarrassed to talk about it or feel it’s not worth bringing up. But if someone else caused you to suffer an accident and injury, you don’t need to be afraid!
Here are the steps to take after a slip and fall in Walmart:
- Seek medical attention. Even if you think it’s just a twisted ankle, you still need to seek medical care to ensure that nothing more serious is hiding below the surface. You will likely be able to receive compensation for any medical treatment you need.
- Call a slip and fall lawyer. You want to get started on your claim immediately, and you’ll need legal help to ensure you don’t miss collecting any important evidence.
- Collect evidence. Your lawyer will guide you here, but collecting as much evidence as possible is important. Keep track of medical records, medical bills, receipts for any property repair (i.e., a damaged phone), documentation of lost work, etc.
- Focus on healing. One of the biggest reasons you may want a lawyer after your accident is to give you proper time to heal. Hire a compassionate and wise legal advocate who can handle stressful negotiations while you focus on your recovery.
After slipping and falling at Walmart, don’t be afraid to seek legal help. You need a lawyer to ensure you get the most out of the healing process as well as out of any settlement that you receive. Don’t let Walmart and its stingy insurance company take advantage of you.
For more information about calculating a fair slip and fall accident settlement and fighting Walmart for the justice you deserve, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer today.