Walmart has 125 stores in the State of Michigan. Their promise to their customers is Save Money. Live Better. This sounds like a good slogan but when Walmart stores fail to maintain a safe environment, you have the possibility of an injury affecting you for the rest of your life and they fail to maintain their promise.
Injured victims of slip and fall accidents are left to deal with the fallout of the accident including social, emotional, and legal consequences. If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall, you know the agonizing pain, mounting medical bills, and lost wages can be overwhelming. Instead of being crushed by weight of your burden, you have the option to recover compensation if Walmart’s negligence caused your injuries.
Before you decide to pursue legal action, its wise to know some examples of some past Walmart slip and fall settlement amounts before doing so. In this blog post, we will share and explain some of the most notable slip and fall settlements when customers have decided to file a lawsuit. We will also go over what you should do if this happens to you, how damages are awarded in slip and fall accident claims, how long it could to take to reach a settlement with Walmart, and why you should hire an attorney to represent you in your case.
Talking to an experienced slip and fall lawyer is the best way to determine how much your potential slip and fall settlements are against Walmart in the case of a slip and fall. Walmart is one of the largest businesses in the world and you can be sure that they aren’t going to make it easy for you. You need a skilled attorney that will fearlessly take them on and fight fiercely for justice. Matthew R. Clark has secured millions for his injured clients and can do the same for you. Give The Clark Law Office a call today for a free consultation.
Examples of Slip and Fall Settlements
It’s important to note that there is no such thing as an “average Walmart slip and fall settlement”. Every case is different and has various difference that will help determine the amount of a settlement. The conditions of the store which caused the accident, the injuries, medical treatment, and recovery will all depend on that specific situation.
Also, Walmart is not exactly forthcoming when it comes to the number of slip and fall accidents filed against them. They utilize confidentiality agreements to prevent injured victims from talking publicly about their slip and fall settlements. For this reason, the public only really hears about the most high-profile verdicts that go to trial. Here are some examples of Walmart slip and fall settlements so that you can get a better idea of how much they paid out for injuries in the past.
$970,000 For a Slip and Fall Accident That Occurred in Florida
A Florida man was awarded $970,000 after he suffered various injuries including his knee, neck, and back injuries. He was walking in a Walmart garden center when he slipped in a puddle of water.
$1,300,000 For a Slip and Fall Brain Injury in Florida
A 30 year old woman lipped on body wash shampoo that had been spilled on the floor at a Florida Walmart. She fell backwards which resulted in slamming her head against a shelf. She suffered a sever rotary dislocation of the top two vertebrae in her neck. The injuries required a total of 4 surgeries but she has made a full recovery allowing her to be productive member of society again.
$689,000 For a Slip and Fall Back Injury in Florida
An individual slipped and fell at a Walmart in Pinellas County and suffered a back injury. This case must have had a confidentially agreement, as there are no additional details about the accident.
$1,200,000 For a Slip and Fall Arm Injury in Florida
A Florida man was shopping at a Walmart when he happened to slip because of a Gatorade sign that fell on the ground and injured his arm. I couldn’t find any more details on the severity of the injury, but it must of been signficant for it to warrant this large of a settlement. The accident was caught on video with Walmart surveillance and ultimately awarded him over a million dollars.
$16,900,000 For a Slip and Fall Abdominal Injury in West Virginia
This is the largest slip and fall accident settlement that I could find. It’s a very interesting case. At first glance, the award seems disproportional to the injury, but after researching this a bit more it is actually a fair settlement and a freak accident.
This case ended up going to the court of appeals, so there is lots of information about the slip and fall accident. Diane Akrom was shopping in a Walmart in West Virginia. There was a chase for a shoplifter and she ended up getting hit by a shopping cart as collateral damage. Here is the description of her injuries listed in WAL-MART STORES EAST, L.P., Petitioner v. Johna Diane ANKROM, Respondent.
“Immediately after the collision, Ms. Ankrom was transported to Camden Clark Memorial Hospital in Parkersburg and treated there for a severe attack of angina. After experiencing increasing pain over the next two weeks, she was life-flighted to the Cleveland Clinic for surgery to treat bruising, necrosis, and microperforations in her small intestine. Since 2015, Ms. Ankrom has experienced over twenty inpatient hospitalizations, six surgeries, and other emergency room visits. As of the date of trial, her physicians were considering her for an intestinal transplant.”
