Have You Been Injured in an Accident in Walmart?
If you have been injured in an accident in Walmart – either as a customer or an employee – it may be possible to make accident in Walmart claims for compensation. However, not every accident results in Walmart injury settlements. Some accidents are simply unavoidable.
In order to claim injury compensation for an accident in Walmart, it has to be shown that the store, an employee of the store, or an agent of the store was negligent, and that the failure in their duty of care led to you suffering an avoidable injury.
Even when this is the case, Walmart accident claims can be difficult to resolve successfully. This is because, whereas many retail stores have public liability insurance to protect themselves against injury compensation claims, Walmart self-insures.
Self-insuring means that any settlement of injury compensation for an accident in Walmart comes directly from Walmart, and not an insurance company. Consequently, the world´s largest retail chain contests many Walmart accident claims or attempts to reduce compensation settlements to the minimum possible.
We have compiled this guide to Walmart accident claims to assist customers and employees who have been injured in an avoidable accident in Walmart. However, as no two Walmart accident claims are identical, if you have been injured in an accident in Walmart, it is recommended that you speak with a personal injury lawyer at the first practical opportunity.
An Unavoidable Accident or Negligence?
Being the largest retail chain in the country with more than 5,200 stores, it is inevitable that accidents in Walmart will happen. Your eligibility to claim injury compensation for an accident in Walmart will depend on whether your accident was unavoidable or attributable to negligence.
An example of an unavoidable accident is if you are injured due to having slipped on a grape in Walmart that had fallen out of a shopper´s trolley immediately in front of you. Regardless of the nature of the injury you sustained, Walmart could not be held liable.
Only if it could be proven that the grape on which you slipped had been on the floor for an unreasonable amount of time would it be possible to make a Walmart personal injury claim. Your claim would be justified because Walmart had failed to provide you with a safe environment in which to shop.
Further examples of Walmart personal injury claims that may be possible due to the failure to provide a safe shopping environment include:
- Tripped over a box in Walmart that had been left in an aisle.
- Slipped on a wet floor in Walmart due to the lack of a warning cone.
- Tripped in Walmart or fell over in Walmart due to products left on the floor.
- Slipped on yoghurt spilled on the floor in a Walmart store.
- Slipped on lettuce on the floor of a Walmart food aisle.
- Injured by a tin falling on a foot in Walmart due to an improperly stacked shelf.
- Slipped on sugar that had been spilled on the floor of a Walmart grocery store.
- Slipped on defrosted peas in Walmart that had been left on the floor for some time.
- Tripped and fell over a cracked tile on the floor in Walmart.
- Cut fingers on products displayed in Walmart.
- Hit on the head by a low hanging sign in Walmart.
- Cut wrist on a nail sticking out of a Walmart display cabinet.
- Slipped and fell due to spilled cooking oil on the floor of a Walmart store.
- Slipped and fell on a water spillage near the floristry section in Walmart.
- Slipped on water leaking from a refrigerator in Walmart.
- Slipped on milk spilled on the Walmart grocery store floor.
- Fell in Walmart parking lot due to failure to clear away ice and snow.
Walmart equips its stores with CCTV cameras throughout. If there is any doubt about the length of time a hazard responsible for your injury has been present, your solicitor should be able to acquire a copy of the appropriate recordings to establish your entitlement to compensation for an accident in Walmart.
Making an Out-of-Store Walmart Personal Injury Claim
Not all Walmart accidents and injuries occur in-store. Walmart has a duty of care to keep certain areas of public access free from hazard – such as parking lots and sidewalks, or restrooms and restaurants on their premises. Even when the responsibility for cleaning has been subcontracted to another service provider, you will still be able to claim Walmart accident compensation if you are injured due to:
- Slipping on an icy sidewalk outside Walmart.
- Tripping over an uneven surface in a Walmart parking lot.
- Being hit by a Walmart employee pushing carts.
- Falling due to a fault in a Walmart entry ramp.
- Being hit by an automatic door at Walmart.
CCTV coverage is not as comprehensive in these areas as it is in-store. Therefore, if you sustain an injury in an accident in Walmart that takes place outside of the store, it is very important to record the names of any witnesses who may have seen your accident, report your accident to a member of Walmart´s staff, and seek medical attention for your injury at the first possible opportunity.
Walmart Product Liability Claims
Walmart customer injury claims are not exclusively reserved for instore accidents or injuries sustained in the parking lot. If you have suffered an illness or an injury due to a faulty product, you may be able to make Walmart product liability claims.
