Certain companies get a reputation regarding insurance claims and lawsuits. These dictate whether they will settle those claims or force the claimant to file a lawsuit and become a plaintiff. A Wal-Mart slip and fall is a good example.
While there are exceptions, Wal-Mart trends toward a company policy of denying all claims related to personal injury. Fortunately, if your personal injury attorney is aware of this policy, he or she will know how to maximize your recovery in a Wal-Mart Slip and Fall claim.
Step 1: Complete Your Medical Treatment
There is nothing that de-values a personal injury claim like failing to follow Doctor’s orders, or failing to get treated in a timely manner. Insurance adjusters jump at the chance to deny a claim because the client waited too long to seek medical treatment or didn’t follow through with the treatment. As a result, the adjuster claims that the extent of the injuries being claimed are due in part to the client’s failure to treat them.
Step 2: Request Video
Most every square foot of a Wal-Mart is under video surveillance at all times. Your personal injury attorney should immediately request video of your Wal-Mart slip and fall from the store where you fell. A failure to make this request in a timely manner could result in the video being destroyed or disposed of over time, as company policy allows for this if there is no reason presented to preserve the video.
Step 3: Make a Claim
Your attorney will compile your medical records and medical billing associated with the Wal-Mart slip and fall, and submit it to the insurance claims adjuster with the video of your slip and fall. This package, which requests Wal-Mart pay you damages for your injury, is called a Demand Package.
Step 4: Prepare for Denial
As stated above, be prepared for Wal-Mart to reject your Wal-Mart slip and fall claim out of hand. This means the personal injury law firm will receive a response back from the Wal-Mart insurance claims adjuster about 45 days after submitting the demand. The response will claim either that Wal-Mart is not responsible for your slip and fall, or that there are no damages related to your slip and fall.
Some personal injury attorneys may give up the fight at this point. Depending upon the circumstances, there is one more additional step that should be taken, with the client’s permission, in response to the denial.
Step 5: Send a Draft Complaint
When an insurance claim is denied, your next step is to file a Complaint or a lawsuit. It is common knowledge that not all claims are worth spending thousands of dollars on in court, or worth the time required to invest in them in the courtroom. When a claim is denied, an alternative to giving up is to draft the Complaint or lawsuit and send it over to the company’s legal department. This Complaint should be sent together with a letter proposing that Wal-Mart either offer compensation or else the Complaint will be filed as a lawsuit.
Step 6: Prepare to Settle
While every case and every circumstance is different, typically Wal-Mart will reply to the draft of a Complaint with what is referred to as a”Drop Dead Offer.” They will give the law firm a few days time to respond to the offer, after which point the offer is no longer valid. At this time, you and your personal injury attorney will examine the offer from Wal-Mart and decide whether to accept it, or to file a lawsuit in your Wal-Mart slip and fall claim.
If you have a Wal-Mart slip and fall claim and you would like help examining it and navigating the legal and insurance process, please call us today. An attorney would like to discuss the claim with you. We can be reached at 704.749.7747.