You can find just about any product you need in a Walmart, from tires and oil changes to clothing, groceries, and financial services. But you can also be injured there in a variety of ways, from slipping and falling on a hazard in Walmart to suffering a physical, violent assault at Walmart.
Nearly 15 years ago, about 5,000 lawsuits were being filed against the retail giant each year, a number that has likely increased — not decreased — since that time.
Walmart is a behemoth, ranking as the world’s largest company in terms of revenue in 2022. Unlike smaller companies, Walmart has its own insurance company and does not need to rely on an outside insurer for liability protection.
Being sued about 14 times per day every year has also encouraged Walmart to stand its ground when sued and not automatically settle every claim filed against the company.
All of this can be discouraging news for customers who were hurt at Walmart and are thinking of filing a Walmart lawsuit. Despite the challenges in doing so, though, you may be able to bring lawsuits against Walmart when you or a loved one gets hurt inside a store or on a store’s property.
Types of Injuries Occurring at Walmart
There are several dangers in your local Walmart that can lead to an injury for you or a family member. Some of the possible ways you can be injured include the following:
Slips and Falls
Like any other business, large or small, that invites customers to come and shop, Walmart has a legal obligation to identify and clean up spills and mop up snow, rain, and ice to protect patrons from slipping and falling.
This legal duty to protect extends to other hazards, such as a dry product that spills across the floor. In each of these cases, slips and falls that follow from hazards left unaddressed can mean liability for Walmart.
Security footage and cleaning logs may lead Walmart to conclude it cannot win some of the lawsuits it faces. These cases may resolve with Walmart slip and fall settlements that pay compensation to the injured customer. For other Walmart slip and fall lawsuits, the company may push back and refuse to settle absent additional proof of its liability.
Even if you say, “I slipped and fell to my knees in a Walmart, but I did not hit my head,” you may have sustained an injury to your knees or another body part. If this is the case, you likely have grounds to file a Walmart lawsuit.
Head Injuries and Other Personal Injuries
Just because a Walmart’s floors are clean does not mean there are no dangers present. Carelessly stacked merchandise can topple and fall on you. If this sequence of events happens with a heavy object stacked at a height, you could suffer a serious blow to the head that results in a mild concussion, a cut, or some other harm.
Walmart is responsible for training its employees and supervising their work, so if a Walmart employee stacked these items in a thoughtless manner, the law gives you as the injury victim legal rights and the ability to seek compensation.
Acts of Violence at Walmart
Sometimes, instead of a condition like a slippery floor, it’s a fellow customer that poses a danger to you. News stories are replete with instances of violence occurring in Walmart stores. In fact, over 90 instances of assaults, batteries, and other acts of violence have taken place at Walmart stores over the past several years.
Liability for the retail giant is trickier in these cases; Walmart may not always know which customers will pose a danger to others. In the following situations, though, a strong case can be made through a Walmart lawsuit that Walmart should be liable for damages:
- A customer openly carries a weapon or gun into the store or through the parking lot
- A customer is being belligerent and noisy or making threats to other customers
- A customer has a history of acting out or acting violently but keeps returning to the store
- The store received credible information from law enforcement that an individual was approaching the store and posed a danger
In these and similar situations, the law requires Walmart to take reasonable steps to protect customers. These can include warning customers of approaching danger, giving them instructions in an emergency, calling for emergency assistance, or using security employees to remove the danger from the store.
Other Injuries Sustained at Walmart
You can also suffer personal harm if you are struck by motorized equipment or if you unknowingly purchase and consume a dangerous product that has been recalled but is still offered on Walmart’s shelves.
Why Walmart Lawsuits Are So Common
Poorly trained or minimally supervised team members, a culture that values profit and sales over safety, and large stores that can cover 187,000 square feet or more are just some of the possible reasons why the company finds itself facing thousands of lawsuits every year.
No company is perfect, and all companies will have employees who commit mistakes. However, the fact that Walmart continues to face so many lawsuits annually suggests that the cost of defending against these suits or paying a claim is not so great as to justify a radical restructuring of how the company does business.
Building a Case Against Walmart with a Lawyer’s Help
There is a path to victory in a Walmart injury lawsuit, but the road will not be easy. If Walmart chooses to deny your claim, you can expect the company will defend its actions and inactions vigorously in court.
As experienced personal injury lawyers, the attorneys at McEldrew Purtell will review the facts of your Walmart injury for free and evaluate whether you can and should file a suit against Walmart. If the answer is yes, McEldrew Purtell is fully capable of helping you with your case, both in and out of court.