Question: I was hit head on by a driver who was in my lane when exiting via an access road owned and maintained by Wal-Mart. The police said the accident was clearly the other driver’s fault but could not issue any tickets due them considering the area private property. This access road is not divided and not marked, nor does it have a posted speed limit. The driver is uninsured and I have uninsured motorist insurance, but I feel Wal-Mart should be held accountable in some way for this accident. What can I do?
Answer: You can sue Wal-Mart provided you can prove that they did something wrong and that you suffered an injury or monetary damage as a result. Just because an accident occurred on Wal-Mart property does not make Wal-Mart responsible for your injury. However, if something Wal-Mart did or did not do led to the happening of the accident, then Wal-Mart may be held responsible, e.g., improper road design, improper signage, no shoulder for the road, or the like. You will most likely need an expert in construction, road design, or engineering to help show that Wal-Mart was negligent in their ownership and maintenance of the roadway. The cost of bringing such a suit against Wal-Mart, however, is very expensive, and depending on your injuries, might cost you more than the monetary value of your injury. Additionally, if there is enough insurance coverage to cover the amount of your injury award, then filing a suit under such circumstances would not be worth the effort and would serve only as a distraction. The best way to make an informed decision is to discuss all of this with an experienced attorney in your area. Most offer free consultations that provide great guidance with how to properly proceed with your case.