Can You Sue Walmart If You Slip and Fall in a Store?

Yes, you can sue Walmart if you slip and fall in one of their stores, as businesses that are open to the public have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment for their customers. If they fail in this duty, and that failure results in an injury, the injured party may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, it’s important to understand that these cases can be complex, requiring clear evidence that Walmart was at fault for the accident.

You Can Sue Walmart If You Slip And Fall Due To Walmart’s Negligence

Negligence, in the context of personal injury law, refers to a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act. To successfully establish negligence in a slip and fall case, you must prove four elements:

  • Duty: This means that Walmart has a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of its customers – which includes keeping their premises free of hazards.
  • Breach of Duty: This involves demonstrating that Walmart failed to uphold this duty – for example, by leaving a spill unattended.
  • Causation: This refers to proving that Walmart’s breach of duty directly caused your slip and fall accident.
  • Damages: Finally, you must show that you suffered harm (i.e., damages) as a result of the accident, such as medical bills or lost wages.

If you’ve experienced a slip and fall in Walmart due to negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. Proving negligence and securing a successful outcome can be complex, requiring comprehensive evidence and knowledge of personal injury law. Seeking professional legal advice is advisable to protect your rights and improve your chances of receiving deserved compensation.

What Evidence Do You Need for a Walmart Slip And Fall Case?

The evidence you gather for a Walmart slip and fall case can significantly impact the outcome. It will serve to substantiate your claim and establish Walmart’s negligence. Therefore, it’s essential to know what kind of evidence you need.

Here’s a list of crucial evidence types:

  • Incident Reports: If an accident occurs in-store, Walmart is obliged to write an incident report. You should request a copy of this report as it can provide valuable details about the incident.
  • Witness Statements: If there were any witnesses to your fall, their statements could be instrumental in verifying your account of the incident.
  • Surveillance Video Footage: Walmart stores are equipped with video surveillance that might have captured your accident. Obtaining this footage can provide clear evidence of the conditions that led to your fall.
  • Photographs: If possible, take photographs of the exact location where you fell and the hazard that caused your accident.
  • Medical Records: These documents can prove the injuries you sustained from the fall and the treatment you received.
  • Receipts of Expenses: Keep track of all your accident-related expenses, including medical bills, therapy costs, and lost wages, to demonstrate the financial impact of your fall.

If you slip and fall in a Walmart store, you may be entitled to compensation if you can demonstrate that Walmart was negligent in maintaining a safe environment. The process of proving negligence is complex and requires substantial evidence. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can guide you through the legal proceedings and increase your chances of securing a favorable settlement.

yellow slip and fall sign on wet floor

Who is Responsible for My Injuries from Falling at a Walmart?

Walmart, as the property owner, holds the primary responsibility for injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident within their premises. Under premises liability law, they are obligated to ensure their store is reasonably safe for customers. If hazardous conditions exist, Walmart must either rectify them promptly or adequately warn customers. If Walmart fails in these duties, leading to your accident, they may be held responsible.

However, there may be exceptions. For instance, if your negligent behavior led to the fall or if a third party created the hazard (an independent contractor, for example), they might share or hold the full responsibility. Our experienced premises liability attorneys can help you understand liability in your specific case.

How Will Walmart Try to Deny My Injury Claim?

Walmart, like many large corporations, has a team of experienced attorneys and insurance adjusters who will work diligently to deny or minimize your injury claim. This is simply a business practice aimed at preserving the company’s bottom line.

Here are a few strategies Walmart might employ:

1.) Logs Regarding Aisle Cleaning

Logs regarding aisle cleaning play a significant role in slip and fall cases. Walmart, like many other retailers, maintains cleaning and inspection logs for their stores. These logs provide a record of when aisles and other areas were last inspected or cleaned, which can be instrumental evidence in a slip and fall case.

If a log shows that a long period had passed since the last inspection or cleaning, it could be argued that Walmart was negligent in their duty to maintain a safe environment. Alternatively, if the logs show that an area was freshly cleaned or inspected, Walmart might use this as a defense, arguing that they were actively managing hazards in their store.

Remember, it may be challenging to obtain these logs without the assistance of an attorney. Our premises liability lawyers know how to properly request this information as part of the discovery process in your case.

2.) Store Video Surveillance Cameras

Walmart’s extensive video surveillance system can serve as a powerful piece of evidence in your slip and fall claim. This system monitors and records activities within the store, potentially capturing your accident and the conditions that led to it. This footage can either substantiate your claim, showing exactly how the incident happened and the hazard that caused your fall, or Walmart may use it as a defense, suggesting that the conditions were not dangerous, or the fall resulted from your own negligence.

