This article may also apply to injury claims against Sam’s Club (owned by Walmart). It also applies to other Florida discount department stores, warehouse stores and other stores. However, I focus on Walmart.
Over 86 factors affect the settlement value of a case if a Florida Walmart’s carelessness caused someone’s injury.
An injury claim against a Florida Walmart is similar to a case against a Florida supermarket.
Settlement Value of Your Injury Case against a Florida Walmart.
If a Florida Walmart’s negligence caused your injury, the value of the case will largely depend on the pain and suffering component of the particular injury.
You also may be entitled to get your medical bills and lost wages paid in addition to money for pain and suffering.
Settlement Values for Pain and Suffering Component of Different Injuries
Different body parts have a different value for the pain and suffering component.
Who handles Walmart’s Claims for Florida Accidents?
According to a Claims Management article dated 7/24/12, Max says he works closely with operations, safety and risk control teams to make sure that Walmart is a safe place for its employees to work and customers to shop.
Max Koonce will not handle the injured victim’s case. Walmart has a huge in-house claims operation.
Walmart has a wholly owned TPA subsidiary, Claims Management Inc.. Walmart has 600 associates in that organization who are in charge of the claims management process.
Claims Management, Inc manages 34 states for workers’ compensation. It uses TPAs for 16 other states.
Claims Management also handles general liability claims. These include injuries to customers caused by Walmart’s negligence.
Examples of general liability claims are slip, trip and falls, falling objects, truck crashes and many other types of accidents.
What claims does Walmart spend the most money on?
Max says that Walmart’s greatest financial exposure for claims is workers’ compensation. He says that Walmart focuses on getting the associates to return to work and functional ability.
How Do You Notify Walmart of a Personal Injury Claim?
You should notify Walmart of your personal injury claim by sending a certified (return receipt requested) letter to both of the addresses below:
Claims Management Inc.
PO Box 1288
Bentonville, AR 72716-1288
702 SW 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72716-8611
I had some difficulty finding the fax numbers for Walmart stores online. So rather than having to call each Walmart and ask them for their fax number.
You should use the above fax numbers at your own risk. This is a sample letter notifying Walmart of your injury claim and requesting that they preserve store surveillance video and other evidence.
This letter can also be used if you were injured at any business (whether a restaurant, hotel, store, shopping mall, gas station, theme park, etc.) or on a cruise ship.
Claims Management has been good at calling my office to check the status of my client’s treatment. This is refreshing. I applaud Walmart for it. I have dealt with other insurers and getting a call back can be a rarity.
Written Notice of the Injury Claim to Walmart
Send a certified mail return receipt letter to the actual store where you fell. The purpose of this letter is so that Walmart can open up a claim for you and preserve any evidence that may help you prove your case.
When the claims adjuster from Walmart calls you, do NOT give a recorded statement. You are not required to give a statement. You do not benefit by giving a recorded statement. It can only hurt you.
I would not even give an unrecorded statement until you have a seen the video of the incident and you are completely finished getting all the medical treatment that you need.
Do not give a recorded statement to the Walmart claims adjuster. You are putting yourself at a disadvantage if you do. Sometimes the disadvantage can be huge.
Just because a claims adjuster is friendly does not mean that he or she will pay you to settle your case. Unless you have handled a lot of slip and fall cases, dealing with a claims adjuster on your own (without an attorney) is like playing LeBron James in basketball.
Lebron has the advantage. Walmart injury claims adjusters probably has been an adjuster for many years. They may be seasoned at getting statements from shoppers who are injured at Walmart.
They may ask you a question that seems like it is not important to you. One word in your answer may kill your case. This is even more true if you give a recorded statement.
Most victims do not even know when their case has been lost after speaking with the claims adjuster.
You may think that you are on great terms and Walmart will gladly take care of your claim.
Even if Walmart asks for your medical bills or proof of your lost wages, this does not mean that they are going to pay them.
