How To Be A Rock Star And Win Your WalMart Lawsuit
By: Jeffrey Shaw, Esq.
Published: March 1, 2017
Suing Walmart is unlike any other Lawsuit.
Trick: No. 1: Walmart Created its own Investigation Company — Claims Management, Inc. (CMI) designed to Defeat your Slip and Fall Case or Lower Your Recovery.
This company will do whatever it takes to see that you lose your case. They will bend the truth or distort your words. What other company has its own investigatory claims management team? That’s how big Walmart truly is — self-insured and willing to go to extremes to defeat you or discourage you by creating its own claims department.
Trick No. 2: Walmart (through CMI) Wants your Statement Before You Get an Attorney. Don’t Give it to Them!
You probably have a slip and fall case if you were injured at WalMart. It’s going to difficult and tough to win your case even with an attorney. Do not go it alone! Do not think you know more than CMI or an attorney experienced in dealing with Walmart.
You cannot “persuade” this professional investigatory company into seeing your point of view and paying you by your oratory skills. They are not going to do that.
It’s never a good idea to give a statement to any insurance company after a slip and fall. But this CMI company will trick you — they will claim you “must” give a statement or that it is “the law.” It’s not the law. They will tell you that a statement will “help” you settle your case. It won’t. CMI will insist that a statement is the “only” way to get the medical bills paid quickly. It’s not.
Secondly, they will pretend that giving a statement is a pre-requisite to a settlement or that a settlement is imminent if you give the statement. It’s not. They are trying to find a reason — any reason — to find contradictions later and not pay you. See my blog post on never a good idea to give a statement.
Remember, CMI was built and designed to defeat you and your case. Do you really think you can talk them out of that?
Trick No. 3: CMI will Make False Promises
I’ve had clients tell me that CMI promised to pay his or her medical bills as long as a statement was given. Or worse, that CMI was going to tell Walmart to accept responsibility and pay the medical bills (or a portion) as long as cooperation was shown (by you giving a statement and not hiring a personal attorney). Then after the statement is given and medical bills are presented to CMI, guess what? The claim is denied and a pre-recorded statement without an attorney present is in the investigative file for a future defense lawyer to use against you.
CMI is like the serpent in the Garden of Eden — it will make promises in a soft and soothing manner. But they cannot be trusted.
Trick No. 4: Evidence of the Fall Like a Videotape Goes Missing
Missing evidence happens in cases. But, Walmart has not been a problem for me personally through the years.
Sometimes, it’s missing videotapes. A person who was injured in a slip and fall might assume that because he or she filled out an incident report that the store would keep a videotape for future use.
But, big box stores and other retail establishments can’t always be trusted (one exception I have found through the years is Walmart, if there’s a videotape and an injury, Walmart typically will produce the videotape). But stores like Meijer’s rarely seems to have videotape of the injury. It makes us skeptical at times.
Trick No. 5: WalMart hires the Same Few Attorneys Per State and Request Confidential Settlements
And they are very good attorneys who will scour and pore over your medical records looking for any inconsistencies.
If you are successful in receiving a settlement offer, WalMart typically requests “confidentiality” in the settlement. This means you cannot tell anybody that you settled or the amount of the settlement. This is done to prevent information sharing among attorneys and other potential claimants.
Here at Shaw Law, we typically demand an extra payment for the confidentiality clause. If they want it that badly — make them pay for it.