So, you slipped and fell at Walmart and suffered serious injuries, what should you do now? The answer to this question will largely depend upon the types of injuries you’ve suffered. If you merely fell and the only injury is the shame of the 8-year-old boy in aisle 15 laughing at you, this article may not be so helpful, and you may just need a little time to get over that shameful moment. However, if you slipped and fell in Walmart and suffered serious injuries requiring medical attention or surgery, this article can help you.
Walmart has thousands of locations in the United States, and hundreds of millions of customers walk around the store every week. You’ve almost certainly been in a Walmart, and probably everyone you know has been in a Walmart at least once before. Although there’s no way to be certain of this, there are probably more slip and fall incidents at Walmart than any other store because of the high traffic of customers; the variety of products throughout the store; and the sheer size of a typical Walmart.
In this article, we will talk about 9 helpful steps you can take after you suffer from a severe slip and fall accident at Walmart, or really any business for that matter. We want to give you some tips, some steps you can take to protect your rights, should you pursue your claim for premises liability because of a slip and fall or a trip and fall accident. After all, if you slipped and fell because of Walmart’s negligence and if you have thousands of dollars in medical bills and pain and suffering, Walmart’s goal is not to give you as much money as possible. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The Walmart attorneys, agents, and insurance folks will do everything they can to minimize your claim. Therefore, we’ve written a list of steps you can take to protect yourself after your slip and fall accident at Walmart. If you have any questions after reading this article, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're here to help you however we can.
Step 1: Make Sure It’s Safe to Move After You Fall at Walmart
The first thing we all want to do after falling down in public is to look around and see if anyone saw us fall. It’s embarrassing to fall in public where someone might see us. Then, once we look around and get over the initial shock, we want to hop up, dust off, and act like nothing happened. In most circumstances, this is probably going to be an acceptable course of action. However, in more serious slip and fall accidents, it’s important to pause and assess the situation before you move around too much.
When we get into any type of accident, the adrenaline is high, and we may not feel the pain from our injuries immediately. That’s what pain is for: to let us know we’re hurt. Thus, especially when we’re embarrassed, we may move too soon after an incident, which can actually make our injuries worse. Therefore, the best course of action is to pause after a serious slip and fall in Walmart. Sit there for a minute, catch your breath, and don’t move too much until the initial wave of anxiety passes over. Give the pain enough time to set in. If it doesn’t, you may be just fine, and it may be perfectly fine to get up and finish your errands. However, if serious pain sets in, it’s best to treat your injuries carefully and do your best to avoid making matters worse.
Step 2: Report Your Injury to a Walmart Representative After Your Fall
If your injuries don’t require an ambulance and if you aren’t rushed to the hospital, then you should find a Walmart representative and request to fill out an incident report at the scene of the fall. After your fall, you should demand that the manager on duty, or whoever is responsible for filling out these types of reports, complete the report of your accident and give you a copy of it. These reports can help you down the road if you must seek medical treatment for your injuries and if you need to pursue an injury claim.
Step 3: Get the Information of Witnesses to Your Walmart Slip and Fall
When you slip and fall in Walmart, the chances are that someone saw you fall. The shame hurts, but it may be a good thing that someone saw what happened. If possible, obtain written statements from any witnesses to your fall. They can help to describe why you fell and the substance or condition that made you fall. Big corporations love to call an injured person a liar. However, it’s much harder to accuse two or more people of lying. Therefore, witnesses can be extremely valuable to your injury claim after a slip and fall at Walmart.
Let’s say you slipped on an old, rotten-looking banana peel that had shoe marks all over it. Let’s also say that there was a witness to your fall that saw the old banana peel laying on the Walmart floor 15 minutes before you stepped on it and fell. You need that witness’s information. It could be very helpful to your claim because that witness could testify to seeing that banana peel long before you fell, and the same witness could talk about how the banana peel had tread marks all over it. This type of information from a witness could help to destroy any argument from Walmart alleging that its agents did not act negligently.