Although the standard letter that I send Walmart requests its insurance information, in most cases with Walmart you should not be overly concerned about its insurer because it is self-insured for a large amount. In the more serious cases (multiple surgeries, brain injuries, etc.), there may be multiple layers of liability insurance coverage.
Slip and falls
If Walmart asks you to preserve (keep) the shoes that you were wearing at the time of the accident, you should do so. Keep them in a box in your closet and do not wear them again until an agreement is settled.
Walmart may try to prove that you were partially at fault because your shoes or sandals did not have any traction on them.
Unlike some smaller stores, Walmart does not have “Medical Payments” coverage. “Medical payments” coverage would cover your medical bills up to certain amount regardless of fault.
Slip and Falls Caused by a Leaking Refrigerator
If you slipped and fell on water from a refrigerator, water fountain, soda or beverage machine, ice machine or freezer, then you still have to prove that Walmart knew or should have known that the refrigerator was leaking before you fell.
Unless a Walmart employee tells you that the machine (refrigerator, freezer, etc.) was leaking before you slipped and fell, then you generally will have no idea whether Walmart knew or should have known that the refrigerator or freezer was leaking before your fall.
So, if you slip and fall on water that was leaking from a refrigerator or other machine, then once you are able, you should take pictures of the refrigerator or machine that you believe caused your fall.
The machine may be rusty, which may prove that they machine was old and should have been replaced before your accident. If your injuries are serious, then you may need to file a lawsuit to get a reasonable settlement in your case.
If you sue Walmart, then you can ask them to show you all the maintenance records (of the leaking refrigerator, freezer or machine that caused your fall) for the 2 years before your fall. The maintenance records of the refrigerator, freezer or machine may show that it was leaking a few weeks or months before your fall.
If this was the case, even if Walmart fixed it a month or so before your fall, then you can argue that Walmart should have put something in front of the freezer (that would absorb water) before your fall.
You may be able to get the records of the maintenance company who repaired the refrigerator before you fall. Maybe the maintenance company recommended that Walmart purchase a new refrigerator instead of fixing it. You may also argue that if Walmart bought a new machine before your fall, then you would not have been injured.
I have seen (in Publix Supermarket) a whole bunch of paper towels in front of the refrigerator containing milk. If there were paper towels in front of a refrigerator where you slipped and fell on water in Walmart, then you could argue that the Walmart knew the refrigerator was leaking before you fell.
You could argue that only a Walmart employee would have placed paper towels in front of the cooler. However, if there is a warning (caution) sign that you should have seen before you fell, then this may hurt your personal injury case. As in any slip and fall case, the video may show how long the refrigerator, freezer or other cooler was leaking before your fall.
Online Settlement Calculator in a Florida Injury Case Against Walmart
If a Florida Walmart’s carelessness caused your injury, I strongly suggest that you do not value your case based on an online settlement calculator.
There are many reasons why settlement calculators may not work for a Florida injury case. This is true regardless of whether you are looking at my Florida injury settlement calculator or one that someone else made.
If an item falls from a shelve and hits you, Walmart may be at fault and have to pay for your damages. Whether Walmart is at fault for the accident depends upon whether what you were doing at the time you were struck was reasonable.
If you were reaching for an object that was within reach and it fell, this helps your case. If you were standing on your “tippy toes” or jumping to get a product on the shelve, then this hurts your case.
You can be certain that Walmart will argue that you should have known that the object was loose and was going to fall. Walmart may say that you should have asked for help instead of trying to grab the item without assistance that was high on the shelf.
If Walmart is correct, the value of your personal injury case will be reduced by your negligence (fault).
Walmart Employee Injures You
If you are walking in Walmart and you are injured by an employee, you may have a personal injury case against Walmart. The most common ways that a Walmart employee can injured you are as follows:
– An employee rolls or pushes a pallet jack over your foot or into you.
– An employee pushes a cart into you.
– An employee walks into you.
– An employee drops a heavy object on you.
