Learn how to file a claim and recover maximum compensation if you were injured at a Miami Walmart.
Since its humble beginnings as a small discount retailer in Rogers, Arkansas, Walmart has expanded to open thousands of stores across the United States, including nearly 400 Walmart locations in Florida.
With such a tremendous corporate reach also comes tremendous responsibility. While Florida law requires Walmart and other retailers to make a reasonable effort to provide a safe environment for visitors, accidents like slips, trips and falls can and do happen.
If you’ve recently suffered an injury while shopping at a Walmart in Miami, you may have a legal right to receive compensation, but the steps you take in the hours, days and weeks after the accident can significantly impact your claim.
Read on to learn more about your rights after an injury at Walmart. If you’d like help filing a claim or simply have questions about the personal injury process in Florida, reach out to experienced Miami injury attorney Mike Redondo at Redondo Law for a free case evaluation.
Common causes of slip, trip and fall accidents at Walmart
Slip, trip, and fall accidents at large retail stores like Walmart are not uncommon and can be caused by a variety of factors. Understanding these causes is essential for both preventing these types of incidents and addressing liability in the event of an accident.
Here are some common causes of slip-and-fall accidents at Walmart and the injuries they might lead to:
- Spilled liquids, weather-soaked floors, and recently mopped or waxed floors without proper warning signage can lead to slip-and-fall accidents. This is one of the most common causes of falls in retail settings.
- Aisles cluttered with boxes, merchandise or equipment left in the aisles can cause tripping hazards.
- Insufficient lighting, especially in lesser-used areas like garden centers or back corners, can make it hard to see obstacles or changes in flooring.
- Irregularities in flooring, such as cracks, potholes in parking lots, or uneven transitions between different types of flooring, can cause trips and falls.
- Entrance mats or rugs that are not properly secured can bunch up or roll, leading to tripping hazards.
Injuries resulting from these accidents can range from minor to severe and may include:
- Bruises and abrasions. These are common in less severe falls and usually heal with basic first aid.
- Sprains and strains. A slip or trip can lead to awkward movements, resulting in sprained ankles or wrists.
- Broken bones. Particularly among older shoppers, falls can result in fractures, often of the hip, wrist, or ankle.
- Traumatic brain injuries. A fall can cause a person to hit their head, leading to concussions or more severe traumatic brain injuries.
- Back and spinal cord injuries. Slips or trips can lead to back injuries, which can range from temporary discomfort to long-term spinal cord injuries.
When is Walmart liable for a slip-and-fall injury?
Walmart, like any other business in Florida, has a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of its customers, known as a “duty of care.” This means Walmart must take reasonable steps to keep its premises safe and prevent foreseeable injuries.
So, what happens when you slip and fall at Walmart?
If Walmart fails to uphold its duty of care and a customer is injured as a result, the store can be held liable for the customer’s injuries.
In Florida, liability in slip-and-fall cases is often determined by the concept of “modified comparative negligence.” This legal principle means that if both Walmart and the injured party share some fault for the accident, the compensation awarded to the injured party can be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
Here’s an example:
Suppose a customer slips and falls on a spilled liquid in Walmart that employees didn’t clean up promptly, but the customer was texting while walking and not paying attention to their surroundings.
In a lawsuit, it might be determined that Walmart is 70% at fault for not addressing the spill in a timely manner, while the customer is 30% at fault for not paying attention. If the total damages (medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.) amount to $100,000, the customer’s compensation would be reduced by their percentage of fault, which in this case is 30%. Therefore, the customer would receive $70,000 instead of the full $100,000.
In assessing liability, factors such as the length of time the hazard (like the spill) existed, whether Walmart knew or should have known about the hazard, and whether the store took reasonable steps to address it are all considered.
It’s important for anyone injured in such an incident to seek legal advice to understand their rights and the potential impact of comparative negligence on their claim.
How does Walmart handle slip-and-fall cases?
Like most corporations, Walmart’s primary focus is minimizing legal liability and financial payouts after an injury in one of their stores.
Typically, when a slip-and-fall incident occurs, Walmart employees are trained to respond promptly. This often includes providing immediate assistance to the injured person, documenting the incident, and cleaning up the hazard to prevent further accidents.
Slip-and-fall claims against Walmart are usually managed by their claims management team or an external company. They assess the claim, investigate the incident’s details, and determine Walmart’s liability.
If the case escalates to a legal claim, Walmart has a team of attorneys or an external law firm to handle the lawsuit. Their legal strategy often involves scrutinizing the plaintiff’s claims for any inconsistencies and applying the principles of comparative negligence, where the blame might be shared between Walmart and the injured party.
Does Walmart usually settle out of court?
Walmart may offer a settlement to the injured party, especially if they believe the case against them is strong. Since Walmart’s goal is to pay as little as possible, you should always be wary if they try to pressure you into accepting an offer quickly before you have time to consult an attorney.
It’s important for individuals involved in a slip-and-fall accident at Walmart to seek legal advice, as navigating claims against a large corporation can be complex. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights, assess the strength of your case, and negotiate with Walmart and their attorneys.