While securing this footage might seem straightforward, Walmart has no obligation to share it with you directly. Typically, they only release surveillance footage in response to a subpoena or as part of the discovery process when a lawsuit is filed. Our slip and fall attorneys can handle these complexities and ensure critical evidence is preserved and obtained for your case.

3.) Creating Legal Hurdles to Overcome

Walmart, or rather their claims administrator, Claims Management, Inc., is widely known for creating complex legal hurdles that can make it challenging to effectively pursue a slip and fall claim. A significant part of their strategy involves utilizing a federal law known as the Diversity Jurisdiction Rule. Under 28 U.S. Code Sec. 1332, this rule allows a defendant company to move a state court lawsuit to a federal court if the plaintiff and defendant are from different states, and the claim exceeds $75,000.

Walmart often uses this tactic to their advantage because federal courts generally favor defendants over plaintiffs in personal injury cases, and they tend to award smaller settlements. Navigating through this jurisdictional shift can be daunting and requires an in-depth understanding of both state and federal laws. This often becomes another hurdle that victims must overcome in their pursuit of justice and fair compensation. It further highlights the importance of having our skilled personal injury attorneys on your side, as we are familiar with these tactics and can effectively navigate the complex legal landscape.

4.) Disputing Causation or the Severity of Your Injuries

Walmart may also dispute the causation or the severity of your injuries as part of their defense strategy. They might argue that your injuries were pre-existing or not caused by the fall in their store. Alternatively, they may claim that the injuries are not as severe as you allege, thus attempting to decrease the value of your claim.

Past Medical Records

In this process, Walmart’s legal team may request access to your past medical records to establish whether you had similar injuries before the incident. If there is a history of similar medical conditions or injuries, they might argue that the slip and fall incident did not cause your injuries but merely aggravated pre-existing conditions.

Other Accidents

Similarly, if you have been involved in other accidents, Walmart may argue that your injuries resulted from those incidents rather than the fall in their store. They may require details of these incidents to analyze whether they could have caused or contributed to your current injuries.

It is crucial to understand that these are standard defense strategies utilized to minimize or deny your claim. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can counter these strategies effectively, ensuring your rights are safeguarded, and you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

5.) Arguing Comparative Negligence

Another common defense strategy Walmart may use is arguing comparative negligence. In legal terms, comparative negligence refers to the concept that the injured party (the plaintiff) may have contributed to their own injuries by acting carelessly or not taking reasonable precautions. For instance, if you were distracted by your phone, or wearing footwear inappropriate for the conditions, Walmart might argue that you bear some responsibility for the incident. The aim of this tactic is to reduce the amount of compensation Walmart would have to pay.

The rules for comparative negligence vary from state to state. In some jurisdictions, your compensation can be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if you were found to be 30% at fault, your compensation would be reduced by 30%. In other states, if you are found to be even slightly at fault, you may be barred from receiving any compensation.

For example, comparative negligence follows the “51% Bar Rule” in Texas. Under this rule, a damaged party cannot recover if it is 51% or more at fault, but if it is 50% or less at fault, it can recover, although its recovery would be reduced by its degree of fault. If you were found to be 30% at fault in your slip and fall case at Walmart because you were distracted by your phone, and your total damages amount to $100,000, you would only be able to recover $70,000 after the deduction of your share of the fault.

Worker Man Lying On Staircase After Slip And Fall Accident - Can You Sue Walmart If You Slip and Fall in a Store?

What is My Walmart Slip and Fall Claim Worth?

The value of a Walmart slip and fall claim can vary significantly, primarily depending upon the circumstances of the incident and the severity of the injuries. In general, case value increases with more severe injuries and more negligence displayed by Walmart.

Walmart claims may be composed of several types of personal injury damages, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Reimbursement for all medical bills related to the incident is typically part of the special damages compensation. This includes costs for emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and any future medical expenses related to your injuries.
  • Lost Wages: If your injuries forced you to miss work, you could be compensated for any lost income during that time. If your injuries resulted in permanent disability that affects your ability to work, future lost earnings may also be part of your claim.
  • Pain and Suffering: This refers to the physical and emotional stress caused by your injuries. While these general damages are more subjective and hard to quantify, they are nevertheless an essential part of many claims.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injuries prevent you from enjoying daily activities or hobbies you previously engaged in, you may be entitled to compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Loss of Consortium: If your injuries negatively affect your relationship with your spouse or family, you may be able to claim for loss of consortium.
  • Punitive Damages: In some cases, if Walmart’s negligence was particularly egregious or reckless, you might be awarded punitive damages. These are designed to punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior in the future.

