Slip and fall accidents are more challenging to prove than you might think, especially when going up against a big conglomerate like Walmart. However, it’s not impossible. You can successfully prove a slip and fall at Walmart with the right attorney. Contact us today to speak with an experienced Texas slip and fall lawyer.
Proving a Slip and Fall at Walmart
For the most part, a civil lawsuit against Walmart will proceed in the same manner as one against any other party. As a fall victim, you have the burden of proof and must successfully prove four essential elements of the claim.
Walmart Owned the Property
First, you must prove Walmart owned, leased, operated, managed, or otherwise controlled the property where the slip and fall occurred. While this initial step can be challenging under other circumstances, proving Walmart’s ownership and control over the premises is pretty apparent.
Walmart Owed a Duty of Care
The second step in proving your slip and fall at Walmart involves showing Walmart owed you a duty of care. There are three different types of visitors to a property, and the appropriate standard of care will turn on which type you are.
Invitees: Invitees are owed the highest duty of care from property owners and are generally people wanted or expected to be on the property. Most department store patrons, such as those walking into a Walmart, are considered invitees. In other words, if you went to Walmart intending to purchase items, you are considered an invitee.
Licensees: Licensees are owed a lower duty of care than invitees. Licensees are generally people who enter the property for a reason other than to transact business. For example, if you went into Walmart just to use the restroom and suffered an injury, the store will argue that it owed less care since you were a licensee.
Trespassers: A trespasser is owed the lowest duty of care, and property owners generally only need to avoid intentionally hurting the trespasser. In the case of a Walmart slip and fall, a trespasser may be a thief that breaks into the store when it is closed.
Once the type of visitor is determined, the plaintiff must prove the third prong.
Walmart Breached Its Duty of Care
The plaintiff must next show that Walmart breached its duty by failing to keep the property safe or maintain or repair defects.
Walmart’s Breach Caused the Injury
Finally, the plaintiff must show a causal connection between Walmart’s breach and their injury. In other words, Walmart’s actions or inactions caused the slip and fall and the plaintiff’s resulting injury. For example, if you shop at Walmart and slip on an unmarked wet floor, Walmart may be liable. However, if you fall because another patron pushed you, Walmart may not be responsible for your injuries. Proving the causal relationship between the two can be challenging. Walmart might try and dispute that the slip and fall caused your injury. For instance, they might claim your injury is due to a pre-existing condition.
Our experienced Walmart slip and fall lawyer can help you determine if you have a valid claim.
Why Is Proving a Slip and Fall at Walmart Challenging?
Any personal injury case can have challenges, but going up against Walmart can be particularly complex and challenging.
Walmart Is Self-Insured
Most businesses maintain liability insurance through a third-party insurance carrier. While they pay an insurance premium if someone is injured on their premises, their insurance company covers the cost of damages. However, because Walmart is self-insured, their money is on the line if someone slips and falls while in one of their stores.
Walmart Is Wealthy
Walmart has the financial assets to defend a claim aggressively. They will pay their legal counsel to fight all allegations and often intimidate individuals into accepting lowball settlement offers. Additionally, making it challenging to win discourages others from bringing their own claims out of fear of being defeated.
The complexity of a slip-and-fall accident and Walmart’s sheer size and financial wealth can lead to extensive investigative work early on. An experienced Texas attorney can successfully gather all the evidence needed to prove your case and damages.
Common examples of evidence used to prove a slip and fall at Walmart include:
- Any report taken by store management,
- Video surveillance,
- Eyewitness statements,
- Photos of the area,
- Medical records, and
- Medical expert opinions and reports.
Obtaining significant and persuasive evidence can be difficult and time-consuming, and your attorney can help make sure it is done correctly.
Texas Personal Injury Attorneys
A slip and fall accident can have a devastating impact on your health and happiness. To protect your rights and make sure you get the compensation you deserve, it’s essential to speak with an attorney promptly after an accident. At Hartley Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping victims of negligence, including slip and fall accidents. We are fearless in going up against the big guys and have the knowledge and resources to prove your Walmart slip and fall case. Reach out to us to get in touch with an attorney.