“I slipped and fell at Walmart… What should I do?”
In the state of South Carolina, there are 122 Walmart stores along with 4 distribution centers. As is the case with many retail stores, customers of Walmart may be at risk of experiencing a variety of different injuries. Among the most common injuries occurring at retail stores are slip-and-fall accidents. If you slip and fall at Walmart, it’s vital to understand pertinent facts regarding how these injuries occur, when the store may be liable for these injuries and the benefits you may be eligible to receive.
How do Walmart slip-and-fall accidents occur?
Like other retail businesses, Walmart is responsible for ensuring the safety of customers on their premises. While this is a legal responsibility, store managers and employees don’t always exercise due diligence in ensuring their stores are safely maintained. As a result, customers may experience injuries.
Slip-and-fall accidents at Walmart may result in a variety of injuries, including broken bones, neck and back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, soft tissue tears and spinal cord injuries. These injuries can occur both inside the store and in the parking lot.
In many instances, slip-and-fall accidents are the result of poor maintenance, but many also result from shopping carts. Regardless of the cause, when a customer is injured in a slip-and-fall accident at Walmart, they may be able to file a liability claim and receive compensation for their injuries.
Walmart slip-and-fall settlements
When considering the potential for a slip-and-fall settlement with Walmart, it’s important to understand that Walmart operates a bit differently than other businesses. While many other businesses opt to pay for liability insurance through a 3rd party, this isn’t the case with Walmart. Instead, Walmart handles its own liability claims.
As a result, Walmart has a tremendous incentive to pay out the smallest amount possible through accident claims. This often makes it more difficult to receive compensation, which is why it’s essential to seek legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney who can assure your rights are protected.
I slipped and fell at Walmart. What should I do next?
If you’re injured in a slip-and-fall accident at Walmart, it’s crucial that you take the necessary steps to document and report the incident to increase the likelihood of compensation.
Report the incident immediately
If you’re injured in a slip-and-fall accident at Walmart, make sure you report the incident right away. This report should be made to the store manager when possible. If not possible, locate a store employee and make your report to that individual. You should be as specific as possible when describing what occurred. You may be asked to complete an incident report. If so, be sure to obtain a copy of the report, as well.
Additionally, you should ask if there’s a security camera that might have recorded the incident. Try to obtain a copy of this video, if possible. Keep in mind that surveillance footage is often taped over after 24 hours, so it’s imperative that you act quickly.
Collect potential evidence
You should try to collect any other evidence that might prove beneficial when filing a liability claim. Once again, this should be done as soon as possible. Otherwise, store employees may try to clean up the area.
When possible, take photos of the area that contributed to your fall to document any hazards, such as spills. If there are any witnesses to the incident, be sure to collect their contact information and statements about what happened.
Also, make sure you keep your clothing and shoes, as these may also contain evidence from the incident. For example, if you slipped on a floor that was recently waxed, your clothing or shoes may contain wax residue that could be useful in proving liability.
Document your injuries
Following the incident, take the time to check for injuries. If you’re experiencing any pain, you should seek medical attention right away. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may need to be transported to the hospital by ambulance.
Even if you don’t experience any pain immediately following your accident, you may experience delayed symptoms. It’s always best to get checked out by a qualified physician who can diagnose and document any potential unseen injuries, regardless of how good you initially feel.
Filing insurance claims
Following a slip-and-fall injury at Walmart, you may be directed to contact Walmart’s claims department to file a claim. Rather than trying to negotiate with their claims department yourself, you may find it helpful to have an attorney assist you. In fact, you may even find that Walmart will reject your claim if you attempt to handle it on your own.
Even if Walmart doesn’t outright reject your claim, the company will often attempt to settle your claim for far less than you actually deserve. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the process of filing a slip-and-fall injury claim with Walmart so you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Working with an experienced attorney
Since Walmart handles their own claims, it’s not uncommon for them to use intimidation tactics to get you to accept a small settlement. Never accept a settlement without speaking with an attorney first.
An experienced attorney will work with you to build a case based on available evidence to prove your injury claim. Additionally, your attorney will handle all communications and negotiations with Walmart so you can focus on recovering from your injury.
If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall accident at Walmart or any other retailer in South Carolina, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Chappell, Chappell and Newman for your free consultation. For more than 30 years, we’ve been successfully fighting big corporations to help people get the compensation they deserve. Let us help you get started with your claim today.