If are injured by a Walmart employee in one of the above ways, you may have a case against Walmart. This means that Walmart may be responsible to pay for your damages (medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering). Walmart will probably argue that you were not looking where you were going and that your damages should be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if you or your children are running through Walmart, and an employee walks into you or your children, you have a more difficult case than if you were standing still or walking at a reasonable speed.
If your child is injured and he or she is under the age of six, then Walmart generally cannot place fault on your child. But you would still need to show that a Walmart employee was careless and this caused your child’s injuries.
Trip and falls.
A customer or other individual may trip and fall on a hazard at a Florida Walmart. There are many ways that a trip and fall can happen.
Trip over a wheel stop (in the parking lot) and fall
A customer may have a case if he trips on a dangerous wheel stop in a Walmart parking lot. He or she must be hurt to have a personal injury case.
Other trip at falls at Walmart may be caused by:
An uneven sidewalk or pothole in a Walmart parking lot may cause a trip and fall accident. If so, you may have a case against Walmart. Walmart will argue that you should have been looking where you were going.
In most of these types of trip and fall cases, you should be able to prove that Walmart should have known of the dangerous condition because uneven sidewalks and potholes do not happen overnight.
Other trip at falls at Walmart may be caused by the following:
– A bunched up runner rug or other rug or mat.
– A stocking cart that you trip over.
– A display sign that has fallen to the ground.
If you tripped and fell on one of these things, then you still need to show that Walmart knew or should have known that the object (thing) that caused you to trip was on the floor before you fell.
If you trip over a stocking cart that was moved close to you without warning by a store employee, then it is easy to prove that Walmart knew that it was there because you can infer that only an employee would have been able to have access to the stocking cart.
If you trip and fall on a bunched up (raised) rug or carpet, then you have to prove actual or constructive notice of this dangerous condition before you fell.
You could argue that Walmart should have known that the rug was “bunched” by arguing that it should have been secured to the floor. Walmart will most likely argue that they had no notice that the rug was sticking up.
Similar to all cases against Walmart, store surveillance may be a great help in proving that Walmart knew or should have known that the thing that you tripped over was there before you fell.
Ask Walmart immediately in writing to same video for the entire day of the incident, not just the video that shows your trip and fall.
Sam’s Club Trip and Falls
A customer was at Sam’s Club in Broward County, Florida. The shopper sued Sam’s Club for personal injury. He tripped on an above-ground tree root in the store parking lot’s uncurbed landscaping area.
The area had a concrete walkway for a pedestrian crossing. A Broward County, Florida court dismissed the case. The customer appealed. The Appeals court agreed with the trial court.
The Florida Appeals court said that:
a. Tree roots in landscaping areas are so open and obvious and not inherently dangerous that they are not dangerous.
b. Prior trips on tree roots by 2 other people did not create a duty for the store to make its landscaping area safe for pedestrian walking by.
A landowner or occupier owes an invitee two independent duties:
a. to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, and
b. to give warning of concealed dangers.
The “obvious danger doctrine” states that an owner or possessor of land is not liable for injuries to an invitee caused by a dangerous condition on the premises when the danger is known or obvious to the injured party.
This is unless the owner or possessor should anticipate the harm despite the fact that the dangerous condition is open and obvious.
Above-ground tree roots in a store parking lot’s uncurbed landscaping area, one of which was the cause of a customer’s trip while he was walking through area instead of using a close concrete walkway, were so obvious and not inherently dangerous that they were not dangerous.
This does not make the store liable for its failure to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition.
There were some facts in this case that may have led another judge to allow the case to go to a jury. These facts are:
Facts that hurt the customer’s case were that he:
- Was aware there were concrete walkways located throughout the landscaping areas
- Chose to enter and cross the landscaping area because it was a shorter distance from his car to the store entrance
- Was aware there were trees in the landscaping areas
Defective Product Claims against Walmart in Florida
Walmart may sell a customer a dangerous product that causes injury. If so, the injured person may have an injury case against Walmart.
The victim may also have a case against the distributor and manufacturer.
