If you slip and fall, at no fault of your own, in a business in Georgia, you are entitled to financial recovery. And Walmart is no exception. However, since they are the biggest retailer in the country, getting money from them for your damages has some unique challenges.
However, this doesn’t mean you should give up if you fall and are injured in a Walmart store. It does mean you’ll need to face the insurance claim and settlement process with a lot of knowledge and fantastic legal representation.
Why Recovery Money for a Slip and Fall in Walmart is Difficult
Most slip and fall claims in Georgia are more straightforward. Insurance companies are always reluctant to pay out what you really deserve for your damages. Still, a good slip and fall lawyer can help you gather evidence and negotiate a fair settlement. This means that in most slip and fall cases, a lawsuit is not necessary. However, Walmart is different.
Walmart Is Self-Insured and Stingy
The Walmart corporation is so large that they have their own subordinate company, known as Claims Management, Inc., to handle liability claims. This is unusual, as most businesses carry third-party liability insurance to pay for slip and fall claims.
But since Walmart will be paying out their own money when an insurance claim gets made against them, they will aggressively resist any request to payout without worrying about a tarnished reputation. Think about it: their prices are meager for a reason. They don’t like paying any extra money—if anything at all—for insurance claims. Plus, they know that if money is hard to win from them, fewer people will attempt it—even if those people are hurt or killed because of their negligence. This is not justice, but it’s how they operate.
In addition, the largest a company is, the more resources they have available for defense lawyers. This can make them an intimidating entity to mess with. But it doesn’t mean you can’t still stand up to Walmart and fight for a fair settlement. What ultimately wins is the facts. So you need to prepare with the best information about how to get started.
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Four Ways to Seek Compensation for a Fall at Walmart in Georgia
Since an insurance claim against Walmart is way more intense than the average settlement, you need to be ready for a fight. Thankfully, it’s a fight you can win with the correct information and resources. So here are the first three steps to follow.
1. Get an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Facts matter in this state. Since Georgia is a fault state, the party whose negligence led to the accident is responsible for damages according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 51-1-6. Although this knowledge is enough for some insurance claims to get accepted, it’s not the case with Walmart. Therefore, you absolutely will need a great slip and fall lawyer on your side, so contact one as soon as possible.
Once you start working with your lawyer, they will help you in several ways, including:
- Ensuring you have a valid claim for your slip and fall injuries
- Compiling evidence of how Walmart was negligent for your injury
- Building a solid case that proves your claim and dissuades Walmart from allowing the case to go to court
- Being a strong, aggressive negotiator to get you a fair settlement
- Dealing with Walmart’s aggressive insurance company directly, so you don’t have to
Thankfully, most personal injury lawyers, like the ones at John Foy & Associates, will offer the initial consultation at no cost. During this consultation, explain your situation completely and ask questions about the lawyer’s experience. Make sure they have a successful track record of winning slip and fall settlements with retailers. You’ll need a lawyer from a large firm with experience in this type of litigation and the resources to fight a company like Walmart.
2. Have Extra Thorough Documentation
This is important for any slip and fall claim, but it’s especially vital for a claim against Walmart. Before you file, make sure you have evidence like:
- Pictures and videos of the slip and fall accident scene, your injuries, and any other physical damages
- A doctor’s diagnosis of your injuries and any notes about treatment plans
- Medical bills showing current and future treatment costs
- Witness statements
- Work records showing time missed and lost wages
- Any records showing Walmart knew about the slip and fall hazard, such as past legal cases (this might be the most crucial evidence against them)
Your slip and fall lawyer will know what all you need to compile, but you should gather any evidence you can immediately after the accident happens if you can. This includes telling store managers about the slip and fall when it occurs.
3. File the Insurance Claim
Once you’ve hired an attorney and they have researched and compiled the evidence, it’s time to file an official slip and fall claim with Walmart’s insurance company.
This claim will include when the accident happened, where it happened, the details of what occurred, how you were injured, and how Walmart is at fault. Your claim will also break down your damages and include the claim amount you’re requesting as compensation.
4. Be Prepared to Negotiate
After the insurance claim is submitted, Walmart will have a chance to respond to it. Chances are they will either deny the claim, saying they weren’t liable and don’t owe you anything, or they’ll make a counteroffer that’s much less than what your claim is worth.
Your attorney won’t be surprised by either of these responses if you receive them. It just means they’ll move on to negotiating. Your slip and fall lawyer will pull out all the stops, working to force Walmart into reaching a fair settlement and avoid going to court.
Damages Walmart Can Compensate
By filing a claim, you can have Walmart compensate for various damages related to your slip and fall accident:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Various medical expenses, hospital visits, and prescriptions
As long as you can show that your damages resulted from your slip and fall caused by Walmart’s negligence, you can recover compensation at their expense.
Remember the Statute of Limitations
OCGA § 9-3-33 gives slip and fall injury victims two years from the date of their accident to file a claim. If you pass this statute of limitations, you won’t be able to recover financial compensation for your damages. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you receive medical attention quickly and speak to a lawyer soon after. Then, build a strong case for your claim fast so you can win the settlement you rightfully deserve.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-400-4000
Talk to a Slip and Fall Lawyer for Free Today
Filing an insurance claim to Walmart is intimidating, but don’t let their size and reputation keep you from seeking the compensation you need and deserve. We’ve taken on large retailers before, and we know what it takes to “strong arm” them and see success. For a FREE consultation to discuss your own situation, call us today at 404-400-4000, or complete the form to the right to get started.