Why you need a lawyer after a slip and fall at Walmart
Retaining a personal injury lawyer may seem intimidating if you have never needed the services of an attorney before. However, if you suffered a slip and fall injury inside a Walmart store, you will benefit from having legal counsel.
Walmart hires skilled, knowledgeable, and aggressive slip and fall lawyers, making litigation against them difficult. Without legal representation, asserting your personal injury claims may result in dismissing your claims, barring you from seeking monetary compensation for your injuries.
Slip and Fall Cases Are Difficult to Win
You need an attorney who can reach a fair settlement with Walmart. Also, if your case goes to trial, you need an experienced attorney who can cross-examine witnesses, present evidence to the jury, and petition the judge regarding specific motions and requests.
Throughout any civil lawsuit against Walmart, you need a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side.
Establishing the Elements of Negligence
One of the most important things your personal injury attorney will do is establish the four elements of negligence. Typically, these four elements are categorized as follows: (one) duty, (two) breach, (three) causation, which further divides into (a) actual cause and (b) proximate cause, and (four) damages.
These four elements–duty, breach, causation, and damages–form the backbone of any slip-and-fall lawsuit.
To establish the four elements of negligence, you need to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was liable for your injuries. Liability and damages generally divide civil lawsuits.
Once you establish liability, you can seek damages by presenting the losses you suffered due to the slip and fall accident. The preponderance of the evidence is a standard lower than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard, which is typical in criminal cases.
Generally, the preponderance of the evidence simply means 51 percent or more.
The Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Retail Stores
Slip and fall accidents often occur in retail stores because an employee fails to clean up a spill or dry an area of the floor that customers use. Many accident victims do not realize what caused their injuries because they suddenly fall without warning.
Often, a personal injury attorney can obtain surveillance footage from the defendant, which shows how the accident occurred. Also, slip and fall accidents are often associated with witnesses who observe the injuries suffered by the plaintiff.
The following are some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents in retail stores:
- Spilled liquids: Accidental spills, whether from beverages, cleaning materials, or other liquids, often contribute to slippery surfaces. They might include substances like water, oil, or chemicals, posing a hazard to unsuspecting individuals passing through.
- Condensation from air conditioning units: In warm or humid environments, condensation from air conditioning units can accumulate, creating wet spots on floors or surfaces, potentially leading to slippery conditions, particularly if not promptly addressed.
- Rainwater collecting on the floor: Entrances or areas exposed to the elements might gather rainwater, creating slick patches that increase the risk of slipping, especially if not properly managed.
- Damaged packaging causing leaks: Defective or damaged packaging of goods can leak fluids; if not cleaned promptly, the spillage creates hazardous conditions.
- Customers dropping slippery items on the floor: Customers accidentally dropping items like fruits, vegetables, or other slippery materials can create a hazard if not attended to immediately, contributing to potential slip and fall accidents.
- Surfaces melting due to extreme heat: In extremely high temperatures, certain surfaces might soften or melt, creating a slippery film that poses a risk of falls and accidents.
Other causes may also contribute to slip and fall accidents in retail stores. The potential causes of slip and fall accidents are potentially unlimited. However, the most common causes, which concern slip and fall accidents, are typically seen in most cases.
Focusing on the cause of your injuries remains critical as the defendant will contest liability, arguing they’re not responsible for your injuries.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Will Help You Gather Relevant Evidence
You need to acquire pertinent evidence to support your legal claims. Your demand letter or civil complaint’s assertions must align with documentary, real, and testimonial evidence.
Evidence often indicates that the defendant was aware of the spill but neglected to address it or remove it from the retail space. Also, testimonial evidence is relevant if witnesses observe the slip and fall accident and can testify about the length of time the dangerous liquid was on the ground inside the retail store.
Walmart stores are not uniform; some Walmart retail stores are small, while others are massive. The neighborhood Walmart store, for instance, is compact and small.
Fewer witnesses may be present in this type of store during a slip-and-fall accident. However, a Walmart supercenter may contain numerous witnesses and surveillance cameras. Therefore, retaining a personal injury attorney increases the likelihood of accessing surveillance footage, aiding in proving your legal claims.
Also, a personal injury lawyer will likely hire expert witnesses to analyze evidence and produce professional reports; you can use these to strengthen your case. Although expert witnesses are expensive, you do not have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses to have professionals produce evidence that you can use to strengthen your slip and fall injury case.
