Walgreens is one of the nation’s largest chains of pharmacies with over $70 billion in annual sales, and 7,000 stores (and an estimated 400 new stores opening each year). With so many pharmacies in so many states, it’s no wonder that slip and fall accidents occasionally occur in Walgreens stores.
However, not every slip and fall at a Walgreens results in injury and not every slip and fall injury results in a judgment against the company. For example, in one slip and fall case in 2004, a man who slipped on some liquid at a Walgreens in Broadview, Illinois, was not able to demonstrate the source of the liquid. The store claimed the liquid was the result of the man’s walking in snow. The man claimed the liquid was on the floor. The man lost his case and a subsequent appeal. In summary, if you are injured in a slip and fall in a Walgreens, for example, you should not presume that you will recover financial damages.
When is Walgreens liable?
You are only entitled to seek damages for your injuries and receive a fair compensation settlement when the negligent behavior of others was to blame for your injuries. All retail store owners owe a duty to their customers in keeping their premises safe. But the burden in court is on the person injured who brings the lawsuit (the “plaintiff”) to prove liability. That’s not always so easy. The person bringing the case (the injured person, known as the “plaintiff”) must show that:
- the store (or an employee) was directly responsible by creating the dangerous condition,
- the store (or its employees) knew about the situation and failed to take action to fix the problem,
- the employees had time to discover the problem and clean it up, and
- the employees failed to provide proper warnings around the condition.
Settling a Walgreens slip and fall without going to court
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident at Walgreens, you should immediately give the company (and any other potentially responsible parties) notice of your intent to file a claim. Giving proper notice may increase your chances of reaching an adequate settlement. The advantage of a settlement is that you avoid the time and expense (and uncertainty) of filing a formal personal injury lawsuit. (To increase your chances of obtaining the maximum settlement, seek the advice of a personal injury attorney).
After you notify Walgreens of your slip and fall accident, you will probably be contacted by an insurance adjustor handling the claim on behalf of Walgreens. Often the adjustor seeks a quick resolution. Avoid detailed conversations with the insurance adjustor at this early stage, or at least until you have put together your formal request for compensation. Your request (sometimes called a “demand letter”) should contain:
- a clear explanation as to how the slip and fall accident occurred;
- any witnesses that were present;
- your explanation as to why Walgreens is responsible;
- identification of all factors that caused the accident;
- your injuries and any medical treatment that you received;
- costs of your medical treatment, lost wages, and any other bills; and
- the amount of damages and/or compensation that you are seeking as a result of your injuries.
Once you have submitted your request to the insurance adjustor, the adjuster will either deny your claim (in which case you may have to file a lawsuit) or send you a settlement offer. If that is unacceptable, you will have to either negotiate higher or file a lawsuit.
Getting Legal Help
Negotiating with Walgreens’ insurance adjusters can be daunting, particularly if you are inexperienced or introverted. That’s why you should consult a personal injury attorney. Only an experienced personal injury attorney can give you professional advice about your claim, and how to present it.