Walmart is one of the largest retailers in the world, with 10,500 stores in 24 countries. Each year, people are injured in these stores, and one common cause of injury is falling.
If you have been injured and are wondering how to sue Walmart, you should know that suing a corporation of this size is challenging. You may want to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who not only knows how to sue Walmart for personal injury but also has trial and negotiation experience with similarly large companies.
What Are Some Common Reasons People Sue Walmart?
Walmart has to provide a safe environment for customers and when they fail to do so, they can be held accountable. Customers and visitors have sued Walmart for crushing injuries, injuries caused by falling products, poor security, defective products, and other issues.
One of the most common causes for lawsuits against Walmart, however, include slip and fall cases. This is not surprising, given how often slip and fall cases lead to serious and costly medical bills. One in five falls results in a serious injury, such as a fracture, spinal cord or back injury, or a traumatic brain injury, and these can add up to tens of thousands of dollars in losses or even millions of dollars in losses for an injured person.
Walmart has been involved in some notable lawsuits stemming from slip and fall cases. In 2021, for example, a federal district court in Orlando awarded a plaintiff $2 million in a slip and fall case after concluding Walmart was fully responsible for the injuries. In 2021, a federal jury awarded a woman $1.4 million after she was injured in a slip and fall at a Walmart in Georgia.
How Do You Know If You Have a Case on Your Hands Against Walmart?
If you have slipped on spilled food, a water leak, a wet floor, or for any other reason in a Walmart store, in a Walmart parking lot, or any other Walmart location and you have suffered injuries because of your fall which have required medical care or time away from work, you may have a claim. If Walmart fails to keep their property reasonably safe and you are injured as a result, you may have a premises liability claim.
If you have been injured after slipping and falling at a Walmart but are not sure whether you have a claim, you can always schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Johnson Garcia. We can go over what happened and may be able to tell you whether you have a claim.
How Hard Is It to Sue Walmart?
Walmart self-insures through its own insurance adjuster, a company called Claims Management, Inc. (CMI). CMI handles all personal injury claims for Walmart, so if you slip and fall in a Walmart store, CMI may contact you and CMI representatives may even be sympathetic. Ultimately, however, CMI works for Walmart and seeks to minimize claims against the retailer.
CMI may seek to get a recorded statement from you, may claim they are trying to help you pay your medical bills, but may still ultimately deny your claim or offer much less than you need to pay the bills. Anything you say to a CMI representative can be used to try to minimize your claim.
When a lawsuit is filed, it’s not uncommon for Walmart and its representatives to try to avoid liability and minimize any payouts. They may allege they are not responsible for an injury or may claim your injuries stem from a pre-existing condition or injury not related to the slip and fall. They may claim some medical treatment is not necessary or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Like any large company, Walmart can also afford to delay the claim to put added pressure on plaintiffs who need to pay medical and other bills.
One tactic Walmart has been accused of using in claims involves the discovery process. As early as the 1990s, Walmart was being accused of discovery abuse and was being sanctioned for it, but the retail giant continues to be accused of withholding important information today. For example, in 2018, a 62-year-old woman in Georgetown, North Carolina fell on some loose gravel in a Walmart parking lot and sued the company and one of its contractors.
In 2020, her attorney filed a motion for sanctions against Walmart, alleging the company redacted considerable material in the discovery process, including relevant information, effectively withholding information in the case. In 2020, in another case, Walmart was ordered to pay $35,000 in sanctions for discovery abuses. Interfering with the discovery process is significant because it means all parties don’t have information that may be relevant to the case.
What’s The Process for Filing a Lawsuit Against Walmart?
Ideally, when you first fell in Walmart, you or someone with you took photos of the surrounding area, reported the injury to the manager, and got the contact information of any witnesses, but even if you did not do any of this you can still file a claim.
The official process of filing a claim against Walmart usually begins with a visit to an experienced personal injury attorney, who can tell you whether you have a claim. Your attorney can also file the paperwork to launch the lawsuit and inform Walmart and any other liable parties of the claim, so they have a chance to respond. Your attorney can also take care of the other steps of the lawsuit, including:
- Gathering evidence
- Evaluating the current and future costs of your injuries
- Responding to and negotiating with CMI, Walmart, and other parties
- Reviewing any settlement offers
- Going through the discovery process, receiving and sharing information and evidence relevant to the case
- Taking your case to trial if you cannot reach a settlement
The process of every Walmart case is different. In some cases, there is considerable back and forth with negotiations and settlement offers while in other situations, Walmart may make only one offer and you and your attorney may decide you need to go to trial to get financial recovery. Your attorney can help you understand what comes next in your case.
How Much Money Do You Get If You Sue Walmart?
Multi-million dollar settlements against Walmart make the news, but every claim is different. How much you can seek in financial recovery will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- The pain and suffering your injuries have caused
- The type and severity of your injuries
- Any income or financial losses you have suffered
- Who was responsible, and to what degree
- The impact of your injury on your life
- Your expected future medical costs and income prospects
- Any property damage you suffered in the fall
- The impact of your injuries on your ability to work
- Any additional or incidental expenses related to your injury
Your attorney can help you properly evaluate how much your injuries may cost you now and what you may expect to pay in the future. This evaluation is essential to help you evaluate settlement offers made by CMI and Walmart.
It’s easy to forget about the full cost of your injuries, such as your need for taxis to get to appointments or your need for additional child care because you were too injured to care for your family yourself. It is your attorney’s role to seek compensation, so these costs do not need to come from your own savings.
How Can Having an Experienced Lawyer Help?
An experienced attorney is important when facing a large corporation such as Walmart, which has the resources to hire the best defense attorneys to minimize liability. Walmart has a financial incentive to pay as little as possible in personal injury claims and working with an attorney means you have someone working for your best interests as you seek financial recovery.
An experienced attorney will determine how much recovery you need for your injuries, will work to prove Walmart’s liability, and will attempt to counter the actions Walmart takes to avoid paying. An experienced attorney can also take care of all interactions, including paperwork and phone calls, from CMI. This is important since CMI is seeking anything which can reduce the amount Walmart has to pay.
Most importantly, your attorney will negotiate for the fairest settlement offer in your case and if you cannot secure a fair offer an experienced attorney is often willing to go to trial to present your case before a jury who can decide on a verdict. Your attorney will build a strong case using evidence to show why you deserve financial recovery.
Why Choose Johnson Garcia for Your Walmart Lawsuit?
When you work with Johnson Garcia, you don’t have to know how to sue Walmart for falling, because we have over 30 years of combined experience, including trial and negotiation experience, to help you. The founders of our law firm worked for large corporations at one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious law firms before they walked away to establish a law firm dedicated to helping those in need. We know corporations and how they operate, and we can put that knowledge to work for your case.
The team at Johnson Garcia has already secured over $100 million for our clients and our goal is to help more clients secure fair financial recovery after serious injuries. With a family-like atmosphere, bilingual staff, and 24/7 support, we’re here for you. If you have suffered a slip and fall or any injury in Walmart, schedule a free consultation with us to discuss your potential claim.