During the discovery phase of litigation, your attorney will also request information the defendants did not produce during their initial disclosures. This information can help because you do not know what evidence may strengthen or weaken your case.
The defendant may have valuable evidence that can change the course of the case, but you will not recover this evidence if you attempt to press the case without legal counsel.
The Types of Damages You May Claim In a Slip and Fall Accident Case
The damages you can claim in a slip and fall case hinge on many factors, especially the extent of your injuries.
Typically, civil cases involve two main types of damages: general and special. A plaintiff might also seek punitive damages, which punish severe misconduct by the defendant. Knowing these differences can greatly affect how your case progresses.
General damages are subjective to the injured party’s experience and often not quantifiable. General damages, for instance, often derive from the emotional or psychological distress experienced by the injured party during and after the slip and fall accident. Consulting an attorney is essential to determine the optimal method for calculating the total damages amount related to your case.
Special damages, on the other hand, hinge on concrete evidence like medical bills and surgical reports. These damages are ascertainable and quantifiable. You should retain a personal injury attorney to have someone calculate the damages amount in your case.
The defense will want to see a computation of damages, and this means that you need to establish the method you used to calculate the total damages amount you are claiming in your slip and fall accident case.
Seeking Medical Treatment For Your Injuries
A personal injury attorney can facilitate access to medical treatment for your injuries.
If you do not have health insurance, you can receive medical treatment from a doctor who treats patients on a lien basis. This means that you will then pay the doctor out of any settlement amount or judgment associated with your slip and fall accident case.
Seeking medical treatment guarantees compensation for all injuries incurred due to Walmart’s negligence.
Undergoing multiple surgeries to recover from your injuries can be quite taxing. Engaging a skilled lawyer ensures that your case progresses while in the hospital.
You don’t have to handle all the intricate aspects of civil litigation while recuperating from your surgery. Legal representation empowers you to focus on self-care during this demanding time, providing essential relief amid the stress.
Also, you must seek medical treatment for your injuries. You do not want to stay home and let your injuries worsen until you are disabled. The defense attorneys who represent Walmart will argue that the company is not liable for your injuries because you did not seek any medical treatment for your injuries.
Therefore, you need to listen to the advice provided to you by an attorney and do everything in your power to strengthen your slip and fall accident case.
Analyzing and Interpreting Medical Records and Medical Bills
You need to retain a personal injury attorney after suffering a slip and fall injury in Walmart because you likely cannot obtain all the useful information from medical records and medical bills. The medical records from your case contain crucial information that can help establish the defendant’s liability.
Also, medical bills contain detailed lists of the costs associated with everything you received as part of your medical treatment. Examining these records and extracting valuable information will assist in determining the precise damages to claim in your slip and fall accident case.
Personal injury lawyers also hire medical professionals to review records, which may contain highly complex information. You must focus on the most relevant aspects of your medical treatment so you can inform your attorney about the medical treatment you received.
Your case may involve multiple surgeries, and it’s essential to carefully review these records to include all relevant medical treatment in your slip and fall accident claim for damages.
Learning More About Civil Litigation
One benefit of retaining legal representation is gaining more knowledge about your legal rights. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure apply if the court hears your case.
If your case proceeds in state court, state rules of civil procedure will be relevant. These matters will sometimes confuse clients, but the more familiar you become with the complexities of the legal system, the more knowledgeable you will be regarding your legal rights and the rights of your fellow citizens.
Legal representation offers clarity, particularly in the intricate realm of civil litigation.
Consider, for instance, the likelihood of being deposed in your slip-and-fall case. With an attorney present, you receive defense during the deposition, ensuring objections are articulated and preserved, a crucial step should your case face an appeal. Such nuanced aspects significantly protect your legal rights throughout your slip and fall accident case.
Reach Out to a Slip and Fall Attorney Today for Your Free Consultation
Experienced slip and fall lawyers are here to guide you with every aspect of your injury claim. Contact a law firm near you today to book a free consultation if you seek legal representation.
Austin personal injury law firm can review the facts of your case and examine any evidence you already possess regarding the facts associated with your injuries. Slip and fall attorneys experience assisting clients with premises liability cases involving many types of injuries.
Reach out today to discover how they can support you in asserting your legal rights.