Step 4: Get the Information of the Walmart Employees
In addition to gathering witness information, you should also try to get the names of any Walmart agents, managers, or employees that could have witnessed the accident or discussed the accident with an employee that did witness it. Also, you should gather the information of the Walmart folks that were involved with you and your slip and fall incident after you fell. This information could help show that Walmart had knowledge of your incident. Additionally, your attorneys may need to depose one or more of the Walmart employees if you choose to file a lawsuit.
Step 5: Take Photos and Videos of the Slip and Fall Scene
Pictures and videos are hard to argue with. They are some of the best types of evidence, and chances are you will have a camera phone with you if you slip and fall in Walmart. Therefore, if possible, take photographs of the defect or condition that caused you to fall, as well as the area of the Walmart where you fell. Also, take pictures and videos of your injuries directly after the incident and in the days that follow. Photographs and videos are critical because they may assist in proving the existence of a defect and other important facts in your slip and fall case, should you decide to pursue a claim.
Step 6: Seek Medical Attention as Soon as Possible
If you are injured, you should seek medical attention because even minor injuries can transform into serious injuries if left untreated. As we talked about earlier, your injuries can initially be masked by adrenaline because of all the excitement and shock surrounding the accident. Thus, it is imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as possible if you think you've suffered serious injuries. When you show up at the doctor’s office or emergency room, explain the circumstances of your fall exactly as they happened. That way, the medical provider can document how the accident occurred, and this documentation could help you with your claim down the road.
Keep in mind: Whatever you tell the doctor will go into the doctor’s notes, and these notes will later become a part of the evidence in your injury claim. Therefore, don’t blab about everything. Just tell the doctor how you fell and do your best not to talk too much. Well-intentioned people can often reduce the value of their claim by making jokes or self-deprecating statements. For example, someone might say, “Oh, I’m so clumsy. My family makes fun of me for falling so much.” This is ammunition for the other side. Don’t give it to them.
Step 7: Maintain Detailed Records of Everything After the Slip and Fall Accident
If you slip and fall at a Walmart and suffer serious injuries, you may be entitled to a variety of damages, including past medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and past and future pain and suffering. These claims often involve a meticulous calculation of damages to make sure you get the money you deserve. This means that we must strictly account for the harm you’ve suffered because of your Walmart slip and fall. Therefore, it’s imperative that you keep detailed records of your medical expenses and lost wages. That way, we can make sure that you receive each dollar you’re entitled to.
Step 8: Don't Make Recorded Statements to the Walmart Folks Without Your Attorney Present
Stay off of recorded lines. Before you file a lawsuit you have no obligation to give the Walmart claims management people a recorded statement, nor do you have the obligation to give any recorded statements to any insurance company. Once you file a lawsuit, the other side has the right to get your deposition. However, before that, you don’t owe them a recorded statement.
These people are ruthless. At the very least, you should assume they are adversaries. They will do anything and everything they can to get you to give them a recorded statement after you slipped and fell at Walmart. Furthermore, they may tell you that you have to give them such a statement. Let’s be very clear: You do not have to give them a recorded statement. They have a right to your deposition after you file a lawsuit. That’s it. Moreover, when they take your deposition, you’ll have your attorney there with you. No matter what, never give them a recorded statement without your attorney present. Otherwise, you’re entering into a game that these people play every day. They are experts at minimizing claims, and they will inevitably try to get you to say something that will reduce the value of your claim.
At the end of the day, if you speak with a Walmart risk manager or insurance company, the information you provide them could be used against you. Liability surrounding slip and fall incidents is not as straightforward as it may seem. Thus, it’s best to say as little as possible to the Walmart insurance folks until you contact your attorney.
Step 9: Contact Us for a FREE Consultation With Our Slip and Fall Lawyers Who Sue Walmart
Due to the complicated nature of slip and falls and the massive power of a big corporation like Walmart, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced slip and fall attorney to help you with your injury claim. Contact a slip and fall lawyer at Spetsas Buist to help you get the compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations, and we’re happy to help you, regardless of whether we take your case. Moreover, when you schedule a consultation with our law firm, you will get time with a real attorney, not a customer service representative or some other legal assistant.