Every retail store, including Walmart, has a duty to keep their floors clear of slip hazards. They must warn or clean up spills that could cause their customers to fall. When the store neglects that duty, patrons can fall and be hurt. If you’ve fallen at a Walmart or other store, here some tips for winning your slip and fall case.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
The crux of a plaintiff’s claim in a slip and fall case is that the store failed to remove an unsafe condition. Typically the hazard is in walkways. Hazards in these cases are commonly:
- Floor mats that are bunched up or worn
- Failure to place warning signs of uneven flooring, wet flooring, or debris in the aisle
- Liquids, chemicals, or solvents that make the floor slippery or dangerous to walk on
- Failure to block off an area of flooring that is being cleaned or waxed
If there is a spill on the floor, the store must put up signage to warn customers. Walking in this area should be blocked off until the spill is cleaned. So to, when floors are being cleaned or repaired. Patrons should be prevented from being in the area. When these steps aren’t followed, individuals walking over the spill may slip.
Slips and falls caused by the carelessness of a business owner, the injured customer may have a claim. The customer may seek compensation for personal injury damages including medical bills, loss of work, or short- and long-term health conditions.
What do you have to prove in a Slip and Fall Cases
Keep in mind, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. The plaintiff must show:
- The store failed to take proper action
- Someone working for the store was aware of the dangerous condition
- Store failed to follow procedure to remedy the condition
- The plaintiff was injured as a result of falling on the dangerous condition
Another store shopper could cause the condition. I once went through an entire grocery store unwittingly leaving a trail of dish soap behind me. Once Kroger employees were aware of the condition, they had an obligation to rectify the situation.
What do you Do After a Slip and Fall Accident?
Evidence is the key to these cases. After the accident, you or whoever is with you, should:
- Take photos of whatever caused you to fall
- Photograph the surrounding area
- Make sure the take pictures of anything that contributed to the accident, such as store aisle, missing caution signs, shelves that may be overflowing, the source of the water or chemicals that cause the fall
- Ask witnesses for statements or at a minimum, their contact information for a statement at a later time
- Names of employees that you talk with after the incident
- Report the accident to management
- Write your own statement of what happened
When you are writing your statement include all of the details that you can recall, including what was happening around you, the time of day, what led to the fall, and anything else that you may feel is important.
These Tips for Winning Your Slip and Fall Case May Help, But Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer As Well
Store employees may make promises. They may tell you that the claim will be resolved. They may even put you in touch with their insurance company. Don’t rely on the store to do the right thing. Gather your evidence and contact a personal injury attorney.
Chelsie King Garza is here to help. If she can’t handle your case, she knows someone who can. Contact her today.