Walmart boasts that each week, over 275 million customers and members visit their stores under 58 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites in 10 countries. With so much foot traffic, it’s no wonder that some individuals are injured when on Walmart’s premises.
The attorneys at Kiefer & Kiefer have handled cases where a client was injured when they slipped and fell inside the store, when a defective clothing rack caused a client injury, when a client slipped in motor oil that accumulated outside of the store near the entrance, when a client was injured when a Walmart employee hit them as they were attempting to move dozens of shopping carts, and more.
Clients and potential clients are left wondering: what do I do if I’m injured at Walmart?
What to Do if You are Injured at Walmart?
There are a few steps you need to take if you have an injury at a Walmart store:
- The first thing you need to do is to request an employee get you medical attention if needed. Walmart employees can assist you in calling 911 and securing an EMT to get you immediate medical attention.
- Report the accident to an employee of Walmart. Walmart requires that their employees perform an investigation into the accident by taking your written statement, taking photographs, reviewing and preserving video evidence.
- Do not write or sign a statement when asked by the Walmart employee. You do not have to. Additionally, after a fall, you may be physically or mentally unable to write a written statement. Either way, Walmart will attempt to use this statement against you if you later make a claim.
- Gather your own evidence while you are at Walmart and after you leave Walmart. Even if Walmart is gathering evidence, this does not mean you cannot gather your own. Not every part of the store is able to be captured on surveillance and not every employee gathers witness information perfectly. If you are able to, take your own photographs and video and get the identity and phone numbers of all available witnesses.
- Do not give a recorded statement to Walmart or its claims adjusters. Walmart will make contact with you within 24 hours to check on you. They may also have a claims adjuster check on you. You are not required to speak with them. In fact, in the days after a serious injury, it is possibly you are heavily medicated, so it does not make sense to give a recorded statement that can later be used against you.
- Do not accept an early settlement. In Louisiana, you have a year before you have to file a claim against Walmart. There is no rush to settle your claim, especially before you know the nature and extent of your injuries.
How Do I Make a Claim against Walmart?
Walmart is self-insured for claims against it.
Most retail stores in Louisiana and across the country have a general liability insurance policy. They pay the premiums on the policy and, if someone is injured in the store, the insurance company – not the store – handles the claim. So, most claims would be made to an insurance adjuster.
Because Wal-Mart self-insures, Wal-Mart manages all claims against the store through a company that is controlled and owned by Wal-Mart. This means that Wal-Mart pays claims out with their own money.
Walmart has its own team of claims handlers and lawyers that are paid to evaluate Walmart injury claims and to save them money by not paying out the value of the case.
The Walmart injury claims can include:
- Slip and falls accidents
- Trip and fall accidents
- Merchandise falling onto customers
- Customers falling over boxes or merchandise that was left on the ground
- Wet or freshly waxed floors
- Holes in the parking lot
- Defective or dangerous products in Walmart’s possession.
Walmart is notorious for taking a hard line on injuries that occur at Walmart that are hard to prove and refusing to settle these claims.
Why is it so Difficult to Make a Claim Against Walmart?
In addition to being self-insured and taking a hard line regarding the refusal to settle cases that have questions about the facts, in Louisiana, the law makes it difficult to prove slip and fall cases.
The Louisiana Merchant Act (LA Rev Stat § 9:2800.6 (2015)) was passed to help defer claims against retailers, like Walmart.
Unfortunately, it is a common experience that a person who is injured in a store gets left in the dark. No one from the store contacts the injured person, and phone calls to the number go unreturned, paperwork gets lost, and the claim gets delayed.
That’s why it’s so important to hire a Louisiana personal injury firm like our team at Kiefer & Kiefer. It’s our job to help you to:
- Evaluate your injury and fall and let you know if it is a case that is a valid claim.
- Gather evidence and make sure that Walmart does not destroy evidence.
- Negotiate your case with Walmart and try to resolve it prior to filing a lawsuit.
- File a lawsuit and take your case to trial to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact Kiefer & Kiefer today to get started on your claim
At Kiefer & Kiefer, we have handled many of these cases. We know what we have to prove to get you compensation, and we will gather the evidence to pressure Walmart to give you what you deserve. And if they do not, we have a team of experienced trial lawyers ready to take your case to trial. Contact us today to get started.
This is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.