Walmart is a household name. It has more than 11,000 stores in 27 countries. It owns or operates 16 stores here in Philadelphia alone. Walmart earned more than $559 billion in 2020 alone, making it one of the largest companies in the world based on revenue. Walmart is eager to take your money, but when you slip, trip, or fall, and injure yourself on its property as a result of its negligence, Walmart is incredibly skilled at making it extremely difficult for you to obtain fair compensation for your injuries.
We are going to let you in some secrets that this mega-retailer doesn’t want you to know when it comes to customer and employee injuries in its stores. While they may want you to think they are looking out for your best interests after a slip and fall injury, they absolutely are not.
How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur on Walmart Property?
A slip and fall with resulting serious injuries can occur on property owned or occupied by Walmart in any number of ways. Falls happen frequently in their stores, and they are very adept at avoiding compensating their victims. Here are a few of the most common causes of Walmart slip and fall injuries:
- Holes and uneven walking surfaces in parking lots and on sidewalks.
- Uneven surfaces with no warning signs.
- Torn and bunched carpeting especially in connection with entryway floor mats.
- Floor mat edges at entryways that are curled up.
- Spilled liquids that are not cleaned up.
- Shopping aisles that are cluttered with merchandise or boxes.
- Electrical cables or cords crossing shopping aisles.
- Bases of displays extending into aisles.
- Poor lighting.
- Improper housekeeping or cleaning practices.
Injuries From Walmart Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall injuries can result in a variety of injuries, from minor to serious, and even fatal. In fact, the CDC reports that one out of five falls results in serious injury, and falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury. Regardless of how or why someone falls, hitting the ground suddenly can be disorienting and painful. Some of the most common Walmart slip and fall injuries include:
- Broken Bones
- Soft Tissue Damage
- Back and Neck Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Hip Fractures
- Sprains and Strains
- Cuts and Abrasions
- Emotional Trauma
- Dislocated Joints
When you suffer a serious injury because of Walmart or another store’s negligence, you expect the store to help with your medical bills and recovery. Unfortunately, Walmart works hard to make it as difficult as possible to recover the compensation you deserve. In fact, instead of using some of its billions in revenue to pay valid claims, the retail giant has its own insurance adjuster to handle all of the personal injury and workers comp claims filed against it.
Claims Management, Inc.
When we say Walmart has its own adjuster, we don’t mean the company has a dedicated adjuster through its insurer. Walmart is so big that it’s self-insured by its own subsidiary, called Claims Management, Inc., or CMI, which acts as the company’s own insurance adjuster. For purposes of handling personal injury claims against it, the retailer established Claims Management, Inc. to operate as its first line of defense in personal injury claims against Walmart. That’s right, there’s a whole corporation that exists solely to try to avoid responsibility and minimize what Walmart pays when people sustain injuries because of Walmart’s own negligence.
If you suffer injuries on the premises of a Walmart anywhere in Pennsylvania, it’s highly likely that CMI will be stepping in on behalf of Walmart from the onset. It’s the job of CMI to try and devalue a personal injury claim against Walmart as much as possible or deny it in its entirety. After all, who better to defend a company than that company? CMI knows the ins and outs of Walmart slip and fall claims. They know what works to limit Walmart’s liability, and they’ll repeat the formula as often as necessary to avoid paying Walmart’s victims. Their loyalty belongs to Walmart and Walmart only, and they have no sympathy for anyone, no matter how serious their injuries may be. In fact, Walmart instructs CMI to defend the company and limit those payouts by any means possible.
CMI is known to say and do just about anything in an attempt to trick a victim into providing a recorded statement that they can then pick apart and use against them to avoid their responsibility. We have heard a variety of stories about CMI and its tactics for tricking people into providing information, and are frequently amazed by how low they will go in an effort to avoid paying the medical expenses owed to its victims. Investigators will appear kind and caring on the phone, and then twist your words in order to use them against you in an effort to deny your claim. In fact, sometimes they go so far that they may even violate the insurance adjuster Code of Ethics, assuming that an accident victim won’t be aware of what is appropriate and what is not in an investigation. Why would an investigator willingly violate their industry’s code of ethics? Most simply put, when their employer, CMI, instructs them to use these questionable or even unethical tactics, they want to keep their jobs. Sometimes they even earn bonuses for limiting payouts.
