Steven A. Bagen | November 9, 2023 | Personal Injury
Slips and falls can occur almost anywhere, but they are especially common in grocery stores and other locations where food and liquid may spill onto the floor. Because of the propensity for food and liquid spills, slips and falls frequently occur at Walmarts and Super Walmarts located throughout the area.
If you suffered injuries in a Walmart slip and fall accident, you can hold Walmart directly accountable for the injuries that you suffered in your accident.
In addition to seeking the medical treatment that you need as quickly as possible after a Walmart slip and fall, you need to reach out to an experienced slip and fall injury lawyer as quickly as possible about your legal options.
Your lawyer can promptly investigate the circumstances of your accident and file a personal injury claim on your behalf, seeking the monetary recovery you deserve.
If Walmart’s insurance company does not offer you the monetary damages that you deserve, your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf in the court system. Your attorney can then litigate your case to a prompt and efficient resolution and work to maximize your total monetary recovery.
Throughout the process, your attorney will aggressively advocate for you and your legal interests. Your lawyer can also answer your questions and evaluate difficult decisions in your case, including whether or not to accept a pending settlement offer from the insurance company or litigate your case to a resolution in the court system.
Does Walmart Owe its Customers a Legal Duty of Care?
Walmart, like any other business, owes its customers a high legal duty of care when it comes to premises safety. Specifically, property owners and managers must ensure that the interior and exterior of their premises are in a reasonably safe condition at all times.
Consequently, they must promptly repair or warn about known dangerous hazards on the property within a reasonable timeframe. They may also need to inspect their premises regularly for previously unknown hazardous conditions. If they come across a new hazard during their inspection, they must properly warn about or repair it within a reasonable amount of time.
When a property owner or manager neglects to implement essential corrective actions to maintain a safe environment, and a slip and fall accident transpires due to this negligence, they can bear responsibility not only for the incident itself but also for the injuries sustained by the accident victim as a direct consequence of their oversight or inaction.
If you recently suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident at a Walmart store, you need to consult with an experienced attorney as quickly as possible. Your lawyer can review all your potential legal options with you and file a claim on your behalf as quickly as possible, seeking the monetary recovery you need for your accident-related losses.
How to Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case
To recover monetary compensation as part of a slip and fall claim or lawsuit, the injured accident victim must satisfy their legal burden of proof. Specifically, they must demonstrate that the premises owner owed them a legal duty of care.
In the context of a slip and fall accident that occurs at Walmart, the accident victim must show that Walmart owed them a reasonable duty of care during the time that they were present on the premises.
Next, the injured accident victim must establish that the property owner or manager violated their legal duty of care somehow. For example, in a Walmart slip and fall, a property manager might have failed to clean up a spill within a reasonable amount of time or place a warning placard over the spill until an employee had the opportunity to clean it up.
Additionally, a slip and fall accident victim must not only establish that as a direct result of Walmart’s negligence, their slip and fall accident occurred and that they suffered one or more physical injuries.
This requires demonstrating the causal relationship between Walmart’s negligence and the incident, including how it directly led to their injuries. This requires a comprehensive presentation of evidence linking the negligence to the accident and subsequent harm suffered.
Important Evidence in Walmart Slip and Fall Cases
In a Walmart slip and fall accident case, the accident victim must normally introduce various pieces of evidence to support their claim.
Important pieces of evidence in a slip and fall accident case may include:
- Photographs of the spill or defective condition on the Walmart premises
- Witness contact information,
- Investigation reports that describe the incident in detail
- Witness statements are written accounts where individuals describe their observations regarding the incident
- Video camera footage from the Walmart store where the slip and fall accident happened
- Photographs of your physical injuries
- Medical records and medical bills.
To ensure that potential evidence from Walmart remains preserved, your slip and fall accident lawyer can draft a spoliation letter and forward it to Walmart or their legal representative.
A spoliation letter requires a potential defendant to preserve any evidence necessary in the case and to refrain from performing any repair work to fix a defect. If an individual or entity violates a spoliation letter, they may be subject to sanctions from the court for destroying potential evidence in a case.
In addition, your slip and fall accident attorney can retain a certified accident reconstructionist who can testify in your case or draft a report. Accident reconstructionists may speak with witnesses, review video camera footage, and review incident reports to formulate an opinion about how the accident likely happened and who was responsible.
