At Walmart, a customer might encounter various slipping or tripping hazards, such as spilled foods/liquids, water leaks, wet floors, or debris and objects on walking paths. Customers who suffer a slip and fall accident at Walmart could have legal claims against the company if those accidents occurred because of staff members’ negligence.
Businesses like Walmart have a legal duty to customers to make reasonable efforts to keep their premises free of hazards that might cause accidents and injuries. An injured customer might have the right to recover compensation when Walmart breaches this duty.
However, pursuing a legal claim against a large corporation like Walmart involves complexities and challenges. Obtaining legal counsel after getting hurt in a slip and fall at Walmart will make the claims process less stressful and improve your chances of successfully recovering compensation for your injuries and losses.
An experienced Tacoma slip and fall injury attorney can explain your legal options, thoroughly investigate your claims, and prepare a compelling case for holding Walmart liable for the slip and fall accident that injured you.
Understanding Slip and Fall Accidents at Walmart
Slips and falls are among the most common accidents that happen at Walmart. As one of the country’s largest brick-and-mortar retailers, Walmart hosts millions of customers every week. Many of those patrons can suffer harm in slip and fall accidents in the stores.
A slip and fall accident occurs when a person slips or trips on a hazardous condition on another party’s premises.
Common hazards that can cause slip and fall accidents at Walmart stores include:
- Spilled food or liquids, including food or liquid products dropped by customers or knocked off shelves
- Water leaks, including leaking pipes in restrooms or leaking refrigerated/frozen displays
- Recently mopped or waxed floors
- Rainwater, snow, ice, mud, or plant debris tracked in from outside
- Loose or torn carpeting or floormats
- Broken or loose floor tiles
- Wires or cords laid across walking paths
- Trash or products on the ground
- Product displays sticking out into walking paths
- Broken pavement or potholes in store parking lots
Customers who suffer slip and fall accidents in Walmarts may suffer injuries far more severe than cuts or bruises, depending on the circumstances of the fall.
Injuries that may potentially result from a slip and fall in a Walmart store include:
- Dislocated joints
- Ligament sprains/tears or muscle and tendon strains/tears, including injuries to ankles, knees, wrists, and shoulders
- Broken bones, especially ankles, wrists, shoulders, or hips
- Herniated spinal disc injuries
- Internal injuries and bleeding
- Facial injuries and scarring
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
Compensation Potentially Available in Slip and Fall Accident Claims
When you’ve suffered injuries in a slip and fall at Walmart, you might recover compensation for financial and personal losses that result from your injuries.
Your financial recovery might include money for:
- Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation, including emergency room care, surgeries, hospitalization, prescription pain medication, or physical or occupational therapy
- Costs of care and support services you might need if your injuries result in prolonged or permanent disabilities
- Lost income or future earning capacity when your injuries cause you to miss time from work or prevent you from returning to your pre-accident job
- Pain and suffering, including reduced quality of life caused by disabilities or visible scarring and disfigurement that result from your injuries
Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall at Walmart
After getting hurt in a slip and fall at one of Walmart’s stores, acting quickly might preserve your options for pursuing compensation from the company. Filing a claim or lawsuit will give you a chance to successfully obtain financial recovery for your medical bills, lost income, or pain and suffering.
Steps you might need to take following a slip and fall accident at Walmart include:
- Notify the store about your accident if you still need to do so.
- Follow your treatment plan and recovery instructions. Putting off treatment for your slip and fall injuries risks allowing Walmart to contest your claim or the value of your losses.
- Keep bills, invoices, and receipts for expenses you incur during your recovery.
- Gather copies of your pay stubs or income statements to document your lost earnings from missed work or while working in a part-time/light-duty role due to medical restrictions.
- Obtain copies of medical records of your treatment and rehabilitation.
Finally, talk to a slip and fall accident lawyer. Your lawyer can advise you about your legal options for seeking compensation for your injuries and losses and pursue a claim against Walmart on your behalf.
Pursuing Slip and Fall Accident Claims Against Walmart
As one of the world’s largest corporations, Walmart has various liability insurance policies, self-insured retentions, and self-insurance to cover liability for slip and fall accidents in Walmart’s stores. However, Walmart may vigorously contest liability for slip and fall accidents.
Company representatives may contest claims that store employees caused or negligently failed to clean up a hazard that caused a slip and fall. Representatives might downplay the severity of injuries sustained by a Walmart customer who slipped and fell in a store.
When pursuing a slip and fall accident claim against Walmart, your attorney could file a claim or send a demand letter to the company to pursue compensation through a settlement. While many slip and fall accident claims brought against Walmart settle, in some cases, it might take a lawsuit to get the compensation the injured person deserves.