This issue is that the court of appeals only found Walmart 30% responsible for the slip and fall accident. So instead of receiving the full sum amount, she was awarded $5,076,600 for her injuries sustained as a result.
$7,500,000 For a Slip and Fall Hip Injury in Alabama
Henry Walker was awarded $7,500,000 after breaking his hip getting a watermelon. This certainly sounds strange, but it will make more sense when you hear the details of the accident. Henry was shopping when he reached for a watermelon in a container. While doing so, he tripped and got his foot stuck in a wooden pallet on the floor. He ended up breaking his hip as well as other injuries.
According to the records and surveillance video, the container of watermelon was situated on top of the pallet and the pallet was not visible when he reached to grab the watermelon. He did not step on the pallet itself, but his foot slid into an opening of the pallet. When he went to return the watermelon to his shopping cart, his foot was stuck and fell.
The jury was able to watch the surveillance video from the Walmart Store. Astonishingly, several other people were filmed getting their feet stuck in the same pallet.
Before this injury, Walker was playing basketball three days a week and now the Army Veteran is forced to use a walker. He was quoted saying “You don’t expect to go into a grocery store walking fine on your two feet and come out on a stretcher”.
$525,000 For a Slip and Fall Accident in Tennessee
In the case of Corley v. Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, the jury awarded a slip and fall victim $525,000 after an accident where she stepped in water and slipped. She decided to sue Walmart for her slip and fall case.
Unlike most of these other large Walmart slip and fall cases, this was not caught on surveillance video. However, the footage did show employees cleaning up a large area after she reported the incident. The footage also showed an employee walking through the area right before her fall which indicated that the store should have been aware of the standing water and the danger it presented. The court decided that Walmart was 90% at fault.
$75,000 For a Slip and Fall Accident in Louisiana
In the case of Donald Kimble v. Walmart, a Louisiana man was awarded $73,525.18 after he tripped over small rocking chairs in a display at the end of an aisle. He sustained injuries to his face, jaw, neck, shoulder, and back. Additionally, he also claimed to be experiencing blackouts and dizziness. The court decided that Walmart was 75% negligent and Walmart failed to provide safe conditions.
Damages Awarded in Walmart Slip and Fall Settlement Claims
If you happen to suffer slip and fall injuries at a Walmart location, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. The amount of the award largely depends on what is known as compensatory damages. Essentially this means that Walmart is responsible for compensating you for both economic and non-economic damages. Here are some of the top damages that you are eligible to collect after a slip and fall accident at Walmart:
Losing the ability to earn a wage is an extremely important loss. If you are injured at a Walmart and are unable to work, they are responsible for reimbursing your lost wages. Missing just 1 day of work can have negative consequences and in some slip and fall cases, the individual may not be able to work for weeks, months, years, and sometimes even longer. In addition to this, Walmart is also responsible for your loss of employee benefits which can include:
- Employee health insurance
- Retirement savings or 401k contributions
- Vacation pay, sick time, and overtime
- Loss of future potential income, salary increases, and bonuses
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages is awarded to an individual for exactly that….their current and future pain and suffering. Some examples of pain and suffering damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lifelong suffering
- A reduction in the quality of your life
- Damage to your reputation (personal and professional)
- Emotional distress
- Feeling of fear
- Scarring and disfigurement
Walmart is responsible for the cost of your medical treatment after slip and fall accidents. With the insanely high costs of healthcare, this is usually a very large amount if you have only suffered minor injuries. Here are some examples of the different types of medical expenses you’re entitled to after a slip and fall injury at Walmart.
- Prescription medications
- Over the counter medications
- Imaging and diagnostic testing
- Medical treatment related to your slip and fall injuries
- Mental health counseling
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- All future medical expenses related to your Walmart slip and fall
What Should You Do If You’re Injured at a Walmart?
The moments after your slip and fall accident at Walmart can be critical when determining if you can recover damages. We always recommend the following step immediately after the accident:
- Seek medical treatment first and foremost. Document all your doctor visits or visits to any healthcare professional
- Identify the unsafe conditions or hazards which caused your fall
- Take photos and videos of the scene.
- Find any and all witnesses that were present and obtain their contact information
- Write down everything you can possibly remember even if it seems insignificant
- Notify the manager of the Walmart about your injuries
- Contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in premises liability cases
If your injuries make you unable to document the scene of your slip and fall injuries, have someone who was with you or a witness to do it for you.
