After you’ve suffered a slip and fall accident at a Walmart store, you may decide to seek financial compensation from the company if you’ve sustained severe injuries that have left you with medical bills and lost income. Fortunately, a company as large as Walmart has substantial financial resources to compensate you for your injuries.
However, Walmart wants to maximize its profits, so it will do everything possible to avoid paying you the money you need to recover from your injuries. Slip and fall accident claims can quickly become complex, especially if Walmart disputes the cause of your fall or the severity of your injuries.
Walmart’s claims adjusters and lawyers have significant experience minimizing claims against the company. You need a slip and fall lawyer to help you go toe-to-toe with a big corporation like Walmart. A Miami slip and fall accident lawyer can help you better understand your legal options and the potential value of your injury claim.
When you have severe injuries that require extensive medical care and leave you with chronic debilitating pain, physical disabilities, or significant scarring or disfigurement, a slip and fall lawyer can take on Walmart to demand financial recovery and justice for you.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents at Walmart
Many Walmart stores sell various products, including clothing, household goods, appliances, and groceries.
Given the numerous products available at Walmart, a slip and fall accident may have many potential causes, such as:
- Recently mopped or waxed floors
- Tracked-in rainwater, mud, or plant debris
- Leaking water pipes or refrigerated/frozen displays
- Spilled foods or liquids
- Loose, torn, or bulging carpeting
- Uneven flooring
- Abrupt transitions between flooring surfaces, such as stepping from the carpet onto the tile flooring
- Loose cords or wires laid across the floor
- Garbage or debris on the floor
- Shelving or products blocking walkways
- Broken pavement or potholes in parking lots or sidewalks
- Lack of moisture-absorbing mats
Many slip and fall accidents at Walmart stores occur due to inadequate maintenance. Employees may not conduct regular maintenance checks, especially in areas away from the main sales floor, such as changing rooms or bathrooms. Staff may forget to clean up slipping hazards promptly or put down hazard signs to warn customers. Finally, inadequate maintenance of water pipes, self-serve drink machines, or refrigerated/frozen display cases may leak and cause customers to slip and fall.
Injuries You Might Suffer in a Slip and Fall at Walmart
A slip and fall accident at Walmart can cause injuries more severe than cuts and bruises.
Injuries from a slip and fall accident at Walmart can include:
- Severe lacerations, abrasions, and bleeding
- Dislocated joints
- Ligament sprains or tears
- Muscle/tendon strains or tears
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Herniated spinal discs
- Internal injuries and bleeding
- Head and facial injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
A slip and fall accident can cause severe injuries if an accident victim falls from a height or strikes their body or head on an object as they’re falling or on the ground.
If you have sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident at Walmart, you should make sure to get prompt medical attention. Putting off treatment or rehabilitation of your injuries may jeopardize your case against Walmart. Without documentation of your injuries from soon after the slip and fall accident, Walmart may argue that your injuries arose from a pre-existing or degenerative condition or another accident.
Moreover, deferring treatment can give Walmart grounds to minimize your financial recovery. The company may argue that because you didn’t get treatment right away, you allowed your injuries to worsen. Walmart may claim that you might have needed less expensive medical care if you had sought prompt treatment, and thus you should not recover the total amount of your medical expenses since you incurred some of those expenses due to your delay.
What Steps Should You Take After a Slip and Fall at Walmart?
After suffering a slip and fall accident at a Walmart store, you should act quickly to protect your right to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Steps you should take after a slip and fall accident at Walmart include:
- Report the accident to a store manager. Ask the manager to preserve any surveillance footage of the accident and the area around where you fell.
- See a doctor or go to the hospital if you still need to. Have the doctor check for any injuries you suffered in the fall. Take photographs of any visible injuries.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment instructions. Do not put off any recommended treatment or procedures.
- Preserve or take photos of your footwear and clothing in the accident.
- Keep copies of bills, invoices, and receipts of medical costs or other expenses from your injuries.
- Gather copies of your pay stubs or income records if you need to take time off work while recovering from your injuries or if your medical restrictions require you to go on part-time or light duty that pays you less.
- Keep a diary or journal to document the physical pain, emotional distress, and limitations on activities you experience during your recovery.
- Avoid discussing the accident or your injuries on social media or posting photos/videos of yourself while treating your injuries. Walmart’s claims adjusters may monitor your profiles for posts that contradict your official claims.
- Contact a slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to get the legal advice and advocacy you need to take on a giant corporation like Walmart.
In addition, gather evidence to help support your claim, such as:
- Photos or videos of the accident scene, ideally taken right after your fall and before Walmart cleans it up
- Statements from other customers who saw the fall or observed whatever caused you to slip
- Medical records that document your diagnosed injuries from the accident and the medical treatment you’ve undergone
- News articles or prior lawsuits involving the same hazard at a Walmart store that caused you to slip and fall
Taking on Walmart After a Slip and Fall
After a slip and fall accident at a Walmart, the store manager will submit an accident or incident report that will eventually get forwarded to Walmart’s claim management company.
