Why You Need a Lawyer After a Slip-and-Fall at Walmart

February 1, 2024 | Jarrett Blakeley
Why You Need a Lawyer After a Slip-and-Fall at Walmart

Walmart is a massive $380 billion corporation with immense resources at its disposal. As the largest company in the world, it has armies of lawyers and teams of executives solely focused on minimizing costs. This includes aggressively fighting any slip-and-fall claims from customers who suffered an injury on the retailer’s property.

Although Walmart lawyers are well-paid giants in the legal field, they aren't fighting for justice. Rather, they're fighting for the bottom line. Walmart has directed these attorneys to pay as little as possible for slip-and-fall accident claims. If you go up against Walmart’s defense team without a lawyer, they'll run circles around you legally and financially.

Again, Walmart’s top executives care about one thing - profits. As a result, every lawsuit or insurance claim cuts into their earnings. Therefore, they'll do everything possible to reduce payouts, including undervaluing injuries or stalling a settlement to wear a claimant down. To them, you're just a number - not someone who is dealing with real injuries and losses.

The other side may try to blame the accident on you - possibly claiming that you were at fault or were already injured before you entered the store.

So, don't expect fairness from Walmart’s legal representatives. Once more, what matters the most to the retail goliath is to pay as little as possible. You don’t want to fight this battle on your own. Hiring a Fort Lauderdale slip and fall lawyer who handles these cases will enable you to realize a much more positive outcome.

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After You’re Medically Evaluated - Hire a Lawyer

Elderly man on staircase after slip and fall incident.

The first steps that you take in a Walmart slip-and-fall case are critical to your financial survival. Because medical records are the primary evidence you will use, you should have already sought an examination from a physician.

Using this documentation to support your claim will demonstrate the true extent of your injuries. Without this evidence, you’ll make it easy for Walmart to deny responsibility. Your health is also at risk, so prioritize your medical care above anything else. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just suffered an injury or simply experienced a slip-and-fall; get medically checked as soon as possible.

What to Expect After Your Hire a Lawyer

When you hire an attorney, they’ll immediately go on the offensive. They'll work quickly to establish liability, protect any time-sensitive evidence like security footage, and ensure the other side will not compromise your rights.

Let your attorney shoulder the legal responsibilities so you can focus solely on recovering from injuries.

Experienced lawyers know how to build an ironclad case backed by objective facts. They'll also document negligence, showing the damages you suffered through medical expenses, lost income, and expert testimony.

This type of leverage allows your lawyer to demand a fair settlement that properly and fairly compensates you for your losses.

While your attorney handles your claim, by building a strong and compelling argument, you can focus on resting and receiving the necessary treatment to recover and rebuild your life.

Walmart’s Reputation for Contesting Slip and Fall Claims

Walmart is known for defending itself against slip-and-fall accident claims. Therefore, it knows what tactics to use to protect itself from liability while addressing the costs of an initiated claim.

Methods Used by Walmart to Reduce Paid Settlements

Walmart, like any store, has an interest in limiting liability. Therefore, they may use the following strategies to pay reduced settlement amounts.

1. Argue lack of negligence. Walmart may argue that it took reasonable steps to keep the premises safe, such as having cleaning protocols or setting up warning signs in hazardous areas. If your lawyer can't prove negligence, the damages you recover may not cover your medical expenses.

2. Challenging specifics of a fall. Walmart will thoroughly investigate and question the exact location, cause, and severity of the fall to assess the legitimacy of a claim. Photo/video evidence can help support the claims of some defendants.

3. Mitigating the extent of the injuries. Walmart may try to demonstrate that the injury was preexisting or wasn’t as directly/seriously linked to the fall as you claim. Medical records and doctor statements may counter this type of defense.

4. Offering a modest settlement that won’t cover all your costs. Walmart might offer a modest settlement to limit the overall payment. An experienced slip and fall lawyer can advise if the offer represents adequate compensation.

5. Blaming you for causing your own fall. Walmart might use this tactic - claiming that you were wearing unsuitable footwear (high heels or non-skid-resistant shoes) at the time of the accident.

6. Offer a settlement amount but avoid engaging in negotiations. Companies often do this, hoping you’ll break down and take the low amount offered because of current expenses.

