What’s the Difference Between Trips, Slips and Falls?

The average person doesn’t put much thought into the difference between “tripping” and “slipping.” But, when it comes to injuries caused by the negligence of another, a personal injury attorney must know the difference between the two. In honor of the start of fall, and all the yard maintenance that comes with it, here are some tips to understand the difference between these two kinds of falls.

According to the National Safety Council, falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States. When someone is injured on another’s property, it’s important to be able to identify the significant differences between slip and falls versus trip and falls. Oftentimes, people use these terms interchangeably. But, when seeking counsel for a slip/fall case, the difference between the two terms will completely change the way the case is approached, including the type of information the attorney will need, how the property owner is held liable and even the amount of compensation that will be pursued.

The Differences

SLIPS and Falls: When someone SLIPS, it is typically caused by wetness or slippery substances on the ground such as water or ice, or spilled items like round objects such as beads. The fall, in this case, is caused by a loss of friction with a surface and causes the foot to slip outward and upward, causing a person to fall. Injuries usually include:

  • Back-of-the-head injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Hip injuries
  • Herniation of vertebrae

TRIPS and Falls: When someone TRIPS, it is typically caused by fixed objects, uneven surfaces or objects in the path that make them stumble. This can be caused by broken sidewalks, poorly placed items left on the floor, poorly lit spaces that hide obstructions, or even uneven/unmarked doorjambs. In this instance, the trip occurs when the moving person’s foot is met with resistance from an unperceived object causing forward and outward momentum that causes them to fall. Injuries usually include:

  • Front-of-head or face injuries
  • Hand/arm fractures
  • Elbow injuries
  • Knee injuries

Documentation of injuries is critical after an accident, including taking pictures of injuries and the location of the fall, identifying witnesses and seeking medical attention (for documentation) immediately.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a fall caused by a slip or a trip, our experienced injury attorneys are available to help. For more information, contact us online or call us directly at 800-800-5678 to schedule your free consultation.
Jill Erin Wellskopf
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Director of Marketing, Hupy and Abraham