Injury Claims against Walmart Tire–Lube Express operations in Florida
Someone may have their tires or oil serviced at a Walmart in Florida. The job may be done carelessly. If this carelessness caused injury to the customer, he or she may have a case against Walmart.
Injured by a Crime on Walmart Property.
Walmart has a duty (obligation) to make its property safe. If you are injured by a crime (a shooting, rape, murder, etc.) inside or outside of a Walmart, you may have a case against both the Walmart and the company that manages or owns the shopping center.
Settlements and Verdicts with Walmart.
Actual case (not my case): $23,000 Settlement for Pain and Suffering for a bulging disc from a slip and fall at Walmart Stores in Palm Beach County, Florida. A 39 year-old shopper claimed that she suffered a bulging disc in her lower back (L4-L5) when she slipped and fell on water in the frozen foods aisle.
She claimed that the bulging disc radiated pain to her thigh and that she had neck pain (a cervical strain).
The total verdict was for $251,213. Of that amount, $101,213 was for past medical bills, $127,000 for future medical bills and $23,000 was for pain and suffering. The case is Carpineto v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the verdict was in 2008 and the accident happened in 2006.
My thoughts: The fact that the jury awarded $101,213 in past medical bills for two years of treatment leads to believe that the shopper had surgery to her lower back.
I am not certain that she had surgery. If she did have lower back surgery, $23,000 is below the typical settlement value for pain and suffering for a lower back surgery caused by an accident in Florida.
Actual case (not my case): $800,000 Verdict in 2013 for pain and suffering for a 40 year-old-man who slipped and fell on a sign while shopping in a Walmart store in Port St. Lucie (St. Lucie County, Florida). He had a torn tendon in his bicep, which resulted in three surgeries and “Popeye Deformity” which causes unusual bulges.
He had depression and anxiety. $350,000 was for past pain and suffering and $400,000 was for future pain and suffering. He was a beverage distributor. He slipped on a Gatorade sign that had fallen to the floor.
The fall was caught on video. Walmart blamed Gatorade for giving it inexpensive plastic screws.
During trial, a Gatorade employee said that if Wal-Mart employees had properly assembled the sign, it wouldn’t have fallen. Gatorade testified that if the screws came loose or had broken, Wal-Mart had the responsibility to deal with it.
The jury stated that Wal-Mart was 90% negligent and the shopper was 10% at fault. Online articles said that the jury awarded twice as much as his attorney asked for.
He also made a claim for lost past wages and future wages totaling $186,337.12, and $300,807 in past and future medical expenses. The accident happened in 2011.
My thoughts: I saw pictures online of the alleged scars to the shopper’s upper arm (bicep) and the scars are horrible. The amount of pain and suffering that was awarded is large, but the shopper did have three surgeries.
This verdict shows that stores, such as Walmart, may be responsible even if it they try to blame the company (Gatorade in this case) who gave them the sign. This verdict also shows that juries will sometimes award twice as much as you ask for.
A threshold injury usually consists of a permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring, or death. You do not have to prove that your injuries are permanent in order to recover money for your medical bills and lost wages.
If you a Walmart truck hit you while you were on a motorcycle in Florida, you do not have to prove that you have a permanent injury in order to get money for pain and suffering.
If a Walmart truck hit you, you should immediately send Walmart a letter asking it to preserve the event data recorder (black box) and all the driving logs along with other information.
This information can help you prove that the Walmart truck driver was driving too many hours and may have been sleep deprived. Trucking regulations are very strict in the United States.
You should assume that Walmart might send a crash response team at the accident scene to gather evidence as soon as possible following the accident. If it was a serious truck accident, you should have an accident reconstruction expert out to the scene immediately following the accident.
Be sure to take pictures of any vehicles involved in the crash. Get the names and contact information of all witnesses to the accident. Even if you received a ticket for causing the crash, this does not mean that you do not have a case against Walmart.
You could still be entitled to a settlement for the car accident.
If a Walmart truck hits you in Florida or if you live in Florida, in addition to making a liability claim against Walmart, you should immediately make a claim with any auto insurer to which you may be an insured under a policy providing uninsured motorist liability coverage.