An adept premises liability lawyer in your local area possesses the experience to engage and retain a team of skilled professionals crucial for meeting and satisfying the legal burden of proof essential for your case.
As soon as possible after sustaining injuries in a Walmart slip and fall accident, you should report the incident to a manager on duty. They will likely ask you to fill out a form they will submit to Walmart Corporate.
Additionally, you need to seek full medical treatment for your injuries as quickly as possible after your accident. If a medical provider recommends certain types of treatment for you, you need to follow through with and complete your entire treatment regimen.
For example, you might need to undergo a medical procedure, consult a professional, or attend regular physical therapy sessions.
Treating your injuries helps to increase your chances of making a full recovery. It also shows insurance company representatives that your injuries are serious, that you took your medical treatment seriously, and that you deserve to recover appropriate (and full) monetary compensation in your case.
Filing a Claim for Monetary Compensation
Following a slip and fall accident in Walmart, you can file a personal injury claim with Walmart’s insurer. As part of your claim, your attorney can include various important documents, including your medical treatment records and bills, incident reports, injury photographs, and the slip and fall accident scene.
Upon reviewing these documents, the insurance company will decide whether to accept fault for the accident.
After submitting a settlement demand package to the insurance company, their adjuster might open settlement negotiations by placing a settlement offer on the table. However, in almost all situations, the insurance company has significantly more money than what they will offer you initially.
Insurance companies want to do everything they can to undervalue your claim and offer you as little monetary compensation as possible for your injuries. That way, they can keep their money in-house rather than pay a significant monetary settlement, jury verdict, or binding arbitration award in your case.
A premises liability attorney who is advocating in your interests can aggressively negotiate with the insurance company adjuster and pursue a higher monetary offer from them.
Suppose the insurance company does not increase its offer to a reasonable number. In that case, your lawyer may file a lawsuit on your behalf in court, making a claim for monetary damages. Even if your lawyer files a lawsuit in court, there is still a good chance that your case will be resolved at some point since prolonged litigation in jury trials can be costly and time-consuming for everyone involved.
Your attorney, leveraging their comprehensive understanding of the facts and circumstances of your case, along with a thorough assessment of the nature and extent of your physical injuries resulting from the accident, can meticulously evaluate whether a specific settlement offer aligns with the merits of your case, ensuring you make informed decisions that best suit your situation.
Compensable Monetary Damages After a Slip and Fall in Walmart
Upon filing a successful claim or lawsuit against Walmart for a slip and fall accident, you may be eligible to receive various types of monetary recovery. The total damage award that you can recover will likely depend upon various factors, including the cost of your medical treatment, the nature and extent of your injuries, along with other accident-related factors.
First, you can recover monetary compensation for your medical expenses, both past and anticipated. For example, if you suffered a permanent injury, a medical provider might recommend, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that you will likely need a future surgery or other procedure.
Additionally, you can claim lost income if you had to take time off work due to your injuries. If you had to switch jobs and take a pay cut as a result of your accident-related injuries, then you may recover compensation for your loss of earning capacity.
Other monetary damages that accident victims receive may compensate them for all their intangible losses related to the slip and fall accident.
For example, they may be eligible to receive compensation for loss of the ability to use a body part (for instance, paralysis), permanent disability or disfigurement, lifetime or long-term care costs, lost quality of life, loss of spousal consortium and companionship, past and future pain and suffering, inconvenience, and mental anguish and distress.
A highly experienced slip-and-fall accident lawyer in your local area possesses the experience to provide an initial estimate of the potential settlement or verdict value for your personal injury claim. This helps you develop realistic and informed expectations as you progress through the legal process.
Talk With a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Your Area Today
Victims of slip and fall accidents at Walmart or some other location do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a premises liability lawsuit for damages. In fact, according to the (revised) state statute of limitations, slip and fall accident victims now have only two years from their accident date to take legal action and recover monetary damages.
If they do not file a timely lawsuit in their case, then absent a few limited circumstances, the courts will prevent them from recovering any monetary damages at a later date. Therefore, act right away when it comes to securing legal counsel for representation in your case.
A personal injury attorney can immediately enter an appearance on your behalf and begin advocating for you. Your lawyer will then remain by your side every step of the way, aggressively negotiating with insurance company representatives on your behalf or officially litigating your case through the court system.