Common Walmart Slip and Fall Injuries
Walmart and other large retailers are aware of the dangers of a slip and fall accidents, and they usually take the steps necessary to prevent them. However, with over 125 different locations in Michigan, it’s nearly impossible to never make a mistake. Some of the most common injuries sustained include:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Bruises and contusions
- Cuts and scrapes
- Head Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Internal Injuries
Does Walmart Carry Sufficient Insurance To Pay My Claim?
Walmart is a huge corporation and they decided to form their own captive insurance company as opposed to hiring an outside agency. Given their size and enormous financial power, they usually carry more than enough insurance for any slip and fall or personal injury claim. That being said, Walmart’s insurance division sole purpose is to reduce its liability and minimize their exposure to any payouts.
When reporting and negotiating your slip and fall settlement with Walmart, their insurance division will often start by offering a low-ball settlement. The attorneys for their insurance company are hoping that injured victims don’t know any better and will simply take the settlement in the belief that’s all can be recovered. Once you sign a settlement agreement, you have signed away your rights to pursue further compensation.
Who Determines Slip and Fall Settlement Amounts For Walmart?
If you sustain an injury after a slip and fall at a Walmart location, you will have to go through Walmart’s claim management company (Claims Management, Inc. (CMI)). The sole purpose of this entity is to investigate and administer insurance claims on behalf of Walmart. Essentially, CMI is there to avoid liability for a slip and fall settlement against Walmart.
What Tactics Will Claims Management Incorporated Use to Avoid Liability or Minimize Your Settlement?
The CMI representatives will use all kinds of tactics in order to avoid paying out a slip and fall accident claim or making sure they minimize your settlement amount as much as possible.
Medical Bills and Lost Wages
Walmart or CMI employees will usually claim that they need to review all the documents related to your medical bills and income in order to pay out compensation for the injuries that you suffered and the amount of money you lost not being able to work. This seems reasonable, buy they are actually using these documents to build a case against you. Here are some of the most common tactics related to medical expenses and lost wages they will use in an attempt to give you an insanely low settlement amount:
- Your injuries aren’t that bad and they are being exaggerated
- You suffered a previous injury and the accident didn’t cause the injury
- The medical treatments you have received were not necessary
- You could’ve gone back to work sooner considering your injuries aren’t that severe
It’s very easy to be intimidated by Walmart’s tactics, but you should never hand any information over to them without speaking to a lawyer first!
Claiming You Must Make a Recorded Statement
Another tactic that Walmart uses to avoid paying slip and fall settlements is stating that you are required to make a recorded statement about the slip and fall. This is absolutely not true! You have no obligation or legal responsibility to make a recorded statement to Walmart or CMI. These representatives are very intelligent and know what questions to ask in order to hurt your case. Their job is to make you look bad, but don’t fall for this tactic.
Drawing Out or Delaying Your Slip and Fall Claim
This is a classic tactic used by all insurance companies against a personal injury claim and Walmart is no different. The premise behind the tactic is this. They know that you have been injured and have accrued medical expenses that you may or may not be able to pay on your own. They understand your desperation and the challenges of seeing medical bills build and build.
When they go to offer you a settlement, they will make it much less than you deserve in the hopes that you will take it simply because they know you are tired of fighting and have mounting bills. If you unable to work on top of this, you become even more desperate for any financial compensation at all. Do not fall into this trap and stay in communication with your attorney on how to move forward with slip and fall claims.
How Long Will It Take To Settle My Walmart Claim?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Every case is different and it’s impossible to predict how long it will take for Walmart personal injury settlements. It could be days, weeks, months, or even years. Most of the time, negotiating a fair settlement doesn’t require a full blown trial. That makes sure that you get your compensation at the earliest possible date. In the rare instance that Walmart is unwilling to settle, we will file a lawsuit and fight on your behalf at trial.
Hiring an Attorney To Handle Your Walmart Slip and Fall Claim
Before you accept any sort of settlement offer from Walmart regarding your slip and fall accident, talk to a skilled slip and fall attorney from The Clark Law Office about your Walmart personal injury claim. A lawsuit is almost always better than accepting the first settlement offered. For over three decades, we have represented slip and fall victims in Michigan and we have won millions for our injured clients. Call us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help you obtain the settlement you deserve from a slip and fall lawsuit. No fees unless you win!
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