How much are most Walmart slip-and-fall settlements?
The amount of compensation you can expect to receive after a Walmart slip-and-fall accident is highly variable, as it depends on numerous factors specific to each case, including the severity of the injury and its impact on your life.
Typically, victims of these accidents may be entitled to compensation for various types of damages, including:
- Medical bills. This includes costs for immediate treatment following the accident and any ongoing medical expenses related to the injury, such as physical therapy or surgery.
- Income loss. If the injury resulted in missing work, victims can be compensated for lost wages during the recovery period.
- Reduced earning capacity. In cases where the injury leads to long-term impairment, affecting the victim’s ability to earn as they did before the accident, compensation can include the loss of future earning potential.
- Disability. If the accident results in a permanent disability, victims may be compensated for the life-altering impact of this disability.
- Disfigurement. Compensation can be sought for any scarring or other forms of disfigurement resulting from the injury.
- Pain and suffering and emotional distress. These non-economic damages compensate for the physical pain and emotional distress suffered due to the accident.
A Florida personal injury attorney can evaluate the facts of your case and determine the types and amount of compensation you should be entitled to receive.
Learn about economic damages in Florida personal injury and accident claims, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages and more.
Filing a successful slip-and-fall claim against Walmart
So, if I slipped and fell at Walmart, what should I do?
Victims of slip-and-fall accidents at Walmart can significantly enhance their chances of success in a personal injury claim by taking prompt and thorough action. Key steps include:
- Gathering evidence. Collecting evidence is crucial. This means taking photos of the spot where the fall occurred, especially of any conditions like wet floors or obstacles that led to the accident. If there are any eyewitnesses, get their contact details for future reference. Also, request copies of surveillance footage from the store and the accident report that store management should file, as these can provide vital documentation of the incident.
- Reporting the accident. Inform a Walmart manager or another employee in a supervisory role about the accident as soon as it happens. This ensures that the incident is officially recorded by the store, which is important for validating your claim.
- Seeking medical attention. Visit a hospital or a medical professional immediately following the accident. This not only ensures that you receive necessary medical care but also provides a professional assessment of your injuries, which is an essential part of your claim.
- Documenting your experience. As soon as possible, write down a detailed account of the incident while the details are fresh in your mind. Include everything leading up to the fall, the fall itself, and the immediate aftermath. This personal record can be a valuable reference in your case.
- Contacting an attorney. Engage with a premises liability attorney who has experience in slip-and-fall cases, particularly against large retailers like Walmart. An attorney can provide expert guidance, help in gathering and presenting evidence, and negotiate on your behalf for fair compensation.
Each of these steps plays a crucial role in building a strong case against Walmart and can significantly impact the outcome of your personal injury claim.
How long does it take to settle a slip-and-fall case with Walmart?
The timeframe to settle a slip-and-fall case with Walmart varies depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the severity of the injuries, and the willingness of both parties to negotiate.
Typically, these cases can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years to resolve.
Simpler cases with clear evidence of Walmart’s liability and less severe injuries might be settled relatively quickly, often within a few months. However, more complex cases, especially those involving severe injuries or disputed liability, can take longer, sometimes stretching to a year or more.
The process involves investigation, evidence gathering, negotiation between your attorney and Walmart’s legal team, and, potentially, litigation. The timeline can also be influenced by the efficiency of legal proceedings and the caseload of the courts if the case goes to trial.
Do I need a slip-and-fall accident attorney after an injury at Walmart?
In many cases, yes, especially if you suffered a serious injury. This is because Walmart operates differently than many retailers due to the corporation’s massive size.
Walmart self-insures. This means instead of dealing with a separate insurance company, injured parties deal with an entity the retailer created with its own money.
Accident victims who win a claim against Walmart are paid with the retailer’s own funds instead of being compensated through an insurance policy. Therefore, Walmart typically fights even more aggressively to preserve its resources.
It’s also not uncommon for representatives of the retailer to intimidate accident victims, orchestrate delays in the claims process, or be unreachable for phone conversations. A personal injury attorney can advise you of your rights and communicate with Walmart’s representatives on your behalf to help you recover the full compensation you deserve.
Were you injured in a slip-and-fall accident at Walmart? Miami injury attorney Mike Redondo can help.
If you’ve suffered a slip-and-fall injury at a Miami Walmart, don’t rush into a settlement without fully understanding the value of your claim. At Redondo Law, experienced Miami slip-and-fall lawyer Mike Redondo brings a wealth of expertise in dealing with large corporate retailers like Walmart.
With his deep knowledge of personal injury and premises liability law and a proven track record of successful claims against big corporations, Mike Redondo is equipped to assess the true worth of your claim.
He will guide you through the legal process, ensuring that all factors, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, are taken into account to maximize your compensation.
Don’t let Walmart’s size and resources intimidate you; with Redondo Law on your side, you have a powerful advocate who will tirelessly work to secure the justice and compensation you deserve.
Schedule your free consultation by filling out the form below.