In the bustling aisles of a Walmart store, where shoppers weave through towering shelves of goods, unforeseen accidents can occur in the blink of an eye. A routine shopping trip can quickly turn into a harrowing experience for any unsuspecting customer who happens upon a hazard. Spilled sodas, damaged floor tiles, loose floor mats — even a defective shopping cart can knock shoppers off their feet, causing them to slip, trip, and fall.
These accidents can cause serious and costly injuries. If you or a family member suffered injuries after falling at Walmart, contact an experienced Bakersfield slip and fall attorney as soon as possible.
Common Types of Slip and Fall Accidents at Walmart
Slip and fall accidents can happen in various places. Walmart, a large retail chain with numerous customers and a vast shopping area, is no exception to such incidents.
Common types of slip and fall accidents that can occur at Walmart or similar retail establishments include:
- Wet or Slippery Floors: Spills, leaks, or wet conditions in entrances, restrooms, or the grocery section can lead to slip and fall accidents.
- Uneven Flooring: Uneven surfaces, damaged tiles, or worn-out carpets can pose tripping hazards for customers.
- Pooled Water: Water accumulating near entrances due to rain or snow can create slippery surfaces.
- Poorly Maintained Entrances: Snow and ice buildup in winter can make entryways hazardous.
- Inadequate Signage: Lack of warning signs for wet floors or areas under maintenance can lead to accidents.
- Cluttered Aisles: Overcrowded or cluttered aisles can increase the risk of tripping and falling.
- Slippery Mats: Entryway mats that aren’t properly secured can become tripping hazards.
- Spilled Merchandise: Merchandise that has fallen onto the floor and hasn’t been promptly cleaned up can lead to accidents.
- Defective Shopping Carts: Malfunctioning or damaged shopping carts can cause injuries if they tip over.
- Poor Lighting: Inadequate lighting can make it difficult for customers to see potential hazards on the floor.
- Escalator or Elevator Malfunctions: California contains some two-story Walmart stores. So, accidents can occur on improperly maintained escalators or elevators.
- Stairway Accidents: Slip and fall incidents can happen on stairs if they are slippery, poorly maintained, or lack handrails.
- Loose Floor Coverings: Rugs, mats, or carpeting that are not secured properly can create tripping hazards.
- Wet Produce Sections: Spills or moisture in the produce section can lead to slippery floors.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
While a slip and fall might sound like minor incidents, these accidents can cause serious injuries, especially in older individuals who are more prone to hip fractures. Blows to the head can also cause debilitating injuries for victims of any age.
Some common injuries slip and fall victims suffer include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractures/broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Bruises and contusions
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cuts and abrasions
- Soft tissue injuries
- Emotional distress
If you or a family member suffered injuries after a slip and fall incident in Walmart, seek medical attention immediately. Some injuries may not immediately appear but can have serious consequences if left untreated. Additionally, you must document the accident and your injuries to file a claim for compensation or pursue legal action against the major retailer.
How Can I Prove Walmart’s Liability for My Slip and Fall Accident?
Walmart and similar businesses must take measures to prevent such accidents by maintaining their premises, promptly addressing hazards, and using appropriate signage and safety measures to protect customers. Here are some factors your slip and fall lawyer may consider when determining Walmart’s liability:
Duty of Care
Businesses like Walmart have a duty of care to maintain their premises reasonably safe for customers. This includes regularly inspecting and addressing potential hazards, such as slippery floors, spills, or uneven surfaces.
To establish liability, you, as the injured party, generally need to prove that Walmart was negligent. This means showing that Walmart either knew about the dangerous condition and failed to address it or should have known about it through reasonable inspection and maintenance.
You must demonstrate a direct link between Walmart’s negligence and the slip and fall accident. So, you must show the dangerous condition of which Walmart was aware or should have known about caused your injuries.
Another important factor is whether Walmart could reasonably foresee that the dangerous condition could lead to an accident. If it was foreseeable that a spill or slippery surface could lead to a slip and fall, you may hold Walmart liable for the resulting injuries.
Knowledge of Hazard
Walmart’s knowledge of the dangerous condition is crucial. If you can show that they had actual or constructive notice of the hazard and failed to address it in a timely manner, it could strengthen your case.
If your actions contributed to the accident, the court may reduce your compensation based on California’s comparative negligence standard.
How Can a Lawyer Help with My Slip and Fall Accident?
Walmart is a multi-billion-dollar company with deep pockets and a team of lawyers paid well to defend the company at all costs. The retail giant may present various defenses, such as arguing that they took reasonable steps to maintain the premises, had no knowledge of the hazard, or that your negligence was the primary cause of the accident.
An experienced premises liability lawyer can help you establish Walmart’s negligence in a slip and fall claim and hold them accountable.
Here are some ways a personal injury lawyer who handles premises liability cases like slip and falls can benefit you:
A personal injury attorney will understand the laws related to slip and fall accidents in California. They can assess your case and provide legal guidance on whether you have a valid claim.
Lawyers can conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, gathering evidence such as surveillance footage, witness statements, and maintenance records to establish liability on Walmart’s part.
Your attorney will determine whether Walmart’s negligence played a role in your accident. They’ll assess factors such as the store’s duty of care, whether there were hazardous conditions, and whether Walmart knew or should have known about these conditions.
Attorneys can help you calculate the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses you may have incurred in the accident.
Lawyers are skilled negotiators and can handle communications and negotiations with Walmart’s insurance company. They will work to secure a fair settlement on your behalf, taking into account all your losses and future expenses.
If negotiations do not lead Walmart to offer you a satisfactory settlement, your attorney can file a lawsuit against the retail giant and represent you in court. They will build a strong case, present evidence, and advocate for your rights in front of a judge and jury.
Navigating Legal Procedures
Slip and fall cases involve legal procedures and deadlines. A lawyer can file all paperwork correctly and within the necessary timeframes, preventing procedural errors that could harm your case.
Peace of Mind
A slip and fall injury can present physical, emotional, and financial challenges. An attorney can alleviate some of the stress by allowing you to focus on your recovery while they handle the legal aspects of your case.
An experienced attorney can help you pursue the maximum compensation available to you, which may include current expenses, future medical bills, and long-term impacts of your injuries.
Contingency Fee Arrangement
Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. This arrangement can make legal representation more accessible, especially if you’re concerned about upfront legal costs.
Contact a Premises Liability Lawyer about Your Slip and Fall Accident
If you or a loved one suffered injuries at Walmart and you think the major retail store is to blame, contact a premises liability lawyer to discuss your case.
The personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Mickey Fine can evaluate your case, explain your legal rights, and guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your injuries and losses.
Contact us today for your free consultations and case evaluation.