Warning: Do not assume that you cannot make a claim against uninsured motorist (UM) coverage! Do not assume that uninsured motorist liability coverage is not available to you.
Now although I am not specifically talking about cases against Walmart, I have settled countless injury cases for clients who were completely unaware that they were entitled to uninsured motorist coverage.
Here is a story about a $325,000 settlement for a man who didn’t realize that he purchased uninsured motorist insurance when he rented a car.
Time limit to sue Walmart in Florida.
If Walmart’s negligence caused your injury while you were a guest in a Florida store, then you have 4 years to sue Walmart. The same time limit to sue Walmart applies if a Walmart truck hits you in Florida.
If an uninsured motorist hits a Walmart employee in Florida, then in most cases the Florida employee has 5 years to sue an auto insurer under the uninsured motorist (UM) coverage of the policy to which the employee is an insured.
There is a time limit within which you must report your work-related accident to your employer.
How long does it take to settle a case with Walmart?
There are many different factors that affect how long an injury case may take to settle. There is no guarantee that Walmart will offer to settle your claim.
Slip and falls against Walmart should take a similar time to settle as compared with slip and falls at store or other business establishment. Business establishments include supermarket, hotel, motels and resorts, shopping malls, etc.
This is because most businesses have a liability insurance of $1 Million dollars. 99.9% of cases are worth much less than $1 Million dollars.
Walmart’s Self-Insurance Reserves
Walmart’s 2014 Annual Report states:
“The Company uses a combination of insurance, self-insured retention (SIR) and self-insurance for a number of risks, including, but not limited to, workers’ compensation, general liability, vehicle liability, property…The Company also maintains stop-loss insurance coverage for workers’ compensation and general liability of $5 million and $15 million, respectively, per occurrence, to limit exposure to certain risks.”
Stop-loss insurance (also known as excess insurance) is a product that provides protection for Walmart by serving as a reimbursement mechanism for catastrophic claims exceeding pre-determined levels.
Examples of catastrophic injury are:
a. Spinal cord injury involving severe paralysis of an arm, a leg, or the trunk;
b Amputation of an arm, a hand, a foot, or a leg involving the effective loss of use of that appendage;
c. Severe brain or closed-head injury as evidenced by:
c1. Severe sensory or motor disturbances;
c2. Severe communication disturbances;
c3 Severe complex integrated disturbances of cerebral function;
c4. Severe episodic neurological disorders; or
c5. Other severe brain and closed-head injury conditions at least as severe in nature as any condition provided in sub-subparagraphs c1-c4.;
d. Second-degree or third-degree burns of 25 percent or more of the total body surface or third-degree burns of 5 percent or more to the face and hands;
e. Blindness, defined as a complete and total loss of vision; or
f. Loss of reproductive organs which results in an inability to procreate.
A Florida Walmart’s negligence may cause you to slip and fall. A Florida Walmart’s may cause many other types of accidents. Walmart’s insurer is rarely pressured to settle.
This is because the general liability limits are so high. Walmart’s negligence may cause a victim’s catastrophic injury. If so, the victim’s claim against Walmart may take longer to settle than if a smaller business hurt him or her.
Smaller businesses a typically have a general liability insurance policy which has a $1 Million dollar limit.
The full value of a catastrophic injury case be worth more than $1 Million dollars. This would put pressure on a small business liability insurer to pay the $1 Million dollar limits quickly (if you were catastrophically injured).
Otherwise, the insurer risks a bad faith lawsuit for failure to act in good faith and pay the limits quickly. The insurer would then possibly have to pay above the insurance limits. Insurers hate that.
What should you do if you are injured at a Florida Walmart?
a. Call 911 if it is an emergency.
b. Take an ambulance to the hospital if necessary.
c. Quickly Report the claim to the store manager.
If you slipped and fell on a substance, assuming your pain has not immobilized you, you should immediately report your fall to the store.
d. Take pictures of the dangerous substance or debris and the area
Immediately take pictures and video of the substance that you slipped on as well as the area where you fell. Do not just take 1 close up picture of the substance (e.g. water, a grape, oil, etc.) on which you fell.