Walmart’s Duty to Its Customers
Walmart owes a duty of care to every customer who comes onto the property of any of its Pennsylvania stores. Although not a guarantor of their safety, Walmart must keep its customers free from any dangerous conditions that it either knows about or should know about that can harm customers. That’s why Walmart stores have implemented safety policies and procedures that are targeted for the benefit of both itself and its customers.
What to do After Being Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident at Walmart
If you fall in a Walmart store, seek assistance from an employee right away. Ask that a manager come to the location where you fell. Then, ask that an accident report be completed and that a copy of it be given to you. Do not sign it. Then, insist on paramedics being called. They can examine you, document your injuries and transport you to an emergency room for diagnostics and further treatment. Immediately after finishing at the emergency room, arrange to retain a knowledgeable, experienced, and aggressive Philadelphia personal injury lawyer to represent you. You’re going to need one if you want fair compensation.
Beyond reporting the slip and fall accident, obtaining a copy of the accident report, and having paramedics take you to an emergency room, do not try to deal with Walmart or CMI on your own. They’re only going to use any information that they obtain from you against you in the future. It’s likely that you’ll damage any case that you might have without even knowing it. Rather than doing that, hire a Philadelphia Walmart accident attorney right away to represent you. An experienced accident lawyer will build a strong case for you and get you the compensation that you deserve.
Contact Walmart Slip and Fall Lawyer Edith Pierce
Give yourself the best chance possible at receiving the maximum Walmart personal injury settlement or award that you deserve by consulting with and retaining an experienced and effective Philadelphia personal injury attorney to represent you. Our law firm is familiar with how Walmart handles personal injury claims, and we’ve learned how to get our clients the maximum compensation from the mega-retailer. Knowing how Walmart handles personal injury settlements allows us to have the upper hand in negotiations and help slip and fall victims get the full value of their claims.
When it comes to handling your Walmart personal injury claim, our law firm is ready to assist you in a variety of ways, including:
- Establishing Walmart’s negligence – Walmart will never simply admit or acknowledge negligence. In order to hold the retailer liable for your injuries, we must prove that employees or managers knew about a dangerous hazard that led to your slip and fall incident. Our experienced Walmart injury lawyers will work directly with you to review and investigate your situation, collect evidence, and prepare your case.
- Determining the value of your claim – There is more to a claim than adding up medical bills and claiming that amount. There are a variety of factors that determine the value of a claim, and the number may be a lot larger than you initially think it is. You likely have costs you didn’t think about, including missed work for appointments, medications, or medical equipment. Did you need extra childcare due to appointments or treatment? Did you lose income? Are you experiencing ongoing pain or discomfort as a result of your accident? Did you miss important events? We know the questions to ask to determine the full amount you are owed after a Walmart slip and fall accident.
- Handling communications – As we mentioned, CMI representatives can range from sneaky to downright unethical. They are skilled at getting people to say things that can later be used against them in order to deny a claim. To prevent this, our team handles all communication with CMI so you can focus on your recovery. This not only helps you avoid unnecessary stress and frustration but also allows us to keep things moving forward while preventing them from taking advantage of our clients.
- Reviewing settlement offers – We’ve all heard the age-old advice to never accept the first offer. This especially rings true when dealing with Walmart and CMI. In fact, the first several offers they send your way will likely not even come close to covering current and future expenses related to your injuries. We review all offers and discuss their worth with you. We are not afraid to send them back with instructions to do better.
- Representing you in court – While it is easier to settle outside of court, if CMI is unwilling to offer you fair and appropriate compensation, we are not afraid to take your case to court. The Pearce Law Firm is always ready to do what is best for our clients, and we are committed to ensuring we get you the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys and many different lawyers handling various aspects of your case, Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will never be treated like just another case or file. Contact her today to start your legal recovery process.