Recently we had an incident at our local Wal-Mart and are looking for advice. The story is that we had a very unstable shopping cart, with one wheel that was badly bent so that the cart basically worked like it had three wheels at times, depending on how the wheel was positioned. Strapped in the kids seat was my daughter, 16 months, and sitting in the cart was my son, 3 years.
I was pushing the cart from behind and it worked fine because I used both hands and could control it. However, I stepped aside to look at a product and my wife grabbed the cart from the front and pulled it forward with one hand. The cart tipped over.
My son was fine, no injury at all. My daughter's whole side of her face was red with a nasty white mark down it. She bawled for a good fifteen minutes, which is unusual for her. The assistant manager showed up within seconds of the cart tipping over. We called the hospital from the store and were told to watch her carefully for the next couple days.
It is now six days later and she is OK. We never saw a doctor. My daughter has bruises on her buttocks, her leg, and the side of her face. My wife has a bruise on her leg.
Just this morning I agreed to settle with Wal-Mart for a very small sum, based on the fact that everyone ended up without serious injury. However, it was a very stressful and emotional time until we were sure of that fact.
In my opinion, the only thing that separated this incident from a very serious accident was the outcome. In other words, the exact same accident and same situation could have produced a very, very serious injury. We were lucky in that respect.
Question is, should we have pursued this matter further with a lawyer and basically sued Wal-Mart? We have not yet signed a release form. If more detail is needed I will be happy to provide it.