Take pictures that show the layout of the aisle(s) or area where you fell, including any coupons that may have distracted you while you were walking. If you are unable to take pictures, have a friend take them.
You can be sure that a Walmart employee will take pictures of the area where you fell.
Walmart has many video cameras throughout the store. Walmart’s video cameras may even pick up audio. Do not assume that just because there are video cameras in the area of your fall that they were working at the time of your accident.
Some of the video cameras may be “dummy” (fake) cameras and not work. Do not assume that Walmart will keep this video if it exists.
e. Get names and contact information of any witnesses.
You want contact information of any witnesses who saw your fall, saw the area where you fell, or saw the substance that you fell on. As soon as possible, you want to have each witness sign an affidavit – a sworn statement – stating what they observed.
This is a sample witness affidavit that I used in a trip and fall case at a condominium complex where the total settlement was $75,000. Every settlement on this website is before our attorney’s fees and expenses. Most cases result in a lower recovery. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result.
If you slipped and fell on a “transitory foreign substance” at a Walmart in Florida, then under Florida Statute 768.0755 you need to prove actual notice or constructive notice. Examples of a transitory foreign substance are a grape, a banana, a box, an egg and countless other things.
Actual notice means that they knew – before you fell – that the substance or thing was on the floor.
The easiest way to prove that Walmart had constructive notice that the substance was on the floor is with your (or witness) testimony (if true) that you did not see anyone in the area for 15 minutes or more before you fell.
You can also prove that Walmart had constructive knowledge of the substance by stating (if true) that it was rotting, or that there were tracks, smudges, streaks, or footprints where you fell. These all help you show that the substance was there for a long period of time before you fell.
Walmart’s video may be able to help you prove that no one was in the area for 15 minutes before you fell.
Let’s suppose that you slip and fall on a piece of fruit at Walmart. If after you fell, you noticed that the piece of fruit was rotting, this should be enough evidence to get your case to a jury.
Most cases against Walmart settle before trial. However, prepare your case as if it is going to trial.
Juror sympathy for Walmart in Florida
Most slip and fall and other types of injury cases do not go to trial. However, Walmart’s claim adjuster will evaluate the case as if it is going to trial.
In general, if all other things are equal, a juror is more sympathetic (more likely to favor ) to the injured person than they are to a huge corporation such as Walmart.
This is because it is difficult for jurors to put themselves in the shoes of a $244 Billion dollar corporation such as Walmart. But ultimately the facts of your case are what will decide the outcome.
Walmart Employee Accidents in Florida
Workers Compensation Claims
One of the advantages of a personal injury claim is that you may be entitled to compensation for noneconomic damages (e.g. pain, suffering, etc.).
Group Voluntary Accident Coverage
Allstate Benefits offers Walmart employees Group Voluntary Accident coverage. It is also known as Limited Benefit Supplemental Accident Insurance.
This provides cash benefits for out-of-pocket expenses related to an accidental injury. It can help protect the Walmart employee if he or she has an off-the-job injury in Florida.
Most major medical insurance plans just pay part of the bills. Group Voluntary Accident coverage pays for bills that other major medical insurance does not pay for.
It gives the employee cash to cover the expenses. Car accidents or an accident on vacation may cause an accidental injury and out-of-pocket expenses.
Who is the best Florida injury lawyer for cases against Walmart? Who is the best Miami accident attorney for cases against Walmart?
Florida attorneys are ethically prohibited from saying that they are “the best.” Therefore, a Florida lawyer cannot say that he or she is the best Florida Walmart injury lawyer or Miami Walmart accident attorney.
Florida lawyers can talk about their experience representing and settling cases for Florida injury victims. I enjoy fighting for my clients’ rights if a Florida store’s carelessness caused them to get hurt.
We will take a look at a few common injuries that can occur at Walmart.
