I was just injured when I slipped and fell at Walmart. Walmart called me and they want to pay my medical bills. This is a good idea, right?
Author: Attorney Jason Macri
Every year, thousands of people become injured at a Walmart. Much of the time, a person will become injured because of Walmart’s negligence. Typically, if a person gets hurt in a Walmart because of something that Walmart did wrong, risk management for Walmart will contact the injured person and offer to help with their medical bills. Most people view this as a positive and believe that Walmart is offering to help because they really care about the person. The question becomes, why would Walmart do that?
Walmart’s risk management department is staffed with employees whose job it is to try and limit Walmart’s exposure. When a person becomes injured in a Walmart, it potentially exposes Walmart to large financial loss. If Walmart were forced to pay an injured person a large sum of money for their injury, this would affect Walmart’s bottom line negatively. Walmart will take all steps necessary to protect its money. This is the reason why Walmart tries to quickly contact a customer after they get hurt. Walmart is hoping to prevent a large loss of money.
Typically, when Walmart offers to pay medical bills, there are two conditions attached. The first condition is that the injured person must sign a medical authorization form. With a signed medical authorization, Walmart can get access to the injured person’s medical records and bills. While it may seem it would be ok to allow Walmart access to your records and bills, allowing them access can backfire on you if there is anything whatsoever in your medical records that will help Walmart show that your injuries were not caused by your incident at Walmart.
The second condition is that the injured person will be required to sign a release once they agree to receive money from Walmart to cover their medical bills. This release is of upmost importance for Walmart because, with a signed release, the injured person will be forever barred from making a claim against Walmart for injury. It does not matter whether you knew exactly what effect the release would have. If you are an adult of sound mind and you sign a release, it will be game over for you.
If you or a loved one get injured in a Walmart, make sure to speak with a skilled injury attorney before agreeing to speak with Walmart risk management and especially before signing anything that risk management asks you to sign. Getting advice from a skilled injury lawyer will make the difference between getting justice and getting scammed.