It’s important to keep in mind that every case is unique, and the value of your claim depends on numerous factors. Having our experienced personal injury attorneys to accurately evaluate your case and negotiate on your behalf can greatly impact the overall value of your claim.

Common Slip and Fall Accident Injuries

Slip and fall incidents can result in an array of injuries, ranging from minor to severe. The severity and type of injury largely depends on the circumstances of the accident, such as the height of the fall, the surface landed on, and the physical condition of the individual.

Some common injuries associated with slip and fall incidents include:

  • Fractures and Broken Bones: These can occur in various parts of the body, including the wrists, arms, hips, or legs, especially in older adults.
  • Head Injuries: Falling can lead to severe head injuries, including concussions or traumatic brain injuries, which could have lasting effects.
  • Spinal Cord Damage: Falls can result in spinal cord injuries, leading to partial or complete paralysis.
  • Sprains and Strains: These joint injuries are common in slip and fall accidents and can impact any part of the body, from ankles and wrists to shoulders and neck.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: These invisible injuries can result in significant pain and require extensive treatment. Soft tissue injuries include damage to muscles, ligaments, intervertebral discs, and tendons.
  • Hip Injuries: Particularly prevalent among the elderly, a fall can result in a broken or fractured hip, which can significantly impact mobility and require surgery.

Young injured woman in a wheelchair consulting with her slip & fall attorney

Do I Have to Sue Walmart to Settle a Claim?

The decision to sue Walmart after a slip and fall accident is a significant one and is not obligatory. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a fair settlement without filing a lawsuit. Walmart and their insurance company might be willing to negotiate a settlement to avoid the cost and public exposure of a lawsuit.

However, if negotiation efforts do not result in a fair offer that covers your damages, filing a lawsuit may be necessary. Our skilled personal injury attorneys can guide you through this process, evaluating the strength of your case and advising you on the best pathway to pursue. Again, every case is unique, and the course of action depends largely on the specific circumstances of your incident and the severity of your injuries.

How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit Against Walmart?

The time limit within which you must file a slip and fall lawsuit against Walmart, or any entity, is known as the statute of limitations. This period varies by state but typically ranges from one to four years from the date of the incident. For example, in Texas the statute of limitations on personal injury claims is 2 years from the date of accident. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this timeframe, you may lose your right to pursue compensation entirely.

However, certain circumstances may extend or shorten this period. For example, if you only discovered the injury some time after the incident, the countdown might start from the date of discovery rather than the date of the incident. Given the importance of these timelines and the potential complexities involved, it is highly recommended that you consult with our personal injury attorneys as soon as possible after your incident to ensure your claim is filed within the appropriate timeframe.

How Much Does a Walmart Slip and Fall Lawyer Cost?

When it comes to hiring a personal injury attorney for a Walmart slip and fall case, many people worry about the cost. However, our personal injury lawyers specializing in slip and fall cases at Walmart operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay any attorney fees upfront. Instead, your attorney will take a percentage of any settlement or court award you receive. If you do not receive any compensation, you will not owe any attorney fees.

Should I Try to Resolve My Walmart Slip & Fall Claim on My Own?

While it’s technically possible to handle a slip and fall claim on your own, it’s generally not advisable. Walmart, like any large corporation, has an extensive legal team and immense resources at its disposal. Without legal expertise and experience, you may face significant challenges in proving liability, gauging the appropriate compensation, and negotiating effectively. Furthermore, mistakes in navigating the legal process or missing critical deadlines can seriously impair your claim.

Therefore, while self-representation might save you attorney fees, it could also cost you a fair settlement. Hiring a competent personal injury attorney can provide invaluable guidance, improve the prospects of your claim’s success, and potentially increase the amount of compensation you receive.

Contact Our Walmart Slip and Fall Claims Lawyers for a FREE CONSULTATION

If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall incident at Walmart, our dedicated team of personal injury attorneys is here to help. We understand the complexities involved in such cases and are committed to fiercely advocating for your rights.

We invite you to reach out to us for a FREE CONSULTATION. In this session, we will evaluate the specifics of your case, educate you on your legal options, and outline a prospective plan of action.
Don’t let the burden of medical bills and lost wages weigh you down. Call us today or fill out our online contact form to schedule your complimentary consultation. Let us help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

No Win No Fee for Personal Injury Case - Walmart Slip and Fall Claims Lawyers

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