If a Florida Walmart’s negligence caused your shoulder injury, such as a rotator cuff or labrum tear, AC join tear, broken humerus or broken clavicle, it may be worth a significant amount of money.
We have settled non-Walmart Florida rotator cuff tear and labrum tear cases. Some have settled for $210,000, $147,000, $65,000, $57,000, $18,000, $10,000.
The reason for this large settlement range is because many factors affect a shoulder injury case. The best thing about a rotator cuff or labrum tear case against a Florida Walmart is that they have the money to pay for the true settlement value of the case.
Fractured Wrist or Hand
Walmart Accidents that Made the News.
Many people claim that Walmart’s carelessness caused their accident. Ninety nine percent of the time it does not make the news. But every so often, you will hear about a Walmart accident on the TV or online.
The biggest recent Walmart accident to make the news is an accident where a Walmart truck hit a vehicle. It made the news because Tracy Morgan was badly injured. Tracy Morgan is a famous comedian in the US. The accident also killed Tracy’s friend.
The story has continued to gain traction. This is because Tracy Morgan was quoted as saying “I can’t believe Walmart is blaming me for an accident that they caused. My friends and I were doing nothing wrong.”
In any Florida truck accident case, the injured person should expect the the truck driver’s employer will blame the injured person. Even if in a rear end crash. If a jury finds that the claimant is at fault, the verdict is reduced by the injured person’s percentage of fault.
The lawsuit was filed in New Jersey. In its response to the comedian’s lawsuit, Walmart responded by saying that the comedian’s injuries were “caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs’ failure to properly wear an appropriate available seat belt restraint device.”
In Florida, failure to wear a seatbelt can reduce the value of the case. I am not surprised at Walmart’s for asserting this defense.
In its response, Walmart also said: “By failing to exercise ordinary care in making use of available seatbelts, upon information and belief, plaintiffs acted unreasonably and in disregard of plaintiffs’ own best interests.
Accordingly, all or a portion of the injuries could have been diminished or minimized by the exercise or reasonable conduct in using their available seatbelts.”
The accident happened in June 2014. A truck driven by a Walmart employe hit the rear of Morgan’s vehicle. Morgan suffered a broken nose, broken ribs and broken leg.
Morgan sued Walmart. He claimed that Walmart let its employee drive after he was awake for more than 24 consecutive hours. Morgan says this resulted in Walmart’s employee falling asleep while driving and hitting his Morgan’s vehicle.
If an injured person can show that a Walmart truck driver’s fatigue caused an accident, this greatly helps the case. In truck accident cases, the goal is to put the blame on the trucking employer rather than the driver.
The case theme is usually that the truck driver’s employer cared more about profit over safety.
The injured person usually has a higher chance of winning a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver’s employer than against the truck driver.
He or she also generally has a better chance of being awarded more money if he or she can show that the employer was negligent.
Morgan was released from rehabilitation the following month after the crash. His attorney said that he is still struggling with his injuries.
The National Transportation and Safety Board stated that Walmart’s driver was going 20 mph above the speed limit. They say he was going 65 mph in a 45 mph construction zone.
Sometimes an injured person can show that a truck driver was speeding in a construction zone. This generally increases the value of the case.
According to NY Daily News, A Twitter account that was linked to the Walmart driver, Kevin Roper, posted several tweets. Per NY Daily, they were allegedly posted a few days after the crash.
Most of those tweets seem harmless. But, he allegedly said “If my ACCIDENT occurs with no media spotlight I am issued a few traffic tickets…”
This tweet may be harmful as it implies that he was at fault. People generally get tickets when the police officer believes that they were at fault.
If you are injured in an accident, do not post anything on any social media accounts. The responsible driver’s social media accounts may be public.
It may provide information that can later help the injured victim’s case.
Civil Case Will Proceed
On February 4, 2015, CBS News reported that a federal judge denied driver Kevin Roper’s motion to delay Morgan’s lawsuit against Walmart.