However, dealing with Walmart’s claim management company will feel like dealing directly with Walmart. Claims adjusters will fight hard to deny or minimize the value of your slip and fall claim.
Walmart’s claims adjusters have many tactics to minimize payouts for slip and fall accidents, such as:
- Delaying the investigation into the accident
- Failing to respond promptly to your letters, emails, and phone calls
- Constantly following up with requests for more documents or information
- Alleging that you have made up or exaggerated your injuries
- Demanding that you undergo multiple medical examinations
- Claiming that no surveillance footage exists
- Blaming you for the accident with little or no supporting evidence
- Asking you to sign a medical release so adjusters can comb through your medical history for any evidence of a prior injury or degenerative condition
- Asking you to provide a recorded or written statement so the adjuster can ask you questions designed to elicit responses the adjuster can construe as evidence against your claim
- Withholding documents such as accident/incident reports or maintenance records
- Having investigators monitor your social media profiles or surveil you in public for any evidence they could use to undermine your injury claims
- Arguing that you have undergone unnecessary medical treatment or refusing to pay for alternative therapies such as massage or chiropractic
- Asserting that Walmart will not budge from its initial settlement offer
After receiving your formal claim, Walmart will either deny your claim outright or make a settlement offer that pays you far less than the fair value for your case. Although you may feel shocked that Walmart would deny your claim or offer you very little compensation, remember that Walmart will do whatever it can to minimize its financial liability to you. However, you have the right to negotiate for a higher settlement offer. A slip and fall accident lawyer can help with this process.
Other tips to follow to protect your rights when dealing with Walmart’s claims adjusters include:
- Keep copies of all written correspondence between you and Walmart.
- Take notes of every phone call with a claims adjuster, writing down the adjuster’s name, the date and time of the call, and a summary of what you discussed.
- Do not agree to sign a medical release or provide a recorded/written statement.
- If you have hired a slip and fall attorney, you can ask the claims adjuster to contact your lawyer instead of you. The adjuster cannot continue to contact you directly if they know you have legal representation for your slip and fall claim.
How a Lawyer Can Help You With a Slip and Fall Claim Against Walmart
You don’t have to take on a giant corporation like Walmart alone after you’ve suffered injuries from a slip and fall accident in one of its stores. A slip and fall accident lawyer can level the playing field for you and help you stand up for your rights to compensation and justice.
Some of the ways that a lawyer can assist you with pursuing financial recovery in a slip and fall accident claim against Walmart include:
- Thoroughly investigating the accident to recover evidence needed to prove Walmart’s liability for your injuries, including sending preservation requests to Walmart to obtain copies of surveillance footage, maintenance records, or slip and fall policies
- Interviewing eyewitnesses who can corroborate your story
- Documenting your injuries and losses to ensure you can recover compensation for your past and ongoing expenses and your future anticipated needs
- Retaining accident reconstruction and safety experts to provide opinion testimony that can strengthen your case
- Drafting and filing your demand letter with Walmart
- Handling communications with claims adjusters so you can focus your time and energy on your medical treatment and rehabilitation
- Vigorously negotiating on your behalf to secure a settlement that pays you fair compensation for your injuries
- Ensuring that your slip and fall accident lawsuit gets filed within Florida’s two-year statute of limitations
- Advocating your case in court and at trial to fight for maximum financial recovery for you
What Compensation Can You Recover From Walmart After a Slip and Fall at One of Their Stores?
In a slip and fall accident claim against Walmart, you may recover compensation for losses you’ve incurred due to your injuries, including for:
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation of your injuries, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgeries, pain management, and physical/occupational therapy
- Costs of long-term care and support for permanent disabilities you may have suffered, including home health services, housekeeping, home maintenance, medical/mobility equipment purchases, or installation of disability accommodations in your home
- Lost income due to missed time from work or reduced earnings on part-time/light duty while you recover from your injuries
- Lost future earning potential and employment benefits if you suffer permanent disabilities that affect your ability to work
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment or quality of life due to physical disabilities or permanent scarring/disfigurement that affects your daily life or ability to participate in activities you previously enjoyed
A Lawyer Can Pursue Fair Financial Recovery After You Suffer Injuries in a Slip and Fall at Walmart
Many slip and fall accidents at Walmart occur due to negligent maintenance. After you’ve suffered injuries in a slip and fall at Walmart caused by the company’s carelessness, you deserve to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. However, Walmart will fight harder than many other companies to avoid paying you a fair financial recovery. The company’s claims adjusters have many tactics to reduce the value of injury claims filed against Walmart.
A slip and fall accident lawyer can guide you through the claims process after a slip and fall at a Walmart, protecting your rights and vigorously advocating for your interests. Without a Miami personal injury lawyer on your side, you will have to face Walmart’s substantial legal resources alone.