7. Delaying the processing of the claim. Companies use this tactic hoping you’ll take a subpar amount to cover current costs.

Above are some hurdles you may encounter when seeking compensation for a slip-and-fall incident. Given that Walmart is used to addressing these claims, you’ll find it in your best interest to talk to an attorney.

Types of Walmart Claimants

Claimants who wish to seek damages for a slip-and-fall in Walmart may include:

  • Shoppers
  • Walmart employees
  • Vendors who are providing services at a Walmart location
  • Anyone else who slips and falls during the store’s regular operating hours

Create a Slip-and-Fall Checklist for Your Slip-and-Fall Accident Claim

When seeking compensation for a slip-and-fall accident, you should follow a checklist to ensure you’re covered and that you and your lawyer are on the same page.

Record Your Doctor’s Diagnosis and Treatment Recommendations

After getting a comprehensive medical exam and contacting an attorney, you’ll want to record your diagnosis and what to anticipate concerning future treatments. Doing so will help you and your attorney understand the types of injuries you’ve sustained and the healing process. In turn, you can also better determine the exact treatments you’ll need and the time for recovery.

Document and Provide Images of Your Injuries 

When you document your injuries, make sure you also supply Walmart representatives with the related medical images. When you provide this media, it’s difficult for Walmart to dismiss or credit the nature of your fall or a specific medical issue.

Check the Statute of Limitations

Check your state’s statute of limitations for filing your claim. Most statutes of limitations run for two years. Therefore, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. So, don’t delay hiring a lawyer, as you may jeopardize your chance to recover the costs related to your accident case.

By hiring a slip and fall lawyer who focuses on slip-and-fall accidents, you’re safeguarding your legal and financial rights. Otherwise, Walmart and its representatives may manipulate the situation - getting you to admit fault or not giving you what you need in compensation. Your attorney will handle all the communications with insurers so you can focus on getting better.

Collect Video Footage, if Available

You can collect video evidence so you have a recording of the fall and the exact nature of the accident. This can help build your case. Your attorney will work diligently to gather this type of evidence in a timely manner before someone possibly erases it - another reason to contact an attorney ASAP.

Whether in criminal or civil cases, this type of footage can provide compelling evidence concerning guilt or negligence.

How a Lawyer Can Establish Liability in Your Slip-and-Fall Walmart Case

To prove Walmart’s liability in your slip-and-fall incident, your lawyer will gather and build a case, typically with the following types of evidence:

  • Testimony from witnesses who saw the accident occur
  • Security camera footage capturing the fall
  • Cell phone camera recordings of the incident
  • Statements from employees stating that there were slipping hazards in the store and that management failed to address them promptly or properly
  • An expert’s analysis of the circumstances surrounding your fall
  • Expert testimony about Walmart’s responsibility for your accident
  • Your own account of what happened during the accident

Your attorney may also refer to other slip-and-fall incidents at the Walmart location where you experienced the mishap. This can help establish a pattern of negligence.

Common Slipping Hazards that Walmart is Responsible for Addressing

Walmart is obligated to maintain procedures for identifying and addressing slipping hazards in their stores, on parking lots, and in other areas on their property.

Hazards that May Lead to Slip-and-Falls

Immediate removal or maintenance is necessary for slipping or tripping hazards, such as the following:

Man injured after slipping and falling on staircase at work site.
  • Wet surfaces caused by rain, puddles, or melted ice
  • Condensation originating from air conditioning systems, pipes, or other sources
  • Spills of liquids like products or drinks 
  • Recently cleaned tile floors 
  • Loose debris scattered on the floor, such as drywall or boards at a construction site 
  • Electrical wiring that is not safely away from where people regularly walk
  • Unstable flooring, such as loose tiles 

Walmart should train its employees on hazard removal and maintain regular monitoring to ensure slip-free and trip-free premises. The use of video cameras and regular inspections can prevent slip-trip-and-falls from happening.

Proving Negligence - How You Can Support Your Claim

Failure on Walmart’s part to identify and inform patrons about slipping or tipping hazards puts individuals at risk. If you've suffered injuries due to a slip-and-fall accident at Walmart, you must prove that the store’s negligence directly led to your injury and the damages you claim.

