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 related to injuries on Walmart property.

Liability for a Walmart Slip & Fall Accidents

Recovering from a slip and fall accident in Walmart requires a finding of liability on the part of the store.

Under § 51-3-1 of the Georgia Code, Georgia’s premises liability statute, 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 mean:

  • Keeping aisles clear of inventory and spills
  • Securing any loose carpeting, flooring, or cables
  • Ensuring that overhead inventory is stored appropriately
  • Properly clearing the parking lots and sidewalks after inclement weather
  • Keeping entryways dry
  • Making sure the aisles are wide enough that shoppers can comfortably travel throughout the store
  • Properly maintaining automatic doors

In general, any deviation from store protocols could point to liability if a patron is injured in a slip and fall accident. That is, assuming the accident victim’s allegations are true and accurate.

The Elements of a Slip and Fall Claim Against Walmart

A slip and fall claim against Walmart is based on premises liability law. Under premises liability, the property owner (Walmart) is responsible for maintaining a safe premise for all guests. If the company fails to uphold this responsibility, 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. To succeed in your case, you need evidence that proves Walmart failed to exercise ordinary care. This evidence may include eyewitness statements and photos of the accident 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. The company frequently denies that Walmart had any liability for slip and fall injuries, and it almost always refuses to produce store video of the accident. The road to recovery may be difficult, as the store’s claims department will likely to deny most attempts for recovery.

Walmart Slip & Fall Lawsuits

Because of the challenges in communicating with Walmart and its insurer, injury victims may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit instead. Large retailers like Walmart often respond to these filings by offering a reasonable settlement and negotiating with a slip and fall plaintiff. If the company still refuses to settle, however, the victim may have to take the case to court and fight for damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In this situation, it’s a good idea to have a personal injury attorney to advocate for your case.

Compensation in Walmart Slip and Fall Cases

Since Walmart does not have an outside insurance company 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.

What Happens After a Walmart Slip and Fall?

You may be wondering what you should do after a slip and fall at Walmart. There are several steps you should take immediately after the accident.

1. Get Medical Treatment

It’s important to get medical treatment as soon as possible after a slip and fall accident. A medical professional should evaluate your injuries. Walmart may try to claim that you are not severely hurt, but x-rays and the other diagnostic treatment you receive after a slip and fall will prove otherwise.

2. Document The Scene and Your Injuries

If possible, take pictures and video of the area where you fell. If you’re not able to photograph the scene, 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 if there’s any debris, broken items, or puddles on the floor. This information will serve as evidence after a slip and fall at Walmart.

3. Notify the Store Manager or an Employee

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

4. Get Contact Information from Witnesses

If you slip and fall in a Walmart, there will likely be multiple eyewitnesses. Their account of what happened will be important if you need to prove what happened. Get the eyewitness’ contact information, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.

5. Write Down Everything That Happened

It’s important to write down exactly what happened after you slipped and fell in Walmart. Memories can fade quickly, and it’s essential to remember all the details about what happened. 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.

6. Contact a Walmart Slip and Fall Lawyer

As soon as you are able, it’s important to find an attorney with experience challenging 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 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 avoid liability. For example, a plaintiff may not be able to win a slip and fall case if they were injured in an area that’s not generally open to the public. If the victim fell in an employee area, they may be excluded from recovery.

The Hazard Was Marked

Walmart may also 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 statements that the victim makes and using it against them. 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. Instead, let your attorney handle all the communications with Walmart.

Offering to Pay Your Medical Bills

Walmart also uses the CMI claims department to 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.

You should never accept money or sign anything CMI or Walmart presents to you without first talking to a personal injury attorney. An attorney will advocate for your rights and fight for the settlement you deserve.

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 your medical treatment, you will be able to show Walmart just 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 that you simply need ongoing maintenance treatments.

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 two-year deadline for when you can file a slip and fall lawsuit against Walmart, then you forfeit your rights to compensation. The Champion Firm 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

When you slip and fall onto a hard surface, it can lead to severe injuries. Common slip and fall injuries include:

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

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