In Washington, the statute of limitations provides a three-year window during which accident victims can file an injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Slip and fall accident victims who file suit after this deadline passes might lose their right to pursue money from Walmart.
Because you have limited time to file a lawsuit against Walmart, talk to a slip and fall accident lawyer as soon as possible after suffering injuries to discuss your rights to compensation.
Proving Walmart’s Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident
Proving that a slip and fall you experienced in a Walmart occurred due to the store’s negligence may require various pieces of evidence. Your lawyer must prove that you slipped or tripped on something created or caused by store employees or something that employees negligently failed to fix or clean up.
Examples of evidence you might use to prove Walmart’s liability for a slip and fall accident in one of its stores include:
- Accident scene photos: If you took photos of the object or substance that caused you to slip or trip and fall, you might have a stronger claim to show that Walmart’s negligence provoked your injury.
- Surveillance camera footage: Footage of the accident and the surrounding area before your fall might help establish what caused it or show that the hazard existed long enough that store employees should have discovered and fixed it.
- Eyewitness testimony: Testimony from store employees and fellow customers might establish the nature of the hazard that caused you to slip and fall or prove how long it existed before the accident.
- Maintenance/repair records: The store’s maintenance and repair records might show that employees failed to conduct reasonable maintenance checks or delayed repairing hazards.
Accident reconstruction expert reports and testimony: Accident reconstruction experts could provide compelling testimony to help prove the cause of your fall and establish Walmart’s liability for the accident.
How a Lawyer Can Help You After a Slip and Fall at Walmart
Walmart has vast resources to fight slip and fall accident claims filed by customers.
Obtaining experienced legal representation will help level the playing field. Your lawyer can stand up for your interests and work to hold the company accountable when its negligence caused you to fall and suffer injuries. A lawyer can handle the details of your legal claim so you can stay focused on treating and rehabilitating your injuries.
Some of the ways that an attorney might help after a slip and fall accident at Walmart include:
An attorney can investigate the accident to obtain evidence for your case. In cases against retail businesses like Walmart, the investigation process may involve sending the store or company evidence preservation requests.
These requests can ensure that critical evidence like surveillance footage or accident/incident reports does not get deleted or lost. A lawyer could also request other documentation from Walmart, such as staffing records or maintenance/repair reports.
Sometimes, a slip and fall accident lawyer might work with accident reconstruction or safety experts. These specialists can provide opinion testimony or reports explaining how Walmart’s actions or negligence directly caused you to slip and fall.
Documenting Your Injuries and Losses
A lawyer can help you maximize your financial recovery after a slip and fall accident. To bolster your claim, your lawyer can gather records to document the injuries and losses you’ve suffered from an accident, such as medical records, bills and invoices for treatment and rehabilitation, and your income statements.
When your injuries result in prolonged or permanent disability, your lawyer can work with medical, vocational, or financial experts. The experts can prepare reports and testimony establishing future expenses or losses you might incur after your slip and fall case ends.
Communicating With Walmart Representatives
Most importantly, a slip and fall accident lawyer will handle communications with Walmart’s representatives and attorneys on your behalf. Slip and fall accident victims who deal with Walmart without legal representation may find it challenging to get the money they deserve. The company’s resources enable it to strongly contest claims arising from store accidents vigorously.
However, having experienced legal representation in your corner means you can direct any communications from Walmart or its representatives to your attorney. Doing so frees you to focus your time and energy on your medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Pursuing Compensation Through a Settlement or Litigation
Your attorney will focus on fighting for the compensation you need for your recovery. They can negotiate a settlement of your slip and fall accident claim with Walmart or, if necessary, pursue litigation by taking your case to court and trial.
A lawyer can ensure that your claim follows legal procedures. They can ensure they meet all filing deadlines and that documentation is properly filed. Your lawyer will work hard to give you the best chance of getting appropriate compensation from Walmart.
Experienced Legal Counsel Can Help You Stand Up to a Big Corporation Like Walmart After Getting Hurt in a Slip and Fall Accident
When you’ve suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident at a Walmart store, you might have the right to seek money for your medical expenses, lost income, or pain and suffering. If the accident occurred due to Walmart’s fault or negligence, you can file a claim or lawsuit to get the compensation you need.
However, even when Walmart’s liability for a slip and fall accident seems straightforward, injured customers might face challenges and obstacles in recovering compensation. Hiring a slip and fall accident attorney after getting hurt at Walmart might secure the financial resources you need for your recovery.
An experienced lawyer can guide you through the claims process by preparing a compelling legal case and vigorously advocating for the money you deserve for your injuries and losses.