Walmart has its place at the head of the retail market because it´s size enables it to negotiate massive bulk discounts. However, while squeezing suppliers to get the best deals for the products it sells, Walmart sometimes neglects to ensure the products are safe.
It has been reported that Walmart relies on customer complaints after the fact as part of its quality control policy. Consequently there have been times when products sold by Walmart have caused illnesses and injuries for which the company is liable to pay injury compensation. Speak with your lawyer about Walmart product liability claims if you feel this scenario applies to you.
The Walmart Employee Injury Policy
It has been alleged that the reason for the high level of employee injuries at Walmart is because the company also cuts costs on the health and safety of its employees. However, the high level of employee injuries at Walmart may also be due to the fact that the retail giant employs so many people.
The Walmart employee injury policy is that it provides an in-house workers compensation. However, like Walmart customer injury claims, Walmart self-insures. Consequently if you have sustained an injury in one of the following accidents due to your employer´s negligence or the negligence of a colleague, your manager may try to dissuade you from making a claim for Walmart employee injury compensation:
- Employee injuries due to trips, slips and falls in Walmart.
- Cuts from box cutters while working for Walmart.
- An electrical accident in Walmart due to faulty equipment.
- A Walmart compactor accident due to a lack of training.
- Employee manual lifting injuries at Walmart.
- Repetitive strain injuries while working for Walmart.
- Walmart employee injuries due to falling boxes and falls from height.
There are allegations on the Internet that the retail giant does not always adhere to the Walmart employee injury policy – some authors accusing the company of unfair practices in retaliation for claiming compensation for an employee injury at Walmart. If you encounter any obstacles to claiming compensation for an accident at Walmart, you should speak with a lawyer immediately.
Health Concerns Following an Injury in Walmart
Should you experience an injury in an accident in Walmart, you first concern should be that of your health. Fortunately the majority of slips, trips and falls in Walmart result in little more than bruised pride, and although you cannot make Walmart accident claims for mild embarrassment, you should still have a precautionary examination by a doctor after an accident in Walmart – even if you received First Aid at the store.
The symptoms of some injuries sustained in an accident in Walmart may not manifest for a considerable period of time, but it is always in your best interests to seek prompt medical attention for the sake of your health and to eliminate claims of contributory negligence – where you have allowed your injury to deteriorate before seeking medical attention, and thus worsened your condition by your own lack of care.
No amount of compensation will completely compensate up for a lifelong disability which could have been avoided by timely medical intervention so, if your injury is not considered sufficiently severe to warrant summoning an ambulance, you should visit the Accident and Emergency department of your local hospital or make an emergency appointment to see your family doctor as soon as possible.
Procedures in the Aftermath of an Accident in Walmart
Once you have received medical treatment for your injuries, you should make a report of your accident in Walmart in their “Accident Report Book”. Your Walmart accident report should be as comprehensive as possible, including details – if you have them – of witnesses who saw your accident. Keep a copy of the report into your accident in Walmart grocery store to supply to your lawyer to prove you have been injured in Walmart.
Because Walmart has its own insurance division, the Walmart accident report policy is that you will be given the telephone number of the risk management office to call. Unfortunately, because of the number of personal injury claims against Walmart made each day, the risk management office cannot keep on top of every one. Consequently, claims for compensation are often delayed or denied in the hope that the injured customer will give up their entitlement to Walmart accident compensation.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, personal injury claims against Walmart are often contested and fiercely defended. It is unlikely that, once you have submitted your Walmart accident report that you will get much assistance from the company and should seek professional legal assistance – especially if you receive offers of Walmart accident compensation prior to an action.
Offers of Walmart Accident Compensation Prior to an Action
It was also mentioned at the beginning of this article that Walmart will attempt to reduce compensation settlements to the minimum possible. Therefore, whenever the company´s negligence is clearly established and court action would likely be successful, the Walmart claims department will try to get you to accept an inadequate settlement of Walmart injury compensation in return for an early settlement.
Often the Walmart claims department will allege that you contributed to your accident by not looking where you were going, or claim that you should have taken more care for your own health and safety. They may tell you they have CCTV footage showing that your accident in Walmart could have been avoided if you have watched where you were going. If this is the case, make sure you ask for a copy so it can be reviewed by your lawyer.
Despite the welcoming nature of an immediate cash payment if you are unable to work and worried about your finances, should the offer be less than you require for medical treatment or to support your family you cannot go back to Walmart and ask for more. A personal injury lawyer will make a full assessment of your Walmart accident compensation claim to ensure that you receive the maximum possible settlement.
What a Settlement of Walmart Injury Compensation Includes
There are a number of facets that a personal injury lawyer would take into consideration when assessing a claim for an accident in Walmart grocery store. The first would be the severity of the injury you have experienced and the length of time you may take to recover from your accident in Walmart. The lawyer would also integrate into claims any “loss of amenity” that you suffer – where you are unable to participate in activities and hobbies that you would have usually taken part in, but are unable to do so now because of your injuries.
You will also be able to include in your accident compensation claim damages for any psychological injury you have suffered. Although being embarrassed by your accident in Walmart may not qualify as emotional damage for compensation purposes, suffering from depression or anxiety due to immobility during your rehabilitation may – provided that the psychological injury is quantifiable and established by a qualified psychiatrist.
You are also entitled to recoup any expenses you have incurred due to your accident in Walmart subject to them being supported by receipts and other documentary evidence. Financial costs which can be included in Walmart accident claims include medical expenses, loss of income, alternative travel arrangements if you are not able to drive and any legal costs associated with pursuing an accident in Walmart compensation claim.
How Contributory Negligence affects Walmart Accident Claims
As referred to above, contributory negligence is a term used when you have contributed to the cause of your accident in Walmart or the extent of your injuries by your own lack of care. A common defense against claims for trips, slips and falls in Walmart is that the claimant “with reasonable care” would have avoided whichever mishap was responsible for their injury.
Whereas the defense of “reasonable care” should not apply to Walmart accident claims – as the store would be admitting that they do not try to make the goods on their shelves as attractive as possible to grab the shopper´s attention – there are other areas of contributory negligence which may result in a reduction of any Walmart accident compensation settlement.
It has already been stated above about how failing to seek immediate medical attention can be interpreted as contributory negligence, and scenarios such as where a claimant has been injured after climbing upon a shelf to reach an article – rather than wait for the help of a shop assistant – can also be considered as contributing to an accident in Walmart by one´s own lack of care.
Walmart Injury Settlements are Often Appealed
If a claim for an accident in Walmart goes to court, and a jury makes an award of Walmart accident compensation, there is a strong likelihood that the settlement will be appealed – especially if you have been awarded punitive damages. Walmart injury settlements are often appealed – or post-hearing motions filed – to try and reduce the amount of damages awarded.
In some cases, the attempts to reduce Walmart injury settlements are successful. These are usually the cases in which there is a doubt about contributory negligence or an exceptional award of punitive damages has been made. In others, settlements of compensation for an accident in Walmart have been increased as more information about the long-term effects of the injury become apparent.
It is best to be aware that Walmart injury settlements are often appealed, because the appeals process will extend how long it takes to receive a compensation settlement. The time factor alone might influence whether or not you accept an offer of compensation from Walmart´s claims department, but nonetheless, it is still in your best interests to seek legal advice about accident in Walmart claims before coming to any decision.
Free Legal Advice about Accident in Walmart Claims
Some people may be of the opinion that their Walmart accident compensation claim is frivolous or that they are wasting a lawyer´s time by asking questions about it. However an approach by Walmart´s claims department is only one of the reasons for speaking with a lawyer about your Walmart accident claim at the first possible opportunity. An accident in Walmart where a minor has been injured, or a scenario in which you have only just been diagnosed with an injury attributable to a past accident in Walmart, will mean that different procedures have to be followed with possibly different outcomes.
If you have sustained an injury in an accident in Walmart which was not entirely due to your own lack of care, and would like to find out more about making personal injury claims against Walmart, you are invited to call our service and discuss the circumstances of your accident in Walmart directly with an experienced lawyer.
Our lawyer will answer any questions you may have about Walmart accident claims and establish whether you have a Walmart accident compensation claim which is worth your while to pursue. You are under no obligation to follow our advice or proceed with a claim for an accident in Walmart, and all calls to our service are completely confidential.
No two separate accident in Walmart claims are identical, so it is important that you seek professional legal advice to establish your entitlement to compensation for an accident in Walmart, and to determine how much Walmart accident compensation you should be entitled to. Allow your lawyer be the judge of whether your personal injury claim against Walmart is frivolous or whether you have a justifiable case for compensation for an accident in Walmart.