In the famous words of Rainman, “Walmart sucks.”
My unscientific poll of the hundreds of thousands of people I have talked to about Illinois legal matters in the last 20 years shows that Walmart treats their workers worse than most, if not all, companies.
I have heard countless stories of injured Walmart workers having their work comp claims denied or interrupted for ridiculous reasons. It’s not that Walmart doesn’t have a right to defend the cases. They do. It just seems that they often try to discourage workers from bringing cases at all and they fight cases with positions that don’t always seem legitimate.
One thing I hear from their workers is that they think that lawyers will be scared to take on Walmart because they are a multi-billion-dollar corporation. There is a belief that they have a team of lawyers that can’t be beaten.
The reality is that while Walmart might be more difficult or appear at times of having a strategy of screwing workers over, the laws apply the same to them as any other company. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act doesn’t make it easier for big companies.
Beyond that, Walmart doesn’t have a “team of lawyers” to fight these cases. They hire good law firms who fight hard, but it’s not like you are going to show up to a court hearing and see 3-5 lawyers sitting there working against you. It will be your lawyer against their lawyer. If they hired a “team” they’d end up spending more money on lawyer fees than your case is likely worth.
So if you have a good work comp attorney in your corner who knows the laws and is a fighter, you should win your case if the facts are on your side. Meaning that if you lifted a box at Walmart while working and felt a pop in your back, you should have a winning workers comp case.
What Walmart does, in my experience, is make workers nervous and frustrate them. But when push comes to shove, if you have the facts on your side (meaning you got hurt, reported it right away, went to the doctor right away, etc.) you should win your case and get benefits.
We also have found that they will often deny cases, especially in rural areas, with the hopes that you won’t get a lawyer. It’s probably a strategy that saves them money because some people in small towns can be hesitant to get legal help. They don’t always know that hiring an Illinois work injury lawyer costs nothing upfront nor do they know that it’s illegal to fire someone for bringing a work injury.
The good news is that we’ve had a lot of success in cases against Walmart because Illinois work comp laws favor honest, hard-working workers. So don’t stress or think your case is harder because your employer is Walmart, Amazon, or anyone else. If you would like a free consultation with an attorney to discuss a case you can call us for free at 800-517-1614 any time.