According to CBS, Roper faces multiple “criminal charges in state court, including death by auto, but he hasn’t been indicted yet. He’s not a defendant in Morgan’s federal lawsuit but wanted to intervene in that suit and delay it from moving forward until his criminal case could be resolved.”
CBS reports that Roper said his right to a fair trial would be hampered and that he would, in essence, be on trial in the civil case despite him not being a defendant.
He said prosecutors in the criminal case would benefit from information that was revealed. A judge ruled against Roper and allowed the lawsuit to proceed.
My thoughts: In Florida, attorneys sometimes wait to file a civil lawsuit until the criminal case is finished. This is the opposite of what Morgan’s attorney is doing.
Florida lawyers may wait so that they Florida prosecutors gather information. This information may help the civil case be easier to prove.
A driver in a Florida car crash is charged with DUI. He or she may plead guilty.
If so, the victim can use the DUI driver’s guilty plea in the personal injury case. This is one reason why the DUI crash victim should attend the criminal trial in Florida.
It can greatly increase the full value of the victim’s injury case.
Video of Crash Scene
TMZ has a video of the Tracy Morgan crash scene. They say it was shot moments after the crash. You can hear and see people panicking. It is very sad. My heart goes out to all the injured victims and their families.
Which Florida Walmart Stores Have Been Sued for Negligence?
Walmart has stores throughout Florida. Personal injury claims and/or lawsuits have been filed against Florida Walmart throughout Florida. Some claims for personal injury arose from Walmart’s alleged negligence in the following stores:
Miami, Doral, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Miami Gardens, North Miami Beach, Miramar, Cooper city, Hallandale Beach, Pembroke Pines, Goulds, Davie, Homestead, Lauderhill, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Florida City, Sunrise, Lauderale Lakes, Sunrise, North Lauderdale, Pompano, Orlando, Ocoee, Apopka, Casselberry, Oviedo, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Kissimmee, Fort Myers, North Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, Plantation, West Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Lake Park, Greenacres, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Jupiter, Lantana, Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Port Orange, Lakeland, Lake Wales, New Smyrna Beach, Tampa, Oldsmar, Brandon, Riverview, Seffner, Pinellas Park, Largo, St Petersburg, Clearwater, Dunedin, New Port Richey, Starkey, Plant City, Palm Harbor, St Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, South Pasadena, Sarasota, Braden River, Bradenton, Osprey, Palmetto, Jacksonville, Yulee, Orange Park, Macclenny, Fruit Cove, Fernandina Beach, Middleburg, Chipley, De Funiak Springs, Panama City, Callaway, Lynn Haven, Panama City Beach, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Santa Rosa Beach, Ocala, The Villages, Summerfield, Tallahassee, Crawfordville, Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Milton, Palm Bay, West Melbourne, Melbourne, Indian Harbour Beach, Sebastian, Clermont, St Cloud, Palatka, Stuart, Perry and more.
Where is Walmart’s Home Office?
Who are Wal-mart Stores’ competitors in Florida?
Walmart has a lot of competition in Florida. I have written articles about cases where a Walmart competitor was careless and someone got hurt.
In Florida, personal injury cases against Walmart’s competitors are similar to claims against Walmart. Some of Walmart’s competitors in Florida are:
- Big Lots
- Burlington Coat Factory
- Costco Wholesale
- Dillard’s (in Plantation, Pembroke Pines, Fort Lauderdale and more.)
- Dollar General
- Dollar Tree
- Family Dollar Stores
- Five Below
- J. C. Penney
- Kohl’s (in West Kendall, Florida and more. One of my wife’s favorite stores.)
- Tuesday Morning (Miami and more)
Did Walmart’s negligence cause your injury in Florida? Did someone else’s negligence cause your accident and injury in Florida?
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Our Miami law firm represents people injured anywhere in Florida in car accidents, truck accidents, slip, trip and falls, motorcycle accidents, bike accidents, drunk driving crashes, pedestrian accidents and many other types of accidents.
We want to represent you if you were injured in an accident in Florida. If you live in Florida but were injured in another state we may also be able to represent you.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated.