| Read Time: 5 minutes | Personal Injury

According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slips and falls account for over one million emergency room visits yearly. Many of those incidents occur in retail stores such as Walmart. If you recently suffered a slip and fall incident in your local Walmart, you might be wondering, Can I sue Walmart for a slip and fall? Today, we will discuss what to do in that situation.

What to Do If You Slip and Fall in a Walmart

What to Do If You Slip and Fall in a Walmart: Steps to Take

In the moments after a slip and fall at Walmart, you might feel confused, anxious, and even slightly embarrassed. Knowing what steps you should take can alleviate some of the stress. Remember, every case is unique, so do not fret if you think some of these steps might not apply to your situation. Instead, use this as a general reference to guide you through those overwhelming moments. 

Seek Medical Treatment

The first thing you should do after a slip and fall is determine whether you need emergency medical attention, and if you do, contact 911. If you think your injury does not require immediate attention or even if you believe you are uninjured, you should still seek medical care from a doctor as soon as possible. The shock of a fall can often mask pain and symptoms, and some symptoms may take days or weeks to appear. You must see a physician to assess and diagnose your injuries properly.

Report the Accident

After a slip and fall at Walmart, you should report the accident to the store manager or supervisor. Describing what occurred and ensuring an incident report is thoroughly filled out is essential. You should also request a copy for your records. 

This might also be an excellent time to ask if they have a surveillance video covering the area of your fall. You should advise the supervisor that you are formally requesting a copy of any such video. Walmart has some of the best video surveillance of all big box stores, so they likely captured your fall and the moments before and after on camera.

Collect Evidence

If you are physically able, you should document and collect any available evidence. Snapping pictures and videos with your phone is the best way to do this. If you can document the spill or other hazard that caused your fall, it can be crucial evidence later. Getting the photo right away is imperative before an employee mops or otherwise cleans up the mess.

Examples of evidence to gather at the scene include:

  • Photos of the hazard,
  • Pictures and video of the overall scene,
  • Witness contact information, and
  • A copy of the incident report.

It may seem extreme, but it is also a good idea to preserve the clothes and shoes you wear during your fall. Do not wash or throw them away. Importantly, they can have evidence of the hazard that caused your fall. For example, if you slip on spilled motor oil in the isle, that residue will likely be on your clothes.

Another critical but often overlooked aspect of documenting evidence is simply jotting down your thoughts and version of events. Write down what you were doing just before you fell, anything you can remember during, and what you did immediately after. It is usual for even the accident victim themselves to forget specific details over time. Writing it down shortly after it occurred can provide credible evidence later. You can also keep a log or journal of any symptoms, pain, emotional turmoil, or treatment you receive following the accident. 

File a Claim with Walmart

After getting your bearings, you must file an insurance claim with Walmart. These forms are available online, and while you could complete them yourself, we recommend enlisting the help of an attorney to accurately and thoroughly submit your claim.

Consult with a Slip and Fall Lawyer

Given its enormous size, Walmart deals with many injury claims each year. Their insurance adjusters and attorneys have one motive—to resolve these claims for as little money as possible. If you report an injury and file a claim with Walmart, their adjusters will likely reach out with a lowball settlement offer. This is a tactic. They know you are injured, probably not working, and that medical bills are likely piling up. In other words, they know you might jump at the first offer of money because you need money now. But once you accept an offer, you can never go back for more, regardless of how much your injury ends up costing. So never accept an offer without first consulting with an experienced slip-and-fall attorney. 

Common Slip and Fall Injuries

While it is true that slip and fall accidents commonly result in broken bones, bumps, and bruises, they can also cause various other injuries, many of which can be severe and permanent. Slip and fall injuries can also include the following:

  • Concussions,
  • Other traumatic brain injuries,
  • Lacerations,
  • Wrist injuries,
  • Spinal cord and neck injuries,
  • Hip fractures, and
  • Chronic pain.

No matter the injury, you have legal rights to recovery. One of our skilled lawyers can help determine if you have a valid claim.

Proving Your Claim

Most slip and fall claims rely on a theory of negligence. In other words, Walmart’s negligent conduct caused your injury. As the plaintiff, you must prove four essential elements to succeed.

Specifically, you will need to show the following:

  • Walmart owed you a duty of care;
  • Walmart breached that duty of care;
  • The breach of duty caused your slip and fall and resulting injuries; and 
  • You suffered damages as a result of those injuries.

The information and evidence you may have gathered earlier can be essential to proving your claim later.

Do I Need an Attorney to Sue Walmart?

While the negligence elements may seem relatively straightforward, proving your case can be more challenging and complex than you think, especially with a defendant like Walmart. While there is no legal requirement for hiring an attorney to sue Walmart, we strongly encourage all potential clients to do so. It can mean the difference between success and failure. There is a unique but significant factor to remember when suing Walmart.

Walmart is self-funded or self-insured. Traditionally, any slip and fall claims are paid by the store’s insurer, not the store itself. However, with Walmart, it is different. Because it is so large, Walmart funds its own liability claims, and therefore, any money awarded or paid out for settlements comes directly from Walmart’s own pocket.  

California Slip and Fall Lawyers

If you are wondering how to file a slip and fall claim against Walmart, our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys help you. At Frederick Law Firm, we have extensive experience advocating for slip and fall victims against big box stores. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to learn more about what we can do for you!

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