Walmart Slip and Fall Claims in Georgia

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If you recently fell while shopping at Walmart in or around Marietta, Georgia, and would like to discuss the accident with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, please contact The Champion Firm, P.C., right away.

We work on behalf of accident victims to help ensure maximum recovery, particularly in light of well-publicized settlements offered to shoppers injured on Walmart store property.

Liability for a Walmart Slip & Fall Accidents

Recovering after a slip and fall accident in Walmart requires a finding of liability on the part of the store, which necessitates an analysis of Georgia’s “premises liability” statute.

Under ยง 51-3-1 of the Georgia Code, an owner or occupier of a store is liable for any injuries on the premises that are due to a “failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.”

For a large retailer like Walmart, “ordinary care” can take many forms, including:

  • Keeping aisles clear of inventory and spills
  • Securing inventory stored overhead
  • Properly shoveling and salting the parking lots and sidewalks following snow and ice
  • Keeping entryways dry
  • Spacing aisles such that shoppers can comfortably travel throughout the store
  • Properly maintaining automatic doors

In general, any deviation from store protocols could indicate liability if a patron slips and falls, resulting in injury. That is, of course, assuming there is no applicable defense to the accident victim’s factual allegations.

In other words, you may think that Walmart was completely at fault for your injuries, but you may have played a role in your injuries as well, and without the proper help from a personal injury attorney, you could lose your case.

The Elements of a Slip and Fall Claim Against Walmart

A slip and fall claim against Walmart is based on premises liability. Under premises liability, the property owner, like the Walmart building, is responsible for maintaining a safe premise for all guests. If they fail to uphold this duty, they are considered legally negligent.

When that negligence causes injuries and financial loss, Walmart is responsible for your damages.

The specific elements of a slip and fall claim against Walmart include:

  • Walmart had a duty to maintain a safe premise for guests.
  • Walmart failed to uphold that duty, and the premises was dangerous.
  • Walmart’s negligence resulted in your injuries.
  • Your injuries resulted in financial loss.

If you meet these four elements, you may be eligible for compensation from Walmart for your damages.

Filing a Claim Against Walmart in Georgia

Premises liability claims are heavily fact-driven and necessitate sufficient evidence that the store failed to exercise ordinary care. Accordingly, it helps document the accident as precisely as possible by collecting eyewitness statements and pictures of the scene.

Walmart is Self-Insured

Walmart stores are self-insured, which means they handle their own injury claims in-house without a third-party insurance provider. Walmart uses CMI (Claims Management, Inc.) to manage its injury claims.

CMI can be difficult to deal with. It frequently denies Walmart had any liability for slip and fall injuries, and it almost always refused to produce store video that captured the accident. Therefore, the road to recovery may be difficult, as the store’s claims department is likely to deny most attempts for recovery from the start.

Walmart Slip & Fall Lawsuits

If working with Walmart proves futile, injury victims may opt to file a personal injury lawsuit in state or federal district court to pursue damages based on negligence. Large retailers like Walmart often respond to these filings by offering a reasonable settlement and are more likely to negotiate with a slip and fall plaintiff. If not, a jury may ultimately award significant damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Therefore, your best bet may be to take them to court with a personal injury attorney on your side.

Compensation in Walmart Slip and Fall Cases

Since Walmart does not have an insurance company or third party that manages liability claims against the store, their in-house legal team usually isn’t afraid of denying claims and going to court. This discourages frivolous lawsuits. However, if you were injured due to the negligence of Walmart or one of Walmart’s employees, you are entitled to compensation.

Working with your own attorney is your best option for recovering the following losses:

If you can prove that Walmart and its employees were negligent and caused your slip and fall, the company is likely to negotiate a settlement through Walmart’s injury policy.

What Happens After a Walmart Slip and Fall?

You may be confused after a slip and fall at Walmart and wonder what you should do. There are several steps you should take as soon as possible.

1. Get Medical Treatment

It’s important to get medical treatment immediately after a slip and fall because it establishes a baseline for the severity of your injuries. Walmart may try to claim that you are not severely hurt. The x-rays and other diagnostic treatment you receive after a slip and fall will prove that you were hurt.

2. Document The Scene and Your Injuries

If you can take pictures and video of the area where you fell, you should do so. If you cannot get up, ask someone else to take your phone and record what the area looks like. Make sure you take pictures of where you fell, the position in which you landed, any floor signage, and debris, broken items, or puddles that were on the floor.