For example, let’s say you must show that Walmart is guilty of the following possible oversights:

1. The missed cleanup of a spill - Evidence shows a store employee was aware of a spill in an aisle but did not clean it, block it off, or post warning signs about the area before your fall occurred.

2. Poor floor maintenance - Walmart did not follow reasonable cleaning/inspection protocols and safety data sheets to show the floors were unsafe and slippery due to outdated cleaning solutions or equipment.

3. Bad floor conditions - Hazards like cracked floor tiles, missing grout, uneven surfaces, or ripped carpeting created a tripping risk - a risk that Walmart failed to properly address promptly before you tripped and fell. 

4. Missing safety equipment - At the time of the accident, Walmart lacked mirrors or cameras in its aisles or did not display enough warning cones as safeguards against accidents.

5. Understaffing issues - Being short-staffed, Walmart could not properly monitor, report, or handle spills, clutter, and other hazards or promptly address certain safety dangers and concerns.

6. Insufficient lighting - Dim lighting obscured otherwise visible hazards in or outside a Walmart store. Coupled with a lack of warning signs, the area of the accident became a safety risk.

If you can demonstrate that Walmart, in one of the above incidents or a similar situation, failed to take reasonable safety precautions and care, you can show that Walmart owes you for damages.

What You May Be Entitled to Recover

Your attorney will explain the damages you may be entitled to recover due to your fall. Factors such as your age, the specific injuries you sustained, and the impact you experienced when hitting the ground all contribute to what you’ll receive in a settlement claim.

Common Damages

Common damages include the following:

  • All medical expenses related to your fall, including emergency treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Pain and suffering (non-economic damages) - commonly seen in slip and fall cases.
  • Lost income - diminished earning power or missed bonuses that resulted from your fall.

The Key Services of a Slip-and-Fall Lawyer

A slip-and-fall accident lawyer offers the following key services;

1. Building a claim or lawsuit based on evidence of negligence. Experienced attorneys rely on facts, evidence, and documentation to present your case effectively. Your lawyer will gather evidence of negligence and calculate and document the damages you've incurred.

2. Organizing documentation related to your damages. Your lawyer will collect records and images showcasing your injuries, past income statements, and expert testimonies – essentially any documentation substantiating the damages resulting from your slip and fall incident.

3. Negotiating your settlement. You have the option to demand a settlement from Walmart or any other other parties involved. Your lawyer will handle negotiations on your behalf, ensuring you receive an amount that fairly covers your expenses.

4. Filing a personal injury lawsuit. Throughout the legal process, your attorney will explore settlement options. If they can reach a settlement resolution, they’ll file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. Next, they'll decide whether a trial is required.

5. Preparing for trial. If Walmart or its representatives are unwilling to offer a settlement after filing a personal injury lawsuit, your lawyer will prepare for trial to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Filing a Lawsuit for Wrongful Death

In cases where a fatal fall occurs at Walmart, surviving loved ones may receive damages for the decedent’s medical expenses as well as funeral and burial costs, grief counseling, and pain and suffering. They can receive this compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Schedule a Consultation with a Slip-and-Fall Accident Lawyer Today

When Walmart fails to ensure the safety of its shoppers and visitors on its premises, they are responsible for the consequences of its negligence and oversights. An attorney will work diligently to ensure you receive compensation without settling for a lower amount than you’ll need for recovery.

Schedule an appointment with a personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale now to ensure you receive a fair and equitable settlement amount.

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Jarrett Blakeley

Firm founder Jarrett Blakeley fights to get maximum compensation for all of Blakeley Law Firm’s clients. He has been practicing law since 2006 and takes great pride in representing the rights of injured individuals against the insurance companies and the law firms that represent them. He has successfully represented thousands of clients and recovered tens of millions of dollars on their behalf. Mr. Blakeley strives to give all of his clients personal attention and maximum effort and seeks to instill a firm culture that prioritizes customer service and compassion for the injured over all else. Fighting for the injured is Jarrett Blakeley’s greatest passion and he looks forward to fighting for the injured for the rest of his career.

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