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    6 Common Mistakes to Avoid After a Slip-and-Fall Accident

    Slip-and-fall accidents are among the most common types of incidents that lead to personal injury claims. These accidents can happen anywhere and often result in serious injuries or death.

    According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injuries for those over age 65.

    • In the United States, 1 in 4 adults over age 65 report a fall each year.
    • In 2020, over 1 million older adults fell in Florida.
    • In Florida alone, 4207 people died in unintentional slip-and-fall accidents in 2022.
    • The cost of falls is staggering, estimated by the CDC at about $50 billion in medical costs.

    Common injuries include:

    • Fractures — Bones are particularly susceptible to breaks in slip and fall accidents. Common fracture sites include the wrists, arms, ankles, and hips.
    • Head Injuries — Falls can easily lead to head injuries, ranging from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). These injuries require immediate medical evaluation, as they can be life-threatening.
    • Spinal Cord Injuries — These are among the most serious injuries that can occur from a fall, potentially resulting in partial or complete paralysis.
    • Soft Tissue Injuries — Sprains, strains, and tears in ligaments or tendons can cause significant pain and disability. They can also lead to chronic problems if not properly treated.
    • Cuts and Abrasions — These injuries are common and can range from minor to severe, depending on the nature of the fall.
    • Dislocations — Falling can lead to joints being forced out of their normal positions, particularly in the shoulders, elbows, and knees.

    If you ever find yourself in such a situation, it’s crucial to know what not to do to preserve your legal rights and maximize your potential compensation.

    Here are some common pitfalls to avoid following a slip-and-fall accident:

    1. Not Reporting the Accident Immediately

    It’s essential to report your accident to the property owner, manager, or relevant authority right away. This not only creates an official record of the incident but also ensures that the details are documented accurately.

    Delaying this report can lead to doubts about the seriousness of the incident or even about whether it occurred on the property.

    2. Neglecting to Gather Evidence

    Evidence plays a critical role in slip-and-fall claims. Take photographs or videos of the location where the accident occurred, focusing on any conditions that contributed to your fall, such as wet floors, uneven surfaces, or poor lighting. Also, collect the names and contact information of any witnesses. Their accounts may prove invaluable in supporting your claim.  In many states like Florida, it is the burden of the person who fell to prove what caused them to fall and that the dangerous condition existed for a length of time that the property owner or business would have notice of the danger.  Alternatively, you can prove that the condition was caused by something the property owner did (such as spilling or leaving a dangerous condition).  It is important to document the scene with photos and videos as soon as possible.

    3. Not Seeking Medical Attention Promptly

    Always seek medical attention immediately after a slip and fall, even if your injuries seem minor. Some injuries are not immediately apparent but can result in significant health issues later. Medical records linking your injuries directly to the accident can be a pivotal part of your claim. Without them, it can be challenging to prove that your injuries resulted from the fall.

    4. Speaking to Insurers Without Legal Advice

    Be cautious when dealing with insurance representatives. It’s common for insurance companies to contact you after an accident to get a statement or offer a settlement.

    Speak to a skilled personal injury attorney before discussing your claim with an insurer. This will help ensure that you do not say anything that could undermine your claim or accept a settlement that undervalues your damages.

    5. Posting on Social Media

    Avoid posting any details about your accident or injuries on social media platforms. Insurance companies and defense attorneys may monitor your accounts to find information that can be used against you in your claim. Even seemingly innocent posts can be misconstrued and impact the outcome of your case.

    6. Failing to Follow Through With Medical Advice

    Following your doctor’s advice and sticking to the prescribed treatment plan is crucial. If you fail to attend follow-up appointments or ignore medical advice, it could be argued that your injuries are not as severe as claimed. This can significantly weaken your case and potentially reduce the compensation you might receive.

    Avoiding these common mistakes can help protect your health and legal rights after a slip-and-fall accident. If you or someone you know has been involved in such an incident, it is advisable to consult with a personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the process and help secure the compensation you deserve.

    Need Legal Assistance?

    Contact Leighton Panoff Law today. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are ready to help you evaluate your Florida slip-and-fall case and provide the guidance needed to navigate the complexities of your claim. We have decades of experience representing people who have fallen and become seriously injured.

    Article by:

    John Leighton

    A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite


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