This information will serve as evidence after a slip and fall at Walmart.

3. Notify the Store Manager or an Employee

Ensure someone notifies the store manager or another responsible employee about what happened. They will know Walmart’s slip and fall policy and make a Walmart incident report that can be used later in your slip and fall claim. You should also get the employee’s contact information to talk to them later about what happened.

4. Get Contact Information from Witnesses

There will likely be multiple eyewitnesses if you slip and fall in a Walmart. Their account of what happened will be important if you need to prove what happened later. Get contact information, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses, for everyone nearby.

5. Write Down Everything That Happened

It’s important to write down exactly what happened soon after you slipped and fell in Walmart. Your memory can fade quickly, and all the details about what happened at that moment are essential. When you are seeking a Walmart slip and fall settlement, you will need to give a full account of exactly what happened to prove Walmart was negligent (or acted wrongfully) in some way.

6. Contact a Walmart Slip and Fall Lawyer

As soon as you are able, it’s important to find an attorney with experience going up against a giant corporation like Walmart. Instead of dealing with these claims through an insurance company, Walmart handles them itself. They can be hard to deal with. Your attorney will know how to effectively communicate with Walmart’s legal team and negotiate a fair slip and fall settlement on your behalf.

Possible Defenses to Walmart Slip and Fall Claims

Walmart is no stranger to litigation, and it may use certain tactics to help evade liability. For example, a slip and fall doctrine does not apply in any scenario where a plaintiff suffered injuries in an area not generally open to the public. Therefore, if a slip and fall occurs in an employee area, a victim may be excluded from recovery.

The Hazard Was Marked

Walmart may also attempt to argue that it offered the shopper adequate warning of hazards. This defense might be successful if the victim was aware of the spill in the aisle, perhaps due to the presence of a wet floor sign.

You Made a Conflicting Statement

One of Walmart’s primary tactics against victims is taking any personal statement made by the victim after the incident and using it against them. That means that anything you say to Walmart and its representatives will likely be used in an attempt to blame you for your slip and fall accident. Don’t let them use your own words against you.

Everything you say to Walmart should go through an attorney who can protect your rights.

Offering to Pay Your Medical Bills

Walmart also uses the CMI claims department to record claims and make offers to pay medical bills, and then they deny the rest of the claim. A CMI employee may reach out to you after a slip and fall and seem concerned and sympathetic. However, it is unlikely that they will offer to pay you what you deserve without intervention from a lawyer who is not afraid to sue Walmart.

You should never accept money or sign anything CMI or Walmart presents to you without first talking to a personal injury attorney.

Diminish Your Injuries or Harm Done

Walmart will likely downplay your injuries and try to intimidate you into accepting a lowball settlement offer. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible. By keeping track of how your injuries affect your everyday life and continuing recommended medical treatment, you will be able to show Walmart how severe your injuries are.

Use Stall Tactics to Delay Paying

Walmart knows that you have a limited amount of time to file a Walmart personal injury claim in court, so they will do everything possible to delay your actions. They may encourage you to keep going to doctors, even when a physician says you’ve reached maximum medical improvement and you simply need maintenance treatment ongoing.

They may discourage you from seeking a settlement until you know precisely what you need to alter your home to accommodate your disabilities. However, these delays are unnecessary and can cause you to miss important statutory deadlines.

If you miss the deadline for when you can file a slip and fall lawsuit against Walmart (two years from the date of injury), then you forfeit your ability to get any compensation at all. We can use existing evidence and expert opinions to estimate your case’s worth and get what you deserve from Walmart within the necessary period.

Common Walmart Slip and Fall Injuries

If you were injured in a Walmart slip and fall accident, you are likely to be severely injured. The impact of a body when it free falls onto a hard floor surface can be jolting.

Common injuries that occur in slip and fall accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Concussions
  • Strained or torn muscles and ligaments
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Knee damage
  • Sprained ankles or wrists
  • Shoulder dislocations
  • Spine and nerve damage
  • Cuts and bruises

These injuries may seem superficial at first, but they can have damaging effects for days, weeks, or longer.

Help Starts with a Free Consultation

If you consider a personal injury claim against Walmart and would like to discuss your options, contact us at The Champion Firm, P.C., today. We serve clients in Marietta, Metro Atlanta, and the surrounding areas of Cobb County.

Contact us at 404-596-8044 by phone, text, or chat. We don’t charge a fee unless we win.